News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Friday, Dec 30th


-For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day – CLICK HERE

-Butler went on the road to Saint John’s yesterday, and Butler lost.  This is the second true road game they’ve lost against a team that clearly appears to be nowhere near the NIT, much less the NCAA Tournament.  They do have a win at Utah, but they need to be able to beat the sub-NIT teams on the road if they truly are a top fifteen team.  Hell, they need to be able to beat solid tournament teams on the road if they’re truly a top fifteen team.

-Florida picked up a somewhat impressive win against an Arkansas team who had looked good and who had a bloated record.  The Gators have had their struggles, but they’re better this year than they were a year ago and Mike White appears to have them going in the right direction.

-Tennessee knocked off Texas A&M at TAMU, and looked rather impressive in doing so.  I think this means two things, TAMU isn’t as good as we thought, but it also means that Tennessee isn’t as bad as we thought.  Still not good enough to be a tournament team, but definitely good enough to be dangerous in the conference.



-WEST VIRGINIA AT OKLAHOMA STATE (Big Twelve).  Not too many people are all that excited about Oklahoma State despite them being 10-2 with a blowout win against Wichita State in Wichita.  They’re unbeaten at home.  Most probably see West Virginia as the favorite, but this is anything but an easy game for them to win.

-SAINT BONAVENTURE AT UMASS (Atlantic Ten).  At 10-3, UMass will have their chances to play their way into the field, but the margin for error is small.

-VALPARAISO AT UIC (Horizon League).  Valpo pretty much needs to run the table in conference play to be safe for a tournament bid without winning the conference tournament, which they are good enough to do but that’s still easier said than done.

-NORTHWESTERN AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten).  This is a very interesting game between a Northwestern team that’s put together a very impressive profile and is looking to add a conference road win to it, and a Michigan State team that got off to a sluggish start but just picked up a big win at Minnesota and is looking to turn their season around.

-TEXAS TECH AT IOWA STATE (Big Twelve).  Texas Tech has a bloated record, but this is hands down their biggest test of the season so far.

-LA SALLE AT DAYTON (Atlantic Ten).  Dayton appears to be among the A10 frontrunners, and they need to take care of business at home against a La Salle team that appears to be of sub-tournament quality.

-BAYLOR AT OKLAHOMA (Big Twelve).  Baylor comes in at 12-0 with a very strong resume, but they haven’t played any true road games yet, so this will be a different kind of test for them.

-RHODE ISLAND AT SAINT LOUIS (Atlantic Ten).  I want to highlight this game just to say that Rhody has not yet won a true road game, and if they want to land inside the bubble they probably need to at least pick up six of the nine road games they have left, and if they can’t pick this one up they should just give up and start again next year.

-TEXAS AT KANSAS STATE (Big Twelve).  Texas is spinning out of control and can’t seem to get back on track.  K State has just one loss, but it’s hard to say if their bloated record reflects their schedule or if it reflects how good they are.  We’ll learn more about them as we go through conference play.

-VCU AT GEORGE MASON (Atlantic Ten).  A strong showing in conference play, which means being able to win against a very much improved George Mason team on the road, should land VCU inside the bubble.

-SOUTH CAROLINA AT MEMPHIS.  South Carolina’s profile is strong, but you get the sense that they need a nice road win to help stabilize it after their last couple of losses.  Memphis is improved, but is coming off a loss and still appears to have a ways to go before we can call them a solid tournament team.

-KANSAS AT TCU (Big Twelve).  TCU is 11-1 and has a ton of momentum built up, which is odd to say and in itself an accomplishment, but being able to knock off Kansas at home is a very tall order.  Kansas is a potential #1 seed, and this is the kind of game that #1 seeds win.  Well, I guess every kind of game is the kind of game #1 seeds win.

-USC AT OREGON (Pac Twelve).  Oregon is coming off a hugely exciting and emotional home win against UCLA, and looks to take down unbeaten USC today.  Their profile needed some stabilizing.  I’d say they will have certainly accomplished that with a win tonight.

-UCLA AT OREGON STATE (Pac Twelve).  UCLA suffered their first loss of the season in a true road game against a very good Oregon team.  I suspect that they’ll have little trouble rebounding tonight.

-ARIZONA AT CALIFORNIA (Pac Twelve).  Arizona has continued to win despite injuries.  While Cal appears to be good, they’ve done very little this season outside of win home buy games.  That puts even more pressure on the Golden Bears to perform in conference.

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