NEWS AND NOTES
-The biggest surprises from last night were Lamar’s win at Tulsa (although how surprising was that really?), UC Riverside’s win at Cal, and of course Indiana State’s blowout win at Indiana. It’s a great win for the Trees! It’s also a reminder that Indiana is rebuilding. None of those teams were anyone we were projecting into the postseason, so as surprising as they were I do not think they qualify as bombshells quite like Wagner’s win over UConn last year.
-Bucknell started off with a tough road win at Monmouth and came up just short in a thriller. This is noteworthy because Bucknell’s margin for error to make the NCAA Tournament without the automatic bid is incredibly small, and even though it was opening night it still took a bit of a hit.
-Texas A&M fell behind early against West Virginia, but proceeded to dominate the game for about the last thirty minutes in what is probably the single most impressive showing of any team so far. That’s a nice neutral floor win for the Aggies that will certainly sweeten their NCAA Tournament profile if WVU goes on to be as good as we think they will
-CANISIUS AT BUFFALO (Big 4). It’s the season opener! The winner will be tops in the RPI (with about 180 other teams). But, our love for mythical conferences like the Big 4 is why we highlight this game. No other reason.
-NOTRE DAME AT DEPAUL. DePaul is opening a new arena, and the students get to enjoy the “elevated view” from the second level in what is still the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard for not putting the students down on the floor behind the basket. Notre Dame looks to be an NCAA Tournament caliber team,and DePaul is DePaul, but this isn’t the easiest road game in the world to open the season with.
-UTAH VALLEY AT DUKE. This is a buy game, but Utah Valley is liked by many at Hoops HD (not necessarily myself) to do well in the WAC. This is also their second top five team in a 24 hour period. If they can beat both Kentucky and Duke, then I will like them.
-NORTH FLORIDA AT MICHIGAN. Buy Game
-SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY AT SAINT MARY’S. This is a buy game, but the fact that St. Francis U (or STFU as Stalica likes to call them) is a likely NEC frontrunner makes it mildly intriguing.
-EASTERN ILLINOIS AT NEBRASKA. Buy game, but Nebraska better watch out. EIU waxed Illinois in a charity game, and many believe Illinois to be better than Nebraska.
-MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE AT BYU. Buy Game
-FLORIDA A&M AT UNLV. Buy Game