News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Wednesday, Dec 6th


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

-Last night was a much more exciting night than expected.  We start off with Notre Dame, which became the second top ten team to lose at home to an unranked team in a 24 hour period when Ball State, who led for most of the game and all throughout the second half, pulled of a shocking upset.  A huge congrats to the Cardinals in what could be a defining moment for a program that has done a lot to get itself turned around in recent years.  As for the Irish, it’s a bruise to the resume (and to the ego) but it’s hardly a crippling injury.  They are a good team that has already won some big games and they’ll surely win some more throughout the year.

-South Dakota State controlled much of the game at Wichita State and was up by double digits about midway through the second half, and it looked like we may have a THIRD top ten team go down at home to an unranked team, but Wichita remembered they were Wichita in the final ten minutes and won after dominating the latter part of the game.

-Villanova looked as good as a team can look when they put away Gonzaga at MSG.  This is a very good, #1 seed caliber, Villanova team.

-Michigan State had to sweat a little bit at Rutgers, but pulled it off to pick up another true road win and get off to a 2-0 start in the Big Ten.

-Arizona and Texas A&M was hugely entertaining.  Not only was it close for the entire game, but Bill Walton was talking about things completely unrelated to basketball all throughout, and was confused about basic rules of the game.  It was fantastic!!  I want to go back and watch it again!  As far as what it meant on the court, Arizona picked up a neutral floor (at least semi-neutral) win against a legitimate top ten team.  After a train wreck of a showing down in the Bahamas, the Wildcats have answered with a true road win at UNLV and a neutral floor win over Texas A&M.  I think it’s safe to say they have righted the ship.

-Minnesota slipped up again at Nebraska.  Does Nebraska have a pulse??  Is it possible they may be able to play their way onto the bubble?

-Virginia at West Virginia was another exciting game that was close all throughout.  West Virginia ended up picking up the win, but no real shame or damage to Virginia.  West Virginia is capable of beating Final Four caliber teams at home, so the fact that Virginia hung in like the did is more of a good sign for the future than anything else.

-Texas Tech trailed Nevada for almost the entire game, but rallied to force overtime and then got it done in overtime.  It’s a win that Nevada really could have used in regards to contending for a protected seed, but they’re still looking like a solid tournament team and this loss won’t hurt them in that regard, especially when you consider they have another chance against TCU coming up.

-Vermont fell at Marquette 91-81.  I think this pretty much puts Vermont into the category of needing an automatic bid to make The Dance.  Fortunately, the America East is played at campus sites, so if they finish first they’ll have home court advantage throughout the tournament.

-Texas was blowing out VCU, then VCU came roaring back, but the Longhorns held on to pick up their first true road win of the year against their coach’s old team.

-Syracuse picked up a feel good win against their old conference rivals UConn.  It’s a nice win away from home for the Orange.  Their resume doesn’t look all that bad right now.

-Saint John’s is 8-1 after picking up a mostly road win against Grand Canyon.  The game wasn’t on campus, but it was a pro GCU crowd.  The Johnnies are off to what is by far their best start since Mullin took over.



-WISCONSIN AT TEMPLE.  Wisconsin is coming off a hugely needed win at Penn State, and you get the sense they need to keep that momentum going.  Temple has great power numbers, but chances are it reflects their circumstance more than how good they actually are.  Having said that, they can continue their early season momentum with a win in this one.  I get the sense that both teams still have something to prove and could really use this win.

-WYOMING AT SOUTH CAROLINA.  I like this Wyoming team, but I’m starting to get the feeling that if they don’t win this one then they’re not a tournament caliber team.  It’s not that it’s their only chance.  It’s a question of whether they have the capability to win a game like this when they get chances like this.

-NORTHERN KENTUCKY AT EAST TENNESSEE STATE.  NKU has a very small margin for error, but I don’t think it’s entirely outside the realm of possibility for them to land inside the bubble.  It’s near the realm of possibility, but not entirely outside of it.

-SAINT BONAVENTURE AT CANISIUS (Big 4).  The Bonnies have won five out of six since dropping their opener.  They seem to be back on track and can win their third true road game tonight.

-RICHMOND AT OLD DOMINION (Old Colonial).  Richmond has been an utter disappointment and while ODU has looked good at times, they haven’t quite looked like an NCAA Tournament caliber team.  Nevertheless, they’ll have their chances if they can roar through the rest of the season.

-RHODE ISLAND AT ALABAMA.  Both teams are off to a solid start.  Both teams are looking like tournament teams, and this is a resume building opportunity for both of them.

-MIDDLE TENNESSEE AT VANDERBILT.  Middle is going after their 4th true road win of the season, which is rather remarkable.  If they get this one then you have to start thinking of them as a fringe bubble team, especially with the supposed emphasis of road wins this year.  Vandy, on the other hand, seems to need a win just to keep themselves above water.

-WASHINGTON VS KANSAS (Kansas City, MO).  It’s great that Kansas plays a game in Kansas City every year.  They never play the team that I’d like to see them play, but that’s beside the point.  Washington comes in at 6-2 against a rather unremarkable schedule and is probably overmatched, but this is the kind of statement win that can change the complexion of their whole season if they’re somehow able to pull it off.

-ILLINOIS STATE AT BYU.  The Cougars are off to a solid start and can keep that going with a win tonight.

-SAN DIEGO AT NEW MEXICO STATE.  The Aggies are off to a 5-1 start with their only loss coming at Saint Mary’s.  If they’re able to continue to blow through their schedule they should get the attention of the committee.

-NEW MEXICO AT COLORADO.  We’ve taken a pretty big dump on the Pac Twelve, and Colorado is coming off a loss to Front Range rival Colorado State, but they’re still 6-1 and should get to 7-1 after tonight.

-WASHINGTON STATE AT IDAHO.  This is a fun series.  What it almost always lacks in importance, it makes up for in fun.  But, this year we have a Wazzu team that’s off to an amazing 6-1 start with wins over San Diego State and Saint Mary’s, and an Idaho team that we expect to be a Big Sky frontrunner.  The schools, despite being on different sides of the state line, are just eight miles apart.  I’m being sincere when I say this.  I’m looking forward to this one tonight!

-MONTANA AT UCLA.  It’s a buy game, but Montana has somewhat of a pulse so we’ll go ahead and highlight it.  Despite the side show of all side shows, UCLA can improve to 8-1 on the year with a win tonight.



-Fairfield @ Houston – they have a bloated record and a blowout win against Arkansas.  I’m starting to like this Houston team a little bit.
-Southern @ Tulane
-Radford @ Virginia Tech
-Western Carolina @ North Carolina
-Kent State @ Xavier – interesting regional match-up between a historically strong MAC team and a natoinal program in Xavier, but still a huge mismatch
-Siena @ Louisville
-Loyola MD @ Florida State
-Brown @ Providence
-Loyola Chicago @ Florida
-Austin Peay @ Illinois
-Gardner Webb @ Auburn – Auburn can improve to 7-1
-Abilene Christian @ Air Force

This entry was posted in Daily Rundown, News and Notes. Bookmark the permalink.