NEWS AND NOTES
-Jon Teitel, our Selection Committee Guessing Expert, has posted his first projections of the season! CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT
-For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day – CLICK HERE
-All Saturdays are busy, and yesterday was no exception! There are no more unbeaten teams. Arizona State fell on the road to Arizona, which wasn’t all that surprising. TCU fell at home to an Oklahoma team that was hugely impressive, which perhaps wasn’t expected but still wasn’t all that shocking. Villanova trailed by 22 in the second half at Butler, and due to a tremendous effort got themselves back into the game but never really made Butler sweat. That one shocked me. I wasn’t expecting Butler to win it, but I sure as hell wasn’t expecting them to open up a margin like that. It was a great win for a Bulldogs team that looks to be improving and is now 2-0 in league play.
-Alabama ran Texas A&M out of the gym in the other surprise of the day. Again, it’s not that the Crimson Tide won. It’s that they completely creamed a team that had, up until yesterday, looked like a #1 seed.
-Virginia had some trouble with what appears to be a very much improved Boston College team, but held on to win.
-Arkansas came from behind to force overtime and pick up the win against Tennessee. I still think Tennessee is good and that at the end their resume will be solid, but this would have been a very nice win for the Vols.
-Saint Mary’s got a big win at BYU that they pretty much absolutely needed to get.
-Boise State picked up another really nice win in beating UNLV on the road yesterday. They’re looking more and more like a team that will land inside the bubble.
SUNDAY, DEC 31ST
-TULSA AT TULANE (American). Tulane is now out to a very surprising 10-3 start and is coming off a big win at Temple in their conference opener. They’ve got another winnable game at home today and they are a team that’s definitely on our radar.
-NORTHERN IOWA AT BRADLEY (Missouri Valley). Northern Iowa is coming off a very surprising loss at home to Southern Illinois. It’s not completely crippling, but it is rather damaging and it greatly narrows their margin for error the rest of the way. They really need to be able to pick this one up on the road today.
-PROVIDENCE AT CREIGHTON (Big East). Providence’s record isn’t bad, but they have a lot of work to do if they want to land inside the bubble. Having said that, beating Creighton on the road would be a huge stride forward for them. Creighton is coming off a close loss at Seton Hall and is looking to rebound themselves.
-MEMPHIS AT CINCINNATI (American). This is the conference opener for both teams. Cincinnati has looked like a solid first ballot team (for the most part), and Memphis has looked like an NIT team that will need multiple big wins the rest of the wayjust to be in the discussion.
-UCF AT EAST CAROLINA (American). UCF has a lot of ground to cover between now and the end if they want to end up on the right side of the bubble.
-MISSOURI STATE AT VALPARAISO (Missouri Valley). Missouri State’s chances are way less than half of making the tournament, but by no means are they zero. They had a nice win against Loyola Chicago in their opener and if they’re some how able to blow through conference play they could end up on the right side of the bubble.
-LOUISIANA AT ARKANSAS STATE (Sun Belt). At 11-3, Louisiana will get a nice look from the committee if they can win out or come close to it, but anything short of that and they’ll need the auto bid to get in.
-SAINT JOHN’S AT SETON HALL. Saint John’s was blasted in their conference opener and really needs to rebound today. They face a Seton Hall team that’s coming off a thrilling come from behind win against Creighton.
-GEORGIA AT KENTUCKY (SEC). Kentucky is coming off an emotional blowout win against rival Louisville and should come into this one with a ton of momentum. Georgia is 9-2 on the year and has looked pretty good (for the most part), but is still flying under the radar somewhat. If they somehow win this one, then they will no longer be under the radar.
-VIRGINIA TECH AT SYRACUSE (ACC). Both teams come into this one at 11-2, and Syracuse has some decent wins, but both still have work to do. This is a big game and a big opportunity (one of many) for both teams.
-SOUTH CAROLINA AT OLE MISS (SEC). South Carolina still looks like they’re a team that’s outside the bubble, but they come in at 9-3 and they can make the NCAAs if they’re able to put together a strong showing in conference play.
-UTAH AT OREGON STATE (Pac 12). Both teams have work to do, and both could really use a win in this one today.
-SOUTH FLORIDA AT SMU (American). SMU simply cannot afford to slip up in a game like this one.
-WASHINGTON AT UCLA (Pac 12). The Pac 12 isn’t as strong as we are used to seeing it, but these are two teams that look like they should end up inside the bubble. This is a chance for both of them to pick up a quality win.
-WASHINGTON STATE AT USC (Pac 12). Both teams lost their league openers, and both seem to be going in the wrong direction. There is a huge sense of urgency for both teams coming into this one.
-COLORADO AT OREGON (Pac 12). Oregon looks to be sliding further and further away from where they need to be. A home loss against a team that isn’t at all likely to make the tournament will continue that slide in wrong direction.
-Savannah State @ Michigan State – buy game
MONDAY, JAN 1ST
-WEST VIRGINIA AT KANSAS STATE (Big Twelve). K State has gotten off to a respectable, but quiet, 11-2 start and did look very impressive in their opener at Iowa State. They get a chance to take down a top ten team at home today, which will certainly catapult them into the national consciousness.
-TEXAS AT IOWA STATE (Big Twelve). Both are coming off losses in their conference openers, both need notable wins the rest of the way, and both could really use a win in this game.