News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: January 3rd


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-Texas A&M’s wheels have completely fallen off.  On the freeway.  During rush hour.  They were blown out for the second time in about 72 hours yesterday, this time at home by Florida.  TAMU got off to a hugely impressive start to the season, but since then have battled off the court issues that are making them look bad on the court.  On the other hand, it was a fantastic win for a Florida team that needed to do something to right their own ship.

-Kansas lost for the second time at home this season, and for the third time in a home atmosphere, when they fell to Texas Tech.  It was one of the most impressive showings I’ve seen in a while.  Texas Tech came in with a fantastic game plan and sprinted ahead of Kansas at the beginning of the game.  Every time Kansas appeared to be building momentum, Texas Tech would come up with a big play to stall it.  We have to start thinking of the Red Raiders as a potential protected seed after a win like that.

-TCU picked up their first true road win of the season in an overtime thriller at Baylor.  The Horned Frogs continue to impress.

-Mississippi State came into last night with just one loss, but their schedule hadn’t been all that difficult so I wasn’t overly excited about them.  They picked up a really nice win against Arkansas last night, and even though it was at home it greatly improves their resume.

-Auburn continues to rack up wins, and they won their biggest game of the year so far at Tennessee last night.  The game seesawed back and for the entire way before Auburn finally opened it up in the final couple of minutes.  Tennessee is now off to an 0-2 start in league play and needs to string together some wins of their own in order to stay in the rankings.



-OLE MISS AT GEORGIA (SEC).  Georgia came up just short against Kentucky earlier this week, but they’re still off to a good start and are in good shape.  They need to win the winnable games in order to stay in good shape, and that means being able to beat Ole Miss at home.

-MARQUETTE AT PROVIDENCE (Big East).  Marquette is off to a good start and this would be a really nice road win on their resume.  Providence has sputtered this season and needs to have a big week to get things turned around.

-NORTH CAROLINA AT FLORIDA STATE (ACC).  Florida State was right in the game at Duke earlier this week, but couldn’t close it out.  Still, they’re having a great year and they host a highly ranked, but also highly inconsistent UNC team tonight that has a smattering of good wins away from home against Arkansas and Tennessee, but this would probably be their best win of the season to date.

-RUTGERS AT PURDUE (Big Ten).  Purdue seems to be heading toward a protected seed, but they need to hold serve in games like this and pretty much dominate all the teams in this league other than Michigan State in order for that to happen.

-CLEMSON AT BOSTON COLLEGE (ACC).  Clemson is into the rankings with just one loss on the season, and in most years this would be an easy assignment, but BC has drastically improved as well.  They were able to beat Duke at home, and if they can beat Duke at home then they can beat anyone in the conference at home.

-SYRACUSE AT WAKE FOREST (ACC).  Syracuse has a solid 12-2 record and is looking for their second true road win of the season.  If they’re truly a tournament team then they should be able to get it against a so-so Wake Forest team.  Having said that, Wake is improving.

-MEMPHIS AT UCF (American).  This game has more NIT implications than NCAA implications, but if one or both of them could get hot in league play then they’d have a chance.

-GEORGE WASHINGTON AT DUQUESNE (Atlantic Ten).  It’s not likely at all that Duquesne will dance, but it is possible!!  It’s a winnable home game for a much improved Duquesne team that can remain unbeaten in A10 play.

-LA SALLE AT RHODE ISLAND (Atlantic Ten).  If Rhody can hold serve in conference play then they should cruise to the top half of the bracket come March.

-SAINT JOHN’S AT CREIGHTON (Big East).  The Johnnies are dealing with injuries, which is unfortunate considering how strong they were out of conference and how slowly they’ve started off in league play.  Winning at Creighton is a very tall order, especially when it’s a Creighton team that really feels like they need the win themselves.

-KENTUCKY AT LSU (SEC).  Kentucky held on to beat Georgia and has a rather tough road assignment tonight.  This is actually the first true road game of the year for the Wildcats, so it would add something to their resume that isn’t there yet.

-SAINT BONAVENTURE AT DAYTON (Atlantic Ten).  The Bonnies are having a fantastic season and should easily land inside the bubble if they’re able to hold serve in conference play, which means being able to win games like this.

-OKLAHOMA STATE AT OKLAHOMA (Big 12).  BEDLAM!!!!!!!!  I love this rivalry!!  Oklahoma came into the season unranked and is now looking like a Final Four caliber team.  Okie State has exceeded expectations as well, but not to the degree that Oklahoma has.  The Sooners should win at home, but if the Pokes can pull the upset then it catapults their resume through the roof.

-VIRGINIA AT VIRGINIA TECH (ACC).  This is a rivalry game that has given the Hoos fits on the road in recent years.  It’s also the kind of game that VA Tech really needs for their resume as much as they want it for bragging rights.  Their resume really needs some work.

-MIAMI FL AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC).  The Canes shouldn’t have too much trouble taking care of a Georgia Tech team that currently resembles a dumpster fire.

-NC STATE AT NOTRE DAME (ACC).  The Irish just got the news that they’ll be without Bonzie Colson for the next couple of months.  They went from being a top five team just a few weeks ago to being in a very desperate situation now where they’ll have to hang on for dear life just to land inside the bubble.  NC State needs some big wins as well.

-ILLINOIS AT MINNESOTA (Big Ten).  Illinois has improved as the year has progressed, but they still have a long way to go.  Minney still has a solid record at 12-3, but haven’t looked quite as impressive as we initially thought and it’s important that they’re able to hold serve in games like this.

-MISSOURI AT SOUTH CAROLINA (SEC).  Mizzou is off to a great start, but will really be tested on the road tonight against a South Carolina team that has played well for most of the year and appears to be getting better, but still has a lot of work to do before we can declare them a solid tournament team.

-NEW MEXICO AT BOISE STATE (Mountain West).  This is a very good Boise State team and they should be just fine if they’re able to avoid stubbing their toes in games like this.  Having said that, conference play will give them a lot of games like this.

-FRESNO STATE AT UTAH STATE (Mountain West).  Fresno State is on the outside looking in and will need a very strong showing the rest of the way if they want to land on the right side of the bubble.

-WYOMING AT NEVADA (Mountain West).  Nevada appears to be the strongest team in the Mountain West and could be dangerous come March.

-UNLV AT SAN JOSE STATE (Mountain West).  UNLV is much improved, but they still have a lot of catching up to do.  Still, it’s certainly not impossible for them to thunder through conference play and end up making The Dance.

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