News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Sunday, Jan 7th


-For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day between College of Charleston and Towson – CLICK HERE

-Yesterday was another crazy busy Saturday in college hoops!

-NC State pulled off a big home upset against Duke, which was great for the fans, their resume, and their momentum.  It was NC State’s first ACC win and it came at a time that they desperately needed it.  As for Duke, it was their second true road loss to a team that isn’t just unranked, but looks to be more of an NIT team than an NCAA team.  This does not bode well for the top line.  Their only true road win came at Indiana, who is hardly an NCAA caliber team, and they had to sweat that one out.  They’ve got a really good team and have had some huge wins on neutral floors, but their lack of production in true road games is worth pointing out.

-Xavier was another top five team that lost on the road to an unranked opponent yesterday.  Providence sprinted out to an early lead and managed to hold it for the entire game in what was a huge win for them. For Xavier, it was a missed opportunity to vault themselves into the #1 line. They can still do so when they go to Villanova Wednesday night.

-St. John’s is starting to resemble more of the team that struggled mightily in the Big East two seasons ago. They were clobbered at home against DePaul and have shown very little life since conference play started.

-Seton Hall picked up the best win of the short Big East season with a comeback win at Butler yesterday. The Pirates are looking more and more like a protected-seed caliber team, but they are now in a BRUTAL stretch where 8 of their next 13 games will be played away from home.

-Oklahoma played well at West Virignia, but not well enough to get the win.  The Mountaineers have not lost since their opening game against Texas A&M and have beaten some really good teams along the way.

-Virginia wasn’t sweating much in their game against North Carolina.  By no means did they blow out the Tar Heels, but it wasn’t exactly down to the wire either.

-Kansas, who oddly enough has struggled in home and quasi-home games, won a huge one at TCU last night.  They led for most of the way, but TCU was certainly making it exciting down the stretch.

-Texas A&M lost their third straight game at home to LSU, and they did so in the most spectacular fashion possible.  They blew a five point lead in the final seconds as LSU, in Reggie Miller vs the Knicks style, hit a three, stole the ball, and hit another three.

-Colorado had quite a week as they knocked off Arizona yesterday.  It was the Wildcats’ first loss since the Battle 4 Atlantis.  Granted, the wins came at home for the Buffs and they’ll need to win some games on the road, but it was a HUGE turnaround for Colorado.

-Tennessee held of Kentucky at home for the second straight year and gave the Wildcats their first conference loss.  The Vols have the second-toughest schedule in the country to date, but it was nice to finally get a W to add to their profile. Still, the loss isn’t all that damaging for Kentucky, and I still think their team is continuing to improve so it isn’t all that discouraging either.

-Auburn continues to impress.  They blew open a huge lead against Arkansas and won that game comfortably.  There is a bigger buzz around Auburn basketball than there has been in almost fifteen years.

-Florida got a really big road win against Missouri in a game that was decided in the final seconds.  It was a game the Tigers really could have used, and lost in heartbreaking fashion.

-Georgia won the appetizer in the Georgia-Alabama weekend that will be highlighted by the National Championship game for football tomorrow night. Alabama may have a resemblance to the Vandy team that had a killer schedule last season, but they’re going to need to start racking up Ws in a conference that will be unforgiving this winter.

-Notre Dame got a big road win that also came in the final seconds as they knocked off Syracuse at the Dome.  The Irish have actually done a great job of rallying the troops since Bonzie Colson went down with an injury.

-UMass, who is nowhere close to an NCAA Tournament team, has to be the most volatile team in the country. This is a team that has lost at Quinnipiac and at home to George Mason and Georgia State, yet has wins against Georgia and Providence at home and won at Dayton yesterday.

-Boise State missed a lot of key (and to be fair contested) layups in the final seconds of regulation and in overtime and failed to pick up what would have been a nice road win against Wyoming.  It doesn’t sink them by any means, but the chances at decent wins are few and far between, so what was already a rather small margin for error for the Broncos certainly didn’t get any larger.

-BYU fell at Pacific.  Their margin for error may have just gone away entirely. Saint Mary’s won at home against a scrappy San Diego team that is trying to crash the Big 3 of the WCC.

-UNLV lost at home to Utah State.  That is a rather crippling loss for a much improved Runnin’ Rebel team, but also a team that needs to improve a little bit more before they’re a solid and consistent tournament caliber team.



-TEMPLE AT UCF (American).  Temple is off to an 0-3 start in league play, and they’ll need to put together a long string of wins just to get anywhere close to the bubble.  UCF, at 11-4, still has quite a bit of work to do themselves.

-SOUTH FLORIDA AT WICHITA STATE (American).  Wichita is clearly the superior team and should have no trouble rolling at home in this one.

-LOYOLA CHICAGO AT NORTHERN IOWA (Missouri Valley).  After both teams put together some fantastic wins OOC, they have both been atrocious in league play.  Both are pretty much out of strikes outside of winning out, and neither of them have looked anything close to capable of doing that in the past couple of weeks.

-MICHIGAN STATE AT OHIO STATE (Big Ten).  This is probably the biggest game of the day as an improving Ohio State team with a growing amount of buzz around it hosts the top team in the nation.  If Ohio State can pull off the upset, it certainly helps their tournament chances even though they are at home.

-FLORIDA STATE AT MIAMI FL (ACC).  Simply put, this is a conference rivalry game between two ranked teams who are in good shape, but who still both have room for improvement, and a win today would certainly look good on either team’s resume.

-SMU AT CINCINNATI (American).  We thought there were three solid NCAA teams in the American, and that SMU was one of them, but that’s looking to be less and less the case.  SMU needs a big win in a game like this in order to get them back on the right side of the bubble.

-ARIZONA STATE AT UTAH (Pac Twelve).  Both teams are coming off close losses in tough games and are looking to rebound.  Arizona State’s loss at Colorado was certainly the more surprising of the two.  They appear to be a solid protected seed, and Utah is still looking for wins to solidify themselves as an NCAA Tournament team.

-IOWA AT MARYLAND (Big Ten).  Maryland is right on the fringe and needs to hold serve in games like this, which amount to home games against non-tournament teams.

-USC AT STANFORD (Pac Twelve).  Stanford is coming off a big home win against UCLA and will be on an emotional high.  USC really needs to put together a long string of wins if they want to consider themselves to be safely inside the bubble.

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