News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Sunday, Jan 28th


CLICK HERE for Jon Teitel’s latest seedlist and Bracket Projections

CLICK HERE for Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day between Bucknell and Boston University at The Roof

-Yesterday was a hugely crazy day.  Virginia now holds what seems to be the single most impressive win in all of college basketball as they went into Duke, and pretty much controlled the game from tip to Buzzer.  For much of the game the Hoos had a double digit lead, but Duke did come back and pull even, and actually had the chance to get the lead in the final minute due to some uncharacteristically poor free throw shooting from Virginia.  This is, without question, a #1 seed caliber win for Virginia.

-They weren’t the only ones that got a huge win.  NC State went into Chapel Hill (which is rumored to be just eight miles away from Duke), and picked up a major upset win.  When a bubble team wins on the road against a protected seed caliber team, they oftentimes cease being bubble teams and begin being solid tournament teams.  NC State has some warts on their resume, but they also have a win against Duke and a road win at North Carolina (along with a win against Arizona in the Battle 4 Atlantis).  That’s pretty good.

-Kentucky, like a lot of young and talented teams, have been inconsistent this year.  Yesterday at West Virginia was the perfect example.  They were awful for much of the first half and absolutely fantastic at all other times.  Kentucky picks up what is easily their best win of the year, but they did so after falling down to a really good defensive team by 17 in the first half, and on the road against a crowd that was bonkers, but yet somehow had the poise to come back and win.  This may be a moment where Kentucky really kicks it into gear and comes thundering down the stretch.

-Arizona picked up another win!  But, it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t without a little controversy.  Utah played extremely well and had a shot at the end of the game to win it, but it was blocked and Arizona came up with it.  On the playground there is no way it’s a foul.  On the court…some refs would have whistled it.  Others wouldn’t.  This one didn’t.  Game over.

-Alabama got another big win at home against Oklahoma.  The Crimson Tide have been off and on throughout the year, but they are certainly on right now and are showing signs that they are going to stay on the rest of the way.

-Texas Tech picked up a really nice road win at South Carolina that was probably tougher to get than how it will look on their resume.  The Gamecocks have been playing well lately and they played well again yesterday despite the loss.

-Arizona State finally held serve and beat Colorado.  We normally don’t mention chalk in our news and notes, but this is worth mentioning because of how often Arizona State had been failing to do that lately.

-Rhode Island beat Duquense as you would expect.  Despite trailing the Dukes by as many as 15 points during the game, they beat them at the buzzer, which you would not expect, but they did get the win and remain unbeaten in A10 play.

-Kansas State had more trouble with Georgia than I thought they would, but they ended up pulling it out at home and continue to build what looks like will end up being a tournament caliber resume.

-Florida State picked up a nice win at home against a Miami team that still appears to be okay, but who’s resume still looks a little anemic and in need of a protein boost at some point.

-Arkansas held off Oklahoma State in a thriller.  Oklahoma State has yet to win a road game, and although they’ve played well and had some big wins they didn’t look like they had it in them to hang with a team on the road that’s likely to end up in the top half of the bracket.  It was a really good effort by the Pokes and they’ll certainly have other opportunities in conference to get some big wins.

-It was also the first time that the SEC came out victorious in the SEC-Big 12 challenge; they won 6 out of the 10 games yesterday.

-East Tennessee State picked up a nice road win at Wofford, and at 18-4 with one of those four losses being at Xavier in the final minute after they pretty much blew a 22-pointt second half lead, you kinda gotta wonder about ETSU.

-Virginia Tech got a nice road win at Notre Dame.  Things are looking a little better for VA Tech, who still has work to do, and a little worse for Notre Dame, who now has even more work to do.



-VILLANOVA AT MARQUETTE (Big East).  Villanova must deal with the injury of Phil Booth.  They didn’t have a whole lot of depth, and now they have even less.  It will be interesting to see what they do today against this Marquette team on the road.

-MICHIGAN STATE AT MARYLAND (Big Ten).  Michigan State is taking a bath in the press (and understandably so) for the sexual assault issues that have come to surface.  It’s hard to say how that will effect them for the rest of the season.  It is important to point out the obvious, and that’s none of the current players had anything to do with it, but they are still being forced to play within the cloud of criticism that engulfs that whole school right now.  On paper, Michigan State is gunning for a protected seed, and Maryland needs to string together some wins just to earn a spot in the field.

-EAST CAROLINA AT SMU (American).  This is a virtual buy game for an SMU team that still has a lot of work to do.  If they end up blowing this one, then they’ll have even more work to do.

-WAGNER AT ROBERT MORRIS (Northeast). It’s a two-team race for the top and the winner claims sole possession of first place in the conference. In the NEC, that means homecourt for the entirety of the conference tournament, so there are huge stakes here. Wagner won the first matchup between both teams last week.

-OAKLAND AT WRIGHT STATE (Horizon). Oakland got a huge win at Northern Kentucky and a win for the Golden Grizzlies today would them right back into the conference race. A win by Wright State would keep the Raiders in sole possession of the Horizon lead.

-SOUTH FLORIDA AT HOUSTON (American).  Houston is a fringe bubble team with a small margin for error.  Losing at home to a weak team is certainly outside said margin for error.

-PURDUE AT INDIANA (Big Ten).  Purdue is red hot and should end up on the #1 line if they keep it up.  Indiana has had a pretty rough year, but they are at home and it is a rivalry game so you don’t want to just completely count them out.

-CALIFORNIA AT USC (Pac Twelve).  USC has been playing really well in the last few weeks and should end up inside the bubble if they keep it up.

-SETON HALL AT DEPAUL (Big East).  This is perhaps the most winnable conference road game that Seton Hall has on the schedule, and they need to take care of business and pick up the W.

-NORTHERN IOWA AT LOYOLA CHICAGO (Missouri Valley).  At 17-4 overall and with a pretty big win on their resume at Florida, the selection committee should give Loyola a serious look if they’re able to win out.  Northern Iowa had some nice wins OOC as well.  In conference, well, not so much.

-TULSA AT WICHITA STATE (American).  Wichita has had their struggles, but they should still end up on the top half of the bracket very easily if they’re able to hold serve in games like this.

-CLEMSON AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC).  Clemson is still adjusting to life without Dante Grantham, so we can’t just think that any given game will be easy for them.  They face a Georgia Tech team that isn’t anywhere near the field, but that has played really well at home on occasion.

-WASHINGTON STATE AT WASHINGTON (Pac Twelve).  I’m really big on Washington’s tournament chances and think they’ll end up in the field if they finish strong.  That would certainly involve taking care of business against a rival Wazzu team that’s been awful since league play began.

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