News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Thursday, Feb 1st


-CLICK HERE for last night’s Under the Radar podcast, where we run through all 22 UTR conferences and talk about seven or eight teams that could make quite a bit of noise come March.  

-For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day, which is a huge one between Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion that could have NCAA Tournament implications – CLICK HERE

-West Virginia followed up their disappointing home loss to Kentucky by going on the road against a struggling Iowa State team and not just getting beat, but getting blown out of the gym.  I once thought West Virginia was a #1 seed caliber team, but they haven’t even looked like a protected seed this past week.

-Florida State had been playing well.  Florida State did not play well last night.  They ended up falling at Wake Forest in a rather surprising game. On the other hand, Virginia Tech did get a win in overtime at Boston College. The Hokies all of a sudden have a 3-game winning streak going for them.

-Syracuse fell at Georgia Tech.  Syracuse is so far outside the bubble right now (or should be) that they’ll have to play like hell down the stretch just to be able to reach it.

-Loyola Chicago, which is a team that we were starting to like more and more and thought they had a shot at an at-large, took a big hit last night with their loss at Bradley.  They trailed the entire game, but came back to tie it and actually had a chance to win at the end, but came up short.

-South Carolina, who I thought had been playing well prior to this week, is not playing well this week.  They lost their second straight at home, and this one came to a Mississippi State team that isn’t likely to do any better than the NIT.

-Missouri picked up a win at Alabama that they needed in the worse way.  They were squarely on the bubble and a road win against a team that is seemingly inside the bubble helps them out a ton.

-Butler went into Marquette and ejected them from the planet.  It was a 20 point blowout win on the road for the Bulldogs, which makes you sit up and take notice of Butler, but also causes you to really start to question Marquette.



-CREIGHTON AT VILLANOVA (Big East).  Villanova will still likely be adjusting to a very thin bench due to recent injuries, but they are still a very strong team and they’re at home against a Creighton team that has been really good so far, but is probably playing over their heads tonight.  It will be interesting to see what both these teams do as we go into the final stretch of ten (or so) games.

-WICHITA STATE AT TEMPLE (American).  The top of Wichita’s profile is kind of weak in the sense that they don’t have a lot of big time wins, but they’re still really dangerous and will cruise into the top half of the bracket if they hold serve the rest of the way.  They face a Temple team that had an outstanding November, but who has done pretty much nothing since then.

-SAMFORD AT EAST TENNESSEE STATE (SoCon).  ETSU may get a look if they win out, but chances are the committee will pass them over.  Still, they should at least get A LOOK if they win out.

-CHARLESTON AT NORTHEASTERN (Colonial). Two of the three co-leaders in the league meet tonight up in Boston – will Charleston finally look like the team we expected in preseason?

-UNC-ASHEVILLE AT CAMPBELL (Big South). Asheville has won 3 straight games to claim a share of the Big South lead, but they will be tested on the road against one of the country’s most prolific scorers in Campbell’s Chris Clemons.

-GARDNER-WEBB AT RADFORD (Big South). Radford has lost 2 of their last games and will be looking for revenge after dropping their first meeting with Gardner-Webb. A win for G-W would give them a pivotal tiebreaker down the line.

-SMU AT TULSA (American).  SMU still looks to be on the wrong side of the bubble and really needs to come thundering down the stretch just to make the field.

-SAN DIEGO AT GONZAGA (West Coast).  Gonzaga is still in great shape and will remain that way so long as they continue to run roughshod over the sub-NIT teams in the league.  San Diego actually got off to a really good start this season and we were talking about them possibly keeping pace with the Zags and Saint Mary’s, but they’ve been somewhat disappointing since conference play began and are probably way overmatched tonight.

-OREGON AT CALIFORNIA (Pac Twelve).  If Oregon has any hope at all of making the field then they have to finish incredibly strong, avoid bad losses like this one, and pick up some big wins along the way.

-MONTANA AT NORTHERN COLORADO (Big Sky). While NoCo has been running hot and cold this season, Montana has been red hot since the calendar turned to 2018. Still, this is not the easiest road game for them to win, either.

-HAWAII AT UC-SANTA BARBARA (Big West). Long Beach’s loss last night means that there are now 3 teams in the Big West that are 3 games over .500 in league play. UCSB is one of those teams right now and Hawaii can get to that mark with a win on the road tonight.

-WESTERN KENTUCKY AT UTEP (Conference USA).  I’d say WKU is right on the bubble and will stay there if they are able to win out.  Their at-large chances are likely right around 50 percent if that happens.

-SAN FRANCISCO AT SAINT MARY’S (West Coast).  SMC should land in the top half of the bracket (or close to it) so long as they continue to run roughshod over the sub-NIT teams in the league.

-ARIZONA STATE AT WASHINGTON (Pac Twelve).  This game is hugely important because Arizona State, while still safely in the top half of the bracket for now, has struggled in conference play and their resume keeps taking a hit.  Washington is squarely on the bubble, and if they can pick these next two up at home then it will help push them forward.

-CONCORDIA AT CAL BAPTIST (Team of the People). The Lancers begin a 6-game homestand tonight – they will be looking for revenge against a Concordia team that upset the Lancers a couple of weeks ago.

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