NEWS AND NOTES
-This has been a crazy year. Here is what happened just in the Top Ten yesterday:
Purdue had to sweat out Rutgers and won by just 2.
Duke went into Saint John’s, who hadn’t won a game since December 20th, and lost 81-77.
Michigan State survived on the road against Indiana after the Hoosiers had a chance to get the lead with less than a minute to play
Xavier needed overtime to knock off Georgetown at home.
Kansas lost at home (again!!) to Oklahoma State
There are only ten teams in the Top Ten!! I counted them all to be sure, but there are only ten. Yesterday, FIVE of them, which is half of them (again, I counted to be sure) played against teams that are not within a hundred miles of the bubble. Of those five, two lost, one needed overtime to win, and two more won by three points or less!
And Kansas……GOOD LORD!!!!! I’ve been watching college basketball for a long time, and I’ve been doing this tournament stuff with these guys (either at Hoops HD or in other formats) for over ten years now. I’ve never seen anything like this. A protected seed that is more dangerous on the road than at home. I almost don’t know what to make of it, nor do I really know how to seed it.
-But, anyway, as for the rest of yesterday….
-Washington picked up a huge home win against Arizona. Their resume had been getting better and better, and this improves it even more. As for Arizona, the loss isn’t that damaging because of how well Washington has been playing lately, especially at home.
-Missouri picked up a much needed home win against Kentucky. They were right on the bubble and this will certainly help.
-I’m not as puzzled by Florida as I am by Kansas because we see schizophrenic teams every year, but Florida is definitely schizophrenic. They were blown out at home yesterday by an Alabama team that keeps playing getter and better as the season progresses. As for Florida, when you look at the range of their wins and losses, they range from beating Gonzaga and Cincinnati away from home, to losing to Ole Miss and Loyola Chicago. That’s a wide range, and on any given day they can play anywhere within that range and either look great or look awful.
-Cincinnati won on the road at UConn to continue their winning ways.
-Texas Tech blew it wide open against TCU and the final score really doesn’t indicate how much of a blowout it was. That was a game that TCU really could have used.
-Oklahoma has now dropped four out of five after losing a fun one at Texas yesterday.
-Saint Mary’s, who’s not in the top ten, but is in the top 15, had to really sweat out a San Diego team yesterday. After building up what appeared to be a comfortable lead, San Diego came back and almost beat them.
-Texas A&M looked good for the second game in a row and blew out South Carolina. They may have finally turned the corner.
-Arkansas needs to start to worry a little bit. They are by no means out of the picture, but they keep slipping further and further down. Yesterday’s loss at LSU did not help things.
-Florida State picked up a huge road win at Louisville. The game was close all throughout, but FSU did maintain the lead. This should give them a nice boost.
-We had two bubblish teams lose road games to non-tournament teams yesterday. Georgia lost at Mississippi State, and USC went down at UCLA.
-Boise State needed overtime to finish off UNLV at home, but managed to get it done. This would have been a disastrous loss for the Broncos had they not pulled it out.
-Last, and probably least, Western Kentucky, who we had been touting as a legitimate at-large candidate, shot themselves in the foot yesterday with their loss at UTSA. It may have been worse than that. They may have shot themselves in the face.
-SETON HALL AT VILLANOVA (Big East). We have Seton Hall closer to being a protected seed than they are to being in the bottom half of the bracket, but aren’t entirely sold on them as a top 16 team. If they can some how pull off this win on the road, we (and everyone else on Earth) would be sold.
-ILLINOIS AT OHIO STATE (Big Ten). Ohio State is continuing to cruise and should end up safely in the top half of the bracket if they continue to hold serve. If they’re able to knock off some of the heavyweights either during the season or in the B1G Tourney, they still have an outside shot at a protected seed.
-WISCONSIN AT MARYLAND (Big Ten). We have Maryland on the outside looking in right now, but they’re at least close enough to the bubble to be able to look in. They won’t be if they lose this game, though.
-ARIZONA STATE AT WASHINGTON STATE (Pac Twelve). It would not be good for Arizona State if they lost this game. It really wouldn’t be. It’s perhaps the most winnable road game in league play, and if they drop this and fall 3 games below .500, it would not be good.