NEWS AND NOTES
-For the UTR Game of the Day – CLICK HERE
-So I had to kind of rush through yesterday’s lineup, and after doing so I received an email from our own Jon Teitel explaining that he thought Furman @ Nova could be an interesting game and that we should include it with the highlighted match-ups. He was right, of course. We had been big on Furman after they had won at Loyola Chicago, so we weren’t unfamiliar with them. But I personally was not expecting them to go into Villanova and win. It was a gutsy performance where they fell behind early, but kept it close. Then went ahead in the second half and had a lead late in the game, but couldn’t hold on and went into overtime. At that point all the momentum appeared to be against them, but they played a fantastic overtime period and came out with the win. It is the only time I can ever recall a team winning back to back true road games against teams that were in the Final Four the previous year. It is also a huge turnaround for a team that only won one OOC road game a year ago (thanks again to Teitel for pointing that out). I don’t know if Furman will crack the rankings or not, but they should.
Of course the other end of this question is what to make of Villanova. It was their second straight home loss, and while the first came to a much better Michigan team, they absolutely had their doors blown off in that game earlier this week.
-Another notable UTR result was Lipscomb’s win at SMU. We know that Lipscomb is likely the best team in the Atlantic Sun, but that is still the second straight home loss to a UTR team for SMU, so they could be in for a long season.
-As much as we’ve trashed the Atlantic Ten this year, Duquesne is off to a 3-0 start, and had a nice win against Radford yesterday. This is a Duquesne program that we all know has been really bad for a long time, but Keith Dambrot is a good coach and he may be able to get something going there this year, especially with how weak the league appears to be.
-Saint Louis also improved to 4-0 with a nice road win at Seton Hall, so there are some sparks of life in the A10.
-With Nova losing two in a row at home, and Seton Hall losing at home, and Xavier losing at home to Wisconsin and barely beating Evansville, and Georgetown dropping a game down in their exempt tournament, and Providence not being all that impressive early…one has to start to ask how good the Big East is going to be this year. The highlight of the year is probably DePaul’s home win against Penn State. And when describing a league’s best highlight the terms “DePaul” and “Penn State” are included then that may be a sign of trouble.
-WAKE FOREST VS VALPARAISO (Myrtle Beach Invitaitonal). If Wake is not able to win this game then it basically sets them on the course that we are all kind of expecting them to eventually end up on anyway, and that’s a course for no postseason. But for now, they are 2-1 and can add a win away from home to their resume.
-SOUTH FLORIDA VS GEORGETOWN (Jamica Classic at Montego Bay). South Florida can get off to a pretty good 4-0 start with a win. Georgetown is looking to rebound from a loss to LMU.
-MICHIGAN VS PROVIDENCE (Hall of Fame Tip-Off). Michigan just blew out Villanova at Villanova and appears to be rolling. Providence is off to a decent 3-1 start and is looking for what would be their first notable win.
-ALABAMA VS WICHITA STATE (Charleston Classic). Wichita State already looks like a schizophrenic team with some decent wins and head scratching losses. Alabama comes in at a respectable 3-1, but hasn’t really beaten anyone of note yet.
-WOFFORD AT OKLAHOMA. This is a buy game, but this is a very good Wofford team that I think is actually better than Oklahoma. This would be a very nice early season win on their resume if they’re able to pull it off. The Sooners come in at 2-0 with two road wins, but neither came against strong competition.
-INDIANA AT ARKANSAS. This is a really good early season game. Indiana is off to a fantastic start and is trying to pick up what would be a very nice early season road win. Arkansas battled Texas in the first game of the year, but lost in overtime. Still, they looked a lot better than what most at Hoops HD were expecting and have another chance at an early season win of note, as well as a chance to build up some momentum.
-CHARLESTON AT OKLAHOMA STATE. Charleston comes into this game at 3-0 with a semi-notable win against Rhode Island. They still appear to be good enough to where Oklahoma State better not overlook them.
-SAINT JOSEPH’S VS WEST VIRGINIA (Myrtle Beach Invitational). This game is worth paying attention. West Virginia already had two somewhat surprising early season losses, and the sooner they get that turned around the better. Saint Joe’s is a respectable 3-1, but their opportunities at big wins appears to be somewhat limited so picking up a win in a game like this would be a huge help.
-OREGON STATE VS MISSOURI (Paradise Jam). Mizzou has struggled so far, but playing well in this tournament should help them get things turned around. Oregon State is off to a 3-0 start and we’re not ruling them out as a potential surprise team, especially if they can pick up a couple of more wins in this event.
-NORTHEASTERN VS DAVIDSON (Charleston Classic). A chance for two decent (we think) teams to pick up a decent win away from home.
-OHIO VS LMU (Jamaica Classic at Montego Bay). LMU is unbeaten and has a rather impressive win against Georgetown from earlier in this tournament. If they’re able to finish things off and win this tournament then you have to start thinking of them as a team to reckon with in the West Coast Conference.
-UCF VS WESTERN KENTUCKY (Myrtle Beach Invitational). Both teams are coming off big wins and both are looking to keep the momentum going, not to mention adding what should be another good OOC neutral floor win to their resumes.
-PENN VS KANSAS STATE (Paradise Jam). Both teams are unbeaten, and Penn is actually the team with the better resume so far. This should be a fun one tonight.
-MONTANA VS GEORGIA SOUTHERN (Island of the Bahamas Showcase). Both teams come in 4-0 with some pretty decent wins on their resume. This is a really good and unique early season match-up between two quality UTR teams.
-VIRGINIA TECH VS PURDUE (Charleston Classic). Two top 25 teams going at it on a neutral floor in an early season tournament and looking to add what will most likely turn out to be a good win onto their NCAA Tournament resumes. This is the biggest test for either team so far, so it should be fun.
-FLORIDA A&M VS CENTRAL CONNECTICUT (Jamaica Classic at Montego Bay). We highlight this only because both of these teams are off to much better starts than what we were expecting, and it may be the only time we ever get to highlight a match-up between these two teams again.
-LIU BROOKLYN AT SAN FRANCISCO – Both teams 3-0. Due to the ongoing fires and air quality issues, this game will be played at Call State-Monterey Bay.
-MINNESOTA VS TEXAS A&M (TCL Vancouver Showcase). Minnesota comes in at 2-0, but hasn’t had any statement wins yet. TAMU is off to a 1-2 start and is simply trying to avoid falling even further behind.
-South Carolina State @ Ohio State
-Mount Saint Mary’s @ Maryland
-Samford vs Cleveland State – Samford can improve to 5-0
-VMI @ Kentucky
-Tennessee Tech @ Michigan State
-Coastal Carolina @ Northern Kentucky – NKU can improve to 6-0
-Santa Clara @ Washington