News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Wednesday, Jan 9


-It was a really exciting night of games.  Michigan State and Texas Tech took care of business at home against pretty strong competition.  I keep wanting to tell myself that Purdue is a good team, but they’re just 9-6 on the year, and while they played better than the 18pt loss at Michigan State may indicate, they’re still just 9-6 on the year, and they still lost by 18 on the road.

-The most energetic and electric game of the evening was North Carolina at NC State.  The crowd was beyond bonkers, and UNC just sprinted out to an early double digit lead in the first couple minutes of that game, and while NC State did tie it a few times, the Tarheels were in control the entire time, and they picked up a huge win.  How good was this win??  Well, consider this.  It is the only home loss for any team that’s currently ranked in the top 15 so far.  Of all the teams currently ranked in the top 25, the only other home losses are Ohio State’s two losses at home to Syracuse and Michigan State, and TCU’s home loss to Lipscomb.  So a VERY nice resume win, and rivalry win, and conference win, for UNC.

-Mississippi State went into South Carolina for what appeared to be a very winnable road game, and didn’t win it.  After an atrocious OOC stretch, Angry Frank’s Gamecocks are now 2-0 in SEC play.

-Iowa State also lost on the road to Baylor in a game that was somewhat surprising, but not as surprising as Mississippi State’s loss at South Carolina.  Iowa State could use a few more road wins before it’s all over

-Buffalo blew out a Toledo team that had looked great up until this past weekend.  The Bulls will likely remain in the top 25 for the rest of the season.

-Saint John’s led Villanova at Nova for most of the game, but could not hold on in the final minutes.  They actually had a chance at the end after playing great defense and forcing a shot that missed the rim.  The only problem was Nova got the rebound and the Johnnies players didn’t realize it had missed the rim, so they purposefully fouled before the shotclock expired.  Still, it was  a great effort by the Johnnies.  Two of their three toughest conference games are already behind them, so don’t be surprised if they finish really strong.

-Maryland picked up a very nice and decisive road win at Minnesota, which is something they really needed.

-Texas went on the road and lost at Oklahoma State, which was something they really did not need.

-Last, and definitely not least, a big congratulations to North Alabama, who defeated Florida Gulf Coast last night for their first ever div1 win as a div1 program!



-VANDERBILT AT GEORGIA (SEC).  Vandy seems to still have the NCAA Tournament, and this is the kid of road game that tournament teams are expected to win, so we’ll see if they’re up to it.

-GEORGETOWN AT XAVIER (Big East).  Georgetown seems to still have the NCAA Tournament within their reach, and this is the kind of road game that tournament teams are expected to win, so we’ll see if they’re up to it.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC).  A very winnable road game for VA Tech.  They have looked like a protected seed so far.

-AUBURN AT OLE MISS (SEC).  This is a road test for an Auburn team that’s trying to cement itself as a protected seed, and an Ole Miss team that has surpassed a lot of our expectations so far, and is continuing to build on what has been a great start.  If they win this, it will increase their momentum even more.

-OHIO STATE AT RUTGERS (Big Ten).  This is probably the most winnable road game that Ohio State has remaining on their schedule.  They just need to hold serve.

-HOUSTON AT TEMPLE (American).  Houston is unbeaten and has passed several big tests, but they haven’t been tested like this in a true road game, so we should learn something for them tonight.  It’s a big game for Temple as well who has a smattering of decent stuff on their resume, but nothing as good as this yet.

-MARQUETTE AT CREIGHTON (Big East).  It’s been a great season for Marquette so far, but they don’t have a true road win yet, so this would certainly add something to their resume if they’re able to pick it up.  Creighton has fallen behind the pack and they’ll need to string together several wins in order to get caught back up.

-WEST VIRGINIA AT KANSAS STATE (Big 12).  In our last bracket projections we didn’t have either team in, so based on our current checkpoint both have a lot of work to do.

-LA SALLE AT VCU (Atlantic Ten).  VCU is one of those teams that can end up inside the bubble if they dominate the league.  That would mean not losing at home to an awful La Salle team.

-TULANE AT SOUTH FLORIDA (American).  South Florida’s schedule has been incredibly weak, but they are 11-3 on the year with a conference win over UConn.  they should win tonight and we’ll continue to keep an eye on them.

-LOUISVILLE AT PITTSBURGH (ACC).  Louisville has a pretty nice resume at the moment, but another road win will always make it look even nicer.  Pitt still has a ways to go, but they are improving and they have played well at home this year.

-CLEMSON AT SYRACUSE (ACC).  This is a win that both of these teams could really use.  Both have shown signs of being good, and Clemson has been playing a little better lately, but both still have work to do.

-FLORIDA AT ARKANSAS (SEC).  This is a win that both these teams could really use.  Both have shown sings of being good, but both still have work to do, particularly Florida if they’re going to catch back up to the pack.

-BUTLER AT SETON HALL (Big East).  Seton Hall’s resume is pretty solid, but they are coming off a somewhat surprising loss to DePaul and certainly don’t want to follow that up with a home loss to Butler.  Butler had been in a bit of a tailspin themselves and still has a lot of work to do between now and the end if they want to land on the right side of the bubble.

-VIRGINIA AT BOSTON COLLEGE (ACC).  Virginia is undefeated and looking like a #1 seed.  They should be able to hold serve and pick up this road win.

-TCU AT KANSAS (Big 12).  There are a lot of question marks about this game.  TCU has just one loss, but they’ve played a rather weak schedule.  Tonight will be a true test.  Kansas has been hit hard with the injury bug, and it will be interesting to see how they play now that they’re so shorthanded.

-MIAMI FL AT FLORIDA STATE (ACC).  Florida State has a very bloated record, but if they’re really as good as their ranking then they shouldn’t have too much trouble against an unranked team at home.  Miami needs to put together a long string of wins just to catch back up to the pack.

-FRESNO STATE AT UTAH STATE (Mountain West).  If there are two teams in the MWC outside of Nevada that can make the NCAA Tournament, it appears to be these two, but neither have a large margin for error and both need quality wins on their resume, which makes this seem like a very bubblicious type of game even though it’s January.

-IOWA AT NORTHWESTERN (Big Ten).  Both teams have looked good at times, but both have struggled in conference play and both really need more good wins on their resume.

-UMASS AT SAINT LOUIS (Atlantic Ten).  SLU needs to dominate this league if they want to have a chance, and they can’t lose at home to teams that aren’t likely to make the NIT.

-ARIZONA STATE AT CALIFORNIA (Pac Twelve).  Arizona State has not been playing well lately (the home win against Kansas aside), and they cannot afford to slip up in this one.

-SAN JOSE STATE AT NEVADA (Mountain West).  Nevada shouldn’t have too much trouble bouncing back and picking up the win.

-ARIZONA AT STANFORD (Pac Twelve).  Arizona has won their first two conference games, and while their margin for error is small, it’s not too outrageous to think they can land inside the bubble if they do well in the league and avoid losses to non-tournament teams, which pretty much means avoiding losses to anyone.


-BINGHAMTON AT STONY BROOK (America East).  Stony Brook can improve to 14-3 on the year.

-LIBERTY AT STETSON (Atlantic Sun).  Liberty is trying to keep pace with Lipscomb and (maybe) NJIT

-NORTH FLORIDA AT LIPSCOMB (Atlantic Sun).  See above

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