NEWS AND NOTES
-For John Stalica’s UTR Game of the Day between Lipscomb and NJIT – CLICK HERE
-Virginia stomped all over Virginia Tech. This is the second time in about a two week period that they have blown the doors off a ranked team at home. If I counted correctly, Virginia is 47-3 in their last fifty games, and 24-1 in their last 25 ACC games (including last year’s conference tournament). They don’t seem to immediately register as being a blue blood the way Duke and North Carolina do, but they’ve dominated both those teams in the time Tony Bennett has been there. I think they’re 11-2 against ranked teams over the last two years. Yeah, they lost to UMBC in the NCAA Tournament, and I’m sure that’s playing a role in peoples’ perception of them, but they have been absolutely destroying the college basketball planet over the last several years.
-Nevada needed a near last second three to hold off a Boise State team who was unbeaten in play, but that had looked pathetic for most of the season. Still, a win is a win.
-Marquette got a much needed road win against Georgetown. As good as Marquette has been this year that was just their second true road win.
-NC State fell at Wake Forest. I know they’ve got a bloated record and will likely make the NCAA Tournament without too much trouble, but their resume is kind of flimsy. They’re just 1-2 on the road, and have just four wins against teams with current winning records.
-LSU picked up a really nice road win at Ole Miss. That is probably the biggest win of the year so far for the Tigers, and it greatly improves their resume.
-Seton Hall fell on the road to Providence. Providence needed the game more, but Seton Hall could have sure used it.
-West Virginia fell below 500 on the year, and is now 0-5 in the Big 12. TCU blew them off of the planet. I don’t think we can consider a win against them as a quality win anymore, which is kind of rough on a team like Buffalo, who was counting on their season opening win at WVU to be a signature win. I still think the Bulls are in good shape, but everyone is beating the Mountaineers these days.
-Cincinnati continues to bloat out their record after picking up another decent win by knocking off South Florida. Once again, Mick Cronin decided to impersonate Yosemite Sam, and was ejected from the game. I was surprised to learn that it was the first ejection of his career. It certainly isn’t the first temper tantrum of his career.
-Saint Louis barely won at Fordham, but they remain unbeaten in the A10, and if they dominate the league I think there is room for them inside the bubble. Barely beating Fordham doesn’t exactly instill a lot of confidence, though.
-CREIGHTON AT SAINT JOHN’S (Big East). The Johnnies have hit the skids a little bit and need to pick this one up at home to even things out. Creighton has also lost three of their first four conference games and has some catching up to do.
-AUBURN AT TEXAS A&M (SEC). Auburn’s resume is actually kind of bland despite their high ranking. This would be their first road win of the season if they’re able to pick it up.
-KANSAS STATE AT OKLAHOMA (Big 12). K State is coming off a hugely important win against Iowa State, and if they can follow that up with a win tonight, then they’ll suddenly go from out of the field to in the top half of the bracket in our next projectoins. Oklahoma is cruising, but it’s a winnable home game against a quality team, which never hurts.
-IOWA AT PENN STATE (Big Ten). This is a very winnable conference road game for an Iowa team that’s done well so far, and looks to be a tournament caliber team.
-BOSTON COLLEGE AT LOUISVILLE (ACC). Louisville is coming off what is easily their biggest win of the season, and needs to hold serve at home against BC.
-TEMPLE AT EAST CAROLINA (American). Temple is looking more and more like a solid tournament team and just needs to hold serve on the road tonight.
-DAYTON AT VCU (Atlantic Ten). Dayton has looked pretty good since conference play began, but didn’t quite have the resume that VCU had. VCU has been somewhat inconsistent and is coming off a loss at Davidson. Still, if a team is going to land inside the bubble, I think VCU has the best chance, but they pretty much need to win out to do it.
-BUTLER AT DEPAUL (Big East). DePaul is better than we expected, but still has a ways to go before we start thinking of them as a tournament team. Butler has hit the skids and needs to pull themselves out of the tailspin they’re in. I recommend they not lose this game tonight.
-IOWA STATE AT TEXAS TECH (Big 12). We’ve labeled Iowa State as a home court hero, and they have just one road win on the season. If they can some how pick this one up then it sheds them of that label. Texas Tech continues to look like a solid protected seed.
-HOUSTON AT SMU (American). Houston continues to cruise, and if they keep it up we should see them as a protected seed come March. SMU is a team that’s decent, but not great. If Houston is as good as their ranking they should be able to win it even though they’re the road team.
-ALBAMA AT MISSOURI (SEC). This is a decent winnable road game for Alabama, and it’s one that they kind of need.
-GEORGIA TECH AT CLEMSON (ACC). This is a winnable home game for a Clemson team that’s got a flimsy resume at the moment, so they’d be advised not to lose it.
-MINNESOTA AT ILLINOIS (Big Ten). There aren’t many road games in Big Ten play that are as winnable as this one. The Gophers need to take care of business.
-UCF AT WICHITA STATE (American). UCF has a bloated record, but still seems to be below the sightline. All they can do is keep winning. This is just their third true road game of the season, so it would help make their resume look a little better if they’re able to pull it off.
UNDER THE RADAR
-LIPSCOMB AT NJIT (Atlantic Sun). These are two of the better teams in the league and will play a huge role in determining who finishes first and gets home court advantage int he conference tournament
-VERMONT AT NEW HAMPSHIRE (America East). If anyone can keep pace with Stony Brook in this league, it’s Vermont
-LIBERTY AT KENNESAW STATE (Atlantic Sun). Liberty is looking to remain unbeaten in league play