Under The Radar Game of the Day: Radford at Gardner-Webb

Radford at Gardner-Webb, 7:00 PM EST – ESPN3/WatchESPN

Today’s UTR Game of the Day takes us to the lovely metropolis of Boiling Springs (about 50 miles west of Charlotte) where the Radford Highlanders (current leader of the Big South Conference) take on the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb. Radford already has wins over usual favorites Winthrop and UNC-Asheville in conference play, and also got a nice win against UC-Davis back in December as part of the Las Vegas Classic undercard. Both Ed Polite Jr. (13,8 PPG, 8.1 RPG) and Carlik Jones (11.5 PPG, 2.5 APG) lead the way for the Highlanders.

As for Gardner-Webb, they are currently tied for 2nd place with Liberty in the Big South standings. Their best win in league play so far was their head-to-head matchup against Liberty, but they have an inexplicable loss at Longwood to keep them out of first place for the time being. G-W has a trio of players averaging double-figures: David Efianayi (17.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG), Liam O’Reilly (14.2 PPG, 3.5 APG) and D.J. Laster (13.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG). This is the first of 2 meetings between these two teams; their next meeting will be on the first of February at Radford.

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News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Thursday, Jan 11th

NEWS AND NOTES

-For our latest BRACKET RUNDOWN where we build a seed list while discussing and debating all the teams, as well as this week’s UNDER THE RADAR Podcast, which for the second and last time will be roped in with the Bracket Rundown – CLICK HERE

-For Today’s UTR Game of the Day, which is a really good one between Western Kentucky and Old Dominion – CLICK HERE

-Texas and TCU played in a double overtime thriller that came down to the final seconds of the second overtime where TCU had a shot at winning it, but came up just short.  It was a scene that was both very touching and very unfortunate as we learned yesterday that Andrew Jones of Texas has been diagnosed with leukemia.  In fact I was not aware of it, and I don’t think anyone else at Hoops HD was either, until we learned about it during this game.  We certainly hate this for him, his family, his teammates, and his friends.  Whenever something like this happens I can’t help but selfishly feel that it is entirely unfair for everyone that it effects.  We certainly wish him the best.

-Xavier and Villanova once again met as top ten teams!  And once again, Villanova was the only one that looked like a top ten team.  They blew Xavier out of the gym…again.  That seems to be the common result when these two get together in Philadelphia.

-Michigan State defeated Rutgers at home.  By just 4.  In overtime.  Michigan State is beginning to show a little rust in their armor after getting blown out by Ohio State and then needing overtime to get by Rutgers.

-Louisville picked up their first big win of the season, which is something they desperately needed.  They won at Florida State 73-69.  A profile with nothing on it now has a quality win on the road, which is infinitely better than nothing.  They still have a lot of work to do, but this is a start.  Louisville actually overcame a double digit deficit to pull off the upset.

-Notre Dame lost at Georgia Tech just eight hours after I got through praising them for how well they’d played since losing Bonzie Colson.  It doesn’t sink the Irish, but they are really spinning in the wind right now.  It’s never good when you fail to do something that Grambling succeeded in doing.

-Minnesota is terrible.

-Arkansas was blown out at home by LSU.  I wasn’t all that big on LSU last night when we were building the seed list, but that was a rather impressive showing on the road against a really good team.

-SMU lost at home to Temple, which is pretty much the last thing they needed right now.  The way things are going they will have to sprint to the finish just to land on the bubble.

 

HIGHLIGHTED GAMES

-MARYLAND AT OHIO STATE (Big Ten).  Both teams have had pretty solid seasons, and Ohio State has looked really good in their last few games.  Both can continue to add quality to their resumes.

-TULSA AT HOUSTON (American).  Houston has shown some signs of having a pulse, but right now they appear to be on the outskirts of the bubble and need to string together a bunch of wins to end up on the right side of it.  They certainly can’t afford to lose any home games to non-tournament teams.

-WICHITA STATE AT EAST CAROLINA (American).  Wichita is on cruise control and should continue to cruise tonight on the road.

-PORTLAND AT GONZAGA (West Coast).  It’s difficult for Gonzaga to do anything the rest of the way other than hold serve, but if they continue to do that they should be in shape to get a really solid seed, and possibly even a protected seed.

-OREGON STATE AT ARIZONA (Pac Twelve).  I like the way this Arizona team has been playing despite their recent loss at Colorado.  I still think they’re really good and will have a really solid resume by the end of the year.

-CLEMSON AT NC STATE (ACC).  Clemson has had an amazing season so far, but any road game in the ACC is going to be tough and this one is no exception.  NC State is coming off their big win against Duke and if they knock off a second ranked conference team they’ll even their ACC record at 2-2, will have all kinds of momentum, and will be in business.

-PEPPERDINE AT BYU (West Coast).  It’s still possible that BYU could flirt with the bubble, but they pretty much need to win out in order to do it.

-NEW MEXICO STATE AT GRAND CANYON (WAC).  This is one of the games that I’m looking forward to the most.  I feel that New Mexico State, on the court, is a top forty caliber team that belongs in the NCAA Tournament even if they trip up in the WAC Tourney.  The problem is that their resume may be somewhat lacking.  This would be a big time road win both on and off paper because Grand Canyon is not the easiest place in the world to pick up a win.  It should be a great atmosphere as these two have a sort of budding rivalry going on, and it’s actually a stakes game because of what it means to New Mexico State.

-LOUISIANA TECH AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE (Conference USA).  Middle Tennessee continues to roll along and if they can blow through this league they should be right in the mix for an at-large bid.

-OREGON AT ARIZONA STATE (Pac Twelve).  Arizona State may have come down to Earth a little bit last week, but they are still having a fantastic season and should be able to beat an Oregon team at home that is currently nowhere close to the bubble.

-SAN DIEGO AT PACIFIC (West Coast).  San Diego’s chances at an at-large bid are not entirely zero, but they’ll need to beat all the non-tournament caliber teams in this league, and take down Gonzaga, or Saint Mary’s, or both at some point.

-SAINT MARY’S AT SANTA CLARA (West Coast).  The Gaels need to hold serve in conference play, which so far they’ve been able to do.

-CALIFORNIA AT WASHINGTON (Pac Twelve).  Washington has an inconsistent profile, but there are enough good things on it to suggest that they have a chance of making the field.  In fact our mock committee selected them last night.

-UTAH AT UCLA (Pac Twelve).  Both of these teams are going entirely in the wrong direction and need to get things turned around.  A win tonight would certainly help.

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Under the Radar Game of the Day: Western Kentucky at Old Dominion

Western Kentucky at Old Dominion, 8:00 PM Eastern, BEIN Sports

Don’t miss our latest Bracket Rundown and under the Radar podcasts — find them right HERE!

The Under the Radar Game of the Day returns to Conference USA tonight as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers travel to Norfolk, Virginia to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs.  Western Kentucky enters tonight’s game at 11-5 overall and 3-0 in early CUSA play.  The Hilltoppers already have huge non-conference wins over Purdue and SMU, and may still be in the picture for an at-large bid if they can dominate through conference play.  Tonight’s road test at Old Dominion is therefore a huge game.  Keep an eye on Darius Thompson who had an incredible triple-double last time out against Marshall, with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists!

Old Dominion enters the game at 12-3 overall and also 3-0 in CUSA play.  The Monarchs have in fact won seven straight games, though they do not have the caliber of non-league wins that WKU has.  Trey Porter has been a key to the ODU season so far, including a double-double last time out against North Texas when he scored 23 points to go with 11 boards.  Porter and his teammates will need another big effort tonight in this battle of teams that are undefeated in conference action.

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Hoops HD Bracket Rundown (and Under the Radar): January 10th

Show was recorded on Wednesday, January 10th at 9pm, est, and does not reflect any games that went final after that

We start things off with a full panel as they go through and build a seed list line by line.  Chad once again acts as arbitrator as the rest of the panel discuss and debate each of the teams as they’re added to the list.  Topics include whether or not Duke should be on the #1 line, whether or not Notre Dame should be in the field at all, how Saint Mary’s weak schedule will effect them, and much more!

For this week’s Under the Radar Show, we begin by looking at the MAC and what a great year Buffalo has had so far.  We also discuss New Mexico State’s big game at Grand Canyon that’s coming up, and how we feel they can make the NCAA Tournament even without the automatic bid if they’re able to win out.  Conference USA has three contenders in Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky and Old Dominion who square off tomorrow.

 

Finally, we have our final bracket posted below, but you’re not allowed to look at it until you’ve watched the shows!!

 

And for all you radio lovers, below are mp3 versions of the shows….

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News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Wednesday, Jan 10th

NEWS AND NOTES

-For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day, which is a good one out of the Southland between SFA and New Orleans – CLICK HERE

-Purdue managed to pick up a road win at Michigan in one of the many exciting games last night.  The Boilers have a really good profile, but any time a team can win on the road against an NCAA Tournament caliber team it makes their resume even better.  It was a bitter pill to swallow for Michigan with it being a late freethrow that gave Purdue the win.

-Oklahoma rebounded from their loss at West Virginia with a win over Texas Tech at home last night.  Texas Tech actually played well with the exception of one dry spell late in the first half.  Losing on the road to a top ten team is hardly damaging, so Texas Tech is still just fine.  That being said, who in October thought this game would have featured two top ten teams??

-Kansas really had to sweat out Iowa State at home, but came out with the win.  It was surprising to see the Jayhawks struggle as much as they did, and one can’t help but wonder if this is becoming a trend.

-Seton Hall cracked the top fifteen earlier this week!!  They then went into Marquette…and got absolutely blown off the floor.  It was a great win for the Golden Eagles and a sign that they are a solid tournament team that is continuing to improve.  For Seton Hall it’s a sign that, like a lot of teams, they do struggle on the road.

-Kentucky held on (literally) to beat Texas A&M.  It came on a controversial no call as time expired where a Kentucky player grabbled and held a TAMU player as he went for the ball on a long pass.  Both teams were coming off a loss, and TAMU has now lost four straight.  Both teams were also shorthanded for this game.

-About a month ago we thought Penn State was good.  We no longer feel Penn State is good.  They fell at Indiana last night in a game they really didn’t need to lose.

-Rhode Island had all kinds of trouble at Saint Louis, but held on to win and avoided what would have been a rather disastrous loss.

-Boise State picked up another nice road win at Fresno State.  The Broncos have a smattering of decent wins on their resume, but no great ones, so their margin for error isn’t exactly huge, but they’re still in good shape.

 

HIGHLIGHTED GAMES

-RUTGERS AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten).  Michigan State shouldn’t have too much trouble rebounding from the blitzing they received against Ohio State over the weekend.  Rutgers is improving, but they still got a long way to go.

-DUKE AT PITTSBURGH (ACC).  Duke has struggled in true road games.  They need to win this one because it is the most winnable true road game that they play all year.

-NOTRE DAME AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC).  Notre Dame is dealing with injuries, but they’re 3-0 in league play, they still have a strong resume, and they have played rather well without Bonzie Colson. However, as Miami will attest, you can’t take the Yellow Jackets for granted, either.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT WAKE FOREST (ACC).  VA Tech is on the outside looking in right now and really needs to pick up this win on the road.  They’ll be in a huge freefall if they don’t.

-MISSISSIPPI STATE AT FLORIDA (SEC).  The Gators appear to be back on track after hitting the skids for a few games.  They’ll be tested tonight, at least to some degree.  That being said, it’s probably a bigger game and test for a Mississippi State team with a bloated record, but they’re largely a home court hero.  If they can pick up a win like this on the road it will change the complexion of their resume for the better.

-UCF AT UCONN (American).  UConn is once again having a disastrous year.  UCF is a very respectable 12-4, but they’ll need to win the vast majority of their games between now and the end, and hold serve against all sub-tournament teams.  That includes UConn (and one of our favorite rivalries – The Civil Conflict!).

-FORDHAM AT SAINT BONAVENTURE (Atlantic Ten).  The Bonnies may be done.  If they win out, which they may be able to do given how weak the A10 is, then they’ll be okay, but anything short of that and they’ll most likely need the auto bid.

-XAVIER AT VILLANOVA (Big East – Spotlight Game).  We’ve got another top ten match up!!!  Xavier is coming off a loss to Providence, and they’ve had almost no luck playing at Nova since joining the conference.  This is a #1 seed caliber game.  The winner will be on pace to end up with one.

-NEW ORLEANS AT STEPHEN F AUSTIN (Southland).  Also highlighted as Chad’s UTR Game of the Day. This is an interesting Southland game between a UNO team that’s unbeaten in league play and an SFA team that could be a dangerous NCAA Tourney opponent if they’re able to get in.

-OKLAHOMA STATE AT KANSAS STATE (Big 12).  As strong as the Big 12 has been, you get the sense that both these teams are going to have a very hard time keeping up.  That makes this a rather important game simply because it’s a more winnable game than most other conference games.

-LOYOLA CHICAGO AT ILLINOIS STATE (Missouri Valley).  Illinois State can get inside the bubble, but they’ll pretty much need to win out to do it, which is much easier said than done. The Ramblers are at .500 in the Valley and a road win puts them closer to contention for the regular season crown.

-MISSOURI STATE AT EVANSVILLE (Missouri Valley).  Missouri State is off to a great start in league play.  They can improve to 4-1 and pick up another road win tonight.

-DRAKE AT VALPARAISO (Missouri Valley). While Valpo has struggled in their initial season in the Valley, Drake has been a pleasant surprise and is the only unbeaten team remaining in conference play. Nonetheless, this will be a tough chore for the Bulldogs to get win #5 in the Valley tonight.

-TCU AT TEXAS (Big 12).  Both teams have looked really good this year.  Both have decent wins on their resume.  But as of now, neither of them have any great wins on their resume.  This is a game between two teams in a conference where wins are very tough to come by who are looking to improve their resumes.

-LOUISVILLE AT FLORIDA STATE (ACC).  I really like this Florida State team and I don’t think they’ll have too much trouble with a Louisville team that has struggled all year and is still looking for their first notable win. Nonetheless, a road win does put the Cards right back into NCAA contention.

-MINNESOTA AT NORTHWESTERN (Big Ten).  Both these teams look like bubble teams right now, if they even look that good, and could REALLY use this win.

-GEORGIA AT MISSOURI (SEC).  Both these teams are hovering around the inside of the bubble and could use some wins to boost their resumes.

-LSU AT ARKANSAS (SEC).  LSU is much improved, but they still have some work to do.  Arkansas has a strong team, but is on a bit of a downswing and needs to take care of business in this one to avoid dropping to 1-3 in league play.

-TEMPLE AT SMU (American).  SMU is falling further and further down the list and needs to string together some wins (and perhaps more than some) to get things turned back around.

-COLORADO AT USC (Pac Twelve).  Colorado had a huge week last week where they picked up home wins against Arizona and Arizona State.  They’ve done nothing on the road, though, and will need to pick up some road wins if they want to make the NCAAs, so this is a great opportunity for them.  USC is having a really rough year so far and probably needs to win both games this week to help change their luck.

-UNLV AT AIR FORCE (Mountain West).  UNLV is coming off a really bad loss to Utah State, and is perhaps running out of strikes.

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Under the Radar Game of the Day: New Orleans at Stephen F Austin

New Orleans at Stephen F Austin, 8:00 PM Eastern, espn3

The Under the Radar Game of the Day heads to the Southland Conference tonight for a key battle between New Orleans and Stephen F Austin.  The defending SLC Tournament champion New Orleans Privateers enter tonight’s game at 7-8 overall and 4-0 in conference play.  Their start in league action has been somewhat remarkable after they failed to win a single non-conference game against a Division I opponent.  Last time out, the Privateers defeated McNeese State 82-75 in overtime.  Bryson Robinson had an amazing breakout game in that win, scoring 31 points behind a red-hot 7 of 8 from 3 point range.  To put his game in perspective, his career high in points before that win was 16, and he had only scored in double figures three times.  In fact, Robinson had never hit more than two 3-pointers in a game before this one!

Stephen F Austin enters play tonight at 13-3 overall and 2-1 in SLC play.  The Lumberjacks have a notable non-conference road win at LSU, though their loss in their conference opener at Southeastern Louisiana was a mild shock.  Kevon Harris was the star in their latest win, at Northwestern State, scoring 20 points.  However, SFA features a balanced scoring attack with any of their starting five, and a few guys off the bench, all able to put up double-digits in scoring in any given game.  They will need a solid team effort tonight, especially if UNO is anywhere near as close to on fire from long distance as they were last time out.

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