Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Red Panda Part 2

Now that I have a little more free time, I'll summarize the big games since Saturday:


  • North Carolina DOMINATED NC St. in their ACC opener. While this is not a bad loss for the Wolfpack, it will stick in the committee members' minds in March, both as a sign of UNC dominance and NC St. failure.
  • Meanwhile, Florida St. failed to pick up a big win against Clemson. The Seminoles need something to make their resume stand out.
  • Kentucky came out of nowhere to upset undefeated Vanderbilt at Rupp. I'd lay money that that sentence was never thought possible prior to this season. Is this a sign that the ship is being righted in for UK, or a sign of troubles down in Vandy?
  • I was seriously surprised the UConn-G'town game was as close as it was. Perhaps the Hoyas will not have the easy ride to the conference championship that I believed they would. Also, Villanova looks less and less like a tournament-quality team every game. Losing to Cincinnati is not the way to go. (Cincinnati just isn't that good. I don't know how they beat Louisville, but they lost to St. John's by double-digits.)
  • Kansas St. winning at Oklahoma was key. Both teams will be in the tournament, and this will be the gift that keeps on giving for KSU.
  • I watched the end of Michigan St. and Iowa, and have determined that Michigan St. is perhaps the worst "good" team in the history of me watching basketball. I really liked them last year, especially Drew Nietzel, but the fact that they are able to play as poorly as they did against Iowa tells me that they have no shot of winning the NCAA Tournament.
  • Elsewhere in the Big Ten Ohio St. picked up a bad loss at Purdue. Bad in this sense not because PU is horrible, but because they are supposed to be so much better than Purdue. This does not bode well for the Buckeyes.
  • Arizona came up with a key OOC road win at Houston. Realistically, unless Houston can upset Memphis at least once (out of a probable three chances), they aren't going to make the tournament.
  • UCLA made their case for being a 1 seed. I watched the end of this game, and the barrage of threes by Washington St. at the end was quite impressive. You probably don't need me to tell you more about this game.
  • It was not a good day for top teams in low-major conferences. UMBC (America East), Winthrop (Big South), East Tennessee St. (Atlantic Sun), CSU-Fullerton (Big West), and Holy Cross (Patriot) all lost, with all except HC coming at home.
  • Southern Illinois lost again, this time to Indiana St. I hope everyone (other than true Saluki fans) has gotten off this bandwagon. This is just not their year. This is really the only interesting thing to come out of Saturday from the MVC.
  • It isn't very far into the conference season, but it appears that the Southern Conference is a two team race between Chattanooga and Davidson.
  • In the WAC, Utah St. came out victorious over New Mexico St. in the battle of conference leaders. In the MWC, San Diego St. beat New Mexico at New Mexico in the battle of conference leaders. Does anyone else think these two should just merge into a super-conference? (Bonus Point: Another leader in the MWC, UNLV, lost to Air Force. This puts a SERIOUS dent in whatever at-large hopes they had).
  • Austin Peay won round 1 against SE Missouri St. in a match-up between the two teams most likely to represent the Ohio Valley in the play-in game.


  • Duquesne showed they belonged at the A-10 party by almost knocking off highly-touted Rhode Island AT RIU. This finally led me to acknowledge that Jeff over at may know more about the A-10 than I. (I've been arguing with him for weeks about the A-10, because he believes they will only receive two bids.)
  • Syracuse showed that they cannot hang with West Virginia. I maintain that Syracuse, like Villanova, is vastly overrated.
  • IU beat Illinois. Not much news here. I was actually shocked that it was close.


  • Shocker of the night: Pitt beat Georgetown. It appears that there are several clusters in the Big East: G'town, Marquette, and Pitt at the top, Notre Dame, Louisville, Connecticut, and West Virginia in the high-middle, Villanova, Providence, and Syracuse in the middle, Cincinnati and Depaul in the low-middle, and the other four below them.
  • Kansas wiped the floor with Oklahoma, showing that they are indeed a (perhaps the) top team in the Big XII.
  • I've decided that no one truly wants to win the SWAC. I hope some team from that conference uses that statement as motivation.
  • VMI won to improve to 2-0 in the Big South. They won't win the conference, but by golly I want them to. They are quite entertaining to watch. If you can, find last year's conference championship game between VMI and Winthrop. It was awesome.


  • Miami lost to BC by 10. I believe that this is more an indication that Miami is overrated than the Eagles being a tournament team. However, for BC this is a step in the right direction.
  • Baylor beat Oklahoma St. I think Baylor is truly going to make the tournament, and I don't think the committee puts as much stock in "name" as people think.
  • Nebraska lost to Colorado. Ya hear that? That's the sound of Nebraska's at-large hopes falling fast.
  • Winthrop beat Liberty by only 7 at home. I give it 3:2 odds that Winthrop wins the conference... which isn't good news for them.
  • Two big games in the Mountain West. UNLV, who lost to Air Force, destroyed BYU. I will say outright that I have not a clue who will win this conference. New Mexico, 14-2 heading into the conference season, lost to a not good TCU team.

This brings us to the games tonight:

  • UMass @ Dayton: Massachusetts does not want to fall to 0-2 in-conference, but that is probably what will happen.
  • North Carolina @ Georgia Tech: Must-win for Georgia Tech. Also won't happen.
  • Duke @ Florida St.: The Noles are still looking for something shiny to show the selection committee.
  • Delaware @ VCU: Two of the three teams vying for the conference title.
  • Drake @ Bradley: Another road test for your MVC-leading Drake. (Note: My roommate couldn't be happier about this.)
  • Utah @ San Diego St.: The only two teams left undefeated in conference play in the MWC.
  • Florida @ Mississippi: Game of the night. Mississippi "rebounded" from their tough lost at Tennessee to almost lose at home to not-so-great LSU. Florida is still a mystery, and probably will be until deep into the conference season.

I plan to do another seed list tonight after all the big games are done. I apologize for the long post, and long time since my last post.

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