North Carolina 84, Nevada 61:
Nevada kept this close for a while, but they were no match for the Tar Heels. Will anyone come close to beating them? Pomeroy says they’ll lose three, but they’ve also been resting their starters a lot – 34% of their minutes have come off the bench. If they played their starters more, they’d beat these teams by more. Ouch. On a related note, no starter has played more than 68% percent of the Tarheel minutes.
Utah 66, Gonzaga 65:
The mighty Mountain West! I mentioned the other day that I thought Gonzaga might lose this game, even though Utah had lost to Southwest Baptist and Idaho St. I still don’t think Utah gets in to the tournament – this loss doesn’t make Gonzaga look overly good. In fact, if Gonzaga fails to defeat Tennessee next week, we can start considering Gonzaga’s early season triumphs a fluke. If Gonzaga goes worse than 12-2 in conference, they may be looking at the bubble come
UNLV 56, Louisville 55:
This whole game, Louisville looked like they could get back in it. And they did. Although UNLV dominated at the start, and led by ten the entire first half, with 4:15 left in the game Louisville took the lead for the first time. Shooting under 30% on your home floor is never going to get you a win. How about UNLV though – wins over Arizona and Louisville have almost erased the early losses to the Bearcats and Cal. With the conference tournament on their home floor, they are almost a lock to make the tournament - but only as a 10 or 11.
Illinois St. 80, Evansville 50:
So, Evansville is now 0-3 on the road. They need to win some of those road games, or we won’t be talking about them in March. Even with a decent Valley record, they still might be on the wrong side of the bubble in March. Also, Illinois St. establishes themselves as the team to beat in the Valley.
Ohio St. 68, Iowa 65:
The only Big 10 team I predicted to win who actually won. Ohio St. is struggling without Lighty - because of this, they’ll probably lose more games than they were initially expected. The best thing for the Buckeyes, should they lose a few unexpected games, is for them to come back with Lighty and absolutely dominate, like Dayton of last year. Of course, that didn’t help Dayton, so the Buckeyes might just want to win a few games.
Michigan St. 70, Minnesota 58; Penn St. 61, Northwestern 57; Wisconsin 73, Michigan 61:
The three surprise teams in the Big 10 all fall in their first conference games. While Minnesota going down to the Spartans was not too surprising, it also showed that they aren’t going to be one of the top teams in the league. Northwestern lost to a weak Penn St. team, and Michigan lost AT CRISLER to the Badgers. Really? Really? Step it up.
Pittsburgh 78, Rutgers 72:
I mention this only to show the depth of the Big East. At home, any team can play with any other team. Well… maybe not Depaul.
LSU 81, UL-Lafayette 79:
One of these days, LSU will lose at home to a bad team. Or, they’ll get smoked at home by Xavier (a good team). Any ways, I’m still wary of this Tiger team.
Marquette 79, Villanova 72:
Marquette opens up nicely at home with a win over a tough Villanova team, who is probably going to be on the right side of the bubble in March. But, just to be safe, they should be winning games against other bubble teams, or scoring signature wins. They probably need to do better than 7-11.
Arizona @ Cal; Arizona St. @ Stanford:
The Pac-10 kicks off with the Arizona teams doing the San Francisco swing, and the LA teams doing the Oregon swing. Obviously, only one of those is really important, although a loss to the Oregon teams would hurt anyone.
Syracuse @ USF:
Rutgers showed they can be competitive at home. Depaul showed they can kind of be competitive at home. What will USF do? Lets be realistic - USF has no shot of any postseason play. Their goal is second round of the Big East Tournament. A win here would go a long way towards that.
Pacific @ CSU-Northridge:
Pomeroy lists these two atop the Big West. Sounds like fun. Winner controls the conference.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Posted by Evilmonkeycma at 1:06 PM