Showing posts with label Northwestern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Northwestern. Show all posts

Saturday, January 16, 2010

01/16 - The Weekend Ahead

So - there are two ways of doing this. I can list every game that slightly matters; or I can list the ones that REALLY matter.

Syracuse @ West Virginia - The winner of this game puts themselves in the driver's seat for a one seed.

Wisconsin @ Ohio St. - Wiscy has some great wins at the Kohl Center - but one on the road would go a long way in pushing them up the seed list.

Dayton @ Xavier - I doubt this one has even touched your radar, but Xavier, perennial A-10 powerhouse, is in critical condition. Consider this - their best win is Cincinnati. St. John's has a win against Cincinnati, and another against Temple, to boot. Point is - Xavier needs this badly.

Purdue @ Northwestern - As mentioned previously, Northwestern's last shot to get a home win against an elite team. If they don't pick this up, their odds of making the tournament become fairly long.

Cal @ Washington - For control of the Pac-10... whatever thats worth.

ALL ACC GAMES - See previous post - that league is a free-for-all right now
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Friday, January 15, 2010

01/15 - Looking behind

Obviously, I didn't have a post Monday setting up this week's games, but whatever. I've decided that I'm just going to mention 5 major storylines or games from the past four days:

5. Oklahoma defeats Oklahoma St.
You can shout "rivalry game" at me all you want - if you are a tournament team, you should NOT be losing to Oklahoma this year. The Sooners have been pretty bad all year. So, if you're Oklahoma State, and you've got nothing going for you except the fact that your losses aren't too bad, and they haven't piled up too much... well, you just don't want to lose here.

4. Wisconsin over Northwestern
It seems like Northwestern, sitting at 12-4, is in decent shape for a tournament bid. But a deeper look shows that their best win is Notre Dame on a somewhat neutral court. They really need to beat one of the elite Big Ten teams to feel safe come selection Sunday. Out of the four (I'm still on the fence on Minnesota), this makes the second they've lost to at home. Not being able to win at home says bad things about their chances of winning those games on the road. Moreover, they don't get to play OSU at home - so their last chance at an elite at home is tomorrow.

3. Pitt defeats Connecticut; Clemson defeats UNC
There are a couple of reasons why these games are important. First, you have two teams that have been overrated throughout the season, finally getting their comeuppance. Clemson's beatdown showed that the previously exposed Tarheel flaws were actually somewhat serious, while yet another loss means that the best Huskie win is either William and Mary, Harvard, Notre Dame, or Seton Hall. On another level, who are these victors? This isn't the Pitt that fell pathetically to the Hoosiers, or the Tigers that needed a flubbed inbounds play to beat South Carolina State! Those two are better than I expected - I wonder how high their ceiling is.

2. Virginia over Georgia Tech; Va Tech over Miami (FL); NC State over Florida St.

What has caused a doomsday two-bid scenario in the Pac-10 is a cause for celebration in the ACC. The three bottom teams in league defeat three teams near the top - but since the three losing teams have some semblance of legitimacy, the ACC is in a situation where ALL teams - even the bumbling Wolfpack - still have a good shot at earning a bid.

1. Kentucky wallops Florida in Gainesville

This was Kentucky's best shot at losing for the rest of the year. Sure, they'll probably drop a game somewhere. But I doubt they'll lose more than one. Winning this one shows that they're in good shape for a one seed.

Other Notable Results:
Radford over Coastal Carolina
Ohio State over Purdue in W. Lafayette
Villanova defeats Louisville
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend Wrap, ACC vs. Big East, and Tonight's (weak) Lineup

So, what has happened over the past three days, and what do we have to look forward to?

Wake Forest 78, @Clemson 68:
Wow! Wake is for real! I count maybe one opportunity for them to lose – at Cameron Indoor. However, a friend of mine who is an expert on the ACC claims that Duke has no shot against Wake, and that they match-up poorly. This is a very good team. Don’t discount Clemson, though – this is still at top 15 team.

@Louisville 69, Pittsburgh 63:
Apparently, the Cardinals finally decided to show up, first against Notre Dame, and then again against Pittsburgh. This, combined with the above Wake win, drops Pitt from #1 overall. As I haven’t exhaustively looked through teams, I can’t tell you where I’d put Louisville – but expect them to rise.

@Duke 76, Georgetown 71:
This game was a blow to those who claim that the Big East was the dominant conference in the land. Moreover, it probably knocks Georgetown off the one line, and might lift Duke as a THIRD ACC team (3!!). 2005 was the last time that two teams from the same conference made the one line, an event that has happened eight times since the advent of the 64-team tournament. NEVER have three teams from the same conference made it as a one seed, though in 2005 the third ACC team was a two seed. So we may be in for a history making year.

@New Mexico 81, Brigham Young 62:
Oh no! BYU lost! I’m… not at all shocked. Road teams losing is what happens in the Mountain West, and why four teams in might have been a little unreasonable.

@ Tennessee 82, South Carolina 79:
The Vols are having a rough start to their conference season, and I am not at all confident that they can win enough games to land in those top four seed lines.

@Northwestern 74, Minnesota 65:
Northwestern is on the wrong side of the bubble, but winning games like this is the best way to work their way back.

Ohio St. 65, @Michigan 58:
Michigan’s season is going down the tubes, very slowly. I mean, how many of their remaining games do you feel confident they can win after this? 3? If this Michigan team goes 6-12, I don’t think they will make the tournament. Also, I’m sure the Buckeyes feel good about getting a legitimate road win.

@Michigan St. 63, Illinois 57
Not as surprising as the above. I mean, Michigan St. is far and away the class of this conference, and they should win every game at home this year.

Arizona St 61, @UCLA 58, @Southern Cal 65, Arizona 64; @Stanford 75, Cal 69:
Go figure. Arizona St. IS the class of this conference, and the loss to USC was just a hiccup. Speaking of USC – they could still make the tournament. They just have to do really well the rest of this year. I don’t think so, either.

@Mississippi St. 73, Vanderbilt 66:
3-0 in conference, but still no major wins. Mississippi St. could make the tournament, but they need to win some big games first.

@Syracuse 93, Notre Dame 74:
Still not surprised. This reminded me a lot of last year’s game at Marquette – you know, the one where they got owned? The difference is they don’t get a home game to pay them back this time.

@Virginia Tech 79, Boston College 71:
Boston College, never change. Your ability to slay the dreaded UNC Dragon, and then go on a 0-4 run amuses me greatly. And the more they lose, the worse it looks for UNC. Like, I would consider it within the realm of possibility for the Tarheels to get a #2 seed.

@Nebraska 73, Kansas St. 51:
Hooray Cornhuskers. You have little to no shot of making the tournament (honestly), and yet you still are destroying teams at home. Five points, and they’d be a lock for the tournament. Anyhow, this hurts Kansas St. a little, but this was to be expected.

@Massachusetts 79, Temple 75:
Really, the Owls were on tenuous ground before this, and Massachusetts is a bad loss. They basically need to win out to make it to the tournament.

Missouri Valley:
I really, really, really don’t understand this conference. At least only their auto-bid winner will be in.

The ACC is now 9-6 against the Big East, with one game remaining – Duke vs. St. John’s. Let’s take a look at those games.

ACC Victories
Duke 76, Georgetown 67 - The crown jewel of the ACC in the argument. +2 ACC
North Carolina 102, Notre Dame 87 – Looked a lot better at the time. +1 ACC
Florida St 58, Cincy 47 – Huge win at Cincinnati, exposing the Bearcats. +1 ACC
Boston College 81, Providence 76 – Perhaps BC’s second-best win. +1 ACC.
Virginia 77, South Florida 75 – Mostly Irrelevant. +.5 ACC
Virginia Tech 81, St. John’s 67 – Mostly Irrelevant. +.5 ACC
BC 82, St. John’s 70 – Irrelevant. +0
North Carolina 97, Rutgers 75 – Irrelevant. +0
Miami (FL) 70, St. John’s 56 – Irrelevant. +0

Big East Victories
Connecticut 76, Miami 63 – The crown jewel of the Big East camp? +1 Big East
Marquette 68, NC St. 65 – I don’t know what to call this game. Shouldn’t have been this close. +.5 ACC.
Syracuse 73, Virginia 70 – At Syracuse, Virginia should not be this close. +1 ACC.
Pittsburgh 56, Florida St 48 – Good win for Pitt. +1 Big East
Seton Hall 77, Virginia Tech 75 – Mostly Irrelevant. +.5 Big East
Georgetown 75, Maryland 48 – Irrelevant. +0

So, by my count, 6.5 ACC, 2.5 Big East. Despite being a Big East homer, I’ll say that the ACC is the better conference.

So whats happening tonight?

Tuesday, January 20
Tennessee @ Vanderbilt:
The Vols want a big road win to establish legitimacy. The Commodores want a win over a top to establish… anything.

Michigan @ Penn St.
After that home loss to the rival Buckeyes, Michigan has to travel to the upstart Nittany Lions. I think that Penn St. could potentially garner a tournament bid.

Ohio St @ Illinois
I really don’t think this will be too interesting. But if OSU pulls off the upset…
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