Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yes, they play hoops in the SEC as well

Top 25 Games
9:30 PM ET Siena at No. 3 Pittsburgh om
7:30 PM ET North Carolina-Asheville at No. 6 Duke
7:00 PM ET Canisius at No. 11 Syracuse
11:00 PM ET Loyola Marymount at No. 12 UCLA
9:00 PM ET Jacksonville at No. 16 Ohio State
8:00 PM ET Arkansas-Little Rock at No. 21 Memphis
8:00 PM ET Citadel at No. 22 Michigan State

Florida and Kentucky won't drop from SEC East contention anytime soon, but a conference companion of these two premier, established programs passed them last season and likely will do so again this season.

Tennessee might find it harder to secure the long-term staying power that Florida and Kentucky have built. Through Florida head coach Billy Donovan's hard work and historic consecutive national titles in 2006 and '07, the Gators became an established national power. Kentucky has produced more than a half-century of consistent winning and fan turnout that can challenge that of any program in the country for supremacy. Tennessee, meanwhile, has had to be both creative and resourceful in putting together its program. That it has found success doing so was evident during the Old Spice Classic tournament at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., two weeks ago. The Vols have used high school graduates, redshirt freshmen, junior college transfers and four-year school transfers to become an elite program again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weekly Re-Cap

Tuesday's Top 25 Scores

No. 6 Texas 67, No. 12 Villanova 58
No. 17 Purdue 68, Ball State 39
No. 22 Davidson 68, West Virginia 65

There was no doubt there would be plenty of defense when Texas and Villanova met in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday night. Both teams played the style they like, only No. 6 Texas did a bit better in a 67-58 victory over the Wildcats, notching their second win over a top 15 opponent in one week. Deserving of a top 5 ranking, the Horns are doing the type of necessary to gain a number one seed come March.

Despite relatively poor shooting compared to his normal 50% Stephen Curry missed 12 of his first 13 3-point attempts before making the last three and scoring 13 of the Wildcats' last 15 points of the game and the shots that counted the most with only a step-back distance hit two threes in the last minute and a half to seal the victory. Despite Curry's heroics and improvement over last year, Davidson does not look like a school that will make it out of the regionals. They are simply too easy to stop if you double SC, and force the others to beat you. They had their magic run last year but the dream ends soon.

Wednesday's Top 25 Match-ups

10:00 PM ET No. 4 Gonzaga at Washington State
8:00 PM ET Maine at No. 5 Oklahoma
7:30 PM ET Ohio at No. 9 Xavier

Top 25 Games
TIME (ET) MATCHUP 10:00 PM ET No. 4 Gonzaga at Washington State Tickets
8:00 PM ET Maine at No. 5 Oklahoma Tickets
7:30 PM ET Ohio at No. 9 Xavier Tickets

Saturday, December 6, 2008

As ‘Patsy Season’ comes to a close ‘Heels look like the team to beat

We’re still in the midst of ‘Patsy Season’ as most of the AP top 10 is beefing up their records with non top-25 teams with Duke and Gonzaga being the only exception as they face off with Purdue and Tennessee respectively. What has become perfectly clear is that North Carolina is in the same position as Florida was on the second leg of their back-to-back run of 06-07(without having the previous ring), as clearly the best team in nation and only needing to stay healthy, AND MOTIVATED, to get back to show. Others that look good playing division II schools are UConn, The Ville, and Pitt. The jury is still out on Duke until they get by Purdue. Are NCAA Hoops getting top heavy, with the too many one-n-dones causing the talent to become diluted? We don’t think so, and believe this will be a year where the 3 of the top 4 seeds in the dance could have as many as five losses. True, every game counts, just ask UCLA how important November games are as they have bolstered them to a top seed for two of the last three years, but this season doesn’t start until league play. Who do you think are the best schools in the country? Which is the toughest division? Let us know here and in the NCAA hoops chat rooms.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

After amzaing 08' tourney many new faces in the crowd

Last year was the year of the “Super Freshman”, “One and Dones”, and underclassman declaring early, where many pundits thought the wrong decisions were made. Some schools like Memphis and UCLA seemed to have re-loaded and remain in the top 10, where others like the defending champions will have to do some rebuilding. In the midst of the Jockeying North Carolina kept their “go to guy” at home and sits atop the rankings at number one. But getting back to the mountain top is a tough task, just ask the Gators, the last school to pull the feat. To the left is the AP top 25 and below is a score card on how rooks have fared so far in the early NBA season. We’ll reserve our right to post our power rankings until after the ‘patsy period’ is over.

Here are some of the Top Rooks out of the blocks in order of performance based on a minimum of 20 minutes per game (MPG). Overall the report card for them has to be good , as the biggest risk of the draft(Mbah a Moute, Westbrook, Fernandez) have been paying dividends immediately.

1. Derrick Rose 37 MPG 17.7 Points 3.9 Rebounds 5.1 Assist
2. Rudy Fernandez 27 MPG 13.7 Points 3.2 Rebounds 1.8 Assist
3. Michael Beasley 33 MPG 16.3 Points 3.3 Rebounds 1.2 Assist
4. O.J.Mayo 39 MPG 17.3 Points 4.8 Rebounds 1.8 Assist
5. Kevin Love 20 MPG 10.2 Points 6.7 Rebounds 1.5 Assist 1.5 Blocks
6. Marc Gasol 23 MPG 18.8 Points 8.8 Rebounds 1.0 Assist 1.2 Blocks
7. Jason Thompson 22 MPG 11.7 Points 6.0 Rebounds 1.7 Assist
8. Luc MBahaMoute 23 MPG 9.4 Points 5.9 Rebounds 1.1 Assist
9. Mario Chambers 22 MPG 6.3 Points 3.7 Rebounds 5.7 Assist
10.Russell Westbrook20 MPG 11.3 Points 2.3 Rebounds 2.2 Assist

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Smacchat tournament analysis and previous post

In the game of the Regional Finals took place Sunday as #10Davidson, the Cinderella story of the tournament, pushed #1Kansas to the limit, as a three-pointer that would have won the game, was ‘wide-left’ as time expired. The game was tight throughout as the Jayhawks ran multiple players, and defenses, at Stephen Curry. The question of the day is, what kind of play was that coming out of the timeout???!!! Rather than running Curry off of screens or going inside-out to get him a look Davidson had him bring the ball down, which he ended up giving up, and not getting back. Richards ended up getting the shot(0-3 for the night) and clanked it left. Memphis left no doubt that they are a different club than the one that lost to UCLA in 06’ Regional Final. They messed with Texas in a big way, sending them home easily by 18. The closest the game got was 5 points in the second half. The addition of freshman point guard Rose, could be the missing piece to put the one-loss Tigers over the top.The first half of the final four was in place Saturday as UCLA and North Carolina had comfortable wins. The Bruins never trailed in the game against Xavier, took a 9-point lead into halftime and doubled it in the second half, winning by 19. Kevin Love scored his usual 19, but the difference was that they finally got some support from other sources as M Bah-a-Moute had 13 and 13 after going scoreless the previous game. The Heels looked strong after handling Louisville in relatively easy fashion. Psycho-T dominated with 28 points as the Cardinals struggled to keep their heads above water. In a game that many thought would be one of the best of the tournament, didn’t materialize the Heels simply dominated with a home crowd behind them.

Who would have thought that Friday Night games would be as one-sided as they were, with the smallest margin of victory being 15 points. Although all were surprises, the biggest had to be the 2-3 match-up between Stanford and NC, which at one point was 52-51, then NC ran off 8 straight and never looked back. This does not bode well for the Pac-10’s argument for being the best conference in the NCAA as they have only one team left, their 2 & 3 BOTH got blown and their 1 looks a lot like the they will be the first top seed to fall. The Elite 8 games will not have much margin for error, and all should be much more contested. Although there is still a #12 left (Davidson) they can score with anyone and should keep this close. If you had “re-seed” the remaining teams right now, Louisville (12-2 since feb 1) would be in the top 3 and promise to give NC all they can handle. This first game in the Elite 8 pits #1UCLA and #3Xavier where the Bruins have not played well thus far in the tourney and are looking for a ‘break out’ game, but if it takes them too long to find it they may find themselves on a plane back to Westwood before they find it.

The first four components of the Elite Eight have been slated as Two Number 1’s (NC, UCLA) , and two #3’s(Xavier, Louisville) are set to do battle on Saturday. The Heels beat a very good Wazu club quite convincingly, UCLA got up big then held on, Louisville surprised many by taking out Tennessee, and Xavier won a thriller in OT vs. West Virginia. The second half will be decided Friday as all of the games look like great match-ups. #3Stanford takes on #2Texas, Michigan St. tries to upset #1 Memphis, Wisconsin takes on Davidson in a 3-10, and #1Kansas takes on #12Villanova. This is the night where the dogs could come out and bark, as there is a good chance one of the top-seeds will not live to play on Sunday. Additionally, when the brackets were made several were looking towards to the possible 2-3 match-up between TX and Stanford. If this game is played at a slower pace, look for the Trees (and the twins) to upset and move on.

Top seeds were not as lucky Friday as they were yesterday as both the #4 and #5 teams in the west bracket were knocked off in the Friday afternoon games. UCONN lost in overtime to San Diego 70-69, and Drake was upset at the buzzer by #12 Western Kentucky, also in overtime. The first half of the first round can to close without any major damage (except to Duke’s reputation), as all of the favorites held serve and the two #1’s look particularly good. The #2 Blue Devils, on he other hand, needed two defensive stops inside 11 seconds to avoid the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history. Otherwise in somewhat of an aberration, there were no upsets in the first wave of games as all top seeds won. Arizona and Kentucky turned out to be the frauds that many speculated and shouldn’t have been there, West Virginia looks like they can go deep into the tourney, and Pitt still looks like they are playing some of the best basketball in the nation “right now”.

Firstly, we understand that every year there will be teams that have their bubbles’ burst, that are overrated, and get in based on reputation, so here is our take on this year’s field and not in any particular order.

- how the hell is Kentucky in the field this year?? This falls under the ‘living on a name’ category. The won 10 games in a conference that is down this year and that is their resume???
- I guess in the eyes of Va. Tech the committee is “certifiably insane”
- Indiana does deserve a #8 seed another beneficiary of a weak conference
- Memphis does not shoot free throws well enough to advance to the final four
- Mich St. got the worst draw in the tourney for a previous top 10 – a 5/12 matchup with Temple, and the second round presumably would bring rugged Pittsburgh. After that, it's 33-1 Memphis. If Tom Izzo gets to his fifth Final Four, he'll have earned it, but it can’t be done with the horses he has.
- One of the best NBA previews will happen in the first round as OJ Mayo and Michael Beasley match up.
- Dayton got ‘hosed’ an RPI of 32, beat Pitt, Louisville, Arkansas, and Temple they should have been in.
- Arizona St. also should be instead of UK and Arizona

Friday, March 14, 2008

Previous Post

The greatest event in sports begins Thursday as the NCAA tournament field of 65 was announced today. As usual there were several bubbles that burst, several seeds that were lower than expected, and of course even more surprises. Here’s how it stacks up:

East - NC, Tenn., Louisville, Wash St.
West - UCLA, Duke, Xavier, UConn.
MidWest – Kansas, GTown, Wisconsin, Vandy
South – Memphis, Texas, Stanford, Pitt
Do you agree? Who got left out and who is over seeded? Let us know here and in the NCAA chat rooms.

Syracuse may have just sealed their fate and sentenced to the NIT as they were blown out by Villanova in the Big East Tournament. Meanwhile, Providence let a 1 point lead get away as they gave up 6 straight points in last two minutes, and will find themselves competing with the scrubs in two weeks. Out west the Pac-10 tourney gets on the way with 4 bubble teams (AZ St., Arizona, Orgon, Cal) needing wins to avoid the same fate. To the winner of the Big-12 Tourney goes a #1 seed in the big dance as Texas and Kansas try to solidify their case.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Previous Post

New ESPN-USA Today Top 25
1. North Carolina
3. Memphis
4. Tennessee
5. Duke
6. Kansas
7. Stanford
8. Wisconsin
9. Texas
In a very busy weekend in College Basketball the madness that is March is become clearer at the bottom and clustered at the top as some the bubble teams begin to burst and the top seeds continue to shuffle. Both NC, Duke, Georgetown, and UCLA all survived scares in close games, while Tennessee and Texas were not as lucky, both falling to unranked teams, in a weekend with a "tournament feel". The top-10 Ap poll as well as the front runners for the top 4 seeds in the big dance continue to be re-shuffled. No doubt there will be plenty to come as the last conference games finish this week and those that have tournaments begin. This week's games include Kansas going to Texas Tech in a game that Tech really needs to solidify it's dance resume, and in a 10 match-up as #4 UCLA and #8 Stanford clash for the Pac-10 title.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Last week

Tennessee new #1- The UT Men’s Basketball (yes, not women's) is the new number one team in the nation after upsetting the previous #1 Memphis 66-62 in a game with even more statewide pride up for grabs than nationwide. Only once before in its history had Tennessee beaten a No. 1 team, a 55-54 win at No. 1 South Carolina on Dec. 6, 1969. The game drew a standing room, star-studded crowd of 18,389 at FedExForum in Memphis, where the ceiling on individual tickets touched $4,500. Although a good team, Memphis was a fraud at number one, products of an easy conference, an easier non-conference schedule, and horrible free throw shooting were a harbinger that this was coming. Lastly, FYI, if they don’t improve their free-throw shooting they look like a team that will NOT make it out of the regionals come tournament time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Top 25 is out

AP Top 25
1. Tennessee (69) 25-2 1,797
2. Memphis 26-1 1,682
3. North Carolina (2) 26-2 1,668
4. UCLA (1) 24-3 1,593
5. Texas 23-4 1,478
6. Kansas 24-3 1,368
7. Duke 23-3 1,344
8. Stanford 22-4 1,264
9. Xavier 24-4 1,228
10. Wisconsin 23-4 1,175

As always the AP Top-25 has strange components in its compilation and this week is no different. Memphis drops only one spot despite their home loss to Tennessee, even though Duke dropped 3 places when they lost to North Carolina earlier in the year. Also strange is how Memphis did not garner even one first place vote but #4 UCLA did. The saving grace is that unlike football this will be decided on the playing surface and in 4+ weeks it really won’t matter as the tournament gets underway.

Details of Sampson deal available

Basketball coach Kelvin Sampson agreed to Indiana's offer of a $750,000 buyout Friday, waiving his right to sue the university for further damages, and turning the program over to interim coach Dan Dakich. The deal calls for Sampson to be paid $750,000, $550,000 of which is being provided by an anonymous donor, the university said. The remainder will come from athletic department funds. Sampson has agreed he will not file a wrongful termination lawsuit against Indiana. An NCAA report states head coach Kelvin Sampson and Indiana committed five "major" violations. The allegations stem from a phone-call scandal that occurred while Sampson was still under recruiting restrictions. The agreement, which was obtained through a Freedom of Information request, also requires Sampson to continue cooperating with the NCAA investigation and bars him from interfering with any team activities. Sampson took a $750,000 buyout Friday in return for his immediate resignation after the NCAA accused him of the violations.