Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pittsburgh fails in ‘rush to judgment’

Similar to rivalry week, the self proclaimed “Judgment Week’ started off with a thunderous roar as the defending national champions rolled into Norman and took down the “Griffinless” Sooners despite a fervent comeback. Tuesday he top ranked team in the nation got rolled in Rhode Island faster than took to drive through it. On the strength of a 44-26 first half lead the Friars preached defense and held on to an eight point win. The stat of the game may have been the foul trouble of DeJuan Blair and some questionable calls in the second half. Pittsburgh is the fifth team to reach the pinnacle this season only to fall off the top. Only NC and Uconn have managed a winning record during their stay as number one this year. With seven games on Wednesday and nine on Thursday there promises to be more shakeups to come this week. It’s not going to far out on a limb to call that last year’s first of all of the top seeds making it to the dance surely will not happen this year. In fact, look for probably two, if that, to advance to the final four based on what we’ve seen at the top of the table thus far. Who will be the last man standing? Let us know here and in the NCAA chat rooms.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rivalries delivering memorable week

As if March Madness needed any momentum it continues to pick up steam as ‘Rivalry Week’ continues to deliver close and exciting games, and if this is a preview of what to expect in a few weeks, then don’t miss a single round. The week started off with a Pittsburgh looking like a top seed as they took care of a persistent West Virginia club by 11 and Missouri came back to upset the defending National Champions Kansas, 62-20 in the “border war”, as DeMarre Carroll dropped 22. Tuesday showcased numbers 12 and 13 matching up as Nova’ upset Marquette at home by 20, and Mich St. and Michigan hooked up again with the Spartans leading from start to finish. It wasn’t a ‘Red River Shootout’ but Texas looked awfully good against Ok. State. Surprisingly, in the SEC they play basketball as well, and watch out for sleepers like Kentucky (18-3) who played a back-n-forth game with the Gators and won by 3 in the last minute. The headliner took place at Cameron Indoor as North Carolina put the cuffs on Duke in the final 10 minutes, and dropped a century spot on them 101-87, winning going away to take over first place in the ACC and hush the naysayers who thought they peaked too early. Out west there’s a 6 v 16 matchup with UCLA and AZ St. in a rematch of the Devil’s upset win at Pauly Pavilion earlier this year. Did this week change your mind about who the top seeds are, or is it too early to call? Let us know here and in the NCAA chat rooms.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Political season will begin early for this year's dance

Just when the BCS has come under the most scrutiny since it’s inception (truly from the top down), the NCAA tournament will give the ‘pro BCS’ some fire because there will be many maidens ‘dateless’ for this year’s dance, and with a solid argument. Is it too early to call some “bubble teams”? The fact that no one can take ownership of the top spot is a harbinger that this March may be the maddest one ever. Add the balance of talent into the mix, cook on ‘high intensity’ for 3 weeks and you’ve got the making of a tournament that will have upsets in every round. Look at some the records of the top mid majors; Vermont at 16-6, could lose the America East Conf. after a solid body of work and not get in. Here are some others that may find themselves on a soapbox lobbying for a ticket and all will be 20-game winners; Dayton 20-2, Xavier 19-2,Northern Iowa 17-6, Illinois St. 18-4, Creighton 17-7, San Diego State 16-5, East Tenn St. 16-6, Virginia Military 17-4, Liberty 16-7, Charleston 16-5, Vir Com. 16-6, George Mason 16-6, and Saint Mary’s 18-3, and we haven’t even brought the major conferences into the conversation yet! Is the Big 10 going to send six in a year where they don’t have a team in the top 10? If not, are you going to keep Ohio State out at 16-5? Oh and almost every conference has a similar scenario, so maybe the BCS won’t be the only system under fire this year. What do you believe the reason for the parity is this year? Weak non-conference schedules? The very top being much better than the middle of the pack? Let us know here and in the NCAA chat rooms. Here is what is on tap for Wednesday:

9:00 PM ET Texas A&M at No. 2 Oklahoma
9:00 PM ET No. 3 Duke at No. 10 Clemson
7:30 PM ET No. 6 Wake Forest at Miami (FL)
10:30 PM ET USC at No. 12 UCLA
8:30 PM ET No. 19 Minnesota at No. 14 Michigan State
9:00 PM ET No. 15 Memphis at Southern Methodist
8:00 PM ET No. 16 Villanova at Providence
9:30 PM ET Missouri at No. 17 Texas
7:00 PM ET West Virginia at No. 20 Syracuse