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Top Five Potential Landing Spots for Brad Stevens

Dr. Stevens: Professor of Hoops

If Brad Stevens is to leave a perennial Final Four school, Butler, to move up to a bigger job, it has to be one of the traditional, iconic basketball powers. He’s proven that he can win consistently at Butler and moving to another school that hasn’t seen a Final Four in decades or ever, just for a few more dollars, doesn’t seem like the kind of well calculated decision that Stevens would make.

In the four years since replacing Todd Lickliter as the Butler head coach, Stevens has won 116 games going into Saturday’s national semifinal matchup with Virginia Commonwealth. He’s already surpassed the accomplishments of fellow national mid-major darling Gonzaga and other non-BCS schools like Xavier. Memphis is the only other non-BCS school to have comparable success to Butler over the past four seasons, but their compass of success has headed downward since John Calipari left for Kentucky two years ago.

When looking for a situation to compare with Steven’s job at Butler, the coach to look at would be Mark Few at Gonzaga. Few could probably get most, if not all of the jobs that open up every year. But Gonzaga has been able to keep him through big sponsorship money and made-for-TV out of conference matchups that bring in good money and give the program the type of national exposure needed to compete for top recruits. Butler, located in metropolitan Indianapolis, should be able to greatly exceed the revenues generated by Gonzaga, which is in sparsely populated Spokane, Washington. Butler could most likely compensate Stevens more than Few given their market size.

Assuming that money wouldn’t be the ultimate draw for Brad Stevens, which jobs might be able to entice the hottest coaching prospect to come around in years?

Indiana

This one is pretty obvious and could be realized as soon as next year if Tom Crean is still unable to register his first winning season after four years in Bloomington. Stevens is an Indiana native and grew up dreaming of playing for Bob Knight in Assembly Hall. If Crean were to leave (unlikely) or be let go, Stevens would be the first and, maybe, only call the administration would need to make.

Purdue

If not Indiana, how about Purdue? The interesting part of this hypothetical situation is that Purdue coach Matt Painter is currently flirting with Missouri and has an interview scheduled for Tuesday with the Big 12 school. While it’s extremely unlikely that Painter would leave his alma mater to go to another job, especially one that would be at best a lateral move, Purdue could call his bluff and let him go to Missouri instead of giving him a raise. Then the door for Stevens to go to Purdue would open. For Purdue to just let Painter walk now, they would have to have assurances through sources that Stevens would be amenable to taking their coaching position.

Duke

How can Stevens go from lovable underdog to hated frontrunner? He can replace Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. Coach K isn’t going to coach forever (we all hope). Who would be a better selection to fill the shoes of the soon-to-be all time leader in wins than Brad Stevens? Coach K has turned Duke into the biggest brand name in college basketball. Coach K has built the program into one that chooses recruits, not the other way around. Avoiding the recruiting cesspool could be a major draw to Stevens. In addition, Duke will be looking for a coach who understands how things work at a smaller, private school and Stevens brings that experience.

UCLA

The seat in Westwood might be lukewarm for Ben Howland right now, but another season like 2009-10 and the Bruins could be looking for a new coach. The last time UCLA hired an Indiana native with spectacles; he ran off 9 NCAA championships in 10 years and added another one to make it 10 out of 12. Based on his professorial look, persona, and on-court success, Stevens is beginning to resemble a modern day John Wooden.

NBA

What makes Stevens so unusual at the college level is his coolness under fire. He always seems to be in control of his emotions and rarely shows any on the sidelines. One of the reasons why college coaches have difficulty adjusting to the NBA is their inability to take a step back from the micromanaging world of college basketball. Most college coaches who didn’t last in the NBA, like Rick Pitino and John Calipari, have difficulty with pulling back and letting their players go and play. Stevens’ sideline demeanor is what NBA teams want on the sidelines, as opposed to the typical emotional college coach.

For the good of the college game, it would be nice if he stayed. Hopefully, with Stevens, all good things don’t have to come to an end.

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Ranking the NCAA Men’s Hoops Major Job Openings

Wooooooooo! Pig! Soooooey!

There are many factors that go into making a college coaching job better than another. Sometimes it can just be based on timing, as schools change administrations, conferences, or upgrade facilities. The biggest factor, however, is the total commitment by the administration and the fan/alumni base. It’s that commitment that can make or break the non-elite coaches.

1. Arkansas

The Hogs are the most recent national champion in this group. This is a program with a tremendous amount of success starting with Eddie Sutton in the 1970’s and followed by Nolan Richardson’s 40 minutes of Hell-era. Since Richardson, Stan Heath and John Pelphrey have only made 3 NCAA tournaments in 9 seasons and Arkansas hasn’t been a major player nationally.

The expectations are higher in Fayetteville than many places and for good reason. Since Bud Walton Arena opened before the 1993-94 season, the Razorbacks have been in the top 10 nationally in attendance 11 of 17 seasons it’s been open. They play in the extremely weak SEC West where football reigns supreme. The only other traditionally good SEC West basketball school is LSU and they are going through worse times in Baton Rouge than Arkansas. There’s no reason why Arkansas can’t be the class of the SEC West given their tradition and competition.

If the SEC is a five or six bid league annually, then Arkansas should be in the running for one of the spots competing right behind Kentucky and Florida. That leaves three or four spots for the ten remaining teams. Arkansas shouldn’t be taking a back seat to any of the remaining teams as long as they have the right coach. As a school that has been to 3 Final Fours and has one championship since 1990, more is expected from this program. The right hire here and the Hogs could be national powers again in the near future.

2. North Carolina State

If the rumors are true, then Sidney Lowe should be unemployed shortly after his midday meeting with AD Debbie Yow. The word is that NC State will be offering upwards of $3M per season to the next coach to compete on Tobacco Road against the heavyweights of college basketball.

The tradition of this program has taken a hit over the past 20 years, but the passion of the fan base remains rabid. Many forget, but there are only a handful of schools that have more national championships than the Wolfpack’s two in 1974 and 1983. Their rich history spans decades with successful coaches like Everett Case, Norm Sloan, and Jim Valvano. But with only six NCAA bids since 1989, the prestige of the program has taken a hit, both locally and nationally and this hire can go a long way to restoring the success in the program.

Like the SEC, the ACC is typically a five or six bid league annually. That usually leaves four bids for the ten teams behind Duke and UNC every March. There’s no reason why NC State should be behind football schools Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. They also have a better tradition and history of success than Virginia and Wake Forest. They belong with Maryland in the next tier below UNC in the ACC.

Duke is different animal. They are in a special situation where they might have the best coach ever in college basketball. The key question that the new head coach needs to know is: How much longer will Coach K be at Duke? Once Coach K leaves Duke, that will open up the competition for the #2 spot in the ACC behind UNC. With the right coach, the Wolfpack could easily fill the void that Duke will leave when Coach K leaves. If this happens within the next 3-5 years, this new coach should benefit.

3. Utah

The Utes? Yes. The 1998 national runner-ups have a very good tradition that has gone under the radar due to their media market and conference affiliations. But beginning next season, they will be a part of the Pacific 12 conference and there will be an opportunity for major success.

The Utes have a national championship during World War II and also played in three other Final Fours, including 1998. The Utes have appeared in 27 NCAA tournaments and also won the NIT in 1947 when it was still bigger than the NCAAs. In addition, the Utes are tied with Indiana for 11th on the all-time win list with 1651 wins.

The Pac 10 hasn’t been that great in recent years and a good hire should get Utah into the top third of the conference quickly. Only UCLA and Arizona are the traditionally stronger programs than Utah in the Pac 12. The other top programs are very similar in history and success. The Huntsman Center is a very good facility that has hosted the NCAA tournament as recently as 2006 and is bigger than any building in the new Pac 12.

Athletic Director Chris Hill has made two hires since Rick Majerus left seven years ago. Unfortunately, it has only resulted in two appearances in the NCAAs. This is now a good job in a BCS conference now; they appear to want to make a strong commitment, so will they be able to attract the right coach?

4. Oklahoma

Jeff Capel was let go on Monday and it’s now hiring season in Norman. While the Sooners have a solid basketball program, it will always be in the shadow of its perennial top 10 football program. The program has been very good over the past 30 years but competing annually against Kansas and a now stronger Texas makes this job more difficult than the others above on the list. In addition, Bedlam rival Oklahoma State has a much longer and richer tradition of success on the hardwood than the Sooners.

The departure of Colorado and Nebraska tightens up the quality of the conference basketball wise. But there are unknowns about the future of the league and how a conference shift based on football might affect the basketball program. This is a solid job, but not a great job. They will always be clustered in a group behind Kansas in the conference. The resources are there, but the fan base isn’t as passionate as the other schools on this list.

Since Billy Tubbs arrived for the 1980-81 season, the Sooners have played in 23 NCAA tournaments, with two Final Fours, and also two NIT appearances. They made 25 straight postseason appearances from 1982-2006 which was snapped after Capel’s first season. The AD Joe Castiglione is definitely committed to excellence. But will he be able to find that special coach who can lead the Sooners back to the Final Four?

5. Georgia Tech

The Rambling Wreck was an also-ran in the ACC forever before they brought Bobby Cremins into the program in 1981. In the 19 seasons with Cremins, the Yellow Jackets went to 10 of their 16 NCAA tournaments and one Final Four. Recently fired Paul Hewitt went to 5 NCAAs in 11 seasons and lost in the 2004 championship game.

What makes this program somewhat intriguing is the size of the school and their alumni base. Even though they are a traditional football school, Georgia Tech has gotten a taste of success in hoops over the past 25 years and the right hire might be able to reenergize the fan base. This biggest problem facing Tech is similar to NC State, playing in the competitive ACC. Except that they lack the Tobacco Road fanaticism and tradition that State has.

Georgia Tech is an ACC school located in Atlanta. That should be enticing, right? But you start every year playing for third in the ACC and the expectations are generally high. Hewitt got eleven years, but he was given extra time based on his early success. His replacement isn’t going to be guaranteed that kind of support. As with NC State, the timing could be right here. The conference is down across the board, save UNC and Duke, so the right hire could catapult the Yellow Jackets to the top third of the ACC.

6. Providence

Here’s an example of why all big conference jobs aren’t created equal. The Friars were great under Joe Mullaney and Dave Gavitt in the years leading up to the formation of the Big East conference in 1979. Since then, the Friars have struggled to compete against the nationally recognizable conference mates.

Rick Pitino had a short tenure at PC, but took the Friars to their second and last Final Four in 1987. In the decade or so after Pitino left for the Knicks, the Friars became a stop on the basketball coaching ladder as Rick Barnes and Pete Gillen both left PC for the ACC.  Before firing Keno Davis after only three seasons, the Friars were incredibly patient with his predecessor, Tim Welsh. Welsh spent 10 years at PC with only two appearances in the NCAA’s after taking over for Pete Gillen in 1998.

So what is the deal here? The fanbase is terrific as the Friars are essentially the “pro team” in the state capital of Rhode Island during the winter. The problem is that the Big East is ridiculously difficult to compete in now. Ten coaches in the conference have made it to the Sweet 16 or farther. Six have been to the Final Four and three have won NCAA championships.

While the fans probably want a lifer, the best possible coach for them would be in the mold of a young Pitino or Barnes who are working their way up in the profession. Maybe they can get lucky and that coach sticks around for a few years longer than expected.

Making the Case against the Teams Whose Bubbles Burst

March 14, 2011 1 comment

Maybe Colorado won't play 7 sub 295 RPI teams next year

This isn’t meant as a defense of the selection committee or any of the questionable teams that were selected to the NCAA tournament. In reality, only 50-something teams really deserved to be selected to the 68-team Big Dance. This is about those controversial teams that were left out and the reasons why these schools do not have any reason to complain.

Virginia Tech: Yes, America’s bubble team had its hopes shattered again. For starters, the Hokies were only 9-7 in the 5th ranked conference. They were swept by Virginia (RPI 139) and NIT-bound Boston College, added a bad loss at Georgia Tech, and suffered a crippling season ending loss at Clemson. In addition, they beat FSU based on an overturned game winning basket in the ACC quarterfinals that was debatable. The only top 50 RPI team in the ACC that they beat was Duke.

The Hokies OOC schedule was ranked 180 out of 340. They played 6 teams with RPIs of over 230. They went 2-3 against top 100 teams OOC. How difficult would it be for Seth Greenburg to replace UNC-Greensboro (RPI 297), USC Upstate (313), Mount St. Mary’s (231), and Longwood (320) on his schedule? If he played and beat Virginia NCAA tournament schools like Old Dominion, VCU, George Mason, and Richmond, they would have been a lock for selection.

VCU went 3-6 against the top 50 and Tech was only 2-5. How does a CAA team play more top 50 games than an ACC team? Only cowardly scheduling sent the Hokies back to the NIT.

Colorado: The media would have you think that the Buffaloes survived a gauntlet of difficult games throughout the season. They are wrong. The Buffaloes OOC schedule was ranked 331 out of 340. They only went 10-4 against that group of teams. Their best win was against a bad Indiana (RPI 190). They played 7 teams with a RPI of 295 or more. In games against teams with a RPI of less than 295, they went 13-13. They won half and lost half.

Lowering the RPI threshold, the Buffaloes went 10-13 against the top 150 teams. Is that really at-large material there? Sure, they beat a few good teams, including Texas and Kansas State three times. But it’s not about head-to-head results and a splashy win or two for the selection committee. It’s about the overall profile.

Schools like Colorado have more choices than their mid-major counterparts when selecting OOC opponents. Instead of scheduling better teams, they scheduled gimme games to pad their win total. If they played 7 OOC teams between 100-150 in the RPI instead of 295 and over, they would be headed to the Big Dance. It’s that plain and simple.

Alabama: Don’t let the fact that the Crimson Tide is in the SEC fool you. The SEC West as a standalone conference would have easily been ranked behind every mid-major conference that received an at-large bid. The SEC West is home to Auburn (RPI 255), LSU (224), Arkansas (124), and Mississippi State (119). With 8 games against those schools, it’s no wonder that this team went 12-4 in SEC play. In addition, all of their key SEC wins were against vulnerable teams. Kentucky was awful away from Rupp, going 4-7 in true road games. Tennessee didn’t have Bruce Pearl for their loss to Alabama and were a poor home team all season.

The Tide schedule was ranked 294. They went 8-6 against those teams. The highest RPI of an OOC team that they beat was Lipscomb at 131. Overall, Alabama went 10-11 against the top 200 teams in the RPI. Is that really the mark of a quality at-large team? Have the standards dropped that much? They only had one win OOC against top 200 teams. I rest my case, your honor.

Saint Mary’s: The Gaels were a mid-major “snub” that many in the national media love. The problem is that many talking heads don’t follow the games as closely as you would expect an “expert” would. The issues for the Gaels began back on February 16 in San Diego. That night the Gaels lost to USD on national television by eight. The trouble is that USD won only 4 games against Division 1 schools all season, including the St. Mary’s win, and they have a RPI of 318. This was easily the worst loss of any prospective at-large candidate that made it in front of the selection committee.

In addition to losing in San Diego, the Gaels followed that with home losses to Utah State and Gonzaga. For a mid-major school like St. Mary’s to receive an at-large bid, they have to schedule and win against good teams OOC and take care of business in their own league.

The Gaels only quality OOC win was against St. John’s in Steve Lavin’s coaching debut. They lost to BYU, San Diego State, Vanderbilt, and Utah State. But with only one top 50 win all season, it was tough for the Gaels to overcome their horrible loss to San Diego. They also played 5 OOC teams with RPIs over 240. At the end of the day, the Gaels didn’t beat enough good teams and lost to a really bad one.

Harvard: The case against Harvard became easy when the brackets were announced. Their two best wins were against Boston College and Colorado. They now have a chance at a rematch with both in the NIT.

The message from the selection committee should be clear. Teams need to schedule better to improve their at-large chances and seeding for the NCAA tournament. There are teams that made the tournament with similar records, but their schedules were the difference. Why does 22-10 Kansas State have a 5 seed and 23-10 Missouri have an 11 seed? They are both in the Big 12 with Colorado. It’s the schedule.

The bottom line is that tougher scheduling and avoiding poor losses goes a long way to eliminating a team’s question marks that could burst their bubble on Selection Sunday. Maybe next year Virginia Tech will actually schedule some CAA teams and Alabama will play UAB to decide their fates on the court. Or maybe they’ll play Russian roulette with their tournament chances again.

Road to Selection Sunday for March 13

Done?

Welcome to the Road to Selection Sunday for March 13

Today is Selection Sunday: Finally Home

News and Notes:

It doesn’t look good for Pelphrey to remain as coach in Arkansas.

Paul Hewitt is done as coach at Georgia Tech after being the national runner-up in 2004 and 11 seasons.

Dayton is excited to be playing on CBS in a non NCAA tournament game since 1984.

Josh Harrellson is laying is on the line during his senior season for Kentucky.

The Gators bench was a big factor in their win yesterday against Vanderbilt.

It took a few months, but North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes is playing like the real deal.

Winners:

Automatic Qualifiers:

  • America East: Boston University
  • Conference USA: Memphis
  • MEAC: Hampton
  • Southland: Texas-San Antonio
  • Ivy: Princeton
  • Big 12: Kansas
  • MAC: Akron
  • PAC 10: Washington
  • Mountain West: San Diego State
  • Big West: UC-Santa Barbara
  • SWAC: Alabama State
  • Big East: Connecticut
  • WAC: Utah State

Memphis: The Tigers showed their #tigerblood yesterday by coming back from 62-50 with just over 6 minutes remaining. It appeared that experienced coaching would win out and UTEP would be dancing, while the Tigers would hold their breath for 29 hours. But Joe Jackson stepped up with help from Chris Crawford and led the Tigers back in the hostile Don Haskins Center. While Memphis might not be a major threat next week, making the NCAA tournament during a down season is the mark of a very good program.

Atlantic Ten: The A-10 might have their best case final scenario with Dayton facing Richmond. Dayton’s got the best RPI outside of the top 3 teams and if those 3 are on the right side of the bubble, then Dayton can steal a bid to give the A-10 four bids for the first time since 2003-04. Dayton’s RPI is now 70 so a loss by Richmond might not burst their bubble.

Florida: The Gators look like a 2 seed now and they should be a lock if they beat Kentucky today. If not, they probably drop to a 3 seed, but they’re more dangerous than in most seasons.

Duke and North Carolina: Many feel that the winner of this game will be a 1 seed. I think Duke can get it, but North Carolina might have to win to get a 2 seed. Those top 2 lines are tough and UNC doesn’t have a better profile than Florida, who might still be a 3 seed.

Penn State: It looks like the Lions brought Jerry Sandusky to Chicago. They’ve only given up 81 points in the past 2 games to reach the finals. Is making the finals enough? Grab a coin.

San Diego State: Great performance by the Aztecs as they avenged their only two losses of the season last night in Vegas. This team is deserving of at least a 2 seed, but I’d give them a 1 if Duke loses.

Losers:

Harvard: Tough last second loss to Princeton in the one game playoff at Yale. They are better than at least 5-10 teams that will make it in today. Will they be perceived as good enough by the committee?

UTEP: Tough loss as the Miners blew a 12 point lead with about 6 minutes left on their home court. This team should get better the longer Tim Floyd remains coach.

Alabama: If conference affiliation doesn’t matter and the overall profile is the key, then Alabama is done after losing to Kentucky yesterday.

Virginia Tech: Do you have a coin? Call heads or tails and that’s probably the chances that you hear Seth Greenburg crying to Dick Vitale tonight after being left out again. Remember Seth, if you had played Richmond, VCU, George Mason, ODU, and other Virginia schools, you’re strength of schedule wouldn’t be an issue.

Clemson: The Tigers don’t have any top 50 wins. Good luck on the bubble.

Texas: The national media still loves the Longhorns, but they shouldn’t be anything higher than a 4 seed.

Arizona: The Wildcats will be the highest seeded Pac 10 school, but they might be in an 8-9 game.

Michigan State: You didn’t expect Sparty to all of a sudden get consistent, did you? Expect them to be done by the end of next weekend.

Brigham Young: The Cougars still can’t shake that they’re not a top team without Brandon Davies. Last night’s convincing loss did nothing to dissuade viewers and most likely, the selection committee. I think they should get at least a 3, but the committee will probably make them a 4 seed at best.

Sunday’s Games: RPI in ()

Atlantic Ten Championship (70) Dayton at (44) Richmond: CBS at 1 EST

ACC Championship (4) Duke at (6) North Carolina: ESPN at 1 EST

SEC Championship (9) Kentucky vs. (7) Florida: ABC at 1 EST

Big Ten Championship (39) Penn State vs. (2) Ohio State: CBS at 3:30 EST

Click here for conference breakdowns on This Week in College Basketball.

ACC Basketball Overview March 7

ACC Basketball Overview March 7

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 7th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Duke Blue Devils RPI 5

  • 27-4, 13-3 in ACC   Away: 8-4  Neutral:  2-0
  • OOC rundown: 14-1 with wins against Marquette, Kansas State, Michigan State, Butler, UAB , and Temple and a loss to St John’s. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 7, schedule 44.
  • ACC Wins: Mia, Mary, UVA, at NC St, at WF, BC, at Mary, NC St, UNC, at Mia, at UVa, GT, Clem      Losses: at FSU, at VT, at UNC
  • The Devils need to win the ACC tournament and maybe get help to get a 1 seed. As long as they win one game, they should be at least a 2 seed.

North Carolina Tar Heels RPI 6

  • 24-6, 14-2 in ACC   Away: 8-3  Neutral:  1-2
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a good win over Kentucky and losses to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Illinois, and Texas. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 29, schedule 20.
  • ACC Wins: at UVa, VT, Clem, at Mia, NC St, at BC, FSU, at Clem, WF, BC, at NC St, Mary, at FSU, Duke     Losses: at GT, at Duke
  • The Heels can get a 1 seed if they win the ACC tournament and get help. They should be a 2 seed if they win two games. If they win one and lose one, it will be a coin flip for 2 or 3 seed. They won’t be lower than a 3 seed.

 

Bubble Territory:

Florida State Seminoles RPI 45

  • 21-9, 11-5 in ACC   Away: 8-5  Neutral:  1-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a win over Baylor and losses to Florida, Ohio State, Butler and a horrible loss to Auburn. They also have 9 gimme wins. RPI 104, schedule 190.
  • ACC Wins: Clem, Duke, NC St, at Mia, BC, WF, at GT, UVa, at WF, Mia, at NC St   Losses: at VT, at Clem, at UNC, at Mary, UNC
  • The Seminoles need to beat Virginia Tech to be safe. Otherwise they leave their fate up to the committee. Beating Duke again would lock them in and get them into an 8-9 game.

Virginia Tech Hokies RPI 63

  • 19-10, 9-7 in ACC   Away: 6-6  Neutral:  2-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with notable wins against Oklahoma State and Penn State and losses to Kansas State, UNLV, and Purdue. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 73, schedule 151.
  • ACC Wins: FSU, WF, at Mary, Mia, at NC St, GT, Mary, at WF, Duke  Losses: UVa, at UNC, at GT, at BC, at UVA, BC, at Clem
  • Wow. Just can’t take a good win and capitalize. They have to beat FSU to have a chance. Beating Duke again after that would lock up their bid. When you see Seth crying next Sunday, remember that the ACC is the FIFTH ranked conference this season.

Boston College Eagles RPI 44

  • 19-11, 9-7 in ACC   Away: 4-6  Neutral:  2-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a good win over Texas A&M and a solid losses to Wisconsin and Harvard with strange ones to Yale and Rhode Island. They also have 3 gimme wins. RPI 66, schedule 57.
  • ACC Wins: at Mary, GT, NC St, UVa, VT, Mary, at UVa, at VT, WF   Losses: at Mia, at FSU, at Duke, UNC, at Clem, at UNC, Mia
  • The Eagles need to beat Clemson to wrap up their bid. A loss to Wake would send them to the NIT in a hurry. A win over UNC gets them a game in their white jerseys.

Clemson Tigers RPI 58

  • 20-10, 9-7 in ACC   Away: 3-7  Neutral:  2-1
  • OOC rundown: 11-3 with no good wins and losses to Old Dominion, Michigan, and South Carolina. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 90, schedule 199.
  • ACC Wins: Mia, GT, NC St, FSU, at GT, BC, at Mia, WF, VT  Losses: at FSU, at UNC, at Mary, at UVa, UNC, at NC St, at Duke
  • The Tigers need to beat BC to have a chance. Beating UNC would lock it up for them.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Maryland Terrapins RPI 99

  • 18-13, 7-9 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 11-4 with a decent win over Penn State and losses to Pittsburgh, Illinois, Temple, and Villanova. They also have 9 gimme wins. RPI 102, schedule 178.
  • Sorry Gary. Play and beat better OOC opponents next season.

Miami Hurricanes RPI 74

  • 18-13, 6-10 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 with a good win over West Virginia and losses to Memphis, Rutgers and Central Florida. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 46, schedule 145.
  • That loss to Georgia Tech finished their at-large hopes.

North Carolina State Wolfpack RPI 120

  • 15-15, 5-11 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a win over George Mason and losses to Georgetown, Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Arizona. They also have 8 gimme wins. RPI 105, schedule 181.
  • The Sidney Lowe watch has begun.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets RPI 161

  • 13-17, 5-11 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with a win over Richmond and a bunch of losses. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 161, schedule 176.
  • How many more down years does Hewitt get? 2004 is a long time ago in hoop years.

Virginia Cavaliers RPI 134

  • 16-14, 7-9 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 9-5 with a win over Minnesota and a horrific loss to Seattle. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 218, schedule 302.
  • The Cavs are going to ruin one or two of their ACC mates’ seasons. Hello Va Tech. Anybody else want some?

Wake Forest Demon Deacons RPI 265

  • 8-23, 1-15 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 7-8 with no good wins and plenty of losses, both good and bad. They also have 7 gimme wins. RPI 267, schedule 246.
  • When did the Deacons turn into Fordham? The A-10 invite is forthcoming.

 Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

ACC Basketball Overview February 28

February 28, 2011 1 comment

ACC Basketball Overview February 28

Team Overviews: Records are going into February 28th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Duke Blue Devils RPI 5

  • 26-3, 12-2 in ACC   Away: 8-3
  • OOC rundown: 14-1 with wins against Marquette, Kansas State, Michigan State, Butler, UAB , and Temple and a loss to St John’s. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 8, schedule 45.
  • ACC Wins: Mia, Mary, UVA, at NC St, at WF, BC, at Mary, NC St, UNC, at Mia, at UVa, GT      Losses: at FSU, at VT
  • The Devils might have to run the table to claim a #1 seed. They have some nice wins, but lost their only OOC game against a top 25 RPI team (St John’s). They need to win at least 3 more games to be a 2 seed.

North Carolina Tar Heels RPI 10

  • 22-6, 12-2 in ACC   Away: 7-3
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a good win over Kentucky and losses to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Illinois, and Texas. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 26, schedule 20.
  • ACC Wins: at UVa, VT, Clem, at Mia, NC St, at BC, FSU, at Clem, WF, BC, at NC St, Mary     Losses: at GT, at Duke
  • The Heels need at least 2 more wins to get a Sweet 16 seed. They can climb to as high as a 2 seed if they run the table. Winning at least 3 more games would give them a shot at a 3 seed, although it will probably take 4 more wins.

 

Bubble Territory:

Florida State Seminoles RPI 47

  • 20-8, 10-4 in ACC   Away: 7-5
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a win over Baylor and losses to Florida, Ohio State, Butler and a horrible loss to Auburn. They also have 9 gimme wins. RPI 117, schedule 210.
  • ACC Wins: Clem, Duke, NC St, at Mia, BC, WF, at GT, UVa, at WF, Mia   Losses: at VT, at Clem, at UNC, at Mary
  • The Noles need to win at least 2 more games to be safe on Selection Sunday. That’s going to be tough without Singleton. Getting the bye might actually hurt them for those 2 wins.

Virginia Tech Hokies RPI 55

  • 19-8, 9-5 in ACC   Away: 6-5
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with notable wins against Oklahoma State and Penn State and losses to Kansas State, UNLV, and Purdue. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 77, schedule 156.
  • ACC Wins: FSU, WF, at Mary, Mia, at NC St, GT, Mary, at WF, Duke  Losses: UVa, at UNC, at GT, at BC, at UVA
  • The Hokies need to win at least 2 more games to be safe on Selection Sunday. Getting only one win puts them in their annual bubble spot.

Boston College Eagles RPI 46

  • 17-11, 7-7 in ACC   Away: 3-6
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a good win over Texas A&M and a solid losses to Wisconsin and Harvard with strange ones to Yale and Rhode Island. They also have 3 gimme wins. RPI 55, schedule 41.
  • ACC Wins: at Mary, GT, NC St, UVa, VT, Mary, at UVa   Losses: at Mia, at FSU, at Duke, UNC, at Clem, at UNC, Mia
  • The Eagles need to win at least 3 more games to be safe on Selection Sunday. Their OOC profile gets worse by the day.

Clemson Tigers RPI 69

  • 19-9, 8-6 in ACC   Away: 3-6
  • OOC rundown: 11-3 with no good wins and losses to Old Dominion, Michigan, and South Carolina. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 97, schedule 214.
  • ACC Wins: Mia, GT, NC St, FSU, at GT, BC, at Mia, WF  Losses: at FSU, at UNC, at Mary, at UVa, UNC, at NC St
  • The Tigers need at least 3 more wins to be safe on Selection Sunday. One caveat, they can probably clinch a spot by winning their two remaining ACC games and avoiding Wake in the first round.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Maryland Terrapins RPI 85

  • 18-11, 7-7 in ACC   Away: 4-5
  • OOC rundown: 11-4 with a decent win over Penn State and losses to Pittsburgh, Illinois, Temple, and Villanova. They also have 9 gimme wins. RPI 99, schedule 171.
  • ACC Wins: at WF, Clem, at UVa, at GT, WF, NC St, FSU   Losses: BC, at Duke, VT, Duke, at BC, at VT, at UNC
  • The only scenario where the Terps could get an at-large would be running the table and losing in the ACC finals while beating Duke along the way. Got that?

Miami Hurricanes RPI 68

  • 17-12, 5-9 in ACC   Away: 4-7
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 with a good win over West Virginia and losses to Memphis, Rutgers and Central Florida. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 47, schedule 141.
  • ACC Wins: BC, GT, UVa, WF, at BC     Losses: at Duke, at Clem, FSU, at NC St, UNC, at VT, Duke, Clem, at FSU
  • The horrible bubble keeps the ‘Canes alive. They need to win their final 2 ACC games and win at least two in Greensboro to be safe. Yuck.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

North Carolina State Wolfpack RPI 103

  • 15-13, 5-9 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with a win over George Mason and losses to Georgetown, Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Arizona. They also have 8 gimme wins. RPI 101, schedule 164.
  • The Sidney Lowe watch has begun.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets RPI 181

  • 11-17, 3-11 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with a win over Richmond and a bunch of losses. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 163, schedule 177.
  • How many more down years does Hewitt get? 2004 is a long time ago in hoop years.

Virginia Cavaliers RPI 147

  • 14-14, 5-9 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 9-5 with a good win over Minnesota and a horrific loss to Seattle. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 212, schedule 289.
  • The Cavs are going to ruin one or two of their ACC mates’ seasons. Hello Va Tech. Anybody else want some?

Wake Forest Demon Deacons RPI 252

  • 8-21, 1-13 in ACC
  • OOC rundown: 7-8 with no good wins and plenty of losses, both good and bad. They also have 7 gimme wins. RPI 271, schedule 258.
  • When did the Deacons turn into Fordham? The A-10 invite is forthcoming.

 

That’s this week’s ACC overview. This will be updated next week.

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Road to Selection Sunday for Feb 28

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The Irish are still alive in the Big East title race

Welcome to the Road to Selection Sunday for Feb 28

News and Notes:

Notre Dame needs Villanova to split their games this week, but make sure Nova loses in South Bend.

The Temple students held a mock funeral for the Saint Joe’s Hawk during their recent game last week.

Kansas State is finally playing up to their potential and “The Beard” could win Big 12 POY.

It’s Senior Night in Austin and the Longhorns are looking to regain their dominating form.

Weekend Winners:

Syracuse: Good win for the Orange avenging their loss to the Hoyas in the Dome. Outside of their lack of OOC road games, the profile for the Orange is pretty good.

Missouri State: The Bears got their first ever MVC regular season title on Saturday. They’re probably going to have to beat the Shockers again to get the automatic bid.

Brigham Young: The Cougars won a very entertaining game on Saturday and looked pretty dominant in doing so. The Jimmer showed that he can make his teammates better with some good passing as he dished 9 assists. With the other upsets this weekend, the Cougars look safely in as a 1 seed if today was Selection Sunday. They might even be able to lose to SDSU or UNLV in the MWC tournament final and get a 1 seed, depending on how many other contenders lose again.

St. John’s: There aren’t many teams playing better than the Johnnies right now. They’ve won 6 straight and 8 of 9 as they are beginning to look like national championship contenders. Dwight Hardy scored 34 and looks to be ripping the BE POY award away from Walker and Hansbrough. Lavin has to be top 3 in the BE COY race with Mike Brey and Rick Pitino.

Colorado: The Buffs charged back into the bubble picture with their big comeback win against the Longhorns. Down 22, the Buffs came back on the strength of 58 second half points. Alec Burks was sensational, going for 33 points and getting 10 boards. The Buffs need to continue winning as their profile is fairly weak outside of the Texas win and Kansas State sweep.

Michigan: The Wolverines won the “elimination” game with the Gophers and are now have a solid chance of capturing an at-large bid. Once 1-6 in the Big Ten, the Maize and Blue are now 8-9 with Sparty coming to town on Saturday. A win and they are in.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies got the big win that they desperately needed on Saturday night behind a big game from Jeff Allen who had 18 and 15. Good thing too, because Malcolm Delaney was AWOL for most of the night. In typical Tech fashion, they will probably split their next two games and drop their opener in the ACC tournament to make their selection difficult. But right now, they’re probably in.

Connecticut: Big road win for the Huskies after dropping the game against Marquette on Thursday. The Huskies are now in a five-way tie for seventh place in the Big East. No kidding. The two teams that break out get one bye in the Big East tournament. The Huskies got 39 points out of freshmen Lamb, Smith, and Napier. Not too bad. This team is probably a year from being great. If Walker returns, they are preseason #1 for next season.

Louisville: Except for the male cheerleader, of course. The Cards got a huge win over the Panthers yesterday and are looking good for a Sweet 16 seed in two weeks. That was just a gutty win over a tough team. It’s not too often that you are victorious when shooting 34%.

Losers:

Bubble teams with bad losses group: Here they are: Miami, Memphis, Alabama, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Colorado State, and Dayton. All of these teams could have taken steps to get into the tournament or at least keep their hopes alive. Only the atrocious bubble situation keeps some of them alive.

Georgetown: The loss of Chris Wright hurts, but the Hoyas have to defend the home turf. By losing at home to the ‘Cuse, the Hoyas split the season series and are now only one win in front of the 9-7 cluster in the Big East standings. They probably need to win in Cincinnati to get a round 1 bye and to keep their Sweet 16 seed hopes alive.

Missouri: The Tigers can’t win on the road. They lost to K-State on Saturday even though Jacob Pullen was saddled with foul problems. They only have 2 road wins all season and with a loss to the Huskers, they will have to beat Kansas to have a winning record in the Big 12.

San Diego State: The Aztecs lost a chance to win the Mountain West and get into the driver’s seat for a #1 seed. Great environment for the game, but Jimmer and the Cougars were too much from the beginning.

Villanova: The Wildcats are in a tailspin and need to break out of their funk if they want to get a decent seed on Selection Sunday. The Cats are 5-7 after starting 16-1 and face the top two teams in the conference on the road to finish the regular season. It’s not out of the question that they lose both and head into the BE tournament at 5-9 after their great start. They could be headed towards a double digit seed if they lose their next 3 games.

Arizona: These Wildcats dropped a golden opportunity to close out the Pac 10 by losing to USC and UCLA last week. Now they need help to claim the outright title. Derrick Williams scored 26 against both Washington schools and had NBA draft people talking about him as the #1 pick. In LA, he totaled 23 points in the two games and had to slide on those draft boards. The Cats have also slid down to a 6 or 7 seed at best.

Duke: Say goodbye to that #1 seed. If they lose another one, there will be no way they can recover to get a 1 seed. The Dukies should still be considered a March favorite, however, because Nolan Smith might be the best player in the country and has a very good supporting cast.

Michigan State: The Spartans need wins and beating Purdue would have all but sealed their invitation to the NCAA tournament. Purdue is really good, but losing at home by 20 isn’t the best way to impress. Now they face two teams that have already beaten them and they need to get to at least 18 wins to be a reasonable selection for an at-large.

Monday’s Notable Games: RPI in ()

(31) Villanova at (11) Notre Dame: ESPN at 7 EST

(24) Kansas State at (9) Texas: ESPN at 9 EST

Click here for conference breakdowns on This Week in College Basketball.