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NCAA Tournament Daily Breakdown March 21

Good thing football is king in Austin

Here’s a look back at Sunday’s excitement in the NCAA tournament:

Best Finish

Arizona’s win over boneheaded Texas was the day’s best finish. I know everybody is shocked, but Rick Barnes led another team that fizzled out in March. Based on mid-February commentary, Texas appeared to be a super team that nobody could beat, despite their record. Now they’re done. Jordan Hamilton called an inexplicable timeout after coming down with the rebound and about 10 seconds remaining and the Horns up two. Then the Longhorns were called for a five second violation on the inbounds to turn the ball over. But the insanity wasn’t done, as Derrick Williams decided to win a game late offensively instead of blocking a shot as he made a shot while being fouled to tie the game. Of course, he then completed the three point play. Texas was unable to score and the Wildcats move on to face North Carolina.

Best Performance – Team

Ohio State: The Buckeyes were all over George Mason early and often in their 32 point blowout yesterday. The Buckeyes made 16 of 26 three point shots as David Lighty made all seven of his attempts from long range. This team won’t be beaten by anybody if they can’t stop the perimeter shooting. I haven’t heard anybody talk about wanting to be “this year’s George Mason” since this game finished.

Best Performance – Player

Kendall Marshall: This freshman point guard is special. Marshall led the Tar Heels up and down the court all day dishing 14 assists while scoring 13 points and he even pulled down 5 rebounds. The Tar Heels might be able to go as far as their freshmen take them and Marshall is the key running the point.

What’s Happening to the Big East

With the Notre Dame loss to Florida State, the Big East only has two teams remaining and those teams only made it by beating fellow Big East teams. What looked like a dominating conference that might place up to 7 or 8 teams into the Sweet 16, collapsed due in part to injuries, teams peaking too soon, and just bad matchups. Connecticut and Marquette, the 9th and 11th place finishers during the regular season, are the only teams remaining. Maybe there was an advantage to playing in the opening round of the Big East tournament after all.  

Sweet 16 Conference Breakdown:

ACC – 3 (Duke, UNC, FSU)
Big East – 2 (UConn, Marquette)
Mountain West – 2 (BYU, SDSU)
SEC – 2 (Kentucky, Florida)
Big Ten – 2 (Ohio State, Wisconsin)
Big 12 – 1 (Kansas)
A-10 – 1 (Richmond)
Pac 10 – 1 (Arizona)
Colonial – 1 (VCU)
Horizon – 1 (Butler)

Coaches Who Made the Most $$$

Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth continues to lead his Cinderella Rams to upset after upset. Despite being deemed not worthy enough of a tournament invite by most (read: ESPN) talking heads, the Rams are now the only team with three wins in the tournament as they head to San Antonio. The 33 year old coach is sure to have an opportunity to coach at a higher level after this season. Where might he go and how much could he get? Those two ACC schools (NC State and Georgia Tech) have to have him on the radar and could Smart go home to Milwaukee to replace Buzz Williams if he leaves Marquette? Williams is also in the name your price for the job you want group.

Coaches Who Will Have a Little Pressure on them Next Season

Rick Barnes and Mike Brey were the flavor of the week, depending on the week during February. Both of their teams, Texas and Notre Dame were expected to make long runs in the tournament and not making it past the first weekend is sure to bother the fans and alums. It probably a good thing that they both coach at football crazy schools since these early flameouts will most likely be forgotten after the first play of the spring football games at each school.

Coach With His “Us against the World” Speech Ready

John Calipari: Nobody gives this speech better than the “eternal underdog” Cal. From his time at UMass to the Nets to Memphis and now poor old Kentucky, Calipari will find every possible angle and prediction to paint his team as the most underrated, underappreciated, underestimated team of all-time. Against Ohio State, Cal gets to use his favorite play in his playbook and he better. For the first time in a while, Cal and his team are really undermanned for this moment. Calipari has never pulled off an upset based on seed in the NCAA tournament; he gets another chance against the Buckeyes.

Sweet 16 Schedule:

Thursday March 24th:

(3 West)Connecticut vs. (2 West) San Diego State on CBS at 7:15 EDT

(3 Southeast)Brigham Young vs. (2 East) Florida on TBS at 7:27 EDT

(5 West)Arizona vs. (1 West) Duke on CBS at 9:45 EDT

(8 Southeast)Butler vs. (2 East) Wisconsin on TBS at 9:57 EDT

Friday March 24th:

(11 East)Marquette vs. (2 East) North Carolina on CBS at 7:15 EDT

(12 Southwest) Richmond vs. (1 Southwest) Kansas on TBS at 7:27 EDT

(4 East)Kentucky vs. (1 East) Ohio State on CBS at 9:45 EDT

 (11 Southwest)Virginia Commonwealth vs. (10 Southwest) Florida State on TBS at 9:57 EDT

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NCAA Tournament Daily Breakdown March 20

Here comes Butler again

Here’s a look back at Saturday’s excitement in the NCAA tournament.

Best Finish

The San Diego State and Temple game went to two OT’s, but the Pittsburgh and Butler game easily takes the honors. Butler coach Brad Stevens drew up another brilliant end of game play to give the Bulldogs the lead. But the two subsequent fouls on each team and the drama surrounding those calls overshadowed Stevens’ coaching. Should those calls have been made? The first one was Butler’s Shelvin Mack definitely impeding Gilbert Brown as he was going to attempt a half-court shot. The following foul in a tie game with no chance of a 90 foot made shot, was questionable. But at the end of the day, you can’t make contact and Jamie Dixon shouldn’t have had anybody on that foul line. A John Chaney coached team goes to overtime, because he never had his players on the foul line when his players were shooting for that reason.

Best Performance – Team

Brigham Young: Everybody was picking Gonzaga to beat BYU last night, but The Jimmer and his teammates had other plans. Gonzaga guard Marquise Carter had a career high 24 points against St. John’s on Thursday, but didn’t even score a point against the Cougars. As for the Cougars offense, they shot 14-28 from three point range and shot 52.5% overall. It didn’t matter that the Bulldogs won the battle of the boards by 11, 34-23. All of that resulted in a 22 point win for BYU.

Best Performance – Player

(Tie) Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker: Was there any doubt? These two should share the national player of the year award and last night’s performance is why. The Jimmer went for 34 points and also dished 6 assists as Gonzaga had no answer defensively for the Cougars sharp shooting. Kemba scored 33 and had 6 rebounds and 5 assists as Connecticut beat fellow Big East member Cincinnati last night. It’s too bad that the only way these two could face off would be in Houston on the Monday night. Or that could just be what this season deserves. Honorable mention to Kentucky‘s Brandon Knight who scored 30 against West Virginia.

Best Performance – Player on Losing Team

The Beard, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen went out with a tremendous performance against Wisconsin. He had 38 points on 13-22 shooting, but went 6 of 8 from three point range. The only blemish on his performance was that missed free throw in the final ten seconds that could have helped tie the game. Pullen is a special college player who probably won’t have a long NBA career due to his size. He’ll be hard to replace not only for K-State, but for college hoops in general.

What’s Happening to the Big East

Notre Dame is now the conference’s last hope to send more than two teams to the Sweet 16 next week. If the Irish lose to Florida State tomorrow night, then the only Big East teams to advance past this weekend would be the winners of the two Big East matchups. This was unthinkable when the tournament started but injuries (Georgetown), collapses (Villanova), peaking too soon (St. John’s), and March Madness (Louisville) thwarted the chances of this formerly (last week) mighty conference.

Coach Who Made the Most $$$

Chris Mooney of Richmond heads to the Sweet 16 as a 12 seed after the Spiders beat Morehead State yesterday. Rumors are already rampant that the Princeton grad will be a top target of the two ACC schools that have openings, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. Based on his experience and the expectations at each school, Tech looks to be the better fit due to not being on Tobacco Road with Mike and Roy. Mooney could get overwhelmed, like others, in Raleigh.  

Coaches Who Will Have a Little Pressure on them Next Season

Ben Howland and Jamie Dixon worked together at Northern Arizona and then again at Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, because of where he coaches, UCLA’s Howland will have pressure to make at least the Sweet 16 every year. Dixon will have to answer questions about annually coming up short in March until he reaches a Final Four. While not under the same scrutiny as his mentor, Dixon will have the stigma of an underachiever until he guides his team to that final weekend.

Worst Host City

Hello, Tucson, you have the NCAA tournament in town this week. The fans in the desert didn’t show up and there were over 3,000 empty seats for yesterday’s session. Evidently exhibition baseball is more compelling in Arizona this time of the year. None of the other host cities had attendance problems.

Look ahead to Sunday:

Remember About the Gus Johnson Special:

Gus surely will be involved in another buzzer beater this weekend and there are two games to choose from. First will be George Mason and Ohio State at 5:15 EST on Sunday and that will be followed by Marquette and Syracuse. One of those games is GUARANTEED to have a great ending. I’m offering a free subscription to my blog to anybody who doesn’t get their money’s worth out of those two games on Sunday.

Schedule:

(7 East)Washington vs. (2 East) North Carolina on CBS at 12:15 EDT

(8 West)Michigan vs. (1 West) Duke on CBS at 2:45 EDT

(8 East)George Mason vs. (1 East) Ohio State on CBS at 5:15 EDT

(5 West)Arizona vs. (4 West) Texas on TNT at 6:10 EDT

(11 Southwest)Virginia Commonwealth vs. (3 Southwest) Purdue on TBS at 7:10 EDT

(11 East)Marquette vs. (3 East) Syracuse on truTV at 7:45 EDT

(9 Southwest)Illinois vs. (1 Southwest) Kansas on TNT at 8:40 EDT

(10 Southwest)Florida State vs. (7 Southwest) Notre Dame on TBS at 9:40 EDT

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.

Road to Selection Sunday for March 12

The Jimmer got 52 last night

Welcome to the Road to Selection Sunday for March 12

News and Notes:

Top 3 Games to Watch:

1. Jimmer and BYU against San Diego State at 7:00 ET on Versus

2. UConn and Louisville at 9:00 ET on ESPN

3. Texas and Kansas at 6:00 ET on ESPN

Winners:

Automatic Qualifiers:

  • Patriot: Bucknell

Dayton: The Flyers pulled an upset over their rivals, Xavier, yesterday and will play 12 seed St. Joe’s this afternoon. The Flyers have disappointed for two consecutive years now and have a chance at redemption if they can win two more games in AC.

Alabama: Is back-to-back wins over Georgia good enough for the Tide? The SEC West champs are only 1-2 against top 25 RPI teams. In comparison, mid-major VCU is 2-3 against the same group. The issue with Alabama is that they are in the very weak SEC West and took advantage of 200+ RPI games against LSU and Auburn. They are only 9-10 against the top 200.

Michigan: You have to like how the Wolverines have done almost everything that they could to win their way into an at-large bid. They started 1-6 in the Big Ten and looked dead but rallied to finish at 9-9 and are now a win away from the Big Ten championship game. It’s amazing to think, but they will be wearing their white jerseys in their first NCAA game if they win the Big Ten tourney.

Clemson: The Tigers might have clinched an at-large bid by eliminating BC yesterday. This game wasn’t even close and they should be good as long as UNC doesn’t destroy them this afternoon.

UTEP: The Miners will play on their home court this morning for the CUSA championship and it should be rocking. It will be interesting if their profile is good enough if they were to lose.

Michigan State: The real Spartans finally showed up as they blasted Purdue last night. That should eliminate any of the bubble talk for Tom Izzo’s club and if Sparty can continue to play like that, they will be a tough out.

Connecticut: The Huskies appear to be a solid 3 seed and are probably just playing to maneuver on that line for Sunday. It’s tough to see how they move up to a 2 seed, but they shouldn’t fall to a 4 either.

Texas: The Longhorns might have reemerged as a possible 2 seed by making the Big 12 championship game. If they win, they should be a solid 2 seed, if they lose, then they could drop back to a 3 seed.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are close, if not in the tournament after their lucky win last night. Their RPI is still not too good and their profile isn’t impressive, save the Duke win. A win over Duke today and they WILL be good.

Penn State: I guess somebody had to win this game, certainly not the viewers. The Lions should be close if they can beat Michigan State tomorrow to play again on Sunday.

BYU and San Diego State: The Jimmer went for 52 last night and DJ Gay drained a floater in the lane with 4 seconds left and these MWC heavyweights will meet for a third time. Fair minded people would think that a #1 seed would be the reward for the winner. But the national media has anointed BYU as damaged goods without Brandon Davies and SDSU lost to the Cougars twice. In a year with only two apparently dominant teams, Ohio State and Kansas, the winner of this game deserves to be a #1 seed.

Losers:

Xavier: The Musketeers were beaten by Dayton outside of UD Arena for the first time since 1981 yesterday in AC. The Musketeers could have been as high as a 5 seed if they won the A10 tournament, now they are looking at a possible 7 or even an 8-9 game situation. That doesn’t represent the easiest route to the Sweet 16.

Georgia: The Dawgs lost to the very weak bubble dwelling Alabama yesterday and now are squarely on the bubble themselves. They’re hoping that mediocrity prevails.

Boston College: Mercifully, their at-large hopes are over. Too many blowout losses in the last month and an RPI that has fallen into the 50’s should be enough to send the Eagles to the NIT.

Illinois: The Illini continued their Jekyll & Hyde season with another up and down performance in the first and only Big Ten tourney game. They led Michigan by double digits with less than 10 minutes left in the game and blew the lead. They will most likely clear the hideous bubble, but expectations for Bruce Weber will be for more success next season in Champaign.

Colorado: Last night’s loss to Kansas leaves them on the bubble for Selection Sunday. It will be interesting to see if they miss out despite taking three from lock Kansas State.

Notre Dame: The Irish were in play for a #1 seed, but their loss to Louisville probably bumps them off. They are still a team that nobody is going to want to see in the coming weeks.

Wisconsin: The Badgers turned back the clock, in a bad way, by putting up a score that was standard in the peach basket era of hoops. This wasn’t the showing the Bo Ryan wanted to secure a 4 seed on Sunday.

Florida State: The ‘Noles are probably in, but their controversial loss last night to Virginia Tech put their RPI over 50 and their OOC profile wasn’t very good. They should be in, but you never know with the mediocrity in the ACC after the top 2.

Saturday’s Notable Games: RPI in ()

Conference USA Championship (30) Memphis at (47) UTEP: CBS at 11:30 EST

America East Championship (240) Stony Brook at (132) Boston University: ESPN2 at 12:00 EST

(9) Kentucky vs. (77) Alabama: ABC at 1 EST

(53) Clemson vs. (6) North Carolina: ESPN at 1 EST

(50) Michigan vs. (2) Ohio State: CBS at 1:40 EST

MEAC Championship (207) Morgan State vs. (81) Hampton: ESPN2 at 2:00 EST

(55) Richmond vs. (28) Temple: CBS College at 3:30 EST

(25) Vanderbilt vs. (8) Florida: ABC at 3:30 EST

(60) Virginia Tech vs. (4) Duke: ESPN at 3:30 EST

Southland Championship (201) Texas-San Antonio at (147) McNeese State: ESPN2 at 4:00 EST

Ivy League Playoff (33) Harvard vs. (48) Princeton: ESPN3 at 4:00 EST

(39) Michigan State vs. (42) Penn State: CBS at 4:05 EST

Big 12 Championship (10) Texas vs. (1) Kansas: ESPN at 6:00 EST

MAC Championship (117) Akron vs. (70) Kent State: ESPN2 at 6:00 EST

Pac 10 Championship (38) Washington vs. (17) Arizona: CBS at 6:00 EST

Mountain West Championship (3) San Diego State vs. (5) Brigham Young: Versus at 7:00 EST

Big West Championship (171) UC-Santa Barbara vs. (86) Long Beach State: ESPN2 at 8:00 EST

SWAC Championship (313) Grambling State vs. (271) Alabama State: ESPNU at 8:30 EST

Big East Championship (14) Connecticut vs. (15) Louisville: ESPN at 9:00 EST

WAC Championship (114) Boise State vs. (18) Utah State: ESPN2 at 10:00 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.

Road to Selection Sunday for Mar 3

Still Winning

Welcome to the Road to Selection Sunday for Mar 3

News and Notes:

Joshua Smith is viewed as a turncoat in the Northwest, but could be the key to ending a 6-game losing streak in Seattle.

The Trojans are getting after it to try to keep their season alive.

Here’s more on Joshua Smith from his hometown.

Cougar talk with Coach Bone going into the LA weekend.

Winners:

North Carolina: The Heels now host Duke on Saturday night with the outright ACC championship on the line. Who would have predicted that two months ago? Harrison Barnes with the ridiculous 3 with a few seconds left to win the game. Barnes has quietly put together at least a 2nd team all-ACC season. It’s amazing how under the radar the Heels have been this ACC season.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers are one of the quiet Big East teams this season. Hard to believe that Huggy is quiet, huh? Great defense down the stretch as the Huskies offense went into vapor lock. Beating UConn last night keeps their hopes alive for a 4 seed on Selection Sunday. They can get it if they make a run to the finals.

Miami: The Canes got a big home win last night over Maryland and might have ended the Terps at-large hopes while sustaining theirs. They need to beat Georgia Tech on Saturday and then win at least one game in Greensboro.  Two wins in Greensboro would probably wrap it up for them.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats aren’t a great home team, but their win at Marquette last night was their fifth Big East road win this season and virtually guaranteed their at-large bid for March Madness. It wasn’t easy as Jimmy Butler went off for 30. The key for the Cats was their consistent scoring from their starters. Four players scored between 11 and 15 points, led by Cashmere Wright. The Cats are now playing for a seed, barring a loss to Georgetown and then a horrific loss in the Big East tournament opening game.

UAB: The Blazers won on a last second three by Preston Purifoy to keep their at-large hopes alive. In fact, they might be safer than most think. With a top 30 RPI, it’s going to be tough to justify the Blazers omission into March Madness.

Losers:

BYU Honor Code: Everybody else is praising this “code”. I’m here to throw a wet blanket over it. Are you kidding me? This is a situation where a player got caught doing what I’m sure a lot of BYU students escape campus to do. Expect this situation to be reversed and Brandon Davies to be reinstated after the MWC tournament.

Brigham Young: The Cougars lost last night, not because Davies wasn’t there, but because New Mexico continues to provide a matchup problem for the Cougars. The Lobos outscored the Cougars by 46-24 in the second half of the first matchup and then beat them by 18 last night. Every team these days has a bad matchup, BYU is a bad matchup for SDSU and the Lobos are bad for the Cougars.

Florida State: The Noles let a golden opportunity to secure their at-large bid slip away when Harrison Barnes ripped out their throats with that last second three to win the game. As long as they go on the road and beat the Wolfpack on Sunday, they should be dancing. They showed they belonged without Singleton during the past few weeks.

Connecticut: Along with Villanova, the Huskies appear to be feeling the effects of the treacherous Big East schedule. They have one more with the Irish on Saturday before the Big East tournament. They need to take a few days to rediscover what made them a top 10 team before conference play began. Specifically, Kemba Walker needs to break down the game tape of when he’s most effective and also needs to do a better job of identifying opposing defenses. He doesn’t adjust.

Marquette: Every conference seems to have one. A team that can’t seal their at-large bid and the Golden Eagles are the Big East’s candidate. Despite Jimmy Butler’s 30 points, they couldn’t stop the Bearcats offensively as Cincy shot 50% from the field.

Memphis: East Carolina? Winning the CUSA tournament in El Paso is going to be tougher than in Memphis.

Colorado: Here’s another team that can’t accept being on the bubble with a chance to secure a spot. It’s going to take multiple wins in KC for the Buffs to dance.

Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles needed to keep winning, but lost a heartbreaker on the last second three. The bad bubble might help, but they need to win probably 3 more games to get in.

Thursday’s Notable Games: RPI in ()

(35) UCLA at (41) Washington: ESPN2 at 9 EST

(78) USC at (70) Washington St: 10 EST

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

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.