Sunday, November 23, 2014

11/23 preview

Puerto Rico finishes up, UConn/WVU is your title game
Charleston Classic finishes up, Miami/Charlotte is your title game
Paradise Jam semis:  Gardner-Webb/Seton Hall, Old Dominion/Illinois St.  Yikes
HoF tipoff, day 2:  UMass/FSU and Notre Dame/Provi

In non-tourney action:
South Florida at NC State intrigues me a bit
North Carolina Central plays at Creighton in a gettable game
UC Irvine at St Mary's is my game of the day
Long Beach St at UCLA

11/22 recap

Impact result of the day:
@Rhode Island 66, Nebraska 62 (OT) - Not a lot of harm to Nebraska's resume, but a top 25 team should win this game more often than not.  Big, big get for URI, A-10 won't be as strong this year so a quality non-con scalp goes a long way towards an at-large bid

HOF Tip-Off:
Notre Dame 81, UMass 68
Providence 80, Florida St 54 - well, that's not good for the ACC

Coaches v Cancer:
Duke 70, Stanford 59
UNLV 57, Temple 50

Paradise Jam consy bracket:
Clemson 59, Nevada 50
LSU 72, Weber St 58

Appalachian St 65, @Virginia Tech 63 - and the ACC is hurting itself AGAIN
@Mississippi St 71, Utah St 63 - it's news now when a SEC school holds serve
@Richmond 80, High Point 56
North Carolina 90, Davidson 72
Omaha 97, @Marquette 89 - well, Marquette is in full rebuilding mode now
@Northwestern 68, Elon 67 (OT) - that was close
@Wyoming 56, Colorado 33
@Louisiana Tech 63, American 44
@UTEP 77, New Mexico St 76 - NMSU has to schedule up because of the WAC and are paying for it
@Wisconsin 78, Boise St 54

Saturday, November 22, 2014

11/22 preview

Boise St at Wisconsin - House money chance for Boise to get a signature win
Colorado at Wyoming - Big chance for both teams for an early win.  Both are in the vicinity of the bubble
Nebraska at Rhode Island - Some have URI labeled as a tournament team.  Big chance right away to get the win to prove it.  And for Nebraska, this would be a quality road win
North Carolina vs. Davidson at a neutral site
American at Louisiana Tech - Patriot favorites at CUSA favorites?  Sign me up

In tournament action:

The Hall of Fame Tip-Off is underway.  Day 1:  Notre Dame/UMass, FSU/Providence
Coaches vs Cancer:  finals of Stanford/Duke tonight
A couple tournaments take a day off

11/21 recap

Game of the day:
@Virginia 59, George Washington 42 - Virginia solidifies its status as a potential protected seed, GWU isn't hurt by this, but definitely not helped

Around the tournaments:

Coaches v. Cancer:
Duke 74, Temple 54
Stanford 89, UNLV 60 - Boy, I thought UNLV was better than this

2K Classic:
Texas 71, California 55 - This could be a big year for the Big 12.  This is a start
Syracuse 66, Iowa 63 - Iowa walks away with the dreaded goose egg.  Plenty of chances to rebound though, no worries

Charleston (semis):
Miami 79, Akron 51 - Not a trivial result for Miami, it's a decent win and this team might be a lot better than we thought
Charlotte 65, South Carolina 63 - There's the SEC we know and love.  Miami/Charlotte in the finals
USC 72, Drexel 70
Penn St 72, Cornell 71

Puerto Rico (semis):
UConn 75, Dayton 64 - UConn taking care of business so far
West Virginia 70, Boston College 66 - UConn/WVU finals
Texas A&M 59, Charleston 50
New Mexico 69, George Mason 58 - After a bad loss, a mandatory win for UNM

Paradise Jam (quarters):
Gardner-Webb 72, Clemson 70
Seton Hall 68, Nevada 60
Old Dominion 70, LSU 61 - It's not a complete day until the SEC blows a game they should've had
Illinois St 73, Weber St 64

@Kentucky 89, Boston 65
@Oregon 78, Toledo 68 - Pretty good chance for Toledo to barge into the at-large fray, but it goes begging
@Florida 61, Louisiana-Monroe 56 (OT) - Holy crap what are you doing Florida?
@Xavier 81, Stephen F Austin 63 - Ok, now we know why SFA schedules so soft every year - they aren't actually that good
Iona 85, @Wake Forest 81 - Ouch for Wake, but hey...MAAC favorites, on the road at an ACC bottomfeeder?  Seems like a reasonable result
@Colorado St 80, Georgia St 70 - GSU was everyone's favorite mid-major darling coming into the year.  Should they have won this game?  It might've been too much of an ask, sure, but they're behind the at-large 8 ball a little bit.  They have roadies remaining with ODU and Green Bay in the non-con...they need to get one, and maybe both, because the rest of their SoS will be awful
@Long Beach St 69, Kansas St 60 - And here was what I was talking about yesterday.  This won't hurt KSU as much as you think
@Hawaii 74, Pittsburgh 70 - And this will hurt Pitt, but again, true road game on the way to Maui.  Committee won't punish them too much for this.  Don't overreact on these last 2 results

Friday, November 21, 2014

11/21 preview

Impact game of the day:
George Washington at Virginia - I have GWU around the bubble conversation....obviously a win over Virginia has immediate resume impact

At New York, the 2K Classic:
Syracuse vs. Iowa - Syracuse dropped an iffy one to Cal, don't want to have to make up at-large ground in ACC play
Texas vs. California

At Brooklyn, the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic begins:
UNLV vs. Stanford - Winner gets a good neutral win for the resume and a free shot at Duke.  Loser gets a garbage game with Temple.  High stakes
Temple vs. Duke

At the Charleston Classic:
USC/Drexel and Penn St/Cornell in the consy bracket
Charlotte/South Carolina and Akron/Miami in the winners bracket

At Puerto Rico:
Texas A&M/Charleston and New Mexico/George Mason in the consy bracket.  UNM really needs to sweep these next 2 games
Dayton/UConn and Boston College/West Virginia in the winners bracket.  I'm highlighting the Dayton/UConn game as big for Dayton, and if BC is actually good...this is a house money chance for them

The Paradise Jam gets underway.  LSU/Old Dominion is my game of the day there.  Clemson/Gardner-Webb, Seton Hall/Nevada, Illinois St/Weber St

Non-tournament games of note:
Toledo at Oregon - well technically it's a tournament game, but one of those buy games before the actual neutral site games.  Anyways, if Toledo is actually good, which I think they are, this is a spot to steal a road win, IMO.
Stephen F Austin at Xavier - Hey, SFA has stepped up its schedule!  I don't think they'll be hurt one bit if they lose this game
Iona at Wake Forest - This is an eminently losable game for WF
Kansas St at Long Beach St - Don't laugh, this would be a good road win for the resume for KSU, and a loss doesn't even hurt that badly
Pittsburgh at Hawaii - Pitt is on the way to Maui, one shot at a mini-boost for the resume with a road win

11/20 recap

Impact result of the day:
@Indiana 74, SMU 68 - For Indiana, a good win to start.  They're a bubble team this year, so every scalp matters.  The real news is SMU.  2 road games at Gonzaga, and Indiana.  There's no sin in losing either game individually, but both?  For a team that lost out on the NCAAs last year because of a weak SoS, whiffing your signature win chances in the non-con isn't a good way to start.  Chances will be limited for them in conference play.  They host Arkansas and UCSB...and go to Michigan...and that's about it for the non-con chances.

2K Classic:
Texas 71, Iowa 57
California 73, Syracuse 59 - I'll admit I'm a bit surprised.  These 4 teams feel more even right now than you'd think

Puerto Rico:
Dayton 55, Texas A&M 53
UConn 65, Charleston 57
Boston College 69, New Mexico 65 - Perhaps the only mild upset in this tournament.  New Mexico is now trapped in the bad half of the draw, and remember, the Mountain West is down.  UNM kinda needed these quality win chances and won't get them now
West Virginia 91, George Mason 65

Charleston Classic:
Akron 66, USC 46
Miami 66, Drexel 46
Charlotte 106, Penn St 97 (2OT)
South Carolina 69, Cornell 45

@San Diego St 51, Cal St-Bakersfield 27 - yeah, 27
@Purdue 82, Grambling 30 - boy, there's some bad offense going around
Niagara 61, @St Peter's 59 - irrelevant game.  But I'm pointing this out because;  It's a conference game!  Conference play is ALREADY underway!  My God, MAAC.  What are you doing
@St Mary's 78, Denver 62

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Neutral site tournaments, part 1: the pre-Thanksgiving week rush

This is part 1 in a multi-part series, previewing all neutral site tournaments and their bracket impact.  Let's see what's at stake:

Puerto Rico Tip-Off (November 20, 21, 23)
Texas A&M vs. Dayton
Charleston vs. Connecticut
New Mexico vs. Boston College
George Mason vs. West Virginia

A field of moderate strength, with the clear top 4 teams not playing each other in the quarterfinals.  The battle is for the top 4 (Dayton, UConn, UNM, WVU) to avoid a bad loss, and then to pick up 2 chances at quality wins.  It's a spot where avoiding the bad loss might actually matter more to the likes of UNM and Dayton.

Charleston Classic (November 20, 21, 23)
USC vs. Akron
Drexel vs. Miami
Penn St vs. Charlotte
Cornell vs. South Carolina

Eclectic field here.  I'm not sure a single one of these teams can call themselves an at-large team at this point.  So some of the wins available in this tourney aren't as valuable as you think.  On the other hand, 3 neutral-site wins is a good thing to have in your back pocket in March.  Chances for Miami (coming off a win over Florida) to establish itself as a NCAA team by winning all 3.  I can't imagine either USC or Penn St being legit contenders for the NCAAs....Akron and Charlotte could, and winning this tournament is a good first step.  One thing is clear:  multiple losses in this tourney will be crippling.

2K Sports Classic (November 20-21)
Texas vs. Iowa
Syracuse vs. California

Cal is probably a tier down from the top 3 here.  Despite the great field, this is kind of a non-event in my eyes.  Yes, winning these games would be great, for everyone, but each of these 4 teams will get many more similar chances at quality wins later.

Paradise Jam (November 21-24)
Clemson vs. Gardner-Webb
Seton Hall vs. Nevada
LSU vs. Old Dominion
Illinois St vs. Weber St

LSU is the best team in this field and needs to act like it, because this thing is full of at-large mines.  It's more important to avoid a bad loss in this thing than anything else.  Underwhelming field.  Clemson and Seton Hall are a bit off the at-large pace; a couple of wins here would help immensely.  Also, ODU is a rising team, and an upset of LSU would at least get them on my radar this early in the season.

Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (November 21-22)
Stanford vs. UNLV
Duke vs. Temple

Temple is poop this year, so Duke should handle.  Stanford/UNLV feels like a classic bubble game.  Lose it, and you get a worthless game with Temple.  Win it, and you get a house money shot at Duke.  That is a high-stakes game right there.

Hall of Fame Tip-Off (November 22-23)
UMass vs. Notre Dame
Providence vs. Florida St
UMass vs. Florida St
Providence vs. Notre Dame

4 bubble teams.  Well, they're in various states near the bubble, but you get the picture.  The stakes are pretty straightforward, I think.