Tuesday, November 29, 2016

11/28 recap

Kentucky 115, Arizona St 69 - I love that this game existed.  This was played at a neutral site, more specifically the rave arena at which the Battle 4 Atlantis is played.  So Kentucky, not being in the Atlantis field, just to feel special, scheduled a neutral site game against a terrible power conference team, just to feel special.  GTFO Calipari

Butler 68, @Utah 59 - signature win?  Yes, because road wins are signature wins
@Oregon 68, Boise St 63
@Florida St 75, Minnesota 67
@Northwestern 65, Wake Forest 58 - both ACC/B1G games go as scripted, good news for FSU/NU, not that much harm to the losers

Monday, November 28, 2016

11/28 S-CURVE

It's still pretty early for this.

The 1 line:  Villanova (6-0), Kentucky (6-0), North Carolina (6-0), Kansas (5-1)
The 2 line:  Duke (6-1), Xavier (6-0), Virginia (6-0), Arizona (5-1)
The 3 line:  Baylor (6-0), Indiana (4-1), Gonzaga (6-0), UCLA (7-0)
The 4 line:  Creighton (6-0), Louisville (4-1), Purdue (5-1), Iowa St (5-1)
The 5 line:  Michigan St (4-3), South Carolina (6-0), Butler (6-0), Wisconsin (5-2)
The 6 line:  St Mary's (5-0), Michigan (5-1), West Virginia (4-1), Cincinnati (5-1)
The 7 line:  Dayton (4-2), Florida (6-1), Oregon (4-2), Texas A&M (4-2)
The 8 line:  Oklahoma (4-1), Rhode Island (5-1), Wichita St (5-2), Notre Dame (6-0)
The 9 line:  Michigan (5-1), Maryland (6-0), San Diego St (2-1), USC (6-0)
The 10 line:  Florida St (5-1), Syracuse (4-1), California (4-1), VCU (5-1)
The 11 line:  Pittsburgh (5-1), Seton Hall (4-2), Virginia Tech (5-1), Auburn (4-1), Ohio St (6-0)
The 12 line:  Northern Iowa (2-2), SMU (4-2), Valparaiso (5-1), Chattanooga (3-2), Iona (3-2)
The 13 line:  Middle Tennesse (5-1), Akron (5-1), UNC-Wilmington (4-1), Arkansas St (5-1)
The 14 line:  North Dakota St (3-2), Texas Southern (4-2), Tennessee St (5-0), Columbia (3-2)
The 15 line:  Vermont (5-2), Eastern Washington (4-2), Hawaii (3-3), New Mexico St (4-2)
The 16 line:  Stephen F Austin (1-1), Bucknell (5-2), FGCU (3-3), Long Island (4-1), Winthrop (2-2), North Carolina Central (3-2)

Next 4 in:
Seton Hall
Virginia Tech

Last 4 in:
Ohio St
Northern Iowa

Last 4 out:

Next 4 out:
Oklahoma St

11/27 recap

Advocare Inv:
Gonzaga 73, Iowa St 71 - such an important signature win for Gonzaga
Florida 65, Miami 56
Stanford 66, Seton Hall 52
Quinnipiac 80, Indiana St 77

Wooden Legacy:
UCLA 74, Texas A&M 67 - I'm not sure anything in this tourney counts as a signature win, but it's still very important for UCLA
Virginia Tech 66, Nebraska 53
Dayton 64, New Mexico 57 - after a bad loss, Dayton limits the damage
Portland 96, Cal St-Northridge 78

@St Mary's 76, UAB 63
San Jose St 88, @Washington St 76 - lol

11/26 recap

Emerald Coast Classic:
Virginia 63, Providence 52 - 2 standard wins for UVa here
Memphis 100, Iowa 92 - so much for Iowa

Great Alaska Shootout:
Iona 75, Nevada 73 - Iona gets the 3-0 record here, boon to the MAAC.  This hurts Nevada and the MWC a bit
Buffalo 74, Weber St 72
Oakland 79, UC Davis 66
Alaska-Anchorage 74, Drake 69 - oh no

Barclays Center Classic:
Maryland 69, Kansas St 68
Richmond 67, Boston College 54

Global Sports Classic:
TCU 93, Washington 80 - maybe neither of these teams are relevant after all
UNLV 71, Western Kentucky 61

@Xavier 64, Northern Iowa 42 - second time they played in a week, extension of a tourney.  UNI whiffs twice, but the Oklahoma win will soften this blow
South Carolina 64, Syracuse 50 - it's technically neutral court, but it was Syracuse friendly.  And now USC piles this win on top of Michigan and there's something here, folks
@UMass 70, Harvard 66 and @Vermont 67, Yale 65 - yikes, Ivies
Penn St 74, @George Washington 68 - road wins!
Utah Valley 114, @BYU 101 - catastrophic loss of the day, WCC really needed that 3rd relevant team to help out the top two

Sunday, November 27, 2016

11/25 recap

Battle 4 Atlantis:
Baylor 66, Louisville 63 - all of a sudden, Baylor has wins over Oregon, N-MSU, and N-Louisville already.  Big-time resume is forming here
Michigan St 77, Wichita St 72 - Michigan St was kind of in a desperate position given their insane schedule, this win will do for now.  Wichita, meanwhile is now in a bit of bubble trouble
VCU 85, LSU 74
Old Dominion 63, St John's 55

Wooden Legacy:
UCLA 82, Nebraska 71
Texas A&M 68, Virginia Tech 65 - a swing game between probable bubble teams, more important than you think
New Mexico 105, Cal St-Northridge 89
Dayton 84, Portland 74

Temple 81, West Virginia 77 - So Temple blew a couple early games, and mostly erase that with WVU and FSU wins.  We'll see where it leads, I'm not sure what to make of them yet
Florida St 72, Illinois 61

Las Vegas Inv:
Butler 69, Arizona 65 - there's the signature win siren going off.  Pac-12 isn't the greatest conference, so this might hurt Arizona more than you think
Vanderbilt 76, Santa Clara 66

Advocare Inv:
Gonzaga 77, Florida 72 - very important quality win for Gonzaga, must get them before conference play
Iowa St 73, Miami 56 - Gonzaga/Iowa St in this final, that's good for both
Stanford 65, Indiana St 62
Seton Hall 90, Quinnipiac 79

Emerald Coast Classic:
Virginia 74, Iowa 41
Providence 60, Memphis 51

Great Alaska Shootout:
Oakland 71, Alaska-Anchorage 65
UC Davis 64, Drake 58
Nevada 67, Buffalo 62
Iona 76, Weber St 54

Barclays Center Classic:
Kansas St 72, Boston College 54
Maryland 88, Richmond 82 (OT) - that was almost a disaster

Global Sports Classic:
Washington 86, Western Kentucky 47
TCU 63, UNLV 59

@USC 78, SMU 73 - as always, these swing games matter more to the team from the lesser conference. Missed chance for SMU
Lehigh 87, @Mississippi St 73 - good Patriot team beats bad SEC team.  Don't overreact
Fresno St 63, @Oregon St 58 - don't overreact to this either
@California 71, Wyoming 61

Saturday, November 26, 2016

11/24 recap

I'm behind.  So sue me.

Battle 4 Atlantis:
Louisville 62, Wichita St 52
Baylor 73, Michigan St 58 - it's tough to get a read on the value of a win over Izzo given their murderous schedule so far.  For now, we can still assume it's a signature win, and Baylor's resume has some speed now
VCU 75, St John's 69
LSU 66, Old Dominion 60

Las Vegas Inv.:
Arizona 69, Santa Clara 61
Butler 76, Vanderbilt 66 - Butler gets the signature win chance tomorrow

Advocare Inv:
Gonzaga 82, Quinnipiac 62
Iowa St 73, Indiana St 71
Miami 67, Stanford 53
Florida 81, Seton Hall 76 - the 4 best teams probably won in the quarterfinals here, so the winners are going to get 2 reasonably valuable games.  It's nice when things work out like this

Wooden Legacy:
UCLA 99, Portland 77
Texas A&M 95, Cal St-Northridge 73
Virginia Tech 92, New Mexico 72 - a pretty positive sign that VaTech is moving in the right direction, and a really bad sign for UNM and the Mountain West in general
Nebraska 80, Dayton 78 - oops, for Dayton, and a very important win for Nebraska.  NU gets two shots at quality wins, and Dayton is now trapped on the side of the bracket with absolutely zero resume impact.  All of a sudden, Dayton's resume is going to look a lot lighter than it should.  Could be the most damaging loss of the day right here

West Virginia 89, Illinois 57
Temple 89, Florida St 86 - disaster for FSU, as Temple was off to a pretty bad start.  Now not getting a shot at WVU either, which is a modest hit to the SoS

Great Alaska Shootout:
Iona 64, Drake 53
Weber St 86, UC Davis 58

@Binghamton 72, Long Beach St 64 - just pointing this out, LBSU has played a brutal non-con this year, but another road game, this time at a minnow, and another loss.  So tough to figure out if this means LBSU is plain bad or if this is just wear and tear

Friday, November 25, 2016

11/23 recap

North Carolina 71, Wisconsin 56 - UNC with an early statement for the 1 line
Oklahoma St 97, Georgetown 70
Oregon 79, UConn 69
Tennessee 95, Chaminade 81 - outside of a GU>OU upset, Maui goes according to form

Battle 4 Atlantis:
Louisville 68, Old Dominion 62 (OT) - near disaster for everyone involved
Baylor 71, VCU 63 - Baylor wins the mega-important swing game and VCU is trapped on the wrong end of the bracket
Michigan St 73, St John's 62
Wichita St 82, LSU 47

Charleston Classic:
Villanova 63, Charleston 47

Purdue 96, Auburn 71

Gulf Coast Showcase:
Kent St 66, Wofford 59
George Mason 77, Bradley 66
Hofstra 65, South Dakota 57
Houston 72, Vermont 71 - 3 neutral court wins for Houston, we'll see if it matters down the road

MGM Grand Main Event:
Alabama 62, St Louis 57
Valparaiso 92, BYU 89 - words can't describe how big this is for Valpo, the team is light on resume building chances

Great Alaska Shootout:
Buffalo 85, Alaska-Anchorage 79
Nevada 82, Oakland 78

@South Carolina 61, Michigan 46 - the lesson, as always:  road win are tough to get

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Non-conference tournaments, part III: Thanksgiving

Battle 4 Atlantis:
VCU vs. Baylor
Michigan St vs. St John's
Wichita St vs. LSU
Louisville vs. Old Dominion
The stakes:  Michigan St and Louisville are the two best teams, and it would be a stark failure for either to reach the final.  Signature win chance looms in the final, though.

VCU/Baylor is one heck of a swing game.  Winner gets Michigan St and a probable chance at Wichita.  Loser gets trapped in a bracket with St John's, LSU, and ODU.  Biiiiiig difference.  Resume-defining difference.  That game is for the world for both teams.

Wichita will be looking just to beat LSU and take their two chances at quality wins.  Everyone else would do real good just to not be in the losers' bracket.

Great Alaska Shootout:
Buffalo vs. Alaska-Anchorage
Oakland vs. Nevada
UC Davis vs. Weber St
Drake vs. Iona
The stakes:  Rough downgrade for the GAS, no one in here represents a signature win chance.  Still, as I've mentioned, neutral court wins have value, and someone's getting 3 of them.  I think Nevada is closest to the at-large board, but this should be a wide-open tournament.

Advocare Invitational:
Indiana St vs. Iowa St
Stanford vs. Miami
Gonzaga vs. Quinnipiac
Seton Hall vs. Florida
The stakes:  Here's a tournament that represents what can go right or wrong in a tournament.  Gonzaga represents a signature win chance...Miami, Iowa St, Stanford, Florida could all vary from great opponents to non-NCAA opponents...and there's a landmine in Indiana St and Quinnipiac.  All you can do if you're any of these teams is win and hope.  If you're Gonzaga, hope you win and then the SHU/UF winner turns out to be good.  Same for Iowa St and Stanford/Miami.  There's a lot of hope that the next team you line up against ends up being good.  Every year there's a tournament where the losers bracket ends up with a really good team, and the winner of the tournament doesn't even get a quality win out of the tourney.  This feels like that tournament to me this year.

Temple vs. Florida St
Illinois vs. West Virginia
The stakes:  Given that Temple and Illinois appear to be poop, it's mega-important for FSU and WVU to hold serve, and then take their chance at a quality win.

Wooden Legacy:
Texas A&M vs. Cal St-Northridge
New Mexico vs. Virginia Tech
Dayton vs. Nebraska
Portland vs. UCLA
The stakes:  For teams like VaTech and New Mexico, a very important first game to get on the bracket side with A&M and UCLA.  Loser gets trapped.  Same with Dayton/Nebraska, but Dayton should win that.  Other than that, this will be all about which teams can't hold serve.

Las Vegas Invitational:
Vanderbilt vs. Butler
Arizona vs. Santa Clara
The stakes:  Vandy/Butler is clear.  One chance at a good win and a house money chance against Arizona.  Simple stakes.

Emerald Coast Classic:
Virginia vs. Iowa
Memphis vs. Providence
The stakes:  Nothing special.  Chances at quality wins, nothing resume-defining in this tourney unless someone beats Virginia.

Barclays Center Classic:
Maryland vs. Richmond
Kansas St vs. Boston College
The stakes:  If Maryland doesn't win, something will have gone horribly wrong.

Savannah Invitational:
Mercer vs. East Carolina
Akron vs. Air Force
The stakes:  Likely no bracket impact, but a couple decent neutral court wins are available here, and it may be worth a seed line for a conference champ in March.

Global Sports Classic:
Washington vs. Western Kentucky
The stakes:  Meh.  Washington should handle this.

11/22 recap

North Carolina 107, Oklahoma St 75
Wisconsin 73, Georgetown 57 - Wisky/UNC is a pretty nice game, albeit optional for both schools' case at a 1 seed.  G'town/OSU is much more interesting from a bubble perspective
Oregon 69, Tennessee 65 (OT)
UConn 93, Chaminade 82

Legends Classic:
Colorado 68, Texas 54 - UT takes the damaging 0-2 here
Notre Dame 70, Northwestern 66 - and ND leaves with 2 quality neutral wins

CBE HoF Classic:
Kansas 65, Georgia 54
UAB 81, George Washington 74

Cancun Challenge:
Pudue 85, Utah St 64
Auburn 67, Texas Tech 65

Gulf Coast Showcase:
Bradley 70, Wofford 62
George Mason 79, Kent St 75
Vermont 87, Hofstra 73
Houston 85, South Dakota 58 - Houston/Vermont for this title, probably the best 2 teams in the field already

@Fort Wayne 71, Indiana 68 - and with that, no power conference team will ever play a road game ever again.  In all seriousness, as long as IPFW lives up to their Summit League favorites status, Indiana won't be hurt by this.  Road losses happen.  The real trick will be IPFW turning this into an at-large resume moment
@Pittsburgh 75, Yale 70
Holy Cross 63, @Harvard 52 - notable as the Ivy favorites aren't supposed to lose this kind of home game
@Minnesota 85, Arkansas 71
@Tulsa 75, Oregon St 64
@Washington 94, Long Beach St 88

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

11/21 recap

Georgetown 65, Oregon 61 - disaster for Oregon, not for the loss, but because all the other top teams are on the other half of the bracket and will miss all the big teams in the tourney
Wisconsin 74, Tennessee 62
North Carolina 104, Chaminade 61
Oklahoma St 98, UConn 90

CBE HoF Classic:
Kansas 83, UAB 63
Georgia 81, George Washington 73 - important chance against Kansas coming up

Paradise Jam:
Creighton 86, Ole Miss 77 - not bad for Creighton, and really okay for Ole Miss too who got out of this one with 2 wins
Montana 68, Oral Roberts 47
Loyola(Chi) 88, Washington St 79
NC State 73, St Joseph's 63 - NC State doesn't come out too bad here, loss to Creighton will be forgivable in March

Legends Classic:
Northwestern 77, Texas 58 - the type of win that will matter in March
Notre Dame 89, Colorado 73 - ditto

Gulf Coast:
Vermont 60, Wofford 59
Hofstra 92, Bradley 90
South Dakota 80, Kent St 77
Houston 93, George Mason 56

MGM Grand Main Event:
BYU 92, St Louis 62
Valparaiso 68, Alabama 60 - so important for Valpo just to get to BYU instead of St Louis, big big deal for the at-large resume

@TCU 80, Illinois St 71 - time to eject on the MVC again
Texas Southern 67, @James Madison 56 - um, that's 4 road wins already for TSU
Winthrop 84, @Illinois 80 (OT) - uh
@San Diego St 77, California 65 - the result of the day.  This will be a very important win fo SDSU, especially since it's a roadie

Monday, November 21, 2016

Non-conference tournaments, part II: early Thanksgiving week

Covers pre-Thanksgiving day tourneys.

Tennessee vs. Wisconsin
Georgetown vs. Oregon
Oklahoma St vs. UConn
North Carolina vs. Chaminade
The stakes:  Lower than most years.  UNC kind of catches a bad break, as Chaminade ain't helping anyone's resume, UConn is in the tank, and OkState is okay but not a top team.  UNC will likely acquire several wins better than any semifinal could offer.

However, Oregon/UNC would be a prime matchup, and one that Oregon might need to make an argument for the 1 line.  Pac-12 has a minor perception problem where they're not considered as often for the 1 line.  Oregon winning three times with wins over Wisky and UNC would be a game-changer.

Wisky/Oregon would be a pretty sexy semifinal.  Each of these 4 games has a clear favorite, so we'll see if anyone gets out of line here.

Legends Classic:
Notre Dame vs. Colorado
Texas vs. Northwestern
The stakes:  4 teams in various states of bubble.  Each of the 4 likely expecting to be NCAA tourney teams, all have modest-to-good chances to get there.  Going 0-2 here would be damaging, 2-0 would be very solid.  This tournament analyzes itself, doesn't it?

Men Who Speak Up Main Event:
St Louis vs. BYU
Alabama vs. Valparaiso
The stakes:  Valpo is going to be a mid-major darling.  They'll get mentioned on at-large boards.  This means, right here, neutral site for 2 games....gotta win both.  To give themselves a realistic shot at an at-large, must win 2 neutral site games over a decent Bama team and a decent BYU team.  Valpo should absolutely root to play BYU, by the way.  Quality win chance trumps easier road to the tourney title.

CBE HoF Classic:
George Washington vs. Georgia
UAB vs. Kansas
The stakes:  Kind of a meh tourney for Kansas.  We can move on.  Georgia gets a signature win chance they need if they beat GW, but let's be real.

Cancun Classic:
Texas Tech vs. Auburn
Purdue vs. Utah St
The stakes:  Purdue seems to be a pretty sizable favorite, anything less than 2-0 is a disaster.  Auburn and TTU, if you're serious about the NCAAs this year, you have to beat the other.

Gulf Coast Showcase:
Vermont vs. Wofford
Hofstra vs. Bradley
Kent St vs. South Dakota
Houston vs. George Mason
The stakes:  Um.  Yeah.  Nothing to see here.  Well, almost nothing.  If a team like Vermont wins AEast, having a few neutral site wins like these might be worth a seed line.  Applies to Wofford and the SoCon too.  Other than that, pass.

11/20 recap

HoF Tipoff:
Duke 75, Rhode Island 64 - no harm, no foul to URI, a good neutral site win for Duke
Cincinnati 71, Penn St 50

Charleston Classic:
Villanova 67, Central Florida 57 - it's going to be tough for this tourney to hold any resume value for Nova (given they're worried more about the 1 line than anything else)
Boise St 91, Western Michigan 70
Mississippi St 61, UTEP 54 - these results don't help the perception of CUSA
Wake Forest 78, Charleston 61

Tire Pros Inv'l:
Xavier 67, Northern Iowa 59 - Xavier leaves with 3 neutral site wins, which is more valuable than you think
Oklahoma 70, Clemson 64 - Clemson didn't lose a bad game, but 1-2 hurts; more pressure in conference play to get quality wins
Missouri 67, Tulane 62
Davidson 68, Arizona St 60 - headline writers say "Davidson stuns Arizona St".  What.  What idiots

Paradise Jam:
Creighton 112, NC State 94 - and Creighton gets the tourney win and valuable neutral site wins here
Ole Miss 81, St Joseph's 68

@Virginia 62, Yale 38
@Michigan St 78, FGCU 77 - oy
@UCLA 114, Long Beach 77 - LBSU death march continues
@Stanford 56, Colorado St 49
@Arkansas St 73, Chattanooga 67 - and that's the road loss that actually hurts.  Chattanooga had a great start to the year and this happens

Sunday, November 20, 2016

11/19 recap

Light day, but two signature wins lurk in the rundown below.

HoF Tipoff:
Duke 78, Penn St 68
Rhode Island 76, Cincinnati 71 - a quality neutral win, and a shot at Duke for URI.  Not the best look for Cincy in a fading AAC

Paradise Jam:
Washington St 87, Montana 63
Loyola(Chi) 78, Oral Roberts 53

St Mary's 61, @Dayton 57 - this should be bolded, underlined, and everything.  A signature road win means everything to a team trapped in the WCC.  And this isn't the greatest for Dayton, but their resume will be okay
Texas Southern 77, @LaSalle 76 - that's 3 road wins for TSU already.  Worth noting

Saturday, November 19, 2016

11/18 recap

Charleston Classic:
Villanova 96, Wake Forest 77
Central Florida 60, Charleston 40 - Nova/UCF final.  Man, this tourney sucks
UTEP 85, Western Michigan 75
Mississippi St 80, Boise St 68 - not good for the MWC

Tire Pros Invitational:
Xavier 83, Clemson 77
Northern Iowa 73, Oklahoma 67 (OT) - and UNI gets the signature win chance against Xavier
Davidson 70, Missouri 55 - at least Davidson might get 2 P5 wins out of this, although even that won't have much value
Arizona St 80, Tulane 71

Paradise Jam:
St Joseph's 71, Loyola(Chi) 57
Ole Miss 95, Oral Roberts 88 (OT)
Creighton 103, Washington St 77
North Carolina St 85, Montana 72 - results in these quarterfinals go as expected.  Creighton could pick up a decent win over NCSU, we'll see

2K Classic:
Pittsburgh 78, Marquette 75 - solid neutral court victory
Michigan 76, SMU 54 - some urgency for SMU coming up against Marquette.  AAC is down, need to grab as many wins as possible OOC

USC 65, @Texas A&M 63 - road wins are never trivial
@Minnesota 92, St John's 86
@New Mexico 72, New Mexico St 59
@Nevada 83, Oregon St 58
North Carolina 83, @Hawaii 68 - road wins are never trivial

Friday, November 18, 2016

Non-conference tournaments, part I: pre-Thanksgiving

I'm doing posts to break down each exempt tournament in the non-conference.  This one will deal with the pre-Thanksgiving week ones.

Tire Pros Invitational:
Clemson vs. Davidson
Xavier vs. Missouri
Northern Iowa vs. Arizona St
Tulane vs. Oklahoma
The stakes:  A pretty solid tournament.  There's no signature wins, but the committee will pay attention to three-neutral site wins in a field like this.  Xavier and Oklahoma will have the pressure of probably being the best teams, while it's much more important for UNI and Davidson to pick off a few quality wins.  With a few marginal teams (see:  Tulane), it's important to get in the winners' bracket in this tournament.

Charleston Classic:
Western Michigan vs. Villanova
Wake Forest vs. UTEP
Mississippi St vs. Central Florida
Boise St vs. Charleston
The stakes: Villanova should roll.  For the other 7 teams, this is a freeroll chance to add a signature win over 'Nova.  It's tough to see a lot of value coming out of any other win in this tournament, but a couple of neutral site wins will have value.  Again, important to get in the winners' bracket, to better the chances of a win that will actually have impact.

2K Classic:
Pittsburgh vs. SMU
Michigan vs. Marquette
The stakes:  4 good teams who generally expect to be in the NCAA tournament.  0-2 isn't a disaster in this tournament, 2-0 means two quality neutral site wins.  The good news is everyone in this tourney is competent, so there's no mines to dodge.

Paradise Jam:
Loyola(Chi) vs. St Joseph's
Oral Roberts vs. Ole Miss
Montana vs. North Carolina St
Washington St vs. Creighton
The stakes:  Kind of a weird field.  Solid low-majors (Oral Bob, Montana), middling mid-majors, a couple marginal power conference teams, and Creighton.  Creighton is the favorite and might have to be more in a resume protection mode, as no single win in this field will carry a resume.  There's value in neutral court wins overall, but that's where the value stops in this tournament.

Hall of Fame Tip-Off:
Duke vs. Penn St
Cincinnati vs. Rhode Island
The stakes:  Cincy/URI is a sneaky good game between two probable tourney teams.  Duke will roll everyone in this tourney, though.

11/17 recap

Charleston Classic:
Villanova 76, Western Michigan 65
Wake Forest 103, UTEP 81
Central Florida 86, Mississippi St 61
Charleston 60, Boise St 47

Tire Pros Invitational:
Xavier 83, Missouri 82 (OT)
Clemson 95, Davidson 78 - the kind of swing game that the A-10 needs to win to make a step forward as a conference
Northern Iowa 82, Arizona St 63
Oklahoma 89, Tulane 70

2K Classic:
SMU 76, Pittsburgh 67 - this win has solid value
Michigan 79, Marquette 61

Regular 'ol games:
@Oregon 76, Valparaiso 54 - Valpo is good, this isn't a trivial win
@Louisville 88, Long Beach St 56 - good God, LBSU, stop doing this to yourself
Arkansas St 78, @Georgetown 72 - wat
Ohio St 72, Providence 67 - one power conference teams holds homecourt over the other.  Nothing to see here
Seton Hall 91, @Iowa 83 - road wins are never trivial; home losses aren't a good thing
@UConn 65, Loyola Marymount - road wins are never trivial, and good God did UConn need this

Thursday, November 17, 2016

11/16 recap

@California 75, UC-Irvine 65 (OT) - UCI is a competent team, but it's still not a good sign for Cal
@Butler 70, Northwestern 68
Miami 94, @North Florida 56 - road wins are never trivial
@Illinois St 75, IPFW 57 - interesting in that the top teams in the Summit have spent most of the first week losing some big chances at good wins
@Wichita St 80, Tulsa 53
Lamar 63, @Oregon St 60 - oy

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

11/15 recap

Kansas 77, Duke 75 - I suppose it mattered more for Kansas to get a quality win on the board, but we won't know the impact of this win until March and we have a clearer idea of what the 1 line would look like
Kentucky 69, Michigan St 48 - Michigan St will need some quality wins at some point, but no reason to panic.  Margin of victory is important to a Kentucky team that will be light on quality wins because of the SEC

@Baylor 66, Oregon 49 - it's tough to win road games, I get it.  But these are the games 1 seeds in March win
@Creighton 79, Wisconsin 67 - again, it's tough to win road games.  I see this as Creighton holding serve as a solid tournament team for now
Dayton 77, @Alabama 72 - not good for the SEC; really good for Dayton
@South Carolina 70, Monmouth 69 (OT) - I still think Monmouth will be good but man, this really deflates the party early on
Maryland 76, @Georgetown 75 - quality road win for Maryland.  Not the most crushing loss for GU, but it does remove some margin of error on the bubble

We're slowly starting to see other teams ramp up....Penn St beats a decent Grand Canyon team at home....Florida St over Iona at home...Middle Tennessee over Murray St at home...K-State over Omaha...VCU played a roadie at Liberty for some reason and won...Vandy over Belmont.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

11/14 recap

Villanova 79, @Purdue 76 - these road wins matter when you're arguing for a 1 seed in March.  Quality win, and a no-harm loss for Purdue
@Gonzaga 69, San Diego St 48 - SDSU can still be fine, but this isn't a good look for the resume.  Important win for Gonzaga to establish at-large credentials before entering league play
@Cincinnati 74, Albany 51 - huh, didn't see this MOV coming
New Hampshire 57, @Temple 52 - not optimal for the American
Northeastern 64, @UConn 61 - and REALLY not optimal for the American
Furman 84, @UAB 74 - that's the CUSA favorites losing at home to Furman, not a good look for CUSA
@Ohio St 69, North Carolina Central 63 - about as close as I expected
@BYU 82, Princeton 73 - this could count as a quality win in March

Monday, November 14, 2016

24-hour Tip-Off Marathon

It's time to preview an artificially-created marketing tool for ESPN!

Now, there's actually a few decent games in here, so it's worth planning in advance to see which games are relevant.

Monday 7 EST:  Albany at Cincinnati
Monday 9 EST:  North Carolina Central at Ohio St
I lump these two games together - competent mid-majors at vulnerable power conference schools.  Odds feel good that someone gets an upset in one of these games.

Monday 10 EST:  Princeton at BYU
It's been a quiet ascension, but the top half of the Ivy League is now good.  This is a winnable game for Princeton, and a must-hold for BYU and the WCC in general.

Tuesday 12a EST:  San Diego St at Gonzaga
What a sexy game.  It's likely neither team will need this in order to make the tournament, so this is about seeding.  For both teams, quality win chances are small in February and March, so these really matter.

After this, there's a bunch of games in the middle of the night that I just can't endorse.

Tuesday 1 EST:  Dayton at Alabama
Such an important, important game for the SEC.  They need to legitimize themselves.  Holding serve at home over a A-10 favorite is the type of result they need.

Tuesday 330 EST:  Oregon at Baylor
Road wins are always valuable.  1 seeds win this game.  3 or 4 seeds lose this game.  Oregon, are you 1-line worthy?

Tuesday 7 EST:  Kentucky vs. Michigan St
Tuesday 930 EST:  Duke vs. Kansas
I hear these teams are good.

11/13 recap

Another day where there's very little impact.  All of the big teams are taking this weekend off ahead of big games in the next couple of weeks, or are playing cupcakes with success.

Not many game-changers out there in terms of impact wins.

@Colorado St 64, New Mexico St 61 - interesting to me only because NMSU is trapped in the WAC, so these losses matter more to them than it does to other teams
Yale 98, @Washington 90 - here's one mild upset.  I'm not sure Washington is any good, but this is good news for the Ivy League as a whole
@Wichita St 92, Long Beach St 55 - good God, Monson, schedule down every once in awhile
@North Carolina 97, Chattanooga 57 - no big deal for Chattanooga, they got a split in their first two roadies which is perfectly fine

There's a slew of big name schools that held serve...pretty quiet day overall.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

11/12 recap

I'm having trouble coming up with a post because I see a few teams who held serve as big favorites....and basically no game-changing results.

So carry on with your day then.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

11/11 recap

It's the return of the daily recaps.  A reminder as to what these posts include:

- These will be short, we're looking just for quick-hitting thoughts
- I'm not listing out scores where top teams play cupcakes.  Duke beating Marist by eleventy billion doesn't change anything for us, so we'll just ignore it
- We pay attention to who gets quality wins, who blew their chances at one, and who suffered losses that will look bad in March

Let's Go:

Indiana 103, Kansas 99 - usually, analysis for this kind of game is useless in November.  We'll see where both teams are in March and see how much value this win/loss holds.
@Xavier 84, Lehigh 81 - notable only in the margin of victory; we'll keep Lehigh in the back of our minds as the non-con season marches forward to see if there's something here
Arizona 65, Michigan St 63 - see Indiana/Kansas comment
@St Mary's 81, Nevada 63 - Nevada's pretty good, so this was a non-trivial hold by St Mary's.
Wagner 67, @UConn 58 - and there's your catastrophic loss of the day.  Wagner might win the NEC, but UConn has to handle any NEC team with ease
Marquette 95, Vanderbilt 71
Chattanooga 82, @Tennessee 69 - there's your SoCon favorites with a quality road win early
Albany 87, @Penn St 81 - again, quality mid-majors getting early quality road wins
@Clemson 74, Georgia 64 - this is the type of game bubble teams have to win....two bubble teams here
@Arkansas 92, Fort Wayne 83 - proof that not all quality mid-majors got a quality road win last night
@Stanford 80, Harvard 70

Friday, November 11, 2016

11/11 S-CURVE

A new season begins, and your first S-Curve of the season is below.  This is mostly the same as the offseason bracket, with a few tweaks here and there.

In the preseason bracket, I would argue it's more important to look at my conference breakdown rather than the individual teams.  Sure, of course teams get bids and not conferences, but for preseason projections, I like to look at the relative strength of each conference.  The strength will be an indicator of how many quality wins will be available in each conference, which will influence the likelihood of increased bids in the conference.  I would look at the conference breakdown as a rough guide of how good I expect each conference to be, and how easy it'll be for them to get more bids.

More specifically:
- ACC will be strong.  I have 8/15 getting in, that could easily be more than 8.
- I expect a mild rebound from the Mountain West, getting a 2nd team back in, and I expect the WCC Top 2 to keep clear of the bubble.
- The top of the SEC will be a bit stronger, but they only have 4 bids.  I see very little depth.  This won't hurt Kentucky, but it will hurt all of the bubble teams needing quality wins.  My Auburn call is a bit of a hunch, though.
- The other power conferences lurk around the 50% mark in getting at-large bids, give or take a team.  This is pretty standard.
- I'm probably selling the American conference short with only 3 teams, but I can't figure out who that 4th team will be.  I'll wait and see there.

Individual team calls I'm leaning on:
- Monmouth will get their vengeance this year.
- Marquette/VT/Auburn is a trio of teams on my 9 line that are my bolder calls.  There's room for each team in their conference to settle into the middle of the pack.
- I'm not completely sold on New Mexico being that 2nd MWC team, or Davidson being that 4th A-10 team, but I like the odds of those conferences posting a 2nd team and 4th team, respectively.
- I feel like the odds are the MVC gets 2 teams in, but I just didn't find room in this initial bracket.
- One note after the fact:  some have 10 or 11 ACC teams in their bracket.  It's not impossible, but let's slow your collective roll until we see evidence they should get that many.  If you're wondering why Syracuse is off the board....I had to take a couple ACC teams off the board for balance...made my call with them over others.

One tradition has died this year.  The traditional MAC at-large bid I give out in my first bracket of the year has been eliminated.  RIP.

The 1 line: Duke, Villanova, Kansas, Oregon
The 2 line: Kentucky, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan St
The 3 line: Virginia, Xavier, Arizona, Iowa St
The 4 line: Louisville, Indiana, UCLA, UConn
The 5 line: Dayton, Purdue, Gonzaga, Texas A&M
The 6 line: Baylor, California, Creighton, Rhode Island
The 7 line: West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Miami
The 8 line: Wichita St, Maryland, Cincinnati, Colorado
The 9 line: Marquette, Virginia Tech, Auburn, St Mary's
The 10 line: Monmouth, Texas, Notre Dame, VCU
The 11 line: San Diego St, Florida St, USC, Seton Hall
The 12 line: Oklahoma, Davidson, New Mexico, SMU, Valparaiso, Harvard
The 13 line: Akron, Towson, Long Beach St, North Dakota St
The 14 line: Chattanooga, Texas-Arlington, Belmont, UAB
The 15 line: Weber St, Lehigh, Vermont, North Florida
The 16 line: Winthrop, Sam Houston St, Fairleigh Dickinson, New Mexico St, South Carolina St, Texas Southern

Next 4 in:
Florida St
Seton Hall

Last 4 in:
New Mexico

Last 4 out:
Illinois St
Northern Iowa

Next 4 out:
Ohio St

Break it down!
Big 12 6
Big 10 6
Pac-12 6
Big East 5
A-10 4

Thursday, November 10, 2016


I haven't completely checked previous years matchups and some other obscure bracket rules for now....this is preseason, dammit.  I'll worry about that as the picture clears.

1) Duke vs. 16) New Mexico St/Texas Southern
8) Maryland vs. 9) Auburn
4) UCLA vs. 13) Long Beach St
5) Gonzaga vs. 12) Davidson/New Mexico
3) Xavier vs. 14) Chattanooga
6) Rhode Island vs. 11) USC
2) Michigan St vs. 15) Lehigh
7) West Virginia vs. 10) Monmouth

1) Oregon vs. 16) Winthrop
8) Cincinnati vs. 9) St Mary's
4) Indiana vs. 13) Akron
5) Texas A&M vs. 12) Valparaiso
3) Iowa St vs. 14) Texas-Arlington
6) California vs. 11) Florida St
2) North Carolina vs. 15) North Florida
7) Florida vs. 10) VCU

1) Kansas vs. 16) Sam Houston St
8) Colorado vs. 9) Marquette
4) Louisville vs. 13) Towson
5) Dayton vs. 12) Oklahoma/SMU
@Salt Lake City
3) Arizona vs. 14) UAB
6) Baylor vs. 11) Seton Hall
2) Wisconsin vs. 15) Weber St
7) Miami vs. 10) Texas

1) Villanova vs. 16) Fairleigh Dickinson/South Carolina St
8) Wichita St vs. 9) Virginia Tech
@Salt Lake City
4) UConn vs. 13) North Dakota St
5) Purdue vs. 12) Harvard
3) Virginia vs. 14) Belmont
6) Creighton vs. 11) San Diego St
2) Kentucky vs. 15) Vermont
7) Michigan vs. 10) Notre Dame