Monday, January 21, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--What a Weekend Edition

Saturday’s games lived up to their hype…and then some. Butler, Michigan State, Kansas, Cincinnati, Wichita State and Syracuse won by a combined 16 points in games in doubt late…most of them on TV…and a number of them simultaneously.
The last team in America you want to be in a close game with is Butler. They always seem to find a way.
Butler improved to 3-0 against top-10 teams this season. Duke is the only other team that has three such wins. There were at least six lead changes in the last two minutes in their victory over the Zags.
Louisville shot 29 percent in the second half.
McLemore provided a consistent scoring punch for the Jayhawks. The freshman is on pace to become to the highest scoring KU freshman.
Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin had another dominant defensive performance. Two days after shutting down Texas A&M’s Elston Turner, Wilbekin blanketed Missouri point guard Phil Pressey, holding him to two points on 1 of 7 shooting.
The Gators scored 34 points off 21 Missouri turnovers in win #400 for Coach Donovan. They scored 48 points in the paint, while Missouri netted 14. 
Florida looked as good as they did prior to the Christmas break. In their past two games, Gator opponents score 99 points---total.
Louisville’s loss does not diminish my belief that the Cards are the best team at the moment. A questionable call at the end gave Syracuse a major break. Peyton Siva was horrid, and it could be a long time before he plays that lousy again.
Creighton nearly pulled it out in a brutal road environment. Wichita State is a tough venue, and that game was as tense as the Butler/Gonzaga matchup. WSU held the Jays below one point-per-possession for the first time this season.
The only team in the past decade to post at least 1 PPP in every game---2009 UNC.
St. Bonaventure was 0-30 at Temple before their three-point victory over The Owls.
At 4-0, this is best start in SEC play for Ole Miss since…wait for it…1937.
In their 27-point loss to Purdue, West Virginia had as many turnovers and made field goals (17). Ouch! Glad it happened to Huggins.
Georgetown just can’t score…58 points in a loss to South Florida.
The Texas defense is under-rated.
Raise your hand if you had Air Force beating Boise State/Colorado State over UNLV/Wyoming over San Diego State trifecta. 
Don’t look now---Colorado State has the 4th longest home victory streak at 24.
San Diego State (#15) managed just nine points in the first half in Wyoming. Yikes!
Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas scored 28 points in the loss to Michigan State---no one else had more than six.
Six teams in the Mountain West are ranked in the Pomeroy Top-50. Helluva league. projects Duke as favorites in every ACC game going forward. I say Miami beats them by double digits on Wednesday.
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne has made 22 of his past 28 field goal attempts over a span of four games.
If it was horse racing, I would take Kansas over the field in the Big 12…ditto for the SEC where I’d bet on Florida over the field.
Duke goes back to #1 in the AP Poll---what are those guys smoking?
Between them, Duke and UNC have more Final Four appearances since 1990 than any entire conference, except the ACC itself.
UNC shot 23.5 percent in the second half -- compared to Maryland's 46.2 percent
after the break. Too little…too late for the Terps.
I love the tradition of playing road games in the hometown of one of the seniors.
Belmont is now 6-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play.
Auburn was 0-15 from three versus Kentucky. The last time UK held an opponent to zero threes was 2/10/2001.
Virginia had lost to Florida State seven games in a row until embarrassing FSU (56-36). The Seminoles managed just 15 first half points. That is the 4th time this season that UVA has held an opponent to fewer than 40 points. Wow!
Never trust Washington or Temple…two most erratic teams out there.
Wisconsin beats Indiana decisively early in the week…then loses to Iowa on the weekend. Iowa committed just six turnovers. Go figure!
George Washington is the only team to start four freshmen this season.
Miami has not allowed an opponent over 60 points since December 1.
The Wake Forest/Georgia Tech game had an interesting sidebar. Tech pretty much is a seven-man team, making foul trouble especially dangerous. Wake has six freshmen.
A No. 1 team had not lost on its home court in four years until the Syracuse upset of #1 Louisville. The last 22 No. 1-ranked teams to lose have done so on the road or at a neutral site.
Gonzaga and Butler are a combined 12-2 this season against teams from Big Six conferences.
Good win: Oregon’s nine-point victory at UCLA…first time since the Pac-8 days that Oregon started 5-0 in conference play. Oregon starts two freshmen guards…and one of them, Danyean Dotson leads the team in scoring---hitting 46% of his shots.
Bad loss: St. Louis losing to Rhode Island.
Another bad loss: Washington’s home loss to Utah, where the Utes shot 60% from the floor.
Going into Saturday’s game, Syracuse was allowing 81.7 points per 100 possessions. Louisville was allowing 81.8.
Looking ahead: Kansas at Kansas State, Tuesday, 8 PM; Michigan State at Wisconsin, Tuesday; Colorado State at New Mexico, Wednesday, 8 PM; Duke at Miami, Wednesday, 7 PM; UCLA at Arizona, Thursday, 9 PM; New Mexico at San Diego State, Saturday, 4 PM; Michigan State at Indiana, Sunday, 1 PM;
Unbeatens remaining: Just the Duke Women. At UConn tonight---so that could change by 9:15 PM.
Winless remaining: Grambling.
Conference unbeatens remaining: 35
Conference winless teams remaining: 18
Not so fast: Florida has won five straight by 20-plus.
One more thing: Attendance for the Gonzaga/Butler game was 10,228. It won’t be long before over 50,000 claim to have been there…sorta like Woodstock.

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