Monday, January 28, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville---Upset Weekend Edition


A half-dozen ranked teams lost to unranked teams on Saturday. . All six ranked teams were on the road. Home, sweet home.
This season has many teams playing like second and third seeds and not top seeds. It’s wide open at the top, with upsets on a regular basis, and March should be as entertaining as ever.
What’s in the water in the City of Brotherly Love? Villanova picked up victories over two ranked teams at home (Louisville and Syracuse). LaSalle hit the ranked-team-double as well with an upset of Butler at home and defeated VCU on the road.
VCU leads the nation in steals with nearly 13 a game.
The AP men's basketball poll should just leave No. 1 vacant for the time being.
Louisville averages a Big East-best 15 second-chance points per game this season, which is third among power six conference schools.
I was way off base when I thought that Louisville’s Peyton Siva couldn’t suck after his no-show with Syracuse…against Georgetown he had four fouls, three turnovers and zero points in his “Invisible Man” act.
In their overtime victory over Syracuse, Villanova became the first unranked team to knock off two top-5 opponents in the same week since Ball State in 2001. Then LaSalle matched them.
Harvard was down ten with a minute and a half to go…forced overtime and won by five over Dartmouth. Harvard’s only other lead in the game was at 2-0.
Even with all their injuries, Virginia is 4-2 in the ACC. Their defense is magnificent.
Clemson’s Milton Jennings went 16-of-18 from the line in a victory over Virginia Tech.
Miami followed up their massacre of Duke by knocking off Florida State by 24 points. FSU shot a season-low 31% from the field.
Good win: Arizona State took down UCLA by 18 points---two nights before, UCLA knocked off #6 Arizona. ASU is 5-2 in the Pac 12. Go figure.
Bad game: Northern Illinois set an all-time shot-clock era record with four first-half points, tied the any-half record with those four points and set the all-time worst field goal percentage record after shooting 8-for-61 for the game (13.1%). Over a stretch of 24:33 over both halves, Northern Illinois missed 36 straight field goal attempts. The Huskies also missed their first 32 three-point attempts. All those things would be difficult to do if you were trying.
This was not unfamiliar territory for NIU---they racked up fives points in a half against Dayton back in December.
Good call: Kentucky and North Carolina are renewing their home-and-home series.
Wisconsin is 5-2 in the Big Ten and has three wins over top-15 teams. It's 28-11 under Bo Ryan at home vs. ranked teams. UW has held 20 consecutive opponents to 60 or fewer points at the Kohl Center.
Tommy Brenton of Stoney Brook put up the second triple-double of the season, as the senior forward had 15 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over Maine.
Florida is playing as well as any team in the country.
Kansas is on a 17 game winning streak.
Montana has now won 21 straight games against Big Sky opponents.
Seven teams in the Big East are 4-3.
That’s more like it.
Duke made just four turnovers in the entire game (none in the second half) in their 20-point victory over Maryland. 18 assists sure looked good.
Duke’s freshmen, Amile Jefferson and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 43% of the team’s points.
Sulaimon’s 25 tied a Duke freshman record!
Duke shot 52.4% against a Maryland defense that hadn't allowed any team to shoot better than 44 percent.
Maryland’s frontcourt looks more like a football defensive backfield. They outrebounded Duke by eleven. UM has outrebounded every team this season.
The Duke women won two games against weaker ACC teams after being run out of the gym at UConn.
One disturbing stat for the Duke women is the combined records of the ACC teams they have beaten thus far…17-46. Miami, Maryland and UNC await…we shall see what we shall see.
More passing…less dribbling…please!
NC State outscored UNC 20-0 on transition buckets at halftime.
Kentucky had allowed .97 points per possession in SEC play prior to Saturday, seventh-best in a league that most certainly does not house seven good teams.
Iowa State shot 64 percent in the second half, hoisting up 47 points on a good K-State defense.
Butler can really pass the ball.
Georgetown is playing some tough defense.
In scoring just 34 points in a road loss to San Diego State, New Mexico made only 0.57 points per possession...4-of-22 in the second half.…remarkably low!
Naadir Tharpe and Perry Ellis give Kansas more depth than most teams out there.
Ole Miss is 6-0 in SEC play…first time ever. They almost gave the game away to 8-11 Auburn by going 4/17 from the line. Saturday {7 PM} Ole Miss takes on Florida…winner will sit atop the SEC. Florida is 6-0 as well and its six SEC opponents have fallen by an average of 26.5 points.
Also at 6-0, Oregon is #1 in the Pac12---but now their point guard, Dominic Artis is out indefinitely with a foot injury. The freshman is averaging 10.2 ppg, 3.8 apg and 1.7 steals per game.
Indiana at Purdue on Wednesday could be your upset special.
Keep an eye on D’Angelo Harrison of St. John’s---averaging 19.6 ppg.
Michigan State has seven front-line players. Watch out for them.
Unbeatens remaining: Zero.
Winless remaining: Grambling.
Conference unbeatens remaining: 20.
Conference winless teams remaining: 13.
Not so fast: Louisville is a six-point favorite tonight over Pitt---Kansas is an eight and a half point favorite at West Virginia.
One more thing: The Big East Tournament is already a sellout.

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