Friday, February 22, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville---BracketBusters Edition


Is Seth Greenberg the winner of the Uncle Fester Look-A-Like-Contest, or what?
Wisconsin is playing the best defense in the Big Ten and the third-best in the country on a per-possession basis.
Tuesday’s Indiana/Michigan State matchup was their 115th…it was the first time both teams are ranked in the top 10.
The game lived up to the hype. As a matter of fact, I think all the Big Ten marquee matchups this season have met or exceeded expectations.
The action was so nonstop at the start; ESPN did not get a camera shot of either coach or bench until the under-12 media timeout.
Both teams have deep benches, and will be real pests in the Tournament.
MSU is still just as much a threat to get to Atlanta in April as it was prior to tipoff.
Indiana is 6-0 against Top-25 AP teams…by far the best in the nation.
Virginia Tech’s Erick Green leads the nation in ppg with 25.3…and by a wide margin. You have to go back to Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 to find a player from a power conference to lead everyone in points.
Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan scored 12 points in the second overtime in the win over Morehead State 106-100. Just as impressive is the fact that he didn’t commit a foul in 49 minutes of action.
Gonzaga produced more NBA players in the past 10 years than such major-conference powers as Pitt, Oklahoma, Cal and Indiana.
If I had a vote in the polls, I would place a higher value on Michigan State’s loss to Indiana than the Duke easy win over Virginia Tech, a no-contest 32-point romp.
It was fun to see the nation’s leading scorer, Erick Green, do his thing. He scored every possible way---he could probably sink one standing on his head.
Duke was up by 20 at the half, but Tech never quit. They played hard, clean and held their heads up. Tech deserves a lot of credit for their effort---they never dogged it. Speaks well for the players and their coach.
Mason Plumlee had another double-double. With his next rebound he will become the eighth Blue Devil to enter the 1,000 point/1,000 rebound club.
The Duke women take on #19 Florida State tonight…then play at Maryland Sunday afternoon. I know TV is important (both games on the tube), but that is stupid scheduling.
Bad loss: Maryland’s loss at BC.
Good win: UConn over Cincinnati in OT. Shabazz Napier scored 11 points in OT. Wow!
Bad Loss: Ole Miss losing to South Carolina.
Florida went 6-of-12 from the foul line and missed the front end of three one-and-ones in the second half in the loss to Missouri…most disturbing.
More disturbing was the poor shoot selection from the Gators---especially from Kenny Boynton.
Davidson has won ten in a row.
Providence guard Vincent Council just broke the Big East record for assists with 431.
Eleven Gonzaga players scored in the victory of Santa Clara.
The final edition of Bracket Busters starts tonight.
I am looking to Creighton at Saint Mary’s most of all.
It’s a quick turn around for Saint Mary’s, as they won last night over BYU…but Creighton has to overcome the time zone change.
Saint Mary’s is 17-1 at home.
SMC’s Matthew Dellavedova and Creighton’s Doug McDermott will be great to see…they don’t get the TV exposure they should.
Dellavedova: 15.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.3 apg. McDermott: 22.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.4 apg. Both shoot 86% from the line, avoid foul trouble and have an identical offensive ranking (122).
Lace ‘em up!
Belmont has six RPI-Top-100 victories. The Bruins have not lost back-to-back games since 2011.
VCU has 16 double-digit wins…ten by at least 20. All four losses are by single digits.
Top three road teams over the past three seasons: Kansas (22-5) Murray State (29-8) and Wichita State (25-7).
Long Beach State is 13-2 since all their players got healthy.
Just 17 teams are left with four or fewer losses.
At least for now, Colorado State is the nation’s best rebounding team. They rebound 42% of their missed shots. Remarkable! The Rams are ranked for the first time in 59 years.
CSU is in the Top-15 BPI; shares the MWC lead and are among the most efficient offensive teams in the nation.
Colorado State and New Mexico play for first place in the MWC Saturday.
Towson is 15-13 (second place in CAA)---after just a single victory last year.
UConn has won four overtime games this season.
Middle Tennessee State has a 12 game winning streak…15-1 in conference.
All five Villanova starters scored in double figures in the victory over Rutgers.
Notre Dame missed 18 of their first 19 shots Monday night…yet still managed to defeat Pitt.
Memphis could enter the Tournament without having beaten another team in the field during the regular season.
Louisiana Tech is 23-3. Most wins ever for Tech was 29 by the Karl Malone-led 1984-’85 team.
Miami is finding a way to win games. Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum is a most hazardous environment for the visitors…at home, the Clemson defense always seems to rise to the occasion.
Trying to get offense going against the Virginia pack-line defense is an arduous task whether at home, away or on the moon. You can watch all the film you want…but you can’t really practice for it without the proper personnel. The first time a team goes up against UVA, it’s a shocker.
Virginia plays its best basketball against their toughest opponents.
The Canes won both games…both last-second squeakers, due to their versatility, maturity, experience and coaching…14 in a row is a Miami record.
They were ugly wins to be sure. Winning no matter what pace the opponent wants better prepares Miami for March Madness. Bravo!
An odd stat: Virginia has now lost 15 straight in the state of Florida.
St. Louis has won eight in a row…they play at Butler this weekend.
Speaking of finding a way to win. Kansas made just one field goal in two OTs…and pulled off a dramatic victory over Oklahoma State.
How even was this game? Both teams had 26, 31 and six points in the first two halves and the first OT.
Kansas made just five assists on 25 made baskets and only one three in fifty minutes of basketball. Still, a W is a W. Remarkable!
TV Timeout
Tonight: North Dakota State at Akron (espn2)
7 PM
Saturday: Georgetown at Syracuse (CBS)
4 PM
NC State at North Carolina (ESPN)
4 PM
New Mexico at Colorado State 4 PM
Creighton at Saint Mary's (ESPN)
6 PM
Missouri at Kentucky (ESPN)
9 PM
Ohio at Belmont (espn2)
10 PM
Sunday: Boston College at Duke (ESPN3)
2 PM
Duke Women at Maryland {espn2} 3 PM
UCLA at USC (FSN)
3:30 PM
Michigan State at Ohio State (CBS) 4 PM
Undefeated in conference play: Gonzaga, Memphis, Akron, Miami, Norfolk State and Louisiana Tech.
Winless in conference play: Grambling and Penn State.
Not so fast: Just four players have hit the 40-point mark so far…Longwood’s Tristan Carey being the latest during 102-101 win over Liberty. That’s the first time since 11/11/11 that two teams cracked the century mark in regulation.
One more thing: Four Indiana players have 1,000 or more points so far in their college time. Indiana has a lot of weapons.

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