Thursday, February 28, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--More Ranked Teams Ambushed Edition


If officiating a D-1 College Basketball game was so easy, there would more folks doing it. The pay is not great, the travel is excruciating and you never get to rest on the bench. There have been missed calls since the peach basket era…that will continue through the end of time. To all those all worked up in a lather…I say, volunteer to ref a middle school game and see where on hard/easy scale you put the task.
You must remember this. Conference tournaments often produce improbable results. Those off-the-radar surprise automatic bids steal opportunities from teams that were on the bubble. That unpredictability is another reason why the college game is so much better than the NBA.
The bracketologists worry about the RPI in predicting and seeding the Tournament.
That type of exercise would give me a headache…I am not much for speculating who gets in. I’m into analyzing who is going to advance once the bracket is in place.
Study after study has shown that the RPI is a lousy indicator for predicting tourney outcomes. Something to consider in March…or not consider as the case may be.
Tuesday night three ranked teams {#1, #8 and #19} went on the road against unranked teams…all lost. It was the seventh time the #1 team lost this season.
In a reversal of form Wednesday, three ranked teams won on the road vs. unranked teams…Oklahoma State, Louisville and Georgetown. Arizona and Michigan upheld tradition and lost at unranked USC and Penn State respectively.
Michigan has now lost four straight road games. The Wolverines are 42nd in defensive efficiency. That’s not good if you want to contend for a National Championship. Ouch!
USC shot 61% from the field and 60% from 3-point range in their takedown of Arizona. My oh my!
Georgetown had never won inside Gampel Pavilion until their two-OT victory over UConn. The Huskies made them earn it. The Hoyas are tough as nails right now.
Georgetown has won 10 in a row with ranked wins during that streak over No. 5 Louisville, at No. 8 Syracuse, versus No. 18 Marquette, at No. 24 Notre Dame and now, UConn {who beat Syracuse at home a couple of weeks ago}.
Indiana has now lost three times as a #1…each time to an unranked team.
Prior to their upset of Indiana, Minnesota had lost eight of their last eleven games…the last two by a combined 47 points.
Memphis had every opportunity to win, but went 6-of-18 from the free throw line. Abysmal!
Florida has played four close games this season, all of which came on the road, and lost all four of them.
Florida lost another player during the loss at Tennessee. Swingman, Casey Prather took a mean blow to the head. The Gators played pretty much a six-man rotation prior to Prather going down.
Will Yeguete is Florida’s best interior defender…who knows when he will return?
Florida’s lead in the SEC is down to one game in the loss column. Should Kentucky win out {including the season finale hosting Florida}, UK will be the conference champ.
Belmont is 7-4 against the top 100…Wichita State is 8-3.
FSU hammered Wake Forest on the boards Tuesday night, 41-24. Yikes!
Oregon point guard Dominic Artis will play limited minutes against the OSU Beavers tonight.
Illinois has gone 5-1 since coach John Groce banned Twitter. Blimey!
Duke and Miami are the #1 and #2 RPI teams…Saturday, 6 PM, ESPN. Be there or be square.
The overtime victory by Kansas at Iowa State had just about everything needed for an exciting game…including, yes, a couple of questionable calls that went for Kansas.
Bill Self won number 500…State’s 22 game home winning streak was snapped…Elijah Johnson became all-world for five and a half minutes…Kevin Young made one the headiest plays ever when he tricked the refs and claimed what would have been Withey’s fifth foul…30 threes combined {six a piece for Tyrus McGee and Johnson}. Helluva night…and Jeff Withey had zero blocks, but did pick up the game’s only double-double.
Wisconsin is tied for second in the Big 10 and has Penn State, at Michigan State and at Purdue to wrap the regular season.
Saturday’s Miami at Duke game should live up to the hype. It’s such a hot ticket at Duke; they are allowing students to pitch tents in Krzyzewskiville starting Tuesday night at 5 p.m. in anticipation of game. As a rule that tradition is reserved for the Carolina game only.
Tonight’s Duke’s trip to Virginia should be a grinder. Look for a low scoring UVA win.
Marquette’s victory over Syracuse was true grit. Off the bench, Davante Gardner was a perfect seven-of-seven from the field and 12 –of-13 from the line for 26 points to go with eight rebounds…outshining the better-known names from upstate NY. That’s 24 in a row at home for Marquette.
Memphis commits turnovers on 21.3% of their possessions. Don’t forget that in March.
Overall, Stanford is connecting on 34.3% of their attempted threes…however, in conference that percentage jumps to 41.1%.
VCU sill leads the nation in steals…12.1 per game.
Indiana has six players shooting 35% or better from three…remember that in March.
Middle Tennessee has a 14-game winning streak.
Cincinnati has lost five of their past six.
NC State has 312 assists and 333 turnovers. Another thing to remember in March.
With the victory over Cincinnati, Notre Dame has won at least ten Big East games four years in a row.
Bad loss: Villanova, up by four with 37-seconds to go…final score Seton Hall (14-15) 66-Nova (18-11) 65. Ooops!
La Salle has four good wins and only one bad loss.
Good win: New Mexico over San Diego State---the Lobos now have eight top-50 wins and 15 top-100 wins, along with a 10-3 road/neutral record. Bravo!
Very bad loss for Wichita State at home to Evansville.
Akron: 19 in a row with hard-earned victory at Ohio…Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!
Undefeated in conference play: Gonzaga, Memphis, Akron, Norfolk State and Louisiana Tech.
Still winless in conference play: Grambling.
Not so fast: St. Louis has eight players 21 or older…and they play like the grown men they are. They’ve won ten in a row.
One more thing: Larry Drew II has a chance to end the season by setting the UCLA single-season record for assists.

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