Friday, March 01, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville---Bracket Builder Edition

Senior nightjust another reason college basketball is superior to the NBA.
Four #1 vs. #2 conference battles took place on Thursday. Stony Brook won on the road to win the American East; Robert Morris got the road win, wrapping up the NEC; #1 Mercer lost to #2 Florida Gulf Coast and their lead in the Atlantic Sun is down to one game; South Dakota State will have the #1 seed in the Summit League Tournament.
Three ranked teams were on the road vs. unranked teams. Ohio State and Gonzaga were victorious. Duke was outclassed.
Duke isn’t the only Top-10 team that has suffered a road loss to an unranked teamjust the latest.
19 unranked teams have victories over Top-5 opponents so far.
The #1 team has lost seven times.
This season it is an upset when a ranked team is not upset.
Over the past five years, the winning percentage of #1 seeds was 91.6. This season it is 82.5% for the teams considered to be in the #1 seed pool.
In the past 20 years, 14 champions were #1 seedstwo were #2 seeds, and three were threes.
How did Temple pull off that win over Detroit?
Gonzaga’s victory at BYU was a gutsy road win…a physical, athletic, classic WCC game. That building was scary loud. The game was as exciting and entertaining as any I have seen this season.
Saint Mary’s and BYU are the only other teams in the WCC in the Top-60 RPI. The Zags have beaten both of them by an average of 11.8 points in four matchups.
Should they defeat Portland, Gonzaga will end the regular season with a perfect record in the WCC {the fourth for Mark Few}…and on a 12-game winning streak.
They are the last team standing with just two losses.
Elias Harris is going to end up as the leading rebounder in Gonzaga history…most likely third in total points.
Clemson has gone nearly a month without breaking the 60-point barrier. Ouch!
Harvard has not won at Princeton since 1989. Jeepers Creepers!
Louisville has won seven of their last eight.
St. Louis has won ten in a row.
UNC has won 10 of their last 13 gamestourney bound.
Louisiana has won 17 in a rowMiddle Tennessee won their 15th straight last night.
Going into last night’s game Virginia had given up an average of 54.0 ppg {scores 65.0}. Duke averaged 78.9 ppg and gave up 64.9. Taking the under on the over/under 129.5 made a lot of sense. Often wrong, never in doubt!
Duke was outworked, outplayed and outsmarted by UVA. The Cavaliers had their way with Duke. The Devils looked very average.
Virginia pitched a shutout for the first 4:41.
It was a great game for UVA. Tipoff was the turning point.
Virginia is just excellent at controlling a game when they get a lead. Duke never lead or got a tie after the opening tip.
Joe Harris {36 points} was the first player to score 30 point vs. Duke this season. The 36-points were also the most scored by any ACC player this season.
Thought it would be closer, lower scoring and that Mason Plumlee would show up.
UVA outrebounded Duke 33-21. Blimey!
Plumlee disappears when faced with aggressive, strong post defenders. He is easily forced out from under the basket---not in a position to take his shot…and reverts to his matador defense at the other end of the court. He has been the most affected by the loss of Ryan Kelly.
Since they don’t keep stats for taking charges, I cannot be sure, but I do not recall Mason taking a charge this season…Kelly took a bunch.
It is difficult to prepare properly for Virginia's defensive sets and intensity.
Don't forget…this is just about the first time this season that UVA was at or near full strength…they belong in the tourney. If it took beating Duke to convince the committee…then that's a good thing.
Bennett's a helluva coach. That may have been his first win over Coach K---it won't be his last.
UVA 7-2 vs. the Top-100, with four victories against the Top-30.
Neither the Duke men, nor women have lost at Cameron this season. That should change on Saturday when Miami’s grown men take the court. The late Thursday night game, travel back to Durham and a Saturday game is a tough turn around at best. Against the Canes it could be brutal.
The Duke women lost their first ACC game to the Lady Canes in Coral Gables on Senior Night. Appropriately enough, Miami salted the game away with 20-seconds left on a basket by senior Shawnice Wilson off a pass from senior Stefanie Yderstrom.
UNLV’s Anthony Bennett still suffering from a shoulder injuryhis health is something to check into come bracket time.
West Virginia is more than 800 miles away from every Big 12 School.
Miami has been to just one Tournament in the past decade, and no one on the roster has played in the dance.
The return of point guard Dominic Artis helped Oregon defeat Oregon State. He was on the court for a dozen minute and scored six points. Oregon is alone at the top of the Pac-12.
Florida Gulf Coast has their first 20-win season as a Division I member.
TV Timeout:
Saturday—Noon, Alabama at Florida, ESPN.
Noon, Butler at VCU, espn2.
Noon, Louisville at Syracuse, CBS.
2 PM, Notre Dame at Marquette, ESPN.
2 PM, Wichita State at Creighton (for MVC title), espn2.
2 PM, West Virginia at Kansas, CBS.
4 PM, Texas at Oklahoma State, ESPN.
4 PM, Kentucky at Arkansas, CBS.
6 PM, Miami at Duke, ESPN.
7 PM, Kansas State at Baylor, espn2.
9 PM, Arizona at UCLA, ESPN.
Sunday---1 PM, Purdue at Wisconsin, ESPN.
2 PM, Florida State at UNC, CBS.
4 PM, Michigan State at Michigan, CBS.
4 PM, UNC Women at Duke, espn2.
Monday---7 PM, UConn Women at Notre Dame, espn2.
Undefeated in conference play: Gonzaga, Memphis, Akron, Norfolk State and Louisiana Tech.
Still winless in conference play: Grambling.
Not so fast: In Florida’s five losses, Kenny Boyton is shooting 28.8% (15-of-52). Yikes!
One more thing: Akron: 19 in a row with a hard-earned victory at Ohio.
You made it to the end -- celebrate by watching some basketball.

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