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Sunday, February 7, 2010

What last night's games mean

#2 Villanova 90, #8 Georgetown 103
Georgetown handed Nova's first conference loss and second loss of the season in a ridiculously high scoring game.  In typical Wildcat fashion, the game was played at a frenetic pace (86 possessions!).  Nova had problems rotating on defense allowing the Hoyas to get several open 3's which they hit.  In terms of NCAA seeding, this win meant more for the Hoyas.  G'town could not afford to suffer two home losses in one week (they lost to a hot USF squad earlier).  Villanova will likely drop in the polls but I think they hang on to their one seed.

Nebraska 64, #1 Kansas 75
Nebraska hung tough but in the end could not hang with the Jayhawks.  There's really not much to discuss here. KU's four future NBA players didn't all have great nights but they dominated when it mattered.  Big night from Marcus Morris and Nebraska's Ryan Anderson.

#3 Kentucky 81, LSU 55
Kentucky showed both how well they can play and how bad LSU is.  In the first half the Wildcats went on a 34-4 run or something which took all the fight out of LSU.  I know everyone is talking about John Wall, but Mr. Cousins is Kentucky's best player right now.  He might even be the best big man in college.

#5 Michigan St. 73, Illinois 78
This was an exciting game.  Illinois HAD to have it to stay in the Big Ten race.  Not having Kalin Lucas obviously hurt the Spartans as their fill-in point guard turned the ball over twice in their first four possessions and Lucious turned it over six times off the bench.  Michigan State's rough week likely drops them from a two seed to a three while Illinois' win probably puts them in the tournament. Illinois and three others are now just one loss behind MSU in the Big Ten standings. 

#6 West Virginia 79, St. John's 60
Rough loss for St. John's.  After being up by 16 they end up losing by 19.  This loss likely ends their bubble hopes.  The Mountaineers can still win the Big East.

#9 Duke 66, Boston College 63
Duke got lucky in this one as they really didn't play well.  BC's poor free throw shooting cost them in this one.  Why is Duke a top 3 team at home but a bubble team on the road?  I think how they play in the ACC tournament will foreshadow their performance in the NCAA tournament.  There are no home games in March.

#10 Texas 71, Oklahoma 80
When you're only 10-27 from the free throw line you're not going to win.  Oklahoma meanwhile went 20-28 from the charity stripe giving them a comfy win.  Texas is really struggling right now and I don't know how the committee will view their profile.  The committee puts a lot of weight on how you finish and after starting 17-0, Texas is now 19-4 and 5-3 in the Big 12.  Oklahoma gets an unlikely win to keep their small bubble hopes afloat.

#11 Kansas St. 79, Iowa St. 75
KSt. gets a road win as they try to solidify a protected seed.

#12 BYU 74, UNLV 88
I watched some of this game and boy was the Thomas & Mack Center rocking.  UNLV had a great offensive night scoring 88 points in 70 possessions.  The win puts them in a 3-way tie for first with BYU and New Mexico.  Perhaps I've been underrating them because they looked really good last night.  BYU probably drops to a four seed with the loss.  UNLV might move up to a six.

#13 Gonzaga 66, Memphis 58
This loss really hurts for Memphis as it shows they are likely not a tournament team.  Gonzaga is showing no ill affects from their loss to an awful San Francisco team.  I don't think the Zags are a top 15 team but they're no doubt going dancing. 

#14 Tennessee 79, South Carolina 53
Tennessee manhandles the Gamecocks at home.  USC likely burst their bubble here.  It's not the loss so much that hurts as it is the margin of defeat.  You can't lose by 26 and expect any favors from the committee on Selection Sunday.

#15 Butler 74, Wright St. 62
Usually commentators talk about how mid-majors struggle against bigger schools because they aren't used to the physical play.  Let me tell you this will not be a problem for Butler.  It's a shame they didn't play as well in the non-conference as they are now but no matter.  They're really hitting their stride and will be a dangerous team in March.

#16 Wisconsin 62, Michigan 44
Michigan is bad. Great week for the Badgers.  Likely a top four seed the rest of the way. 

#17 Temple 54, Richmond 71
HUGE win for the Spiders.  As it stands now they're in.  Temple's only two conference losses are on the road to Richmond and Charlotte.  The A-10 could get five bids.

NC St. 71, #19 Georgia Tech 73
Georgia Tech is a weird team.  They're 12-1 at home but 3-4 on the road.  Another team to watch in their conference tournament to see how they handle playing on a neutral floor.

#20 Vanderbilt 58, Georgia 72
This was not a good loss for Vandy.  They're going to make the NCAA Tournament but losses like this cause them to slide down the S-curve (what's used for seeding).  I'm guessing now they don't get higher than a six seed.

Seton Hall 58, #21 Pitt 83
Statement win for Pitt.  After losing four of five this big win should ease some doubts.  That sound you just heard might have been Seton Hall's bubble bursting.

S. Illinos 52, #22 Northern Iowa 55
This conference is over. Only thing left to see is if the Panthers slip up in the MVC Tournament to make it a two bid league.

San Diego St. 86, #23 New Mexico 88 (OT)
Rough loss for SDSU here.  Going off the top of my head they probably got leapfrogged by Illinois and Dayton last night.  This might put them on the outside looking in.  New Mexico is pitching a tent in the six seed group.

#24 Baylor 71, Texas A&M 78
Baylor slips to 4-4 in the conference and 1-3 on the road in conference.  I think A&M is in and this win solidifies their standing.

Brown 60, #25 Cornell 74
Nothing to see here. Moving on.

Xavier 65, Dayton 90
Statement game two ways here. Dayton gets a big win putting them one of the top teams on the bubble list.  Xavier is probably staring at an eight or nine seed now.  This bad loss shows me they are not the best team in their conference right now.

Wake Forest 64, Virginia 61
Important win for Wake as they have a shot at winning the ACC regular season title.  Virginia sits on the bubble but seems NIT bound.

Bubble Team to watch: Marquette
To my knowledge Marquette currently is not on anyone's radar as a sleeper.  They're 6-5 in the Big East (lost @West Virginia, Villanova twice, @DePaul-ouch, @Syracuse.) but have a nice stretch of games they should win.  I can see them finishing fourth in the Big East and with 20 wins.  This should catapult them ahead of several other bubble teams and land them in the tournament.
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