Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Three Pack For Tuesday

A look at the three most notable games on Tuesday's schedule:

Texas at Baylor
Baylor begins a huge week by welcoming the third-seeded Longhorns to Waco tonight. The Bears have been hovering around the 8/9 line for a while now and could really use a marquee win to pad a resume that's good but not great (their only good OOC win was Arizona State and their best conference win is at home against Oklahoma State). Baylor won at Kansas State and lost at Oklahoma last week to move 3-2 in the crowded Big XII, a half game behind Texas, who they haven't beaten since the '97-'98 season. If the Bears want to snap that streak, they are going to have to shoot better than they did against the Sooners on Saturday (34.6 percent) and stop Texas' post players better than they stopped the brothers Griffin (Blake and Taylor combined for 38 points and 24 rebounds). The Longhorns, meanwhile, could use a big win themselves. They've lost the past two road games they've played against quality opponents, and another loss here would drop them into fifth place in the Big XII standings.

Purdue at Wisconsin
In a move that's sure to draw some ire from our friends at the Nittany Nation Facebook group, we left seven-loss Wisconsin - losers of four straight - in our bracket this week and left Penn State - and it's 5-3 Big Ten record - on the outside looking in. One of the major reasons we made that decision was because of the remaining schedules for both teams. Penn State's schedule is extremely tough down the stretch, while Wisconsin's schedule sets up nicely for them to get to nine wins in conference. Before the Badgers look that far ahead, though, they'll need to take care of business against Purdue at home tonight and at Northwestern on Saturday. The Boilermakers enter this game on a four-game conference winning streak, which includes Saturday's impressive road win at Minnesota. That win moved Purdue up to a five seed in this week's bracket, and a victory here would keep them on pace with Illinois for the Big Ten's second bid, which right now looks worthy of a four seed.

Boston College at Maryland
Three weeks ago, both these teams were looking solid. Maryland was ready to start conference play on a seven game win streak and had OOC wins over Michigan State and Michigan. Then they went out and lost at home to Morgan State, blew a huge lead at Miami, and on Saturday they got humiliated at Duke. BC had been winners of 10 in a row, which included a ginormous upset at UNC. They followed that up with 4 losses in a row with a home loss to Harvard thrown in. Now they face off in a game that will decide who deserves the title of 8th best team out of the ACC (which will mean NIT come March). If the winner of this one can pick up another win over the weekend (BC vs. Va Tech and Maryland vs. Miami) then they will have a good chance to make next week's bracket.

Also receiving votes: BYU at Utah, Kentucky at Mississippi, Miami (FL) at North Carolina State, Northeastern at VCU


Anonymous said...

Yes, Virginia... there are Penn State basketball fans!

Terps fan said...

Thanks for all the hard work, the site improves each year.

I thought you had a good analysis on the BC - MD game and what this game really means for each team.

That being said, Maryland does not have a very good team this year. Everyone here in Maryland wants to put the blame on Gary Williams and his "recruiting woes"

I happen to disagree, maybe I'm just biased, but we had a very unlucky offseason with Gus Gilchrest, Tyree Evans, and Bobby Maze all leaving in late August. Also, good recruits like Braxton Dupree and Dino Gregory not panning out has forced Gary to start Dave Neal at center (which is almost embarassing)

That being said, do you think if MD finds a way to get into the tourney with the schedule they have had to play. 4 top 10 teams in the ACC, 4 games against Duke and UNC, OOC games against Michigan St, Michigan, Gonzaga, and Georgetown, would it be fair to say that Gary did an amazing job this year?

Thanks for your input.

Bracketology 101 said...

If Maryland finds a way to sneak into the tournament this year, taking into account all of the factors you mentioned, it would be Gary Williams' best coaching job yet. After tonight's killer home loss to BC, though, it's looking less and less likely that the Terps are going dancing. Their OOC resume is solid, but with their remaining ACC schedule, it's almost impossible to find them seven more wins to get to 9-7 in conference (six or seven ACC wins is looking a lot more likely than nine is at this point.) The Terps need to beat Miami at home Saturday to avoid falling off the bubble radar altogether.

Terps fan said...

I spoke way too soon. The theme for this season is not being able to hold onto a lead.

Forget about losing by 40 at Duke, or by 30 to Georgetown. If they just held onto leads of 15 points to Morgan St, 17 points at Miami, and now 16 points to BC, that would give them a record of 16-4 overall and a 4-2 conference record and would be safely in the tournament.

I'm now starting to drink the kool-aid that Gary's time may be up in College Park. How Eric Hayes and Dave Neal can play crucial minutes in any ACC game is beyond me. Hayes is absolutely terrible and doesn't belong in Division 1 basketball. He was brought in solely as a 3 point specialist, and he is anything but that. He is a junior and looks like he is frightened every time he touches the ball.

It's a shame that this program has snowballed so fast, and I really feel for Gary, because he has done a lot for this program, but unfortunately something needs to change and it needs to change fast.

I will not be on here defending my Terps like I have in the past unless they provide us all a miracle and beat teams like Duke, UNC, or Wake Forest down the stretch. Another NIT berth is coming our way.

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