Thursday, January 21, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Thursday

Our quick thoughts on Thursday's results:

Is the Pac-10 back to being a one-bid league? Probably. One thing is for sure though - no matter how many Pac-10 teams are in the bracket on Monday, Washington won't be one of them. The Huskies, who are now 0-4 on the road, continued their insanely inconsistent season Thursday night, losing 62-61 at UCLA on a buzzer-beater by Mustafa Abdul-Hamid. Washington led by four at halftime, and then scored a grand total of six points in the first 10 minutes of the second half to let the Bruins back in it. Venoy Overton's basket with 3.2 seconds left put the Huskies up one, but Abdul-Hamid took the ensuing inbounds pass, drove and hit a jumper from the top of the key just as time expired.

As exciting as the last minute of this game was, the final result is disastrous for the Pac-10. The league needed a team (like Washington) to start pulling away from the pack and establish themselves as an at-large candidate. The Huskies played like a team capable of that last week, but after this loss they're 3-4 in conference and pretty irrelevant in terms of at-large consideration. Arizona State and Cal (who crushed Oregon at home Thursday) are now tied atop the Pac-10 standings at 4-2, but neither is at-large worthy by any stretch.

Indiana fans have been taking a lot of heat (and deservedly so) for rushing the court when the Hoosiers beat Minnesota on Sunday, but there may not have been a more inexcusable court rush (ever?) than UCLA rushing after Abdul-Hamid's buzzer beater. Rushing may have just officially jumped the shark. We're speechless.

It's a pretty slow night when the second-most tweetable game involves Louisiana Tech. That was the case on Thursday, though - and the news wasn't good for the WAC favorites. The Bulldogs lost 87-76 on the road to Adrian Oliver (39 points) and San Jose State, all but crippling their already slim at-large hopes. We don't think there's any way for La Tech to stay in the at-large discussion unless they lose a max of two conference games, win the WAC regular season title by 2-3 games, and then win their BracketBuster game. A loss this early in conference, to a pretty poor team, puts them in a really, really tough spot.

The first leg of Butler's four-game road trip almost ended in disaster Thursday, but the Bulldogs were able to escape with a 48-47 win at Loyola (IL). Butler was ice cold from the field the whole night, shooting 38 percent and going 3-for-20 from three. The Bulldogs took the lead on a Willie Veasley free throw with 34 seconds left, and then on their final possession, Loyola missed a three-point attempt and a tip-in at the buzzer. The win temporarily protected Butler's current spot on the 5 line. Their next road test is at Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.

Of note: Gonzaga beat Pepperdine at home; Florida won at Arkansas; Western Kentucky dropped its second straight game, falling to Troy 77-69; St. Mary's beat San Diego at home; Cal destroyed Oregon at home; Siena beat Loyola (MD) at home; Charleston beat Furman at home; Oakland won at North Dakota State; Murray State won at Eastern Illinois; Pacific beat Cal State-Fullerton at home; Vermont lost at home to Stony Brook; Robert Morris won at Fairleigh Dickinson.


Anonymous said...

Arizona State gets no respect but I think they will be the team (along with Cal) to make the big dance. I realize the PAC is very weak this year, but Dan Guerro will make sure they get more than 1 bid.

Who do you guys like in the Summit League? Oakland and South Dakota State play on Saturday.

H. Ruffin said...

louisville needs to play a lot better defense if they want to make the tournament. Rick Pitino has to be furious with the soft D of his Cardinals. do you guys think louisville will make the tourney?

AG said...

This is just an overall down year for all of college basketball. No team really stands out, and frankly we could be looking at another 2006 type Final Four.

All the bubble teams are weak, the ACC is down, the Pac-10 is god awful, the Big Ten is full of disappointing teams, and all the contenders have glaring weaknesses: like Kentucky's showboating, Texas' refusal to play defense, Kansas' inconsistent shooting, etc.

One of the biggest issues I have seen so far is free throw shooting. It appears the one-and-done rule has made the college game bigger, which has resulted in an influx of talented bigs who can't shoot free throws.

Based on that, I'd have to say the two darkhorse candidates I have to make the championship game are MSU because Tom Izzo is the best coach in America, and Villanova because of their guard play.

Anonymous said...

Dark horse? Before the season started, Michigan State was mentioned by many as the nation's #2 team. Villanova was in nearly everyone's Top 10.

In other news, Duke is my dark horse pick to win the ACC.

AG said...

By "Darkhorse" I mean "left for dead after losing to Florida, Texas, and UNC".

As for Nova, they're not exactly being mentioned up there with Texas, Kansas, and John Wall I mean Kentucky.

Terrence said...

Duke better start playing better defense on the road if they want to live up to preseason hype.

ScarShoulders said...

Here come the TERPS...