Tuesday, January 26, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Tuesday

Our quick thoughts on Tuesday's results:

It's rare that John Wall is the second-most exciting player on a basketball court, but on Tuesday night it was Devan Downey who was sending sportswriters scrambling for a thesaurus. Downey hit acrobatic shot after acrobatic shot and was basically a one-man offense for South Carolina in the Gamecocks' stunning 68-62 upset of the top-ranked Wildcats in Columbia. As far as the bracket goes, this game had very minimal impact (South Carolina picked up a ginorous win for its otherwise weak resume and Kentucky lost its two-day hold on the top overall seed), but for entertainment purposes only, games don't get much better than this. Wall and DeMarcus Cousins deserve a lot of credit for keeping Kentucky close in what was a raucous Colonial Center, but in the end this was the Gamecocks' night. Or should we say Downey's night. What a performance.

After a month filled with mediocre and questionable court stormings, the rowdy South Carolina student section reminded us how it's supposed to be done on Tuesday night. They pulled off a near-perfect rush: we loved Downey waving the fans down to the court in the closing seconds, we loved South Carolina ignoring the SEC's ridiculous $25,000 court rush fine, and we especially loved the ridiculously fast court coverage which came from both ends of the floor. That's how it's done, Gamecock Nation. Excellent work.

We've been waiting for Rhode Island to win a statement game in conference for three weeks now, and they finally came through in a big way Tuesday night at Dayton. Marquis Jones' three-pointer with five seconds left gave the Rams a gigantic 65-64 come-from-behind win over the Flyers, who had won 30 straight at home. Dayton led by nine at the half, but URI battled back and led 62-61 with 30 seconds left. Chris Johnson hit three FTs for Dayton to give the Flyers the lead back with 15 seconds to go, but Jones ended up being the hero, hitting just his 13th three of the season to win it. URI will be in our bracket next Monday (provided they can beat GW at home on Saturday) and they might be in instead of Dayton. The Flyers' fate next week depends on Charlotte's game tomorrow night against Temple. If Charlotte wins, they're in as the A-10's fourth bid. If the 49ers lose, Dayton will (barely) remain in.

Maryland isn't just beating teams right now, they're destroying them. Their latest victim was Miami, who they routed 81-59 in College Park on Tuesday night. Greivis Vasquez had 16 points and nine assists to lead the Terps, who will be in next week's bracket if they can win at Clemson on Sunday. Maryland fans have to like their chances against the struggling Tigers, who dropped their third straight game on Tuesday, 75-69 at Boston College. If Clemson loses four in a row, they are looking at a double-digit seed in next week's bracket and they might even be as low as the Last Four in list.

Northwestern's return to the bracket lasted a grand total of 48 hours. The Wildcats lost a critical bubble battle to Minnesota on Tuesday night, dropping them to 3-5 in the Big Ten with a game at Michigan State looming this weekend. The fifth Big Ten bid now temporarily belongs to Minnesota, but the Gophers aren't guaranteed a spot in our next bracket unless they can win at Ohio State this weekend. If they win, they're way in. If they lose, we'll have to decide between Minnesota and Illinois for the fifth Big Ten spot.

For the second straight game, Kalin Lucas saved Michigan State from being rushed on. The junior guard, who hit a game-winning three for the Spartans in their win over Minnesota on Saturday, hit the go-ahead jumper with 3.5 seconds left to give the Spartans a hard-fought 57-56 win Tuesday night over the upset-minded Wolverines. The win moved Michigan State to 8-0 in the Big Ten for the first time in school history.

Kansas State has played its best ball against the best teams in the country this season, and Tuesday night was no exception. Led by Jacob Pullen's 25 points and two free throws with 8.2 seconds left, the Wildcats padded their already impressive resume with a huge 76-74 win at Baylor. The win further secures Kansas State's spot on the 3 line, and more importantly, it should give them a ton of confidence as they prep for a visit from the Jayhawks on Saturday. The loss drops Baylor to 2-3 in conference, and there's a good chance they'll be 2-4 after a visit to Austin on Saturday. An 0-2 week won't burst Baylor's bubble, but it might drop them to double-digit territory next week.

It's OK to come in off the ledge, Carolina fans. The Tar Heels put an end to their worst losing streak in seven years (and picked up their first road win!) in pretty convincing style on Tuesday night, winning by 14 at N.C. State. Carolina returns home to play Virginia this weekend, and if they win, they'll move up a couple of seed lines next week.

UAB was extremely impressive in disposing of Tulsa 65-55 at home on Tuesday night. The Blazers moved to 6-0 in C-USA with the win, which is their seventh in a row overall, and made a case to move up from the 7 line. Despite the rather convincing loss, the Golden Hurricane will be in our bracket again next week. Remember, we have Tulsa in our field not as an at-large but because we like them as a potential bid stealer out of C-USA. Tulsa is unbeaten at home, which also happens to be the site of the C-USA tournament. The Golden Hurricane play at UCF this weekend before returning home to play Marshall next Wednesday.

Of note: West Virginia won at DePaul; UNLV beat Air Force at home; Kent State won at Toledo.

21 comments:

Bryan said...

Boy, is Devan Downey some kind of player.. what a performance his last 2 games vs. Florida and Kentucky. Great win for South Carolina. Wonder if we could steal him away for one game to play for FSU vs. Duke tomorrow night... Never hurts to dream anyway =)

AG said...

Durrell Summers intentionally fouled Sims on that last second inbound play. No call.

Bracketology 101 said...

By rule, you're right, but that's an impossible call to make in that situation.

SRIV said...

The Big Ten seemed to have been very overrated at the start of the year. They are no higher than the 4th best conference and you could argue that the SEC is stronger and move the Big Ten down to 5th.

adam swentzel said...

Craig, Chris, Matt R, you folks continue to ride the minnesota bandwagon. does pikachu shalwasser work for you? this time minnesota has to face ohio state with evan turner. i am surprised the gophers loss to one of the worst teams in the acc does not hurt their ncaa chances. you folks continue to defend the gophers weak ooc performance.

DavidATL said...

Great job Gamecocks.

Q: If Harvard wins at Cornell on Saturday (and assuming they don't lose at Columbia the night before), any chance that the Ivy could get 2 bids? Might Harvard be in the at large discussion? They would be 15-3 with road wins at BC and Cornell plus a home win v. William & Mary, and only road losses (at Georgetown, at UConn and -- a killer -- at Army). Stength of schedule is a challenge, but comparable to Tulsa, VT or Miami(Fl).

I know it is the Ivy, and it hurts that neither Harvard nor Cornell have any OOC games left, but is it going to be a one-or-the-other or is there a chance that either is an at large contender even if they don't win the conference?

DavidATL said...

Does Missouri hold onto its at large bid if it loses (at home) to OK St this Saturday?

With the exception of the home win over K St, their schedule is (a) weak and (b) loaded with home games against the Ark-Pine Bluffs, Tenn-Martins, Austin Peays, Savannah Sts of the world. Best away win was probably neutral court over Old Dominion (followed next day w/ neutral ct loss to Richmond) and ONLY true road win was OT win at Texas Tech. Road losses to Oklahoma and Oral Roberts?

AG said...

B101, if that's the rule, then shouldn't it be impossible NOT to make that call in that situation?

Tammy said...

AG,
I also felt that Sims was fouled before he shot at the buzzer. The Spartan defender was holding him. But I agree it should not have been an intentional foul at midcourt. too far away from the basket to decide the game there.

Howard Salwasser said...

To Adam Swentzel,

Why would you accuse me of being a Gopher homer? I not dropped the Gophers out of my latest bracket, but they weren't even one of the last eight out lists. I do indeed support them, but will rail on them if they do poorly.

Anonymous said...

who does everyone like in the vanderbilt/tennessee showdown?

Bracketology 101 said...

We are in no way on the Minnesota bandwagon. If the Gophers don't win at Ohio State this weekend, there's a very good chance they stay out of the bracket next week. The only way we are still considering them as an option right now is that we think the Big Ten could get five bids when all is said and done.

As good as Cornell and Harvard have been this year, the Ivy is still a one-bid league.

If Missouri loses to Oklahoma State at home, it's going to be really tough to keep them in the field next week. If they are in, they'll be on the Last Four In list for sure.

TruFloridaGator said...

This is related to the bracket from earlier in the week, but your justification of Ole Miss at 7 & Cincy at 11. Is there something I'm missing in terms of comparing their resumes?

Bracketology 101 said...

Cincinnati is four seed lines lower than Mississippi because they already have three more losses (7 vs. 4) and because they have a much more difficult schedule left.

TruFloridaGator said...

I'm confused, I thought the bracket was based on current results. Cincy plays a much tougher schedule than Ole Miss, so I just think 4 seed difference seems a bit much. Obviously it's hard to tell with skewed conference records right now though.

If we're predicting final conf. records, Ole Miss will be around 11-5, and Cincy will be 8-10, I'd say that's pretty close to equivalent based on the conference they each play in.

I wouldn't penalize Cincy for playing a tougher OOC & conf. schedule. There worst loss is to St. John's on the road by 2 points, not bad at all. Ole Miss' 4 losses are really good too, so I agree they should definitely be ahead, just not by 4 seeds.

You do a great job, just discussing things out loud.

Anonymous said...

Does Michigan have any chance to get back in the discussion? Or did there poor play in Orlando and home losses to BC and Northwestern damage their resume too much?

Bracketology 101 said...

We don't do our bracket as if the season ended today; in fact, we don't understand why any bracketologist does theirs that way. We use a "projection-prediction" model that takes into account past and future results. We feel if we project ahead when making the field, it gives fans a much more accurate view of where their team stands in the minds of the selection committee. A more in-depth explanation of our model can be found on the sidebar to this site.

Michigan couldn't find the bubble right now with a GPS. They have 10 losses already, and will need to go on a huge run to get back in the discussion.

49ers fan said...

Tru, At some point Cincinnati is going to have to start winning games and quit making excuses about the schedule.

Anonymous said...

B101, using your projection-prediction method, you probably already had FSU down for the L on wednesday, so does that mean that as long as they win saturday, their seed line won't change?

Bracketology 101 said...

We figured FSU would go 1-1 this week. If they win at BC on Saturday, they'll stay at the end of the 8 line or at worst be on the top of the 9 line next week.

Anonymous said...

do not be surprised if BC wins over FSU