Tuesday, February 02, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Tuesday

Our quick thoughts on Tuesday's results:

Madison has always been a house of horrors for Michigan State, and Tuesday night was no exception. Not only did the Spartans get blown out by Wisconsin at the Kohl Center (their seventh straight road loss to the Badgers), they may have lost their best player, Kalin Lucas, for the foreseeable future with a sprained right ankle. With just under 11 minutes to play, Lucas came down awkwardly on the foot of Wisconsin's Keaton Nankivil, severely twisting his ankle. After Lucas left, Wisconsin put the game away - and ended up holding the Spartans to a season-low 49 points. The win improved the Badgers' home record to 13-0 this season - a mark that now includes wins over five tournament teams (MSU, Purdue, Duke, Ohio State, Marquette). They play at Michigan on Saturday before returning home for a pair of games next week. Michigan State, meanwhile, heads to Champaign this weekend to face an Illinois team that is desperate for another marquee win. Lucas or no Lucas, beating the Spartans would certainly look nice on the Illini's good-but-not-great resume.

John Wall can smile again - he and the fourth-ranked Wildcats are officially back on track. Wall scored 17 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 18 points and 13 boards, as Kentucky easily handled Mississippi 85-75 in Lexington Tuesday night in its first game since the nation's best freshman famously whined about not being "happy" about his recent struggles. The win is Kentucky's 11th its last 12 games against the Rebels and its second straight double-digit home win over a quality opponent since losing at South Carolina last Tuesday. The loss is Mississippi's second in a row, and although the result wasn't unexpected, it means the Rebels need to win at home against Alabama on Saturday to avoid falling dangerously close to the bubble. Their schedule is pretty easy from here on out, so we aren't too worried about their long-term chances at an at-large just yet. They better play a lot better against the Tide, though, than they did at home against Arkansas on Sunday.

Of note: Villanova held off Seton Hall at home; Syracuse beat Providence at home; Kansas State won at Nebraska; Wake Forest beat Miami at home; BYU beat TCU at home; Rhode Island won at LaSalle; Northwestern beat Michigan at home.


K Wecht said...

I'm liking Northwestern chances of getting in. They might only lose one more game the rest of the way. Cake schedule coming up (Indiana twice, PSU twice, Iowa twice, Minnesota at home, Chicago St).

Is there any way they don't get in if they go, say, 22-9/10-8 in Big 10(which is very likely)?

K Wecht said...

The Wildcats will likely finish ahead of Illinois in the conference standings, too. I'd be pretty surprised if the Illini finish 9-9 with their remaining schedule (notables: Wiscy twice, OSU twice, @Pur, MSU at home, @Mich). Also, they have a couple really bad OOC losses.

Not really sure why you have Ill ahead of NW.

TruFloridaGator said...

I could see Northwestern needing 11-7 because if they lose 2 games they will either:
-get 0 marquee wins(lose to Minnesota and Wisconsin)
-get 1 decent win(Minnesota) and 1 bad loss
-get 1 huge win(@Wisc) and get a bad loss with it
-get 2 good wins(@Wisc & Minn.) and 2 bad losses with it.

11-7 just works based on who they have to play a lot more. They have 7 games vs the RPI 175+. You don't want those kind of losses unless you can win at Wisconsin.

K Wechter said...

Good point. Would you agree that NW has the better resume right now?

NW has a huge win over Purdue and wins over Illinois and @Michigan to go with no bad losses.

Ill: nice win @Clemson (they had no business winning that game; they did win though), Vandy, and NW with pretty terrible losses on neutral floors vs. Utah and Bradley and a loss at UGA. I think conference records are irrelevant (at this point anyway) because they've obviously played unbalanced schedules.

If anything Illinois has work to do to leap frog NW, and they will just have more opportunities to do so.

Ross Leonard said...

Illinois and Northwestern equal out because the Illini may have better non conference wins, but they have bad losses which Northwestern doesn't. I agree that Northwestern will finish ahead of Illinois in the standings, but I think both may end up in the NIT. The Big 10 was overrated coming into the season.

I think people are too quick to hand the trophy to Michigan State. Ohio State is back to full strength and playing extremely well. Don't be surprised if the Buckeyes win the Big 10.

Tammy said...

who do you folks like in the big Missouri Valley showdown in Cedar Falls?

TruFloridaGator said...

Bad losses tend to be overrated(not saying it's right, just sayin). Illinois has 2 neutral site losses, so it's not like they are choking at home & they have the nice road win vs Clemson to make up for it.

Illinois' resume is better right now but not by much, and largely due to conference record.

Illinois will either sink or swim with the very tough schedule they have. If they stay within 1 game or better of NW, then they will have gotten much better wins the rest of the way and be way ahead. It's going to take a lot for them just to win 3 games & get to .500 though. Schedule is brutal.

K Wechter said...

TruGator, just curious, how would you rank these teams' resumes right now?

Marquette, Northwestern, Illinois, Texas A&M, Cincy, Virginia, Maryland

Aside: isn't true that the committee doesn't really look at a team's conference record? They just look at their resume as a whole regardless of conference, yeah?

Anonymous said...

B101 what team(s) are you most impressed with this season that aren't top 4 seeds. Teams flying under the radar that could end up finishing the season on a tear or really start to get it going into tourney time?

Bracketology 101 said...

Below the 4 line, we really like Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Baylor, and Marquette (who may have finally turned the corner with their win at UConn). Down even lower, keep an eye on UTEP and Utah State. Both are on a roll right now, and both could easily pull a first round upset in the tourney if they make it.

A.F. Bennett said...

There would be a huge uproar in Virginia if Va Tech made it over Richmond. Richmond played a much tougher ooc schedule than the Tech. Va Tech played one of the weakest ooc schedules in the country. Richmond may not have as good of overall record as VT, but they played a tougher schedule. It is ridiculous that you would put the Hokies in over the Spiders! Unless you think it is good to reward teams for playing horrible teams in the non conference??

Bracketology 101 said...

Keep in mind that our bracket is a projection and isn't done as if the season ended today. Virginia Tech has a pretty favorable schedule left and has a pretty good chance at finishing 9-7 in conference, while Richmond could very well finish fifth in the A-10. If the season ended today, Richmond would be a more attractive at-large team, but down the road we don't think that will be the case.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on Baylor, they went deep into the NIT last year and returned most of their team VERY solid. GT has talent but turns it over a lil too much, reminds me a little of WF last year. I haven't seen too much on the other teams you mentioned -- I'll have to keep an eye out for them!