Wednesday, February 03, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Wednesday

Our quick thoughts on Wednesday's results:

South Florida is on the bubble.

(We'll give you a minute to let that sink in...)

That's right: South Florida, a team that until last week had not won back-to-back Big East games since joining the league, is officially bubbleicious after stunning Georgetown 72-64 in D.C. on Wednesday night. The Bulls trailed by nine at halftime, but shot 65 percent in the second half to pull off the upset. Dominique Jones (the Big East POY?) was the difference again for South Florida, scoring 22 of his 29 points in the second half. It was Jones' ninth straight game scoring 20 or more points, and over the last three weeks, he's raised his scoring average for the year to 22.1 ppg. The win moved USF to 15-7 overall and 5-5 in the Big East, and sets up a potential win-and-you're-in game for the Bulls at Notre Dame on Saturday. A victory against the Irish won't guarantee South Florida a bid on Monday, but it will definitely make it very hard for us to keep them out. Their schedule the rest of the way isn't that difficult, and their only real tough road games are at Villanova and at Marquette. Their other remaining games are at home against Cincinnati, St. John's, Providence, and UConn.

Virginia is just one win away from a spot in next week's bracket after beating N.C. State 59-47 at home Wednesday night. The win improved the Cavaliers to 5-2 in the ACC and, more importantly, set up a win-and-in game at home against Wake Forest on Saturday. A Virginia victory in that game would knock another ACC bubble team (Virginia Tech? Maryland?) out because the ACC is almost certainly going to max out at seven tourney bids.

Mississippi State’s road woes continued against Vanderbilt on Wednesday night, and the Bulldogs might find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble next week as a result. Their 75-72 loss to the Commodores was their third straight SEC road defeat, and it dropped them to a pedestrian 4-3 in conference with another road game at Florida looming this weekend. If we did a bracket tonight, Mississippi State wouldn’t be in it. Vandy, meanwhile, has now won 11 of 12 and will secure their spot on the 4 line next week if they can avoid a slip up at Georgia on Saturday. The Commodores return home next week and play four of their next five in Nashville, a stretch that includes games against Tennessee and Kentucky.

How often does a team miss 17 free throws and still manage to win on the road? In the Big XII no less? That’s the minor miracle that Texas A&M pulled off on Wednesday night, as the Aggies went 19-of-36 from the line but scraped out a 77-74 win over Missouri in Columbia. It was the first home loss of the season for the Tigers, who have now alternated wins and losses over their last six games. A&M was 0-3 on the road in conference coming into this one, and they hadn’t won a road game since a Nov. 16 victory at SMU. At 5-3, the Aggies are now tied with Kansas State for third in the Big XII. They’ll likely leap-frog Missouri and Baylor in the bracket next week if they can beat the Bears at home on Saturday.

It's a little early to start stamping Dance tickets, but Northern Iowa essentially punched theirs on Wednesday night. They held off Wichita State 59-56 at home to open up a three-game lead in the MVC. The discussion can now move from whether or not Panthers will be able to earn an at-large berth, to how high of a seed they can earn down the road. Wichita, on the other hand, now has some work to do. With the schedule they have left they should (and need to) win out to finish 14-4 in conference to be alive for a bid. Shocker fans also need to cheer hard for Utah State over the next couple of weeks. The two teams square off in a BracketBuster game on Feb. 20 and the Shockers need another quality win to add to their pretty thin resume.

The C-USA race is starting to get interesting. A week ago, it looked like UAB was going to run away with the regular season title. Since then, the Blazers have lost two in a row and have dropped out of first place. They fell at Memphis on Wednesday night, as the Tigers closed the game on a 19-8 run to win by 10 and to extend their home winning streak against UAB to 11 games. Even with this result, we still stand by our belief that C-USA will be a two-bid league in the end. UAB has wins over Cincinnati and Butler and we can't see them finishing any worse than 12-4 in conference with the schedule they have left. They are safely in the bracket at this point, but as we have seen over the past week, they're beatable. We think they will end up going down against a team like UTEP or Tulsa that will need the auto bid to make the tourney.

The loud popping noise coming out of Williamsburg on Wednesday night was William & Mary's at-large bubble officially bursting. The free-falling Tribe lost by 19 at Old Dominion - their fourth loss in their last five games - and as a result dropped into sole possession of fifth place in the Colonial at 7-5. Their only hope at going dancing now will be to win the conference tourney. (Don't cry too much, Tribe fans, Andy Glockner will still have you in next week.) The win moves ODU into a three-way tie for first in conference with Northeastern and George Mason, who laig an egg at Georgia State on Wednesday night. The Monarchs' next game is a tricky one this weekend at VCU, a place where they've lost five of the past six years.

Of note: Kansas held off Colorado in overtime (20 missed FTs by the Jayhawks kept the Buffaloes in the game); West Virginia took care of Pitt; Ohio State beat Penn State at home; Illinois won at Iowa; Marquette beat DePaul at home; Baylor beat Iowa State at home; Temple beat Duquesne at home; Xavier won at UMass; Charlotte beat George Washington at home; Richmond won at Saint Joseph's; UTEP beat Houston at home.


Anonymous said...

Mizzou TAMU game is a good one on espnU right now as well. Mizzou's a sleeper team imho - they can compete with almost anyone

Dan Holmes said...

The commentators during the Georgetown-USF game said that neither team is that deep. Could that be a reason to think that the Hoyas might stumble toward the finish?

I sadly couldn't watch the end of the Missouri-TAMU game. Being a Kansas fan, the scare in Boulder game first. I agree with the first poster, though. Missouri's hyper aggressive style can present serious matchup problems for many teams.

Pat said...

I really think you missed the boat on Richmond. Not only did richmond beat florida. They also defeated ODU. Miss. St. and Mizzou. All 4 of those teams are in most of the bracket predictions. In contrast, virginia tech had 0 non-conference wins over teams in the brackets. Richmond deserves a bid because of they're strong non-conference resume.

TruFloridaGator said...

They have Richmond in the last 4 out, so obviously they are close.

I would go with Richmond over Wichita St., Virginia Tech, and Miss. St.

However, the bracket is not done every day so it's silly to nitpick when 2 of the above teams have pretty big games tonight. Wichita had a chance to stay in the bracket & they didn't.

Richmond needs to beat St. Joe's and then split between Rhode Island & Temple or else they will be just 6-4 without a good conference win.

Pat said...

Tru, Richmond should be in the bracket, not the last 4 out. The A-10 is strong this year and has 6 deserving teams. The ACC is overrated this year. It is a shmae that the Chris and Craig favor BCS conferences like the ACC over the A-10. Virginia Tech has no business in the bracket with their horrible non conference schedule. A win over UNC should not be enough to get them in either. The Hokies should have to finish 10-6 in conference to make up for that pathetic non conference schedule they played.
Seth Greenberg should not be rewarded for playing a cupcake schedule!!

Anonymous said...

b101- how much will that home loss hurt missouri's at large hopes? dayton got some nice wins in ooc play. what will it take to get the flyers back in the field?

Bracketology 101 said...

Any home loss in conference hurts, but Missouri's still in decent shape in terms of an at-large. Their remaining schedule isn't that rough, and they should be able to get to 10-6 in conference.

Dayton has three nice OOC wins (Georgia Tech, Old Dominion, at George Mason), but unfortunately for the Flyers, their performance in conference so far has been pretty nderwhelming. They have the sixth best resume in the A-10 right now, which isn't good enough for an at-large. The good news is that they have both Xavier and Charlotte coming in over the next week. Two wins will get the field, and one should get them onto the Last Four Out list.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the committee put the whole body of work into consideration? It seems like you guys put more weight on conference play by ignoring Virginia Tech's horrible OOC resume and Dayton and Richmond's good OOC resumes.