StatJunkie's Hoop Blog | thoughts on ncaa hoops from http://statjunkie.org

Mar/11

1

March 1st!

While watching the Pitt-Louisville game I realized I could not get over the miniature Italian Col. Sanders (the South Park guys absolutely should have had him as a character in the medical marijuana-KFC chicken episode).  What an unbelievable character Pitino is.  If there were going to be a movie made about a college coach it would have to be him, wouldn’t it?

Think about it, adultery, extortion, prison time, New York guy in Kentucky, all wrapped into a head coach at a major basketball school (not to mention that god awful white suit he was wearing yesterday, I mean he has to know how ridiculous he looks right?).  I’m writing a script for this movie if one doesn’t exist yet.  I’ll have to also invent that time machine I’ve discussed so I can have Al Pacino circa 1992 to play him.

 

Holy shit that poor fat Louisville cheerleader’s life.  Good luck, you bastard.  Here’s the link if you don’t know what I’m saying (and if you don’t where the hell have you been?):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqfNY3vfrmU

 

The shakedown conference by conference

 

Big East

They just keep beating the crap out of each other pretty much eliminating any chance for any team receiving a number one seed (unless Pitt wins out and the tourney).  But the depth should put eleven teams in and there will be lots of 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s.

Huge wins last week for Marquette and Cincinnati, as both got their elusive road victory that pretty much everyone knew they needed.  That should give the league 11 bids without blinking an eye (the record for a conference is 8).

The Louisville win actually benefits Notre Dame the most, as the Irish now find themselves a game behind the Panthers in the loss column after last night’s beat down of Villanova.  That is the kind of shooting that makes the Irish a tough one to figure come tourney time.

Think Keno would consider a return to Drake after Providence fires his ass?

 

Big Ten

So long Minnesota, hello Michigan.  The bubble may have burst for the Gophers but the Maze and Blue are now in the conversation and a win at home in the finale over rival Michigan St. coupled with a win in the Big Ten tournament should put them in.  Three teams are teetering the bubble and none are playing particularly inspiring basketball right now.  The league could add a fourth team to the mix if (a huge if) Penn St. wins its final two games (vs. Ohio St. and at Minn) and then would probably still need one more.

Purdue and Wisconsin are really playing well as we hit the final stretch and both should be tough outs come tourney time no matter what the draw.  I love that fact that both can beat you inside or out and can’t wait for a potential semi-final match-up between the two squads in the BTT.  What a statement win Sunday for Purdue, just destroyed the Izzos by 20 in their own house.  They’ll have an argument for a #1 seed if they win the Big Ten Tournament.


Big 12

The Horns are in a tailspin.  I heard many analysts saying it was good that they were playing again so soon, is that true if they lose?  Jordan Hamilton was given all sorts of credit during the earlier part of the season for being less selfish, but now you have to wonder.  The sophomore went 5-18 last night and in the three recent losses he has gone 15-58.  That’s a whopping .258 FG%.  They seemed to lack energy last night, weren’t creative offensively (relying on a lot of offensive rebounds and put backs), and didn’t lock down defensively like we’ve previously scene from them (lots of open looks for K St. last night).  The Horns close out with Baylor in Waco and then will probably draw either Colorado, Nebraska, or the Bears in the first round of the Big 12 tourney.  The games are going to be tough, but that may be a good thing for a team trying to turn it around and get tournament ready.

Horrible loss for the Huskers over the weekend, as they got beat at Iowa St and now are back among those on the bubble after being in a week ago.  They still have the chance to take out a ranked Missouri team at home and then they go to Boulder this weekend in a “Loser headed to the NIT” game.

Baylor’s season long impression of a yo-yo continues into this week.  After an embarrassing loss at home to Texas Tech last weekend they followed that up with a blowout loss at Missouri, only to then beat A&M at home to sweep the season series.  The Bears still have hope moving forward, they need to win at Okie St. Tuesday, get a big resume boosting win at home over Texas Saturday, and win at least one game in the Big 12 Tournament.  Do all that, I think they get in easily.

 

ACC

Oh, Seth Greenberg, the bubble just wouldn’t be the same without you.  The Hokies probably put themselves in for now with the home win over Duke this past weekend, but that could change with this weeks schedule against fellow bubble mates Clemson and Boston College.  Win both they’ll be a lock in team, lose both and they’ll have to win the ACC tourney, split and they’ll have to win at least two games in the tourney to get back in discussion.

Boston College is really the only other team in the ACC that could play their way in over the next two weeks without having to win the conference tournament.  The big one for them is Tuesday at Virginia Tech, which is a play-out game.  Florida St. is a team that is in for now, but could very well play themselves out by losing three straight (vs. UNC, at NCST, Quarters of tourney), although it would be hard to keep a 10-win ACC team out, FSU lacks a premium road or neutral court win (although, the Baylor win in Hawaii is getting close to being one).

Clemson, oh Clemson.  I think I hate you a little bit because you aren’t giving me much to grasp onto.  Where is your quality road win?  Wait, your best win on the season was at home over…Florida St!  No, you get no consideration from me unless you can go to Duke and win Wednesday night.

 

SEC

So Georgia is eeking their way in right now.  They have a decent non-conference win over fellow bubble sitter Colorado (is it because I know what looners are that the “sitting on a bubble” once in a while sounds a little dirty?), good wins in conference over Tennessee and Kentucky, and no terrible losses, they could get one, though.  A loss at home to LSU would give them a black eye that would force them to win some games in the conference tourney.

Tennessee’s early Big East tour, that saw them knock off Pitt (in Pittsburgh) and Villanova (in MSG), may be going for not.  After starting 7-0, they have gone 10-12, which includes some bad losses at home to Oakland, USC, Col of Charleston, and more recently Mississippi St.  The Vols seem to be getting worse since Bruce Pearl came back they’ve gone 2-4 since his return.  This team could play themselves out quickly (you think NCAA officials are hoping for this? I do.) with a loss at South Carolina and versus Kentucky this week, but if they sweep they can punch a ticket.

Big game tonight for the Tide.  If they can win in Florida they will put themselves in a position to be discussed.  Lose tonight, and they’ll have to win the SECT.

 

Mountain West

The fighting Jimmers are in line for a #1 seed, but I’m not sure how far I would have them advancing.  If they run into an athletic 8 seed (think Kansas St. or Villanova) or an uber talented 4 or 5 (think UConn or Kentucky) they will be done before the elite 8.  If they play more balanced team’s (think Temple or Texas A&M and Florida or Xavier) they will make their run.

San Diego St. also has not sold me as a serious threat to make a deep run.  Who have the Aztecs beaten that make them worthy of a top 3 seed?  St. Mary’s?  No, I’m sorry this team could be a big time bust in a second round defeat.

If Colorado St. gets an at-large bid I may become physically ill.

 

Pac 10

Arizona just got swept in L.A.  Washington got crushed at home by Washington St.  I bet UCLA gets swept when they travel to “Evergreen” state to take on the Cougars and Huskies.  I just don’t buy into the Pac 10 still.  I don’t see any of the teams making it past the second round and to get out of the first, any of the top 3 in the league better play a team on a down slide.

 

Ok, I can’t go any farther without commenting on something I saw lately in ESPN the magazine.  They did a player poll from multiple sports questioning athletes how worried they were about a terrorist attack at their sporting event.  WNBA guard Candice Wiggins answered a 3 out of 10.  Really? Do the terrorists want to kill 8 people?  Would they waste their time on an arena for the throngs of fans that attend a WNBA team?  Danilo Gallinari, who was playing in New York at the time, answered 1 out of 10.  Candice, Al Qaeda or any other terrorist group, is not trying to knock off a significant portion of the lesbian community.  Not even a 1 in 10.

 

Big Games Tonight

 

6:00:

Baylor @ Oklahoma St.

Alabama @ Florida

 

7:00:

Missouri @ Nebraska

 

8:00

Ohio St. @ Penn St.

Boston College @ Virginia Tech

 

With the great month of March upon us keep checking in as things will change daily.


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