Sunday, February 27, 2005

Week in Review

One of the most important weeks of the season thus far saw bubble teams playing their way out of the NCAA Tournament and some clubs that seemed to be out of it working their way back into the picture. In addition, it saw five of the top 10 teams lose, making the race for the #1 seeds wide open. Let's recap:

Teams that helped their cases for an NCAA Tournament bid: Georgia Tech bounced back from a home loss against Duke with a win at fellow bubble team Miami (Fl.); North Carolina State may have worked their way into the bubble conversation with their victory on Saturday against Virginia Tech; George Washington nearly blew a bid with a blowout loss at Xavier, but finished the week with a HUGE win at Dayton on Carl Elliot's running thirty-five footer at the buzzer; West Virginia could be the eighth team out of the Big East after they completed a sweep of Pitt and beat Rutgers; Indiana got another two wins this week including a big win at home vs. Michigan State on Sunday; Minnesota continues to move towards 20 wins and 10 Big Ten wins after they got a come from behind win at Purdue on Saturday to complete a 2-0 week; Texas probably clinched a bid after their home win vs. Missouri to move to 8-6 in Big 12 play; Texas A&M may have played their way onto the back end of the bubble after a 2-0 week with home victories over Iowa State and Texas Tech; UCLA could have clinched a bid when they picked up a huge non-conference road win at Notre Dame on Sunday; Even though Stanford lost at Oregon State, they bounced back with a road win at Oregon to clinch at least 10 wins in conference play;Houston is making a great case to be one of the last teams in after another 2-0 week to move to 9-5 in C-USA play; UTEP won three games this week to bounce back from their loss to Pacific a week ago; St. Mary's may have moved into lock status after they won back to back road games to finish the season; Buffalo is looking more and more like the second team out of the MAC after they won their lone game of the week to continue a 5-game winning streak.

Teams that had their at-large profiles weakened: Vermont lost any chance at an at-large bid by splitting their third week in a row; Miami (Ohio) had a winless week to probably kill any at-large bid they may have received; Old Dominion lost at home to Hofstra, which was their nail in the coffin for an at-large bid; Miami (Fl.) lost a key bubble game to Georgia Tech on Saturday; Maryland went 0-2 last week, including a home loss to Clemson, leaving the Terps with plenty of work to do; Virginia Tech lost a chance to move closer to a bid by losing at bubble dweller NC State; Georgetown lost their third game in a row, at home to Villanova, moving the Hoyas to the bubble; Notre Dame got smoked on their homecourt by UCLA, reverting them to the bubble, as well; Pittsburgh is the third Big East team on this list as they went 0-2 to continue their three game losing skid; Wichita State needed to win at Southern Illinois to feel safe--they did not do that; Iowa State went from a lock to possibly out of the tournament after two losses to inferior teams, including a home loss to Nebraska.

Teams whose bubbles burst: Memphis needed to win at Charlotte or vs. Louisville and they didn't win either; UAB won both of their games but they still have no quality wins; TCU needed a marquee win but didn't get it home against Cincinnati; Marquette is done without Travis Diener and proved it with a 22 point loss to Cincinnati; Northern Iowa needed a win against Southern Illinois to get in the conversation, and that didn't happen; South Carolina blew a big lead at home vs. Florida and that could cost them a bid; Akron could not afford to lose to Kent State at this point in the season; Arizona State went 0-2 at Washington and Washington State; Vanderbilt lost to Florida and now needs to do a lot of work to get in the discussion.

Teams that are seeing their seed rise: Villanova is one of the hottest teams out there right now, coming off of wins over Boston College and Georgetown; Connecticut might be hotter than Villanova, winning seven Big East games in a row, last week beating Notre Dame and Pitt; LSU is the best team other than Kentucky in the SEC currently, after their buzzer beating win at home vs. Alabama; Mississippi State is now a lock after a much-needed two game winning streak; Florida beat two SEC bubble teams this week, including a come from behind win over South Carolina; Charlotte is the best team no one is talking about, winning 18 of their past 20; Oklahoma is in the midst of a 4-game winning streak, but picked up their biggest win of the year with their victory over Kansas; Cincinnati is destroying the bubble teams of Conference USA, winning their last three games by an average of ten points per game; Washington may have worked their way into a 2 seed after their sweep of the Arizona schools at home.

Teams that are seeing their seed fall: One can understand Oklahoma State's loss on the road to Kansas, but dropping one to Nebraska makes me question their worthiness as a Top 2 seed; A week after getting tabbed as a sleeper for the Final Four, Alabama loses a heartbreaker to LSU on the road, then blows a 14 point lead at home to Kentucky; Utah only lost one game, but it was a Mountain West team (New Mexico), and I can't say that any team in that conference is above average on paper; Boston College also only lost one game (Villanova), but it does not help the perception that the Eagles are not quick enough on the perimeter.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you will never get tired of updating us in the world of basketball.