Saturday, December 31, 2005

Saturday, December 31st Predictions

Prediction Record: 145-78

LSU at Ohio State- Prediction: Ohio State by 7
Arizona at Washington- Prediction: Washington by 8
Louisville at Miami- Prediction: Louisville by 6
Villanova at Temple- Prediction: Villanova by 7
California at UCLA- Prediction: UCLA by 10
Alabama at Oklahoma- Prediction: Oklahoma by 5
St. Joseph's at Gonzaga- Prediction: Gonzaga by 9
Wisconsin at Pittsburgh- Prediction: Wisconsin by 3
Oral Roberts at Minnesota- Prediction: Minnesota by 5
Northwestern State at Texas A&M- Prediction: Texas A&M by 6

Friday, December 30, 2005

Friday, December 30th Predictions

Prediction Record: 140-74

Virginia Tech at Old Dominion- Prediction: Virginia Tech by 3
Vanderbilt at Dayton- Prediction: Vanderbilt by 6
Hofstra at La Salle- Prediction: Hofstra by 4
George Washington at North Carolina State- Prediction: George Washington by 2
Bradley at Wichita State- Prediction: Bradley by 2
Ohio at Kentucky- Prediction: Kentucky by 6
George Mason at Mississippi State- Prediction: George Mason by 3
Indiana State at Missouri State- Prediction: Missouri State by 4
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Montana- Prediction: Wisconsin-Milwaukee by 9

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Upcoming Articles

The posts and articles have been a little slow this week, other than the predictions. I apologize for the lack of updates; there will be several articles coming in the next few days.

Within the next week, there will be a new Bracket Breakdown with my projected Field of 65; a huge Midseason Report with updates on every D-1 team; and a new Top Ten Countdown.

Keep checking March Madness All Season for in-depth analysis and predictions on college basketball!

Thursday, December 29th Predictions

Prediction Record: 137-72

Davidson at Illinois-Chicago- Prediction: Davidson by 4
Winthrop at Auburn- Prediction: Auburn by 5
Arizona at Washington State- Prediction: Arizona by 8
California at USC- Prediction: USC by 3
Stanford at UCLA- Prediction: UCLA by 9

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Wednesday, December 28th Predictions

Prediction Record: 130-68

Tennessee Tech at Michigan State- Prediction: Michigan State by 17
Clemson at Georgia- Prediction: Georgia by 5
Pittsburgh at South Carolina- Prediction: South Carolina by 3
Oklahoma State at UAB- Prediction: Oklahoma State by 2
Oklahoma at Oral Roberts- Prediction: Oklahoma by 8
Gardner-Webb at Ohio State- Prediction: Ohio State by 11
Louisiana Tech at Wisconsin- Prediction: Wisconsin by 10
Indiana State at Wichita State- Prediction: Indiana State by 2
Missouri State at Creighton- Prediction: Creighton by 4
Northern Iowa at Bradley- Prediction: Northern Iowa by 7
Georgia Tech at Air Force- Prediction: Air Force by 3

New Articles at SCS, CHN

Don't forget to check out my new articles at SouthernCollegeSports.com, "A Look Under the Radar", and CollegeHoopsNet.com, "Game of the Week: Gonzaga at Memphis".

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tuesday, December 27th Predictions

Prediction Record: 127-67

Gonzaga at Memphis- Prediction: Memphis by 4
Alabama A&M at Tennessee- Prediction: Tennessee by 18
Rhode Island at Houston- Prediction: Houston by 6
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Wyoming- Prediction: Wisconsin-Milwaukee by 2

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Week Ahead

Tuesday

Gonzaga at Memphis
Alabama A&M at Tennessee
Rhode Island at Houston
Wiscosin-Milwaukee at Wyoming

Wednesday

Tennessee Tech at Michigan State
Clemson at Georgia
Pittsburgh at South Carolina
Oklahoma State at UAB
Oklahoma at Oral Roberts
Gardner-Webb at Ohio State
Louisiana Tech at Wisconsin
Indiana State at Wichita State
Missouri State at Creighton
Northern Iowa at Bradley
Georgia Tech at Air Force

Thursday

Davidson at Illinois-Chicago
Winthrop at Auburn
Arizona at Washington State
California at USC
Stanford at UCLA

Friday

Virginia Tech at Old Dominion
Vanderbilt at Dayton
Hofstra at La Salle
George Washington at North Carolina State
Bradley at Wichita State
Ohio at Kentucky
George Mason at Mississippi State
Indiana State at Missouri State
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Montana

Friday, December 23, 2005

Weekly Power Rankings

Every Wednesday (yes, I know today is Friday, but this is a special "Pre-Christmas" set of rankings) throughout the season, March Madness All Season will be making a Power Sweet Sixteen Ranking. Here is the inaugural ranking:

- Standard bracketing rules apply (no two teams from the same conference in the same half-bracket, etc.)
- Numbers in parenthesis next to the team indicate what 1-16 ranking they are

Atlanta Region:
1. Duke (2)
2. Florida (7)
3. George Washington (10)
4. Indiana (15)

Oakland Region:
1. Memphis (4)
2. Washington (5)
3. Ohio State (12)
4. Maryland (13)

Washington, D.C. Region:
1. Connecticut (1)
2. Michigan State (8)
3. Gonzaga (9)
4. North Carolina State (16)

Minneapolis Region:
1. Villanova (3)
2. Illinois (6)
3. UCLA (11)
4. Boston College (14)

17th Team: Wisconsin

Others Considered: Nevada, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma

Friday, December 23rd Predictions

Prediction Record: 125-65

For a complete preview of these games and all the key contests this week, click here

Iona at Kentucky- Prediction: Kentucky by 8
Northern Iowa at Dayton- Prediction: Northern Iowa by 6
LSU at Cincinnati- Prediction: LSU by 1
Colorado State vs. Iowa State- Prediction: Colorado State by 2

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New Articles at SCS, CHN

Don't forget to check out my new articles at SouthernCollegeSports.com, "All I Want for Christmas Is...", and CollegeHoopsNet.com, "Game of the Week: West Virginia at Oklahoma".

Thursday, December 22nd Predictions

Prediction Record: 120-61

For a complete preview of these games and every key contest this week, click here

Tennessee at Oklahoma State- Prediction: Tennessee by 6
Florida at Miami (Fl.)- Prediction: Florida by 8
La Salle at Villanova- Prediction: Villanova by 12
Charlotte at Rutgers- Prediction: Rutgers by 7
South Carolina at Temple- Prediction: Temple by 4
Old Dominion at UAB- Prediction: Old Dominion by 3
West Virginia at Oklahoma- Prediction: Oklahoma by 8
North Carolina State at Alabama- Prediction: North Carolina State by 3
Dayton at Cincinnati- Prediction: Cincinnati by 6

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday, December 21st Predictions

Prediction Record: 113-59

For a complete preview of these games and every key contest this week, click here

St. John's at Duke- Prediction: Duke by 17
Illinois-Chicago at Syracuse- Prediction: Syracuse by 9
St. Joseph's at Bucknell- Prediction: Bucknell by 6
Missouri at Illinois- Prediction: Illinois by 13
Western Kentucky at Arizona: Prediction: Arizona by 6
Arkansas at Texas Tech- Prediction: Arkansas by 4
Georgia at Nevada- Prediction: Nevada by 5
North Carolina at USC- Prediction: North Carolina by 3
DePaul at California- Prediction: California by 7

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Top Ten Countdown: Sixth Men

As promised a few weeks ago, March Madness All Season will begin to rank a variety of subjects in college basketball. Every Tuesday, a different topic or item will be analyzed into a comprehensive Top 10 ranking. The column's inaugural topic will be sixth men.

The new season of college basketball has brought in some fresh bench players that put up outstanding numbers off the pine. Most of the top guys are more like sixth starters. They play 25-plus minutes per game and put up starter-caliber numbers. Here is a look at some of the best:

Honorable Mention:

Gavin Grant, North Carolina State- The versatile wing averages about 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. He can take defenders off the dribble to the basket, and also plays solid defense. A multi-dimensional player. Had 22 points and 9 rebounds against Delaware; 13 points, 6 boards, and 10 assists vs. Stetson; and 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists against VMI.
Torre Johnson, Oklahoma State- Inside player puts up about 11 points and 4 boards per contest. He is a somewhat undersized post man, but manages to get buckets. He only has one game this season in which he had less than 9 points. Had 12 points and 7 rebounds against SMU; 17 points and 5 boards vs. UNLV; and back-to-back 15-point outings against Detroit and TCU.
Sean Morris, Colorado State- Scoring guard goes for 13 points per game. He is a big-time point producer and a streaky three-point shooter who doesn't do anything else exceptionally well. He has not scored below 6 points in any game and had 5 double-figure outings. Had 34 points against Colorado, and has had 3 straight double-figure games, including 15 points and 3 assists vs. IUPUI.

Now on to the Top Ten Countdown...

10. Kellen Easley, Missouri State- Versatile swingman puts up numbers in a variety of categories: 9 points, 7.6 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.7 steals, and more than 1 block per game. He is the best rebounder off the bench off the country, and can do many things well. Had 18 points and 8 boards against Arkansas State; 10 points and 7 rebounds vs. Georgia Southern; 7 points, 8 boards, 5 steals, and 4 blocks against Texas A&M- Corpus Christi; and 10 points and 12 rebounds at Oral Roberts.

9. Andre Patterson, Tennessee- Unsung forward averages 12 points and more than 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block per game. He plays inside the arc, and is involved near the basket more often than not. Provides solid scoring and rebounding, with 5 games of 10 points or more. Had 21 points and 6 rebounds against Louisiana-Lafayette; and 11 points and 14 boards vs. Murray State.

8. Shawan Robinson, Clemson- One of the ACC's most underrated players goes for 13 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal per game. The offensive-minded playmaker has 8 double-figure scoring games this season. He is a solid distributor that contributes in a variety of ways. Had 14 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals vs. Puerto Rico-Mayaguez; 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists against Penn State; and a season-high 18 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals vs. Bethune-Cookman.

7. Maureece Rice, George Washington- Super scorer averages 14 points, 3.4 assists, and more than 2 steals per game. Short (5-11) wing player can score in a myriad of ways, and is a solid distributor as well. Had 19 points against Maryland; 17 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals against Boston University; and 17 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore.

6. Rashad Anderson, Connecticut- Excellent shooter has regained his 2004 NCAA Tournament form, averaging over 12 points per game, to go with over 3 rebounds and a steal. He is shooting 51 percent from behind the arc, and hitting clutch shots. He has 6 straight double-figure scoring games, including the last four, in which he has scored at least 15 in each. Had 20 points and 4 rebounds vs. Texas Southern; and 15 points, 7 boards, and 2 steals against New Hampshire.

5. Billy Humphrey, Georgia- Best player on the Bulldogs contributes in many areas: 13 points, 5 boards, 2.6 assists, and a steal per game. He is a versatile wing that does not turn the ball over much and is surprisingly pretty solid inside. He has scored 12 or more points in 7 games this season. Had 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Eastern Kentucky; 18 points, 7 boards, and 6 assists against Florida A&M; 15 points, 6 rebonds, and 6 assists vs. Savannah State; and 19 points against Georgia Tech.

4. Dan Coleman, Minnesota- Versatile frontcourt player puts up over 13 points per game, about 5 boards, and a steal and a block per game. He has developed into a very good bench player after starting last season. He can score inside and outside, and provides a matchup problem for bigger, less-mobile big men. Has scored 11 or more points in each of the last five games. Had 16 points and 4 boards at Maryland; 23 points and 9 boards in 42 minutes at Arizona State; and 16 points and 7 rebounds vs. UNLV.

3. Ron Lewis, Ohio State- The former Bowling Green transfer is averaging almost 13 points and 5 rebounds per game, to go with a steal. He has been the best bench player in the Midwest, and has not had a single-digit scoring game thus far this season. Lewis has thrived in his sixth man role, and has been a very good point producer for the Buckeyes. Had 16 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists vs. Chicago State; 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals against Butler; and 13 points and 9 boards in 22 minutes at Iowa State.

2. Tyrus Thomas, LSU- The top freshman in the SEC, and one of the best in the country, is averaging 13 points, 9 rebounds, and over 2 blocks per game. He has been a surprise thus far, putting up better numbers than more heralded newcomer Tasmin Mitchell. Thomas is an athletic forward who gets most of buckets and rebounds in the paint. He has four double-doubles, and only one game below eight points. Had 18 points and 8 rebounds vs. Southern; 22 points and 12 boards against Nicholls State; 21 and 12 vs. Houston; and back to back 11-point, 10-rebound performances against McNeese State and New Orleans.

1. Rodney Carney, Memphis- One of the best bench players in years puts up All-Conference numbers: 17.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals per game. He is also shooting 41% from long-range. Carney is the most athletic player in the country, and is a lockdown defender. He held JJ Redick to a scoreless second half earlier this season. Carney is ridiculous in the open court, and is an outstanding finisher. He has scored in double-figures in all but one game this year, and is on pace to win Conference USA Player of the Year honors. Had 17 points and 9 boards to open the season vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee; 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals against Lamar; 25 points and 5 boards vs. Jackson State; 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals at Ole Miss; and an unbelievable 37 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 steals off the bench against Louisiana Tech.

Tuesday, December 20th Predictions

Prediction Record: 109-59

For a complete preview of these games and every key contest this week, click here

Middle Tennessee State at Louisville- Prediction: Louisville by 11

Louisiana Tech at Memphis- Prediction: Memphis by 14

Drake at Iowa- Prediction: Iowa by 8

Oral Roberts at Utah State- Prediction: Utah State by 4

Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday, December 19th Predictions

Prediction Record: 107-58

For a complete preview of these games and every key contest this week, click here

Northern Iowa at LSU- Prediction: LSU by 3

Indiana at Charlotte- Prediction: Indiana by 7

Denver at Stanford- Prediction: Stanford by 8

The Week Ahead

Monday

Northern Iowa at LSU- One of the top five games of the week. Northern Iowa is the best mid-major team in the country right now (other than Gonzaga, of course) and have a solid win over Iowa. Ben Jacobson is an excellent offensive player on the perimeter, while the inside tandem of Grant Stout and Erik Coleman is one of the better mid-major post duos. LSU is an SEC title contender whose best win is at West Virginia. Glen Davis is a double-double monster, while the freshman forward combo of Tasmin Mitchell and Tyrus Thomas has been excellent. Darrell Mitchell has been one of the best, and most improved, players in the conference.

Indiana at Charlotte- Rematch of last season's infamous game in which Brendan Plavich hit a shot from halfcourt as the buzzer sounded, giving Charlotte the victory. However, some think that he let the ball go after the buzzer. This season Indiana shouldn't have to worry about miracle shots. They are coming off of a 26-point win against Kentucky, and are looking like a threat to Michigan State and Illinois in the Big Ten. Marco Killingsworth is one of the best inside players in the nation currently, and DJ White is expected back from injury to help him against the 49ers. Marshall Strickland and Robert Vaden are two very good perimeter-oriented scorers who lead an extremely deep guard group for the Hoosiers. Charlotte has disappointed this season so far, going 5-4. Curtis Withers is an All-American candidate, and is a double-double threat everytime he steps on the court. De'Angelo Alexander is a very good wing, while Leemire Goldwire is another scorer on the perimeter.

Denver at Stanford- Could be closer than you think. Denver has Yemi Nicholson, an NBA prospect at center who averages a double-double. DaShawn Walker is the main man on the perimeter. However, the Pioneers have lost back-to-back games to North Dakota State and South Dakota State. Stanford is the biggest disappointment in the country, currently at 2-4. Chris Hernandez is an excellent point guard, while Dan Grunfeld is a solid scorer on the wing. Matt Haryasz is one of the best post players in the country, and puts up double-double numbers every time out.

Tuesday

Middle Tennessee State at Louisville- A game for the Cardinals to bounce back after their loss to Kentucky. However, MTSU is not a bad club. They are 5-2, led by guards Fats Cuyler and Adam Vogelsberg. 6-10 Kyle Young is the main man in the paint. Louisville needs a win after getting destroyed by Kentucky. Taquan Dean is an excellent guard, while Juan Palacios and David Padgett are a very good inside tandem.

Louisiana Tech at Memphis- A potentially underrated game. Memphis is the nation's most athletic team, with loads of depth all over the floor. Darius Washington is one of the best point guards in the country, when healthy, and the forward combo of Rodney Carney, the nation's top sixth manl, and Shawne Williams, the nation's best freshman, is extremely difficult to stop. Louisiana Tech is an inconsistent team, but have one of the best big men in the country in Paul Millsap. He is the best rebounder in the country and also puts up over 20 points per game.

Drake at Iowa- A matchup that has some potential for an upset. Iowa is not playing their best ball as a result of point guard Jeff Horner out with an injury for another 3 weeks. Greg Brunner is one of the best power forwards in the country, averaging close to a double-double. Adam Haluska is a superb scorer who plays better when Horner is one the floor (who wouldn't?). He had only 3 points in 42 minutes against Northern Iowa in a loss a couple of weeks ago. Drake is led by a solid trio in guards Chaun Brooks and Al Stewart and forward Ajay Calvin.

Oral Roberts at Utah State- A rematch of a game earlier this season, in which Utah State won on the road by 5. The Aggies are led by the inside-outside duo of guard Jaycee Carrol, a super scorer, and forward Nate Harris, an efficent player down low. Oral Roberts counters with one of the best perimeter-post duos in the country in Ken Tutt and Caleb Green. Green is one of the best big men in the nation, while Tutt is a streaky shooter. Larry Owens is a solid forward.

Wednesday

St. John's at Duke- Matchup that could be better than you think. St. John's always plays Duke tough, and even took down #2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium a few years back. They also beat them at the Garden a couple of years ago, and hung tight with them the entire game last season. This year, the Red Storm are 5-3, coming off of a bad loss to Marist. Darryl Hill is the main option on offense, although he has not been very efficient shooting the ball. Lamont Hamilton is a double-double threat inside. Duke is arguably the best team in the country, led by the All-American duo of guard JJ Redick and post player Shelden Williams. Redick is in the running for National Player of the Year, while Williams is unstoppable down low. Sean Dockery is the unheralded third wheel of the team, while Greg Paulus is developing into an excellent point guard.

Illinois-Chicago at Syracuse- Illinois-Chicago has defeated Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, and Northwestern already this season, while Syracuse has struggled against the likes of Manhattan, Cornell, and lost to Bucknell. UIC has an excellent forward duo in Justin Bowen and Othyus Jeffers, while Josh Mayo and Robert Bush anchor the backcourt. The Orange are led by guard Gerry McNamara, one of the best shooters in the country. He is having to play a lot of point guard this season, which is not his natural position. Demetris Nichols has developed into a very good wing player, and Terrence Roberts is a solid low-post option.

St. Joseph's at Bucknell- The battle for Pennsylvania pits two teams trying to get the nation's attention, although Bucknell and their wins against Kansas, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh over the last two years have received some recognition already. This season, the Bison also have a win at DePaul, in addition to the Syracuse win. Chris McNaughton is one of the best mid-major centers in the country, while Kevin Bettencourt and Charles Lee are a very good wing combo. St. Joe's has a quality win against Kansas, and are 4-2. Chet Stachitas, Abdulai Jalloh, and Dwayne Lee comprise one of the best perimeter trios in the nation, combining for about 48 points per game.

Missouri at Illinois- A rivalry game between a program that is trying to become a staple in the natonal picture and a program that has no idea where it's headed. Can you guess which program is which? Illinois is 11-0, with quality wins over Xavier, Georgetown, at North Carolina, at Oregon, and surprisingly decent wins against Wichita State and Rutgers. Dee Brown is one of the best point guards in the country, while James Augustine is developing into an excellent post player, nearly averaging a double-double. Jamar Smith is an excellent sixth man on the wing, and Rich McBride has provided good scoring. Missouri opened the season with a loss to Sam Houston State, and has not looked impressive since then. Thomas Gardner is the leading scorer in the Big 12 this season, and has two 30-point games so far. Jimmy McKinney and Marshall Brown are two more solid perimeter players.


Western Kentucky at Arizona- Fiesta Bowl Classic matchup. Arizona has shown a tendency to be undisciplined and sloppy this season, although they seemed very focused in their last win at Utah. Hassan Adams is a versatile player with loads of talent, while Chris Rodgers and Mustafa Shakur are a very good backcourt when playing to their potential. Western Kentucky has a good win at UAB, but has lost 2 of 3. They have one of the best backcourts, as well as one of the least known, in the country. Anthony Winchester is an outstanding three-point shooter who had a five-game streak earlier in the season in which he scored at least 25 points in each game. He is also a solid rebounder. Courtney Lee is an outstanding defender that gets to the basket on the offensive end. Both average 20 points per game.

Arkansas at Texas Tech- A game between two teams that could be headed for opposite sides of the bubble in March. Arkansas has looked fairly impressive so far, with wins against Kansas and Missouri State. Ronnie Brewer is one of the best all-around players in the country, and a strong candidate for SEC Player of the Year. On the other wing, Jonathan Modica is a very good scorer. Dontell Jefferson is an excellent distributor at the point, while Darian Townes and Charles Thomas have held their own down low. Texas Tech has showed their youth and inexperience thus far. They are 6-5, with bad losses to San Francisco, Louisiana Tech, and UNLV. Jarrius Jackson and Martin Zeno form one of the best backcourt duos in the country, combining for almost 35 points per game. Dior Lowhorn is a solid but undersized inside player.

Georgia at Nevada- An underrated and overlooked game on this week's docket. Georgia has been a surprise so far this season, and had won seven in a row before losing this past week at Oregon State. Their top six in minutes played and points per game are all guards, led by do-it-all Billy Humphrey and one of the best freshman point guards in the country, Mike Mercer. Oh yeah--both of them come off the bench. Three other perimeter players average double-figures. Nevada has been one of the better non-BCS conference teams in the country. They have wins on the road against Pacific and Kansas, and their lone loss is to UCLA. Nick Fazekas is one of the best big men in the country, and can dominate a game. Mo Charlo is a versatile forward who is a slasher-type that can also rebound, while Marcelus Kemp is a very quick scorer that gets to the basket. His shooting is inconsistent from the outside, though.

North Carolina at USC- Last year's college basketball champ takes on last year's college football title winner. UNC is a surprising 6-1, with a very impressive win on the road against Kentucky. Tyler Hansbrough leads a quartet of freshmen that have been key in the excellent start to the season. He is one of the best big men in the ACC offensively already. Freshmen perimeter players Marcus Ginyard, Danny Green, and Bobby Frasor have also been instrumental for UNC. Upperclassmen forward David Noel and Reyshawn Terry combine with Hansbrough to make up one of the best frontcourts in the nation. Noel and Terry put up 28 points and 13 rebounds together. USC has won 7 in a row since starting the season with 2 losses to CS Northridge and Oral Roberts. The perimeter trio of Nick Young, Gabe Pruitt, and Lodrick Stewart leads the way. Young is a very good scorer who can also rebound the ball well; Pruitt is an underrated point guard who can do nearly everything on the court; and Stewart is an athletic defender who can shoot.

DePaul at California- A matchup between a team that could be a spoiler in the Big East and a team that should be in the running for the Pac-10 title. DePaul had back-to-back road wins against Dayton and Wake Forest last week before getting blown out by Old Dominion, and they have also beat UAB, Creighton, and Northwestern. They are led by do-it-all guard Sammy Mejia, while forward Karron Clarke is a solid performer up front. Draelon Burns is a good scorer, whether he comes off the bench or starts. California does not have any overly impressive wins, but had a bad loss to Eastern Michigan to open the season. That was, however, without their superstar big man. The Golden Bears have one of the best power forwards in the country in Leon Powe, who is averaging 23 points and 10 boards per game. Three other players average at least 12 points per game, including the very good backcourt of Ayinde Ubaka and Richard Midgley. Center Devon Hardin is an excellent player on the low-block that relieves some of the pressure from Powe.

Thursday

Tennessee at Oklahoma State

Florida at Miami (Fl.)

La Salle at Villanova- Two undefeated teams from Philadelphia go at it in a classic Big 5 matchup. Villanova has the best backcourt in the country, by far. Randy Foye (22.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg) has been one of the best players in the country so far, while Allan Ray (20.4 ppg) is an outstanding scorer. Mike Nardi (12.4 ppg, 3.3 apg) and Kyle Lowry (9.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.1 apg) also start on the perimeter. Will Sheridan (4.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Jason Fraser (4.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg) are providing decent production up front. The surprising Explorers of La Salle are led by All-American Steven Smith (23.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.3 spg). He is a legit star in the Atlantic-10. Guards Jermaine Thomas (12.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Darnell Harris (10.1 ppg) form a solid backcourt, while Mike St. John (7.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg) is a good forward.

Charlotte at Rutgers

South Carolina at Temple

Old Dominion at UAB

West Virginia at Oklahoma- For an in-depth preview of this game, click here

North Carolina State at Alabama- Two big-name schools square off in a contest that will likely be in the 50s or 60s. Neither team is extremely efficient scoring the ball, and NC State’s slowdown game won’t allow this game to get in the 70s. Without Julius Hodge, NC State has relied on several players to get baskets on the offensive end. Five players average in double figures, led by versatile frontcourt player Ilian Evtimov (12.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg). Cedric Simmons (11.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.1 bpg) and Gavin Grant (10.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.7 apg) have both developed into very solid players at both ends of the floor in their sophomore years.The backcourt trio of Engin Atsur (10.3 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.9 spg), Tony Bethel (7.6 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), and Cameron Bennerman (10.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 spg) provides the Wolfpack with everything they need offensively and defensively. Alabama has an excellent post duo in Chuck Davis (18.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.1 bpg) and Jermareo Davidson (12.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.5 bpg), while freshman Richard Hendrix (6.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg) comes off the bench to give the Tide quality minutes. However, their guards are lacking severely. Other than Ronald Steele (9.5 ppg, 3.8 apg, 1.8 spg), one of the SEC’s best point guards, the perimeter players are not very consistent or overly productive. Justin Jonus (9.1 ppg, 53% 3-pt), Alonzo Gee (7.9 ppg), and Jean Felix (5.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg) don’t generate much attention from the defense.


Dayton at Cincinnati

Friday

Iona at Kentucky- One of the best mid-major teams in the country heads to Rupp Arena to face a team coming off a blowout rivalry victory. Iona has an excellent backcourt in Steve Burtt (24.9 ppg) and Ricky Soliver (16.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.4 apg, 3.4 spg), as well as a very solid forward in Kiril Wachsmann (12.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg). Kentucky has the best point guard in the country in Rajon Rondo (16.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.1 spg), and a host of guards providing depth in the backcourt. The inside game of the Wildcats is not overly productive, but Sheray Thomas (5.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Bobby Perry (6.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg), and Rekalin Sims (7.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) are decent.

Northern Iowa at Dayton

LSU at Cincinnati- Both of these teams could end up being Top-6 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, or on the bubble until late February. Cincinnati is led by an excellent trio in freshman point guard Devan Downey (14.4 ppg, 3.3 apg, 2.6 spg), versatile forward James White (18.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.9 spg), and undersized double-double threat Eric Hicks (13.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg). Armein Kirkland (9.2 ppg) and Cedric McGowan (9.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) are athletic scorers in the frontcourt. LSU has the best freshman tandem in the country in forwards Tasmin Mitchell (11.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Tyrus Thomas (13.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.3 bpg). In addition to those two, they have one of the best low-post players in the country in center Glen Davis (18.6 ppg, 10.9 rpg). Guard Darrell Mitchell (19.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.8 apg, 2.5 spg) has been one of the best players in the SEC this season after taking over the playmaking duties. Darnell Lazare (9.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is another good player up front.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Week in Review

At the Top

Duke followed up their dominant win over Texas last weekend with a nice seven-day layoff before beating Valparaiso handily Sunday night. Greg Paulus had 15 assists in the win, while JJ Redick had 30 points. Connecticut continued their blitzkrieg through the country with a 42-point win over New Hampshire on Sunday. The Huskies are beating teams by an average of more than 22 points per game. Marcus Williams also became eligible, even though he can’t play in a game until January 3rd. However, he can practice and shoot-around prior to the game, as well as travel with the team, if Jim Calhoun chooses to allow it. Villanova had a tough game on the road against Penn, and came out with a hard-earned 7-point victory. If they could get any sort of consistent inside production, the Wildcats would be nearly unbeatable. Memphis keeps on winning—and also on the road. The Tigers played their third straight major-conference team away from home—this time it was Ole Miss—and won convincingly. Starting point guard Darius Washington is still hampered by an injury, and only played eight minutes. Rodney Carney had 19 points off the bench. Louisville played their first meaningful game of the season and got blown out of the gym by archrival Kentucky. The Cardinals looked awful on defense, while leading scorer Taquan Dean was 5-14 shooting the ball. Kentucky, on the other hand, looked like a potential SEC champion. Rajon Rondo had 25 points and the inside players finally provided some punch down low. Washington had another easy win, this time over Eastern Washington. Jamaal Williams had 26 points, while Brandon Roy finished with 25.

Rest of the Best

Gonzaga, like most teams, took the week off, and then took the court this weekend. They had more trouble than expected at home against Virginia, but still came out with an 11-point win. Adam Morrison had 27 points, and point guard Derek Raivio came back from injury for an 18-point game. Texas showed an inability to bounce back from their shellacking against Duke last weekend in a 17-point loss at home to Tennessee. They were without starting power forward Brad Buckman, and point guard Daniel Gibson only played nine minutes after a concussion ended his day early. Tennessee looked like an SEC contender after shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, and having five players in double-figures. Oklahoma played yet another cupcake and turned in another less-than-stellar performance. In a 14-point win over Southern, the Sooners shot 21% from three-point range and their starting guard trio of Terrell Everett, Michael Neal, and David Godbold shot a combined 8 for 35 from the field. Florida won their 10th straight game to start the season with 43-point victory over Jacksonville. The Gators had 5 guys in double-figures, with three collecting double-doubles, including Corey Brewer’s triple-double. Illinois was the first team in the country to 11 wins after their victory over Coppin State on Sunday. They only managed 61 points, including only one player in double figures. Michigan State was one of the few teams to play two games this week, and the Spartans won both to get their 7th and 8th straight wins. A surprisingly tough contest against Cleveland State on Friday was followed by a 27-point victory over Florida International.

Teams Looking Good


UCLA followed up last week’s impressive win against Nevada with another very good win, this time on the road at Michigan. The backcourt of Jordan Farmar and Aaron Afflalo is easily one of the best in the country. George Washington continued their stroll through the cupcakes of America (with the exception of their game against Maryland) with a blowout win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Colonials are beating opponents by an average of almost 22 points per game. North Carolina State won their opening game of the ACC season against Miami in a solid, well-round performance. They had five guys in double figures, along with Cedric Simmons’ 8-point, 9-rebound, and 7-block game and Gavin Grant’s 6-point, 7-rebound showing. Cincinnati again looked very solid in a win, this time an annihilation over Tennessee Tech. Devan Downey might be the best freshman point guard in the country; James White is one of the better all-around players in the Big East; and Eric Hicks is a double-double threat every time he steps on the court. Ohio State continues to fly under the radar as an undefeated team, this week winning on the road against Iowa State. The Buckeyes improved to 7-0 after a late run propelled them to victory. Guard Je’Kel Foster is shooting an unbelievable 61 percent from beyond the arc. Virginia Tech went out to Las Vegas and defeated Stanford for a hard-fought win. On a day when their two star guards, Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell shot a combined 8 for 26, the Hokies were able to win as they outscored the Cardinal by 16 in the second half, and destroyed Stanford on the offensive glass. Pacific is beginning to look like the Pacific teams of the past two seasons after they beat WAC contender Fresno State by 33 at home. Christian Maraker is developing into a star after he had his fourth straight game with at least 20 points, but snapped his 5-game double-double streak. Wisconsin continues to find ways to win, as demonstrated by two more tight wins over mid-majors at home. UNC-Wilmington and Wisconsin-Milwaukee both hung in the game and had chances to win in the second half, but the Badgers came out of both with a W. Minnesota welcomed back star wing Vincent Grier from injury, and got a much-needed win at home against UAB in a matchup of potential bubble teams. Grier had 12 points in his first game back. Creighton is back to their winning ways after a short struggle period after the potentially season-ending injury to star Nate Funk. The Bluejays pulled out a 2-point victory at home against Xavier. They held the Musketeers’ leading scorer, Brian Thornton, to only 2 points. Anthony Tolliver had 26 points. Arizona could be back on track. They won their third in a row, this one a 30-point blowout victory on the road at Utah. Hassan Adams finally demonstrated his dominant side, scoring 27 points. Arkansas became the first team to beat Missouri State on Thursday, and then came back Saturday to defeat Rice. They could be an SEC contender if they get more consistency out of their inside players.

Not-So-Impressive Teams

Just when you thought Wake Forest had their point guard situation figured out and were back on track, they lose to DePaul—at home. Justin Gray shot 3 for 11 from the field, and the Demon Deacons shot a paltry 29 percent from beyond the arc. They did, however, beat Princeton on Sunday. Houston ruined their first Top 25 appearance in years by losing on the road to South Alabama on Saturday. The Cougars shot less than 33 percent as a team from the field, and just above 22 percent from three-point territory. Iowa State was coming off of a solid win over Iowa, but couldn’t keep the momentum going as they lost at home to Ohio State. The vaunted backcourt duo of Will Blalock and Curtis Stinson shot 11 for 28 from the field, and the entire team only shot 15% from three. Ohio was supposed to be a top mid-major team, capable of beating some powers this season. So they went into Cincinnati—and lost by 28. The Bobcats shot a awful 32% from the field. Their top three scorers—Leon Williams, Mychal Green, and Jeremy Fears—combined to shoot 7 of 33. Princeton scored 21 points in an entire game against Monmouth. Enough said. Temple came off of a very solid win against SEC contender Alabama last week and went into SEC cellar dweller Auburn and lost by 31. The Owls are expected to be a bubble team come March, but losses like that don’t help their resume.

Sunday, December 18th Predictions

Prediction Record: 104-57

For a complete preview of these games and other key contests this weekend, check out my weekend preview

Davidson at Syracuse- Prediction: Syracuse by 6

Miami (Fl.) at North Carolina State- Prediction: NC State by 7

Valparaiso at Duke- Prediction: Duke by 16

Xavier at Creighton- Prediction: Xavier by 3

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Saturday, December 17th Predictions

Prediction Record: 97-51

For a complete preview of these games, check out my weekend preview

UCLA at Michigan- Prediction: Michigan by 2

Louisville at Kentucky- Prediction: Louisville by 11

Tennessee at Texas- Prediction: Texas by 9

Arizona at Utah- Prediction: Arizona by 7

Northern Illinois at Illinois-Chicago- Prediction: Northern Illinois by 4

Utah State at Hawaii- Prediction: Hawaii by 5

DePaul at Old Dominion- Prediction: Old Dominion by 6

Tennessee Tech at Cincinnati- Prediction: Cincinnati by 10

Ohio State at Iowa State- Prediction: Iowa State by 3

Virginia at Gonzaga- Prediction: Gonzaga by 11

Oregon at New Mexico- Prediction: Oregon by 4

Fresno State at Pacific- Prediction: Pacific by 3

Virginia Tech vs. Stanford- Prediction: Virginia Tech by 5

Friday, December 16, 2005

Weekend Preview

As a result of final exams at most schools, it has been a slow week in college basketball, as demonstrated by the lack of big games. That will continue this weekend, even though there are several marquee games on the docket. This is one of the last opportunities for teams to beef up their non-conference resume and to get a look at themselves prior to conference play. That should lead to plenty of quality contests and an exciting couple of days in college hoops.

UCLA at Michigan (Saturday, 12:00, ESPN)- A solid rivalry matchup between two teams that could be major players in their conference races. Michigan is 7-0 with wins over Miami (Fl.) and Notre Dame, and are looking like the surprise team in the Big Ten. Daniel Horton is one of the best point guards in the league, while Courtney Sims is developing into a stud big man down low. UCLA is 7-1, coming off of a victory over Nevada. The perimeter-oriented Bruins have one of the best backcourts in the country in all-conference point guard Jordan Farmar and super scorer Aaron Afflalo, both sophomores. Cedric Bozeman is a versatile third option.

Louisville at Kentucky (Saturday, 2:00, CBS)- Click here for my complete preview of this game.

Tennessee at Texas (Saturday, 2:00, ESPN)- A matchup of two teams in need of a win. Tennessee is undefeated and unproven, and are looking for a huge win to add to their NCAA profile. They are 5-0, with all the wins over mid-major squads. Five players average in double figures for the Volunteers, including Chris Lofton (45% from three) and C.J. Watson, one of the best backcourts in the SEC. Texas needs a victory after getting embarassed by Duke last weekend. Daniel Gibson needs to look for his shot more on offense, while PJ Tucker has to utilize his strength to get easy buckets inside. LaMarcus Aldridge is a potentially dominant inside player.

Arizona at Utah (Saturday, 4:00, ESPN)- Both teams have fallen on somewhat hard times since the loss of three star seniors, including Andrew Bogut of Utah, and Salim Stoudamaire and Channing Frye of Arizona. Arizona has shown a tendency to be undisciplined and sloppy this season. Hassan Adams is a versatile player with loads of talent, while Chris Rodgers and Mustafa Shakur are a very good backcourt when playing to their potential. Utah has road losses to Rice and Colorado, and need a big win at home against a quality opponent. The combination of forward Bryant Markson and guard Johnnie Bryant has been very successful for the Utes.

Northern Illinois at Illinois-Chicago (Saturday, 5:00)- This is a game between two teams that should contend for an automatic bid in their league, if they develop consistency. Northern Illinois has a solid home win over DePaul, but not much else in terms of their schedule. Todd Peterson and James Hughes are a good frontcourt duo, while Cory Sims and Mike McKinney are solid guards. Illinois-Chicago has victories over major-conference teams Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, and Northwestern, but also lost to Denver and St. Xavier (an NAIA team) at home. Justin Bowen and Othyus Jeffers form one of the best frontcourt combos in the Horizon League.

Utah State at Hawaii (Saturday, 6:05)- This could go a long way towards determining who the second best team is in the WAC, behind Nevada. Utah State beat Oral Roberts but lost to Utah and Middle Tennessee State, and are currently an unimpressive 4-2. Guard Jaycee Carroll (46% from three) is an outstanding shooter that is averaging 20 points per game, while Nate Harris (14.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is tough to stop in the frontcourt. Hawaii opened the season with a victory over Michigan State, but have since lost to 2-5 UNLV, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Julian Sensley has the talent to be one of the top players in the WAC, while fellow forward Ahmet Gueye (15.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is very productive as his bookend. Guard Matt Lojeski provides balance from the perimeter.

DePaul at Old Dominion (Saturday, 7:00)- An underrated game that ODU has to look out for if they are to build an at-large resume. DePaul is coming off of back-to-back road wins against Dayton and Wake Forest, and they have also beat UAB, Creighton, and Northwestern. Old Dominion, on the other hand, is coming off a 19-point loss to Drexel. DePaul is led by do-it-all guard Sammy Mejia, while forward Karron Clarke is a solid performer up front. ODU has an excellent frontcourt duo in Alex Loughton and Arnaud Dahi, as well as a very good backcourt of Isaiah Hunter and Drew Williamson.

Tennessee Tech at Cincinnati (Saturday, 7:00)- A longshot upset pick. Tennessee Tech has been somewhat of a surprise, sitting at 6-1 (3-0 in the OVC) and atop the conference standings. Six players average over nine points per game, including forward Derek Stribling, a versatile player who is shooting 57% from beyond the arc. Belton Rivers and Anthony Fisher are a solid backcourt. Cincinnati has looked impressive of late, winning at Vanderbilt and then destroying Ohio. James White is one of the best all-around players in the Big East, while Eric Hicks is a double-double monster down low. Freshman point guard Devan Downey has been the key to the Bearcats' recent success--he has averaged 21 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals in the past two games.

Ohio State at Iowa State (Saturday, 8:00, ESPN2)- One of the best games of the weekend. Both teams are looking for a quality win to the put on their non-conference resume. Ohio State is 6-0, with two solid victories over Virginia Tech and St. Joseph's. Five palyers average in double figures, led by Je'Kel Foster's 16 points per game and 57% 3-point shooting percentage. Terence Dials can be a dominant player inside, while JJ Sullinger leads a host of perimeter players from the Buckeyes. Iowa State has struggled somewhat this season, with losses to Iona and Fresno State, but also have wins over Northern Iowa and Iowa. Curtis Stinson is one of the best all-around players in the nation, while his backcourt partner Will Blalock is an outstanding point guard. Rahshon Clark is a matchup problem in the froncourt, due to his athleticism and scoring variety.

Oregon at New Mexico (Saturday, 9:00, ESPN Full Court)- Two teams out west that need a win here to have any chance at an at-large berth come March, if it is not too late. New Mexico has a bad loss to New Mexico State and no wins that really jump out at you. Mark Walters and David Chiotti are a good inside-outside combo for the Lobos. Oregon has lost three in a row before beating Santa Clara on Tuesday. Malik Hairston is an excellent all-around player on the wing, while Aaron Brooks and Bryce Taylor round out a very good perimter trio.

Fresno State at Pacific (Saturday, 10:00)- A matchup of two teams from the West that have surprised some this season. Fresno State was not expected to be a major player in the WAC race, but are 4-2 with a win on the road at Iowa State. Swingman Quinton Hosley is averaging 19 points and 9 boards per game (including three straight double-doubles), while guard Ja'Vance Coleman is putting up over 17 per contest. Pacific was supposed to fall in the Big West race after the loss of several key seniors from last season. However, the Tigers are 6-3 and looking good. Christian Maraker is playing like one of the best players in the country, and is coming off a 34-point, 12-rebound performance against Western Kentucky. Johnny Gray and Mike Webb form a solid backcourt.

Virginia Tech vs. Stanford (Saturday, 12:30, ESPN)- A late night matchup of two teams that need to pick up some quality wins. Virginia Tech is 7-3, including a loss at Duke after a half-court buzzer shot lifted the Blue Devils to victory. Coleman Collins is one of the most underrated, albeit one of the best, big men in the country. Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon form a versatile backcourt, while Deron Washington gives the Hokies an athletic forward. Stanford is the biggest disappointment in the country so far, sitting at 2-3 with losses to UC-Irvine, Montana, and UC-Davis. Matt Haryasz is averaging a double-double for the Cardinal, while Dan Grunfeld and Chris Hernandez comprise what is potentially one of the best perimeter duos in the country.

Davidson at Syracuse (Sunday, 1:00)- A possible upset brewing at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse has struggled against mid-majors at home this season, including two close wins against Manhattan and Cornell, and a loss to Bucknell. Gerry McNamara is playing the point guard role, and has seen his efficiency shooting the ball go down. Demetris Nichols has developed into a very good perimeter scorer for the Orange, while Terrence Roberts is a decent option down low. Davidson is 6-2, with the only losses at Duke and at Charlotte. Ian Johnson is a very good forward, while Brendan Winters may be the best player in the Southern Conference.

Miami (Fl.) at North Carolina State (Sunday, 5:30, FSN)- Two teams that could be on the bubble come March have their first ACC game of the season. NC State is 7-1, with their best win coming on the road at Notre Dame. Ilian Evtimov is an inside-outside scorer from the forward position, while Cedric Simmons is becoming a solid option down low. Gavin Grant is a very versatile, all-around player on the wing. Miami started 4-3 without starting point guard Anthony Harris, but now they have him back from injury, and that should help him tremendously. Guillermo Diaz and Robert Hite are an excellent scoring duo on the wing for the Hurricanes.

Valparaiso at Duke (Sunday, 8:00, FSN)- It would have been more plausible to conceive the thought of an upset prior to last week's Meadowlands Massacre, in which Duke beat #2 Texas by 31 points. JJ Redick had 41 points, and is a contender for National Player of the Year, while Shelden Williams is possibly the most dominant big man in the country. Sean Dockery leads a host of role players capable of stepping up any night. Valparaiso is coming off of a win at Charlotte, and look very solid. Dan Oppland (20.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is one of the best players in the conference, while big man Mohamed Kane (12.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg) gives Oppland a very good partner in the frontcourt. Ron Howard is the main man on the perimeter.

Xavier at Creighton (Sunday, 8:05)- A game between two teams that could potentially receive at-large bids to the Big Dance. Xavier is 5-1, the lone defeat a 3-point loss at Illinois. Brian Thornton is a good option down low, while Justin Doellman and Justin Cage are also solid players up front. Stanley Burrell is the go-to-guy in the backcourt. He is shooting an astonishing 56% from long range. Creighton may be without star guard Nate Funk for the rest of the season, but they are still a quality club, as demonstrated by their 26-point win over Nebraska. Johnny Mathies is a good all-around guard, while Jimmy Motz, Anthony Tolliver, and Dane Watts comprise a good forward trio. Freshman Josh Dotzler has been impressive at the point.

Game of the Week Article

Don't forget to check out my new article over at CollegeHoopsNet- Game of the Week: Louisville at Kentucky

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Thursday, December 15th Preview

Prediction Record: 95-51

Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Wisconsin: Solid matchup in arguably the two best teams in the state. The Badgers' are sitting at 8-1, although not a dominant 8-1. They have beat mid-majors Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion, and UNC-Wilmington in down-to-the-wire games, as well as Marquette at home. Alando Tucker is one of the best scorers in the country, while Kammron Taylor is developing into a very good scoring point guard. Wisonsin-Milwaukee does not look impressive at 4-2, but the losses were at Memphis and surprising Tennessee Tech. They beat Saint Louis and Hawaii at home. Joah Tucker is capable of exploding for a big night, while guard Boo Davis and forward Adrian Tigert are solid contributors. The depth and balance of Wisconsin will be the difference in this game. Prediction: Wisconsin by 6

Missouri State at Arkansas: An underrated match-up between one of the best mid-majors in the country from the MVC and a potential NCAA team from the SEC. Arkansas has two losses, both to teams expected to make runs in the NCAA Tournament, Connecticut and Maryland. Their most impressive win to date is over Kansas. Ronnie Brewer is one of the best players in the country, while fellow wing Jonathan Modica is a very good scorer. Darian Townes has the potential to be one of the SEC's best centers. Missouri State is standing at a dominant 6-0, with an average margin of victory of over 24 points per game. Wins over Oral Roberts and a solid Northern Illinois team highlight the victories. Blake Ahearn is putting up over 21 points per game and shooting 52 percent from deep, while Tyler Chaney and Deke Thompson lead six other players that average over nine points per game. This would boost Missouri State's NCAA resume a ton, but the athleticism of the Razorbacks and the presence of Brewer will be too much. Prediction: Arkansas by 4

Update about the lack of updates

Sorry about the lack of new articles this week. The semester is winding down at Delaware, meaning finals, etc. That has not left me much time to update the site with new articles and the weekly columns I had mentioned last week. Just like the fact that it is a slow week in the college basketball world, in terms of high-quality games, it has been a slow week at March Madness All Season. I promise you, starting Friday with the "Weekend Preview", March Madness All Season will get back into the swing of things.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wednesday, December 14th Preview

Prediction Record: 93-50

Winthrop at South Carolina- Prediction: Winthrop by 3

Ohio at Cincinnati- Prediction: Cincinnati by 5

UAB at Minnesota- Prediction: Minnesota by 4

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday, December 11th Preview

Prediction Record: 91-50

Boston College at Maryland (8:00, FSN)- This is the first game of the ACC season for both of these teams, and it could be a classic. Boston College won the first six games of their season, until losing to Michigan State in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Their best win of the season was against Oklahoma State in Las Vegas. None of their other wins were overly impressive. They are averaging 79 points per game, while allowing about 67 per game. Those are typical BC numbers, as they seem to always let teams hang around and then the Eagles pull it out in the end. They are led by one of the best frontcourt duos in the country, Craig Smith and Jared Dudley. Dudley is one of the most underrated players in the country, mostly as a result of him being overshadowed by Smith. He is a solid inside-outside forward who is also an excellent rebounder and defender. Smith has not been his usual dominant self so far this season, even with his 15 points and 8 rebounds per game numbers. He is a beast inside who is very difficult to stop once he gets the ball. John Oates has earned a few starts at the center position, and provides decent scoring and rebounding. On the perimeter, the wing combo of Sean Marshall and Tyrese Rice are the main scorers. Marshall has become a consistent point producer this season, putting up almost 15 a game. Rice is one of the best freshman in the country, giving the Eagles a scoring guard that can shoot and drive to the basket. Louis Hinnant is a big point guard at 6-4. He is an excellent distributor, but not much of a scorer. Marquez Haynes provides depth in the backcourt. On the other hand, Maryland has been challenged in their non-league portion than the Eagles have been. They have had losses to Top 15 teams Gonzaga and George Washington, both away from home. The Terps also have decent wins over Minnesota and Arkansas, though. The high-scoring group puts up almost 85 points per game, gives up just over 70 per game. Maryland is an athletic team that likes to put pressure on the other team defensively, and gets up and down the floor quickly. In the backcourt, DJ Strawberry, Chris McCray, and Mike Jones are one of the better trios that you will find. The 6-5 Strawberry is a very good defender, and combined with the 6-5 McCray, give the Terps one of the best defensive backcourts in the country. Strawberry is 5-7 on three-pointers this season, and is a good scorer in transition, while also distributing well. He is one of five double-figure scorers on the team. McCray is the leading scorer for Maryland. He is a good passer and defender as well. Jones is automatic offense off the bench. He averages 9 points in 20 minutes per game, and shoots 52 percent from deep. Up front, the quartet of Nik Caner-Medley, James Gist, Travis Garrison, and Ekene Ibekwe is very good. They are basically four starters, as Gist, Garrison, and Ibekwe all average about 20 minutes per game. Caner-Medley is a versatile scorer, but is inconsistent. Gist is extremely athletic who has slowed down somewhat since beginning the season with four straight double-figure games. Garrison is the best rebounder on the team, and can also score well. He had 23 and 14 against Western Carolina last game, giving him three straight double-figure rebounding games. Ibekwe is a good shot blocker and a good leaper who has not become a very good rebounder yet. Both teams are going to be contenders in the ACC this season, both also likely finishing in the Top 3 behind Duke. The difference in this game is going to be Maryland's balance and athleticism. Seven guys average at least 9 points and 20 minutes per game for the Terps. Even if Craig Smith has a huge game down low, as he should, Maryland's pressure is going to create a lot of turnovers by Louis Hinnant, leading to easy baskets for the athletic Terrapins. Mike Jones off the bench could be the difference. Plus, Maryland is at home. Prediction: Maryland by 3

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Texas-Duke Game Log

4 minutes-End of Game

- Final score: 97-66
- Duke looked phenomenal throughout the game...down to the last second..
- Will Duke get 100? Doesn't look like it, after Boykin missed a layup..
- Boykin gets another two points, assist from Paulus
- Texas still playing hard, which is nice to see...walk-on senior Perkins comes in the game
- Duke up by 31 with 1:40 left...Duke has hit 21 FTs...
- Duke bringing in the freshmen crew...Eric Boateng, Jamal Boykin, Pocius, Paulus (very impressive today)
- Redick comes out...excellent game for him: 41 points, 13-24 from the field, 9-16 from three
- Pocius gets a layup..solid scorer, should get more minutes

8-4 minutes..

- Duke up 89-62 with 2:42 left..final TV timeout
- Pocius hits a three..thought he was going to play more this season due to his shooting..
- Tucker gets a block, Texas still has their big 3 of Aldridge (who just got a basket), Tucker, and Gibson in the game, as Duke has four of their top 6 in the game still..I want to see the bench guys get minutes
- Redick gets a steal..doing it all for the Blue Devils
- Everyone on Duke playing well today...Melchionni hit a three, Dockery playing good defense, Paulus penetrating and dishing, McRoberts dominating the glass and getting a few dunks...
- Duke up 84-58 with just over four minutes left..
- Shelden Williams has been overshadowed by Redick, but he seems like he is going to have a 20-10 performance..
- Tucker gets a layup..Texas has the ability to hang with Duke if they did this the whole game
- Gibson isos himself, penetrates, and gets a layup..should have done that the entire game
- Redick has 41..can score whenever he wants
- Texas is not looking like the #2 team in the country, but Buckman is not in the game, which makes a difference
- Duke shooting 11/20 from three, Texas 3-10
- Once Redick comes back in, Duke ran off another string of points...
- Redick hits a three, 39 points, nine threes...he and Tucker getting into it a little bit
- Duke went on a 22-4 run to break the game open

12-8 minutes..

- Duke up 71-52 with under eight minutes left..
- Paulino had a chance to cut the lead to 17, missed the front end of a one and one
- Redick comes out..hasn't scored in awhile
- Texas on a 6-0 run after Gibson hits a three...Texas making a little charge at a decent score
- Just realized that Duke is dominating this game while Texas does not have Buckman, I think he would have made a big difference guarding Shelden..although JJ Redick would still be dominating
- Texas getting some baskets, trying to make this a respectable score...it's not really working though
- Aldridge makes a nice defensive play and then beats Shelden down the court and will go to the line
- Texas has 13 turnovers, 4 for Duke
- Duke up 71-46
- Redick even takes a charge...he is on top of his game today
- They are stepping up their defense as well..Krzyzewski had these guys ready for Texas
- Paulus drives and dishes to Williams for the easy two..Duke is looking better than they have all season (obviously)

16-12 minutes..

- Duke is really turning the game into a blowout and a "Will JJ get 50?" show
- Texas is very out of sync offensively, and can't guard or rebound on the defensive end
- Redick missed another one, but Paulus got the rebound (how does Paulus grab a rebound over Aldridge and co.?)
- Redick misses a three..but McRoberts comes up with a big rebound..Texas can't defend Duke whatsoever
- Redick hits a step back three..Texas can't guard him..36 points with 12:30 left..
- JJ has 33 points, 7 of 11 from three...16-0 run for Duke
- Redick comes off a curl, and hits ANOTHER three..he is showing the nation that he is the best player in the country (although I still think Morrison is)
- Texas has not gotten a clean shot since Duke began their run..
- No team is going to lose with those statistics
- Duke is shooting 62 percent from the field...Duke with 21 points off turnovers
- 63-44, Duke...so much for that run by Texas
- Another turnover by Texas, Paulus hits a lay-up
- Redick banks in a turnaround, Duke up 17
- Texas falling apart offensively, trying to force things
- Duke on a 9-0 run after Williams hits a little jump hook

First four minutes of the second half...

- Redick hits a long three...Texas' run is forgotten..57-44, Duke
- Gibson gets fouled 2-3 times on the play, no call...key play...Duke up 10 with the ball
- Dockery gets a steal and layup..Duke getting momentum back (54-44, Duke)
- He hits both FTs (52-44, Duke)
- Shelden is taking advantage of the fact that Texas is not doubling him every time he touches it..
- Redick is forcing some shots
- Follow up dunk by Aldridge..Texas starting to get into the lane more..
- Redick gets the roll on another three
- Texas getting some momentum..7-0 run..timeout Duke
- Tucker hits both..(47-42, Duke)
- Texas playing better...Gibson penetrating more, Longhorns' defense has also improved this half
- Duke turnover, Tucker will head to the line
- Gibson penetrates, kicks out to Paulino for a three
- Gibson makes another shot..starting to assert himself
- Shelden dunks it down low..dominating Mike Williams (47-35, Duke)
- Gibson takes first two shots of half...(45-35, Duke)
- Buckman not starting the second half..calf injury, 50/50 on a return
- Duke: 6/12 from 3; Texas 1/3
- Texas needs to: Gibson needs to become more of a scorer; Tucker needs to take it down low more; they need to get someone out on Redick; and they need to dominate the glass like they should be doing already.

4 minutes-Halftime...

- 45-33, Duke at the half...looking like the #1 team in the country...Texas not overly impressive
- Tucker iso-ing himself as the clock winds down..misses the shot at the buzzer
- McRoberts very impressive today, on both ends (45-33, Duke)
- Texas needs to get it to about six by halftime to feel good about themselves
- Paulino gets another basket driving to the hoop..11 points for him (43-33, Duke)
- Aldridge, Tucker, and Paulino only impressive performers for Texas
- Duke getting all the loose balls and long rebunds
- 7 turnovers for Texas..Redick hits a jumper
- Texas turning the ball over too much, Duke taking advantage
- Buckman has leg cramps, but they wrapped up his knee...I'll keep you posted
- Texas really trying to get their points in the paint, not shooting any threes
- Redick has 20 points with 3:33 left in the half (41-31, Duke)
- Texas had a chance to grab the board and lost the ball..key play..
- Redick has been quiet for the past two-three minutes..then gets fouled, shooting two...

8-4 minutes...

- Texas needs to assert themselves in the paint..haven't tried any perimeter shots
- Mike Williams makes a nice defense play, then hits a jumper for Texas (39-31, Duke)
- Texas needs a basket...they get it..Tucker too strong, dish to Aldridge
- Buckman hurt his knee..not sure what happened
- Duke trying to run away with it..timeout Texas (39-27, Duke)
- Penetration and dish to McRoberts for the dunk, then he steals it and slams it home again
- Tucker gets a putback, still aren't creating shots for easy baskets (35-25, Duke)
- Shelden hits a free throw line jumper, Texas is playing awful defense
- Redick is dominating on the offensive end, and Texas isn't hitting their shots (33-23, Duke)
- Texas turning the ball over, not looking efficient
- Texas needs some perimeter scoring

12-8 minutes...

- Duke getting some momentum, Texas has to withstand the run
- Duke freshmen making an impact (31-23, Duke)
- Paulus gets a lay up, McRoberts intercepts the pass, Paulus makes the dish to Shelden for the dunk
- Gibson drives the lane, and dishes to Aldridge for the dunk (27-23, Duke)
- Buckman needs to assert himself against McRoberts
- Redick hits a step back three..Texas needs to get on him (27-19, Duke)
- And he does. Tucker overpowers him in the lane. (24-19, Duke)
- Tucker has Pocius on him..he has to take advantage of that..
- Duke 5 of 7 from beyond the arc today
- Melchionni hits a three, they need him to be consistent with his shot today (24-17, Duke)
- Texas looking they are trying to take control...and then they turn it over--again (21-17, Duke)
- Gibson blocks Shelden from behind, then comes back down and charges into a defender
- Paulino gets another basket...surprising scorer today

16-12 minutes...

- Paulino hits a three-- they need him to hit shots if they are going to win
- McRoberts doing a solid job on the glass
- Redick comes off a dribble handoff and hits a long three (15-11, Duke)
- Redick is getting hot, hitting shots, already in double figures (17-11, Duke)
- Buckman not looking very solid down low..not taking advantage of his edge over McRoberts
- Tucker easily drove the lane...too strong for anyone on Duke (17-13, Duke)
- Williams dominating the interior..Aldridge and co. are having difficulty blocking him out
- Paulino gets a basket..if he gets ten points, Texas should win the game
- Redick hit another three..Texas is not doing a good job of defending him at all... (21-15, Duke)

First four minutes...

- Expected starting lineups
- Shelden gets first basket, overpowers Buckman (2-0, Duke)
- Gibson shows that he has a huge advantage over Duke's PGs (2-2)
- Shelden overpowers Buckman twice in the early going (4-2, Duke)
- Aldridge throws down (4-4)
- Redick missing shots early
- Not the crispest of games in the early going
- Aldridge looking very good with 4 points
- Redick finally gets going off of a screen (8-6, Duke)
- Duke getting baskets in transition
- Both teams starting to heat up (10-8, Duke)
- Redick hits two free throws (12-8, Duke)