Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday, November 30th Predictions

Prediction Record: 102-39

Arkansas at Missouri- Prediction: Arkansas 74, Missouri 70

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday, November 29th Predictions

Prediction Record: 92-37

Michigan State at Boston College- Prediction: Boston College 66, Michigan State 60
Iowa at Virginia Tech- Prediction: Virginia Tech 73, Iowa 64
Virginia at Purdue- Prediction: Virginia 72, Purdue 68
Toledo at Drexel- Prediction: Drexel 70, Toledo 65
Oregon at Georgetown- Prediction: Georgetown 74, Oregon 67
Old Dominion at Marist- Prediction: Marist 68, Old Dominion 66
Charlotte at Mississippi State- Prediction: Mississippi State 76, Charlotte 68
Saint Louis at Loyola Chicago- Prediction: Saint Louis 67, Loyola Chicago 64
Iowa State at Northern Iowa- Prediction: Northern Iowa 69, Iowa State 63
Ohio State at North Carolina- Prediction: North Carolina 86, Ohio State 75
Wake Forest at Air Force- Prediction: Air Force 62, Wake Forest 52
Kansas State at California- Prediction: California 71, Kansas State 65

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday, November 28th Predictions

Prediction Record: 85-35

Maryland at Illinois- Prediction: Illinois 74, Maryland 72
Charleston at Kentucky- Prediction: Kentucky 78, Charleston 65
Florida State at Wisconsin- Prediction: Wisconsin 70, Florida State 61
UAB at Western Kentucky- Prediction: Western Kentucky 77, UAB 69
Penn State at Georgia Tech- Prediction: Georgia Tech 82, Penn State 71
New Mexico State at New Mexico- Prediction: New Mexico 76, New Mexico State 70
Indiana at Duke- Prediction: Duke 73, Indiana 63
Miami (Fl.) at Northwestern- Prediction: Miami (Fl.) 64, Northwestern 56
Long Beach State at UCLA- Prediction: UCLA 79, Long Beach State 66

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday, November 27th Predictions

Prediction Record: 84-34

Michigan at North Carolina State- Prediction: Michigan 73, North Carolina State 64
Holy Cross at Syracuse- Prediction: Syracuse 78, Holy Cross 61

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Notes and Observations, Volume Two

Here are a variety of thoughts and observations I have for the past two weeks of the college basketball season:

- Tennessee could be good later on, but they are not a postseason team right now. They have absolutely no half-court offense--especially when Chris Lofton doesn't score thirty-plus points. Their freshmen take ill-advised shots on the offensive end, especially Ramar Smith. He dribbles way too much, and turns it over often. He does not seem to be in control on a regular basis. Moreover, the Vols can't rebound or defend in the half-court. When their press is not working and creating offense, Tennessee is not a good whatsoever.

- Butler looks better and better with every outing. They seem to be able to force their style of play on nearly any opponent, making it difficult for teams to come back on them with the Bulldogs' ability to limit possessions late in the game. They have a lot of shooters and players that know their role on both ends of the floor. A.J. Graves has been outstanding thus far. They are definitely a team to watch in March.

- Don't worry about North Carolina losing to Gonzaga. They are still very young, and have yet to really use a set rotation. Although they have not looked that great yet, Roy Williams still seems to be looking for the right mix of personnel. Their defense needs to improve, though.

- Gonzaga does not seem to miss Adam Morrison very much. They may not have the dominant player of Morrison or J.P. Batista's caliber, but they have more options and could be tougher to gameplan against. Josh Heytvelt is one of the best big men in the country. He is tough to defend with his back to the basket and has a nice touch off the glass. He also has the ability to take defenders off the dribble from the foul-line and in. Moreover, Matt Bouldin is one of the most underrated freshmen in the country--he is a big-time perimeter scorer.

- Georgia Tech reminds me a lot of last year's Memphis team. They are long, athletic, and deep. Moreover, they have a point guard that is better suited as a scorer. That point guard, Javaris Crittenton, has the ability to breakdown most defenders and get to the basket. He is also quick on the defense end. However, he has not shown that he can run a half-court offense yet. The Yellow Jackets have plenty of options. Lewis Clinch can score, Thaddeus Young is a star, Muhammed Faye can do a variety of things, Ra'Sean Dickey and Jeremis Smith can bang inside, and Anthony Morrow can shoot. If they learn how to defend the interior, Tech could be very, very good.

- Memphis is great when they can wear teams down. However, when teams can match their depth and athleticism, they are not as efficient. They are not that great in the half-court, but have plenty of shooters and guys that can get to the basket off the dribble. Chris Douglas-Roberts is good at getting to the rim, while Antonion Anderson and Jeremy Hunt are also scorers on the wing. Robert Dozier needs to step up down low, though. He played only 8 minutes because of foul trouble against Georgia Tech.

- UCLA is the team to beat out west, and would be my #1 team if I had a vote in the AP poll. Darren Collison has done a great job of replacing Jordan Farmar, and could be even better. He is very quick and can create plays for himself and his teammates. Arron Afflalo is becoming the go-to-guy, while Josh Shipp is another scorer on the wing. Up front, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is getting better and better, and Lorenzo Mata is providing the Bruins with an interior presence.

- Kentucky will be solid this season. Randolph Morris could be a dominant center, and needs to be if the Wildcats are going to compete with Florida, Alabama, and LSU. Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford are solid scorers on the perimeter. Freshman Jodie Meeks has looked good so far on the wing.

- Marquette has improved drastically since the start of the season. They opened with two close wins against Hillsdale and Idaho State, but have since defeated the likes of Texas Tech and Duke. The win over the Blue Devils was particularly impressive. Dominic James might be the best player in the Big East. Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews contribute in a variety of ways on the wing, while Ousmane Barro and Lazar Hayward are playing well up front. If they can find a consistent post presence, the Golden Eagles will make a run in the Big East.

- Duke will be tough to beat once the freshmen develop. Jon Scheyer has demonstrated his shooting ability, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek are playing very well up front, and Gerald Henderson has contributed on the wing. As for the returnees, DeMarcus Nelson has looked good, but the same can't be said for Josh McRoberts or Greg Paulus. McRoberts needs to take better shots and has to learn to dominate down low instead of hanging out on the perimeter. Against post-deficient Marquette, McRoberts was 4 for 16. Paulus is turning the ball over too much and is not breaking his defender down enough off the dribble.

- Boston College has problems. They have double-digit losses to both Providence and Vermont, and are struggling. Jared Dudley needs help. He is doing everything he can do, but it is not enough. The point guard play has not been good. Tyrese Rice is scoring well, but he is turning it over four times a game. Sean Williams is a dominant shot-blocker and rebounder, but needs to become more of an offensive force. They miss Craig Smith.

- Maryland is not looking like the point guard-less, chemistry-less team of year's past. D.J. Strawberry and Mike Jones are playing very well on the wing, while Ekene Ibekwe has loads of potential down low. If Ibekwe plays the same way he did against St. John's (22 points, 14 rebounds) every night, the Terps will be dominant. Freshman Greivis Vasquez has been impressive, and fellow frosh Eric Hayes has been solid at the point.

- Clemson could be a sleeper team. Their guards can't shoot but they are quick and can get to the basket. James Mays gives them decent offensive production down low.

- Xavier has been good, but they need to find a consistent post scorer if they are to reach their full potential. Stanley Burrell is a big-time scorer and shooter from the perimeter, while forwards Josh Duncan, Justin Doellmann, and Justin Cage are all versatile and talented. They can beat most teams they play against, but they struggle against teams with dominant big men.

- Georgetown is still struggling. Roy Hibbert is demonstrating his vast potential, but Jeff Green needs to become more of a scoring option for the Hoyas up front. Guards Jonathan Wallace and Jessie Sapp are playing well on the perimeter, but the guards struggle against opponents with good backcourts.

- Syracuse looks very good--despite getting outrebounded by nearly 20 against Canisius. Eric Devendorf is a scorer, and Josh Wright has handled the point well. Demetris Nichols is a good scorer on the perimeter, while Terrence Roberts is playing okay down low. Moreover, freshman Paul Harris is starting to come into his own.

- Connecticut is starting to come together and develop as a team. A.J. Price is playing well at the point, while Jerome Dyson has developed into the go-to-guy on the wing for the Huskies. Jeff Adrien anchors the interior. Haseem Thabeet has shown his rebounding and shot-blocking prowess, while Marcus Johnson has played well. A variety of newcomers also contribute, including Stanley Robinson, Doug Wiggins, and Gavin Edwards.

- Pittsburgh has been one of the best teams in the country so far. They seem to have all the ingredients for a long March run. The way they dispatched of a potential ACC contender was eye-opening. Could it be that FSU is overrated or is Pitt really that good? I think it's a bit of both.

- Texas is going to be a lot better in February, obviously. Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the country. He can shoot the three, he can take his man to the basket, and is developing a post game. Once he learns to take better shots, he is going to be nearly unstoppable. A.J. Abrams is becoming a very good scorer on the perimeter, while D.J. Augustin has distributed the ball well.

- Texas Tech needs more scoring options. Outside of Jarrius Jackson and Martin Zeno, the Red Raiders don't a lot of consistency on the offensive end. If they had a good third option, they could be a sleeper in the Big 12.

- Don't sleep on Iowa State and Missouri. Although they were expected to finish near the bottom of the conference, both teams have been solid. They are a combined 12-0. Missouri is getting adapted to Mike Anderson's up-tempo style, while Iowa State is led by guard Michael Taylor, who is a pure scorer for the Cyclones.

- Ohio State is playing very well without Greg Oden. The nation will get a chance to see how good they really are, though, against North Carolina this week. If the Buckeyes don't find a way to take care of Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright on the inside, this could be a one-sided game.

- Wisconsin was moving along quite impressively--until their loss to Missouri State. Alando Tucker is one of the best players in the country. He can score against anybody due to his ability to put up points in a variety of ways. However, the Badgers needs other options. Kammron Taylor is a good second scorer, but he has been inconsistent all season. Brian Butch has been very disappointing.

- Illinois hasn't had a test yet, but they are playing well. Chester Frazier is playing well in the shoes of Dee Brown, showing the ability to score as well as distribute the basketball. Jamar Smith is a big-time shooter, while Calvin Brock and Trent Meachem are also solid guards. Shaun Pruitt and Warren Carter anchor the frontcourt. They have a big game against Maryland this week.

- Michigan State is going to be a potential NCAA Tournament team. Drew Neitzel is becoming a go-to-guy and has the ability to create for both himself and his teammates. Raymar Morgan is the only other double-figure scorer, but Maurice Joseph can also put up points. Travis Walton is a solid ball-handler and defender. They have a lot of inside depth, led by Goran Suton.

- Michigan has quietly started 7-0. Courtney Sims is finally starting to show his potential that he has demonstrated flashes of throughout his career. Dion Harris handling the point guard role well, while Ron Coleman and Lester Abram are playing well on the wing. Brent Petway has provided rebounding.

- Purdue and Penn State are not NCAA Tournament teams, but they--along with Iowa--could beat some teams they shouldn't. They all have one or two players with the ability to take over a game. Point guard play is key for all three teams.

- Indiana could be a contender in the Big Ten if they can work out the kinks. They are not playing terribly, but there is something wrong with the Hoosiers. They are turning the ball over way too much and commit a lot of fouls. D.J. White needs to stay out of foul trouble and dominate every game he plays. Roderick Wilmont is a good scorer on the perimeter who has to better shots.

- Arizona could lead the nation in scoring. Chase Budinger and Marcus Williams are high-scoring forwards and Jawann McClellan can light it up on the wing. Despite the criticism, Mustafa Shakur makes the Wildcats much better when he is on the floor. He is a very good passer who gets the ball where it needs to be. Ivan Radenovic is a solid all-around big man.

- USC needs Gabe Pruitt back--they are not playing very well without him. They are getting wins, but are not playing to their potential. Nick Young and Lodrick Stewart are doing well on the wings, and Taj Gibson is a double-double threat down low. The Trojans lack another perimeter scorer, though.

- Washington looks like a Pac-10 contender. They are very good down low with Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes. Quincy Pondexter is very athletic and explosive at the small forward spot. Justin Dentmon is an underrated point guard on a national level. He needs to cut down on his turnovers, but he is a solid player.

- Oregon has looked very good--without Malik Hairston. Freshman Tajuan Porter has slowed down since his magical start, but Aaron Brooks is finally playing to his potential. Bryce Taylor and Chamberlain Oguchi are also performing well on the perimeter, while Maarty Leunen is averaging a double-double down low.

- California is an interesting team to keep an eye on this season. Ayinde Ubaka is a big-time player in the backcourt that contributes in a variety of ways, while freshman Ryan Anderson provides the Golden Bears with an inside-outside threat down low. Point guard Jerome Randle is an exciting freshman that could be a spark plug. He is extremely quick, but makes bad decisions at times. However, he is fun to watch and brings excitement. Cal does have weak spots, though. The Bears struggle in transition defense and can't break a press defense at all.

- Alabama is looking a lot better than last season. Jermareo Davidson is extremely dominant at both ends, while Richard Hendrix is a load down low. Ronald Steele is a very good lead guard, and wings Alonzo Gee and Mykal Riley are producing from the perimeter.

- Mississippi State is inconsistent but intriguing. They look great at times, and not at all good at other times. They turn the ball over way too much, and lack a third scoring option on a consistent basis. However, Jamont Gordon is a stat-sheet stuffer and Charles Rhodes is a beast down low.

- Arkansas is looking more and more like an NCAA Tournament team. They have a lot of bodies up front, providing the Razorbacks with defense and rebounding. Forwards Charles Thomas and Sonny Weems are good inside-outside players. Weems is quietly becoming one of the best frontcourt players in the SEC. Gary Ervin is not making too many mistakes at the point and is running the offense well.

- The Missouri Valley is once again proving they are cream of the mid-major world. Wichita State has looked like the favorite in the early going of the season. They went to LSU and defeated the Tigers in Baton Rouge as well winning at George Mason. P.J. Couisnard and Sean Ogirri are as good of a duo as you will find in the MVC. Creighton beat GMU over the weekend, despite an awful game from Nate Funk. Once he comes around, look out. Southern Illinois looks good again this season. Their defense is unbelievable. The players never stop moving and are always applying pressure. Their offensive still hits rough patches, though, but Matt Shaw has demonstrated his inside-outside ability. Moreover, Missouri State defeated Wisconsin and nearly knocked off Oklahoma State. Blake Ahearn is an outstanding scorer, and should be known for more than his free-throw shooting exploits. Don't count them out of the MVC race.

- Hofstra needs to develop frontcourt players quickly. They are struggling mightily, even against bad teams. Antoine Agudio and Loren Stokes are playing well, but they can't do it all. The Pride have played four shooters at most times, leaving them very vulnerable down low. If they don't get their act together, the Pride could be looking at a tough season in the CAA. Old Dominion looks like the favorite, with Drexel in the mix. George Mason is also still a very good team. John Vaughan looks very good on the wing.

- Virginia Tech is still not a consistent team. They looked very good early in the season, but then lost to Western Michigan and then also fell to Southern Illinois today. Zabian Dowdell has been a very good all-around player on the perimeter, while Jamon Gordon and A.D. Vassallo have also played well. Big man Coleman Collins is not averaging double-figures and he needs to step up if the Hokies are to make the Big Dance.

- Marist is a team to watch in March. Jared Jordan is outstanding. If you have never seen him play yet, I suggest you do. He does everything extremely well and is one of the best passers in the country. He can shoot, rebound, defend, and handle the ball. He also has a non-stop motor. If the bigs get baskets down low, and stop jacking threes all day, the Red Foxes will be tough. Will Whittington can shoot the lights out.

- Wake Forest has looked good so far. Freshman Ishmael Smith is tied for the nation's lead in assists, while senior center Kyle Visser is putting up about 20 points and 9 boards per game. The Demon Deacons could be a surprise team in the ACC, with wins at Bucknell and at Vanderbilt.

- San Diego State is 6-0. Brandon Heath and Muhamed Abukar are a dominant duo and one of the best combos in the country. JC transfer Jerome Habel missed the first few games of the season, but has stepped in to anchor the paint.

- New Mexico is destroying teams right now. In addition their annihilation of Kansas State, they also have blown out Colorado. J.R. Giddens is averaging almost 21 points and over 9 rebounds per game from the wing, demonstrating his potential. Penn State transfer Aaron Johnson is averaging 11.5 boards per game.

- Air Force could be a tough out in March. They are difficult to defend because everyone can shoot. The offense is always on the move, with constant cutting, moving, and passing. They don't turn it over much, and limit possessions for the opposition. Their ability to dictate tempo is key.

- Washington State is still undefeated, rolling along at 6-0. Derrick Low is showing that he is one the best guards in the Pac-10.

- Fresno State is looking like a WAC contender. Guard Ja'Vance Coleman leads the way, with forwards Dominic McGuire and Quinton Hosley creating match-up problems with nearly every opponent. Nevada could struggle against them. Throw in New Mexico State, and the WAC is very underrated this season.

- Villanova needs more scorers and depth to become a Big East contender. Curtis Sumpter does a lot by himself, but he needs help. Will Sheridan is not playing anything like he did last season down low. They also need a wing scorer--Dwayne Anderson? Scottie Reynolds?

- Kansas State has issues right now. They are not getting any inside production, and their perimeter play has been medicore. David Hoskins is playing very well, but Cartier Martin is not playing the level he did last season. Blake Young and Lance Harris are playing well on the perimeter, the Wildcats need more contributions from the backcourt. It will be interesting to see how Bill Walker meshes with the team when he is eligible to play.

- What is wrong with the Big East this season? Everyone is losing to seemingly lesser teams. Louisville lost to Dayton; St. John's lost to Illinois State; Providence lost to Brown; Georgetown lost to Old Dominion; DePaul looks atrocious; Notre Dame doesn't look like they are going anywhere; Rutgers and Seton Hall have not been impressive; and Cincinnati lost to Wofford. Even the unbeaten teams have struggled: UConn only beat Quinnipiac by 7; Pitt had trouble with Oakland; Marquette nearly lost to Idaho State; Syracuse was not at their best against Canisius. There are only two teams (outside of the four unbeatens) that one can't complain about. West Virginia has not really missed a beat since last season. They obviously aren't as good as last year, but they still have enough players to win games. John Beilein's system is tough to figure out, but it works. South Florida is 3-0 and have a nice forward duo in McHugh Mattis and Melvin Buckley. While some of the Big East's best have been some of the most impressive teams in the country so far, there have been several negatives on the conference's non-conference schedule so far, and it could hurt them in March.

- You thought I would leave you without my take on the Kansas-Florida match-up? It was obviously one of the best non-conference games of the season, and did not disappoint any fan who tuned in (speaking of that, why was it at 11 PM on ESPN 2?). Some of the hype went down after Kansas lost to Oral Roberts, but it lived up to everything. Both teams are clearly two of the best clubs in America, and are legitimate Final Four threats. Florida finally showed some chinks in their armor after last year's National Championship. They did not shoot well from long-range, with Taurean Green and Corey Brewer shooting a combined 13 for 33 overall. Moreover, Florida only had 9 assists the entire game. Both of the aforementioned numbers need to improve. Joakim Noah played well down low, but Al Horford only had 9 points and was saddled in foul trouble the entire game. Another potential problem for Florida could be their lack of a true go-to-guy. Noah is the guy they go to the most during key possessions, but Brewer ended up taking the shot several times, and Green even had shots at crucial junctures in the game. That could be a good thing at times, but it can also lead to confusion late in games. On Kansas' side, I was impressed at the way they outrebounded Florida and kept their big men in check throughout the game. They didn't shoot well from long-range either, but shot almost 54% from the field and hit several clutch free throws. Freshman Darrell Arthur had 19 points and 9 rebounds in only 16 minutes of playing time. He is going to be a well-known player by the time conference play rolls around. Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson showed the ability to get into the lane and create plays for themselves and their teammates. Julian Wright was the best player on the floor for the majority of the game. He scored in a variety of ways, was very efficient shooting the ball, and also grabbed ten rebounds. Brandon Rush still seems somewhat overrated to me. He shot 6 for 16 from the floor and only hit one three-pointer, but he did hit some late baskets and contributed in other ways. The Jayhawks' mental lapses late in the game was not encouraging, though. Fouling Corey Brewer and failing to box out on the ensuing miss nearly cost them the game. However, despite the mistakes by both sides, it was a tremendous game between two teams that should be playing in April.

Sunday, November 26th Predictions

Prediction Record: 80-34

Virginia Tech at Southern Illinois- Prediction: Southern Illinois 66, Virginia Tech 59
Albany at Connecticut- Prediction: Connecticut 83, Albany 68
George Washington at Providence- Prediction: Providence 71, George Washington 63
West Virginia vs. Arkansas- Prediction: Arkansas 72, West Virginia 67

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday, November 25th Predictions

Prediction Record: 75-31

Oklahoma State vs. Missouri State- Prediction: Missouri State 68, Oklahoma State 64
Houston at Saint Louis- Prediction: Saint Louis 71, Houston 67
George Mason at Creighton- Prediction: Creighton 70, George Mason 62
Auburn vs. Wisconsin- Prediction: Wisconsin 72, Auburn 58
Wichita State at LSU- Prediction: LSU 74, Wichita State 69
Kent State at Butler- Prediction: Butler 65, Kent State 57
Illinois vs. Bradley- Prediction: Illinois 73, Bradley 64
California vs. Loyola Marymount- Prediction: Loyola Marymount 77, California 75
Florida vs. Kansas- Prediction: Florida 76, Kansas 69

Click here for my complete preview of the Florida vs. Kansas showdown.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday, November 24th Predictions

Prediction Record: 69-29

Arkansas vs. Marist- Prediction: Arkansas 66, Marist 60
Missouri State vs. Wisconsin- Prediction: Wisconsin 73, Missouri State 62
Oklahoma State at Auburn- Prediction: Oklahoma State 75, Auburn 67
North Carolina vs. Tennessee- Prediction: North Carolina 81, Tennessee 66
Gonzaga vs. Butler- Prediction: Gonzaga 77, Butler 72
Florida State at Pittsburgh- Prediction: Pittsburgh 76, Florida State 68
Western Kentucky at Florida- Prediction: Florida 85, Western Kentucky 70
Long Beach State at USC- Prediction: USC 79, Long Beach State 74

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday, November 23th Predictions

Prediction Record: 68-27

Arkansas vs. Southern Illinois- Prediction: Southern Illinois 63, Arkansas 57
Hawaii vs. Hofstra- Prediction: Hofstra 74, Hawaii 67
Marist vs. Minnesota- Prediction: Marist 73, Minnesota 64

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday, November 22nd Predictions

Prediction Record: 63-23

DePaul vs. Purdue- Prediction: DePaul 69, Purdue 65
Memphis vs. Kentucky- Prediction: Memphis 76, Kentucky 68
Butler vs. Tennessee- Prediction: Tennessee 70, Butler 63
Charlotte at Syracuse- Prediction: Syracuse 74, Charlotte 66
Boston College at Providence- Prediction: Boston College 72, Providence 67
Gonzaga vs. North Carolina- Prediction: North Carolina 84, Gonzaga 75
UCLA vs. Georgia Tech- Prediction: UCLA 73, Georgia Tech 67

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday, November 21st Predictions

Prediction Record: 57-21

Mississippi State at Clemson- Prediction: Clemson 74, Mississippi State 70
Georgia Tech vs. Memphis- Prediction: Georgia Tech 81, Memphis 78
Bucknell at Penn State- Prediction: Bucknell 67, Penn State 65
Texas Tech vs. Air Force- Prediction: Air Force 70, Texas Tech 64
Kansas State at New Mexico- Prediction: New Mexico 73, Kansas State 69
Vanderbilt at Wake Forest- Prediction: Wake Forest 77, Vanderbilt 75
UCLA vs. Kentucky- Prediction: UCLA 68, Kentucky 63
Marquette vs. Duke- Prediction: Duke 78, Marquette 75

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday, November 20th Predictions

Prediction Record: 47-20

VCU vs. Toledo- Prediction: Toledo 70, VCU 61
Villanova vs. Iowa- Prediction: Villanova 75, Iowa 66
Air Force vs. Duke- Prediction: Duke 69, Air Force 62
Winthrop at Maryland- Prediction: Maryland 80, Winthrop 74
Oregon at Rice- Prediction: Rice 71, Oregon 68
Xavier vs. Alabama- Prediction: Alabama 77, Xavier 73
Texas Tech vs. Marquette- Prediction: Marquette 79, Texas Tech 74

Maui Invitational Bracket Predictions

First Round
Memphis over Oklahoma
Georgia Tech over Purdue
Kentucky over DePaul
UCLA over Chaminade

Winner's Bracket
Georgia Tech over Memphis
UCLA over Kentucky

UCLA over Georgia Tech (Championship)
Memphis over Kentucky (Third Place)

Loser's Bracket
Purdue over Oklahoma
DePaul over Chaminade

DePaul over Purdue (Fifth Place)
Oklahoma over Chaminade (Seventh Place)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday, November 19th Predictions

Prediction Record: 41-19

Sam Houston State at Oklahoma State- Prediction: Oklahoma State 81, Sam Houston State 66

New Mexico State at Arizona- Prediction: Arizona 85, New Mexico State 77

Delaware State at Missouri State- Prediction: Missouri State 73, Delaware State 60

Iowa vs. Alabama- Prediction: Alabama 70, Iowa 64

Old Dominion at Georgetown- Prediction: Georgetown 72, Old Dominion 64

Saint Louis at Texas A&M- Prediction: Texas A&M 64, Saint Louis 55

Villanova vs. Xavier- Prediction: Xavier 75, Villanova 70

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday, November 18th Predictions

Prediction Record: 36-18

Drexel at Vermont: Two of the best mid-majors in the country square off. Drexel is a legit contender in the CAA, led by guards Dominick Mejia and Bashir Mason. Vermont got off to a solid start this year, hanging tough with Maryland for a half before losing, and dominating Boston College on the road in their last game. Mike Trimboli is an underrated point guard. Prediction: Vermont 71, Drexel 65

St. Mary’s at USC:
A potential upset in the making out West. USC did not play well in their opener against South Carolina, losing at home. Nick Young and Lodrick Stewart are a good wing combo, while Taj Gibson is a beast down low. St. Mary's could be a contender in the West Coast Conference. Brett Collins and Diamon Simpson are a solid forward tandem. Prediction: USC 74, St. Mary's 65

Wichita State at George Mason: One of the most hyped games of the early season. A rematch of last year's Sweet Sixteen meeting, both of these teams are potential sleepers from the mid-major conferences. Wichita State is a legit Top 25 team, and are a favorite in the Missouri Valley. P.J. Couisnard and Sean Ogirri lead the way from the wings. George Mason, coming off of a Final Four season, are still a force. Will Thomas is tough to stop down low, while Folarin Campbell is a versatile perimeter player. Prediction: Wichita State 75, George Mason 72

Massachusetts at Pittsburgh: One of the best games of the day. Pittsburgh is a candidate to reach the Final Four in March, led by Aaron Gray on the inside. A loaded perimeter group includes Levance Fields and Mike Cook. Massachusetts is a contender in the Atlantic-10. Rashaun Freeman is a dominant post player, while Gary Forbes and Tiki Mayben anchor the perimeter. Prediction: Pittsburgh 70, Massachusetts 59

Winthrop at Mississippi State: Potentially the best game of the day. Winthrop is one of the best mid-majors in the country, giving North Carolina a tough test earlier in the week. Torrell Martin and Mike Jenkins are gunners, while Chris Gaynor and Craig Bradshaw are a good inside-outside combo. Mississippi State has looked impressive thus far. Jamont Gordon and Charles Rhodes are one of the best perimeter-post duos in the country, while Barry Stewart can score. Prediction: Winthrop 68, Mississippi State 66

California at San Diego State: A good test for both teams. San Diego State has had an interesting season thus far, winning their first three games by a total of seven points, before dominating UC San Diego by 36. Brandon Heath is one of the best all-around players in the country, while Muhamed Abukar is an inside-outside option up front. California could be a bubble team come March. Ayinde Ubaka is a vastly underrated guard, while freshman Ryan Anderson could become a star out of the Pac-10. Prediction: San Diego State 77, California 70

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday, November 17th Predictions

Prediction Record: 30-15

Toledo vs. Iowa: Prediction: Toledo 68, Iowa 63

Xavier vs. VCU: Prediction: Xavier 74, VCU 60

Texas at St. John’s: Prediction: Texas 77, St. John's 68

Miami (Fl.) at Evansville: Prediction: Evansville 69, Miami (Fl.) 65

Delaware State at North Carolina State: Prediction: North Carolina State 63, Delaware State 57

Charleston vs. Villanova: Prediction: Villanova 73, Charleston 70

Maryland vs. Michigan State: Prediction: Maryland 79, Michigan State 67

Fresno State at San Francisco: Prediction: Fresno State 70, San Francisco 68

New Mexico State at Loyola Marymount: Prediction: New Mexico State 76, Loyola Marymount 71

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday, November 16th Predictions

Prediction Record: 28-13

Maryland at St. John’s: Semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Maryland has looked impressive early, demonstrating their athleticism and depth. D.J. Strawberry and Mike Jones are very explosive on the wings. St. John's has been solid in the opening two games. They blew out both North Florida and Navy, and look like a postseason contender. Watch JC transfer Avery Patterson, who shoots lights-out from deep. Prediction: Maryland 77, St. John's 74

Lipscomb at Missouri: Don't overlook this game. Lipscomb is a legit Atlantic Sun contender and has a very good duo in Eddie Ard and Brian Fisk. Missouri is one of the worst teams in the Big 12, but have a dynamic athlete and scorer in wing Marshall Brown. This could be the best possibility for an upset tonight. Prediction: Missouri 64, Lipscomb 58

Texas vs. Michigan State: Two very young teams go head-to-head in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Texas has looked very impressive in their first two games, led by Freshman of the Year candidate Kevin Durant and sophomore A.J. Abrams. Michigan State has struggled to score at times, but their stifling defense will keep them in games. Drew Neitzel has developed into a very good scorer, while freshman Raymar Morgan has made an impact. Prediction: Texas 71, Michigan State 62

South Carolina at USC: Two USC's do battle in the Trojans' new arena. South Carolina is coming off of a 15-point loss to UC-Irvine, and have fallen several spots from last season. Tre Kelly and Brandon Wallace are a good inside-outside combo. USC signed high school phenom O.J. Mayo this week, and look like a program on the rise. Nick Young is one of the most underrated stars in the country. Prediction: USC 82, South Carolina 66

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday, November 15th Predictions

Prediction Record: 20-11

North Carolina vs. Winthrop- One of the top teams in the country against one of the best mid-majors in the country. UNC struggled for a half against Sacred Heart, but blew the gates open in the second half, led by Tyler Hansbrough and Reyshawn Terry. Winthrop is 2-0, and has a very good perimeter trio in Torrell Martin, Chris Gaynor, and Michael Jenkins. Prediction: North Carolina 81, Winthrop 68

Oral Roberts at Kansas- Another solid mid-major going against one of the best teams in the nation. Kansas looked very impressive in their domination of Northern Arizona, with Brandon Rush and Julian Wright leading a balanced Jayhawks attack. ORU is led by the inside-outside duo of Ken Tutt and Caleb Green.
Prediction: Kansas 88, Oral Roberts 69

Georgetown at Vanderbilt- Arguably the best major-conference match-up of the night. Georgetown struggled in their win over Hartford in their opener, but Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert form one of the best frontcourt duos in the country. Vanderbilt has yet to play, but revolve around the outstanding wing tandem of Derric Byars and Shan Foster.
Prediction: Georgetown 73, Vanderbilt 67

Northern Arizona at Arizona- Yet another good mid-major battling a power-conference contender. Arizona nearly went on the road to beat Virginia, but blew a 13-point halftime lead and lost to the Cavs. They are explosive on offense, led by wings Marcus Williams and Jawann McClellan and forward Ivan Radenovic. Northern Arizona beat Arizona State the other night, and will look to win another intrastate battle led by Tyrone Bazy and Ruben Boykin. Prediction: Arizona 87, Northern Arizona 76

Air Force at Stanford- Regional final in the CBE Classic. Stanford has looked surprisingly impressive thus far, led by Robin Lopez and Lawrence Hill. Air Force escaped with a one-point win over Long Beach State in their opener. They will look to slow the game down and force Stanford to beat them in a half-court game. Prediction: Air Force 61, Stanford 57

BYU at UCLA- Could be an interesting match-up. UCLA is coming off of a Final Four appearance, and have potential All-Americans in Arron Afflalo and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. BYU is a contender in the Mountain West, and have one of the most underrated big men in the country in sophomore Trent Plaisted. Look out for him. Prediction: UCLA 70, BYU 63

Baylor at Gonzaga-
Regional final of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Gonzaga looked dominant last night against Rice, with Josh Heytvelt leading the way. A deep perimeter group was also impressive. Baylor escaped with an overtime victory over Colorado State, led by the perimeter of Henry Dugat, Aaron Bruce, and Curtis Jerrells. Prediction: Gonzaga 83, Baylor 72

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday, November 14th Predictions

Prediction Record: 11-8

Western Kentucky at Georgia- The Hilltoppers are one of the favorites in the Sun Belt this season, led by star Courtney Lee. Georgia is a potential sleeper in the SEC and have one of the best backcourts in the country. Should be a good game. Prediction: Georgia 71, Western Kentucky 62

Wake Forest at Bucknell- Are the Bison poised for another Cinderella season? They lose a lot of personnel from last season, but have one of the best centers in the mid-major world in Chris McNaughton. Wake Forest will likely be near the cellar again this season, so this could be a shot for Bucknell to get another big-name win. Prediction: Bucknell 68, Wake Forest 64

Delaware State at Pittsburgh- Pittsburgh looked dominant over the weekend, in an easy win over MAC contender Western Michigan. Their offense looks much improved. Delaware State will make another run at the NCAA Tournament from the MEAC.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 80, Delaware State 61

SMU at Florida State- Florida State has not been overly impressive during the opening two games of their season, but have an excellent forward in Al Thornton. SMU is 2-0 and have good talent, led by Devon Pearson and Ike Ofoegbu.
Prediction: Florida State 76, SMU 65

Air Force vs. Long Beach State- A contrast of styles. Long Beach State loves to get out and run, led by their backcourt of Aaron Nixon and Kejuan Johnson, while Air Force would rather slow it down and play a half-court game. Should be an interesting contest.
Prediction: Air Force 69, Long Beach State 66

Detroit at Marquette- Marquette has clearly not lived up to their expectations thus far, winning two tight games over Hillsdale and Idaho State, the latter victory coming in overtime. Detroit loves to play it in the 50s, and have an excellent guard in Brandon Cotton.
Prediction: Marquette 58, Detroit 50

Butler at Indiana- Butler has had two very impressive wins to start the season, a 40-point shellacking at Tulane and a victory over Notre Dame last night. On the other hand, Indiana struggled against Lafayette for awhile, and D.J. White only played sparingly due to foul trouble. Potential upset in the making.
Prediction: Indiana 77, Butler 68

Northern Iowa at Washington- Would be an even better game if it was played last season. Northern Iowa has looked solid in the early going, led by Erik Coleman and Travis Brown. Washington has averaged over 100 points per game in their first two contests, with Jon Brockman and Quincy Pondexter leading the way.
Prediction: Washington 85, Northern Iowa 75

Rice at Gonzaga- One of the best games of the night. Gonzaga has not missed a beat despite the loss of Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista, looking very impressive against Eastern Washington to start the season. Rice has one of the best players in the country in wing Morris Almond. This is a good chance to get to know him.
Prediction: Gonzaga 74, Rice 69

Eastern Washington at UNLV- Another chance for EWU guard Rodney Stuckey to make an impression against a quality opponent. He struggled against Gonzaga in the opener. UNLV is 1-0 and is led by the guard duo of Kevin Kruger and Jo'Van Adams. Prediction: UNLV 78, Eastern Washington 67

UNC-Wilmington at Tennessee- Regional final of the NIT Season Tip-Off. UNC-Wilmington carried some of last year's momentum over to this season with a solid win over Belmont, while Tennessee jumped out to an early lead and held on late to defeat Fordham. Chris Lofton is the leader for the Volunteers, while the Seahawks' have a balanced offensive attack. Prediction: Tennessee 84, UNC-Wilmington 77

Fordham at Belmont- Third-place game in the Nashville region of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Both Belmont and Fordham are quality teams that will reach the postseason come March. The Rams have an excellent inside-outside combo in Marcus Stout and Bryant Dunston, while Belmont own a nice backcourt of Josh Goodwin and Justin Hare. Prediction: Belmont 79, Fordham 78

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday, November 13th Predictions

Prediction Record: 0-0 (Last Year's Record: 487-246)

Jackson State at Georgia Tech: Are the Yellow Jackets a serious contender in the ACC after last year's dismal season? Watch Jackson State's Trey Johnson. He averaged over 24 points per game last season, and had 36 points against Alabama on Friday night. Prediction: Georgia Tech 89, Jackson State 66

Vermont at Boston College: The Eagles don't look they will miss a beat without Craig Smith. Shamari Spears had 23 points and 6 rebounds in place of him the other night. Vermont played tough against Maryland for a half, and have an excellent point guard in Mike Trimboli. Prediction: Boston College 79, Vermont 65

UNC Greensboro at Penn State: The Nittany Lions could be a potential sleeper in the Big Ten. However, star Geary Claxton is out with an injury. UNC-Greensboro has an outstanding inside-outside combo with Ricky Hickman and Kyle Hines. Prediction: Penn State 82, UNC-Greensboro 70

Loyola Marymount at Mississippi State: Could be the best game of the night. Mississippi State had 29 turnovers in their first game, a 35-point win over Nicholls State, but have All-SEC performers in Charles Rhodes and Jamont Gordon. Loyola Marymount counters with the tandem of guard Brandon Worthy and center Matthew Knight. They are coming off an impressive win over Oral Roberts. Prediction: Mississippi State 75, Loyola Marymount 69

Fordham at Tennessee: NIT Season Tip-Off game. Tennessee has one of the best shooting guards in the country in Chris Lofton and are tough to match-up with, while Fordham is led by Bryant Dunston, an extremely underrated big man. Prediction: Tennessee 78, Fordham 70

Northern Arizona at Arizona State: Interesting intra-state match-up. NAU is coming off of a blowout loss at the hands of Kansas, but are one of the Big Sky favorites. Arizona State is annually one of the worst teams in the Pac-10, but have a decent amount of talent this season. Prediction: Arizona State 74, Northern Arizona 66

UNC-Wilmington at Belmont: Another NIT Season Tip-off battle. The Seahawks are coming off of an NCAA Tournament season in which they won the CAA title. However, they lost a lot of personnel, but return T.J. Carter. Belmont is a favorite in the Atlantic Sun, led by Justin Hare and Boomer Herndon. Look out for the upset. Prediction: Belmont 73, UNC-Wilmington 71


East Region
North Carolina over Sacred Heart
Winthrop over Iona
Third Place: Iona over Sacred Heart
Regional Final: North Carolina over Winthrop

West Region
Baylor over Colorado State
Gonzaga over Rice
Third Place: Rice over Colorado State
Regional Final: Gonzaga over Baylor

Midwest Region
Notre Dame over Butler
Indiana over Lafayette
Third Place: Butler over Lafayette
Regional Final: Indiana over Notre Dame

South Region
Belmont over UNC-Wilmington
Tennessee over Fordham
Third Place: Fordham over UNC-Wilmington
Regional Final: Tennessee over Belmont

North Carolina over Gonzaga
Tennessee over Indiana

Third Place: Gonzaga over Indiana

Championship: North Carolina over Tennessee


Lubbock Region
Texas Tech over Gardner-Webb
Akron over UALR
Third Place: UALR over Gardner-Webb
Lubbock Regional Final: Akron over Texas Tech

Milwaukee Region
Marquette over Idaho State
Maine over Detroit
Third Place: Detroit over Idaho State
Milwaukee Regional Final: Marquette over Maine

Palo Alto Region
Stanford over San Jose State
Air Force over Long Beach State
Third Place: Long Beach State over San Jose State
Palo Alto Regional Final: Air Force over Stanford

Durham Region
Duke over Columbia
Georgia Southern over UC Davis
Third Place: Columbia over UC Davis
Durham Regional Final: Duke over Georgia Southern

Marquette over Akron
Duke over Air Force

Third Place: Air Force over Akron

Championship: Duke over Marquette

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Notes and Observations from Week One

Here are a variety of thoughts and observations I have for the first week of the 2006-2007 college basketball season:

- Maryland looks to be their usual selves: athletic, long, very good in a full-court game. However, they still struggle to hit the outside shot and are not overly impressive in their half-court offense. D.J. Strawberry and Mike Jones are solid on the wings, while freshman Greivis Vasquez looks like a player with potential. Bambale Osby is going to be load in the paint, while Ekene Ibekwe doesn't look like he improved at all in the offseason.

- Michigan State is going to struggle offensively in a big way. Drew Neitzel and freshman Raymar Morgan are their only legitimate scoring threats in the starting lineup. Their defense will keep them in most games, though.

- A couple of surprising upsets from Friday: Utah losing to Southern Utah, and Northwestern falling to Cornell. Looks like another long year in the Big Ten for the Wildcats. Auburn narrowly escaped against Troy, coming back for a three-point win.

- Looking for Connecticut's next big scorer? Try guard Jerome Dyson. The freshman had 16 points and 6 rebounds in a closer-than-expected win over Quinnipiac.

- While on the subject of the Huskies, here's another story: coach Jim Calhoun calling out Quinnipiac coach Joe DeSantis for--get this--playing zone defense. He was upset because DeSantis made a point of saying that Quinnipiac would play what they usually do. I guess he expected DeSantis and his players to just roll over to the bigger Huskies.

- George Washington looks to be similar to last year: long, athletic frontcourt players with outstanding guards in Carl Elliot and Maureece Rice. However, the frontcourt players can't score at all, and their overaggressiveness sometimes backfires in the half-court.

- Southern Illinois will still be playing stout defense this season, but it looks like they will still struggle to score. They only gave up 28 points to Washington (MO), but scored only 59.

- Arkansas could be a potential NCAA Tournament team. Freshman Patrick Beverly put up 29 points in his first career game against Southeast Missouri State. If the Razorbacks get consistent perimeter play, look out.

- Remember the name Tajuan Porter. Oregon's 5-6 freshman guard scored 93 points in three games, including shooting 21 for 34 from three-point land. Even with Malik Hairston, who was out with a groin injury, the Ducks rolled to three victories.

- Friday was not a great night for mid-major stars. Loyola-Chicago's Blake Schlib only had 6 points, Penn's Ibrahim Jaaber only had 5, Eastern Washington's Rodney Stuckey struggled against Gonzaga, and Caleb Green of Oral Roberts had 8 turnovers in a loss to Loyola Marymount. Trey Johnson of Jackson State also did not play well against Alabama, despite scoring 36 points. He shot 11 for 30 in a 31-point loss.

- Remember when St. John's couldn't hit a three? Enter JC transfer Avery Patterson. In his first game in a Red Storm uniform, Patterson set a school record by hitting eight threes. He followed that up with a 15-point night against Navy. The Johnnies shot 20 for 43 from long-range in two games.

- One candidate for team of the week could be Washington State. The Cougars went 3-0 and looked very impressive with a more up-tempo style of offense. Derrick Low is a big-time scorer.

- Also in the Pac-10, Stanford looked good against Siena, winning by 20 against a MAAC contender. Freshman Robin Lopez had 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks, while Anthony Goods went off for 30 points.

- UTEP may not be prepared to give up their winning ways just yet. They rolled to a couple of impressive wins, including a victory over Penn, before falling late to Syracuse on Sunday.

- Speaking of the Orange, freshman Paul Harris has not lived up the hype thus far, but has looked pretty good. He has contributed in a variety of areas, and just needs to cut down on the turnovers and score a bit more.

- San Diego State is going to be an unpredictable team all season long. They went 3-0 over the weekend, but won by a combined 7 points. Brandon Heath hit a buzzer-beater to beat Murray State, then hit two free throws last night to defeat St. Mary's. The Aztecs then escaped by three over Seattle Pacific on Sunday.

- DePaul is clearly not ready to live up to the hype. Bradley, after losing stars Patrick O'Bryant and Marcellus Sommerville, destroyed the Blue Demons by 20. Don't count out the Braves in the Missouri Valley race if they continue to play like this.

- Is Wake Forest's Kyle Visser ready to step up? After years of not living up to expectations, the senior center went 10 for 10 from the field for the Demon Deacons, going for 23 points and 9 boards in a win over James Madison.

- Texas Tech's Jarrius Jackson returned from his "dismissal" to score 27 points for the Red Raiders in their opener. That might be the shortest dismissal of all-time.

- The New Jersey Institute of Technology won their first game as a D-I team on Saturday, winning on the road at Manhattan. It looks like the Jaspers could struggle in the post-Bobby Gonzalez era.

- Georgetown narrowly escaped at home against Hartford in a game that was close throughout. If the Hoyas are going to contend for a national title, they are going to have to find a consistent scorer on the wing. Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert can't do everything, and Jonathan Wallace is a better passer than scorer.

- Marist did not look like a potential sleeper team on Saturday, getting blown out by Ohio on the road. Point guard Jared Jordan shot 7 of 22 from the field and turned it over 4 times against the Bobcats. Ohio's big man, Leon Williams, dominated the post, putting up 16 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.

- Hofstra is definitely not ready for the expectations that were put on them heading into the season. Their guards are outstanding, but their frontcourt needs to drastically improve before they are considered a serious sleeper in March. Charlotte jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead over the Pride before winning by 6.

- Charlotte is too inconsistent to be considered an A-10 contender. After their impressive win over Hofstra, the 49ers followed that up with an 18-point loss at the hands of North Texas.

- Massachusetts looked like a potential contender in the Atlantic-10 after an impressive win over Dartmouth. While it was only Dartmouth, the Minutemen looked much improved. Freshman point guard Tiki Mayben had 11 assists, while Rashaun Freeman put up 25 points and 10 rebounds.

- One of the most underrated backcourts in America belongs to Wyoming. The Cowboys' guard tandem of Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones combined for 56 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals in a very impressive win over a solid Boise State team. Star Coby Karl was held to 9 points, and had 6 turnovers for the Broncos.

- Clemson is also 3-0 to start the season after a nice trio of wins, including Sunday's victory over Old Dominion. They have a very balanced attack, but still are not very impressive shooting the ball.

- Looking for Craig Smith's replacement? Look no further than freshman Shamari Spears, who picked up where Smith left off, scoring 23 points and grabbing 6 boards in an easy win for Boston College.

- Mississippi State may have won by 35 against Nicholls State, but look closer at the box score. The Bulldogs had 29 turnovers, including 19 by All-SEC performers Charles Rhodes and Jamont Gordon. They will need to improve that if they are going to contend for an at-large bid.

- Mike Cook showed good scoring ability in an easy opening win for Pittsburgh. He scored 17 points and could be the missing piece for the Panthers. Aaron Gray had a double-double, and Levance Fields dished out 9 assists while only taking one shot.

- Toney Douglas of Florida State did not squash any worries of his ability to play the point after dishing out only 3 assists against McNeese State. The Seminoles had assists on only 13 of their 32 field goals.

- Duke had an impressive opening game against Columbia. Freshman center Brian Zoubek had 18 points and 6 rebounds, and went to the free-throw line 13 times. Greg Paulus showed no signs of injury, dishing out 7 assists in 19 minutes. Josh McRoberts had only 8 points for the Blue Devils.

- Ohio State looked solid in three opening week wins. Wings Ron Lewis and Daequan Cook are going to be the main scorers for the Buckeyes, and OSU is going to be a perimeter-dominated team until Greg Oden returns. They were out-rebounded by Kent State and will struggle against teams with a lot of size.

- The biggest game of the week was Arizona at Virginia. It did not disappoint. The Wildcats jumped out to a 13-point halftime lead, but UVA came back to tie it in the second half. It was back and forth for awhile, before the Cavaliers pulled it out in the end for a 93-90 win. Arizona needs work on the interior. They are not good at all defending the paint, and struggled mightily defensively in the halfcourt throughout the contest. Ivan Radenovic has developed into a very good all-around player, but Mustafa Shakur still has not lived up to the hype he had coming out of high school. Arizona's wings are terrific offensively, though. For Virginia, their perimeter play is going to carry them. Sean Singletary is extremely difficult to defend driving to the basket, while Mamadi Diane, J.R. Reynolds, and Adrian Joseph are very good scorers on the wings. Jason Cain played well down low, scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 boards.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Preseason Top 25


1. North Carolina
2. Florida
3. Kansas
4. LSU
5. Pittsburgh
6. Wisconsin
8. Georgetown
9. Arizona
10. Alabama
11. Texas A&M
12. Duke
13. Boston College
14. Syracuse
15. Ohio State
16. Memphis
17. Connecticut
18. Washington
19. Wichita State
20. Georgia Tech
21. Creighton
22. Marquette
23. Southern Illinois
24. Texas
25. Louisville

Preseason Bracket Breakdown


Preseason Bracket Projection

Breakdown by Conference

ACC (7): North Carolina, Duke, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Big East (8): Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Syracuse, Connecticut, Marquette, Louisville, Villanova, DePaul
Big Ten (5): Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana
Big 12(5): Kansas, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State
Pac-10 (4): UCLA, Arizona, Washington, USC
SEC(5): Florida, LSU, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee
Missouri Valley (4): Wichita State, Creighton, Southern Illinois, Missouri State
Mountain West (3): San Diego State, Air Force, BYU
Atlantic-10 (2): Xavier, Massachusetts

One-Bid Conferences (22): America East (Albany); Atlantic Sun (Belmont); Big Sky (Northern Arizona); Big South (Winthrop); Big West (Long Beach State); Colonial (Hofstra); Conference-USA (Memphis); Horizon (Loyola-Chicago); Ivy (Pennsylvania); MAAC (Marist); MAC (Akron); MEAC (Delaware State); Mid-Continent (Oral Roberts); Northeast (Robert Morris); Ohio Valley (Samford); Patriot (Bucknell); Southern (College of Charleston); Southland (Sam Houston State); Sun Belt (Western Kentucky); SWAC (Jackson State); West Coast (Gonzaga); WAC (Nevada)

Last Four In: Missouri State, Virginia Tech, Indiana, Massachusetts
Last Four Out: Maryland, Arkansas, Oregon, New Mexico State
Next Four Out: Houston, Michigan State, Mississippi State, California