Wednesday, January 24, 2007

NCAA Tournament Stock Report

Welcome to the first installment of March Madness All Season’s new feature, “NCAA Tournament Stock Report”. Essentially, it is a compilation of teams that are rising and falling with an eye on the NCAA Tournament. It will discuss teams whose potential seed is rising or falling, as well as clubs that are making moves either in or out of the at-large picture.

Once we get closer to March, this will be replaced with “Road to Selection Sunday”, which will be released every Sunday night from mid-February until March 11th.


Virginia Tech: Picked up wins over Duke and North Carolina two weeks ago, and also got two tough victories at home over Maryland and at Miami (Fl.). Could be a contender in the ACC race.

Marquette: Pitt might now have some competition for the Big East title. Marquette has won five in a row after starting the conference season 0-2, including a road victory this past weekend in Pittsburgh.

Louisville: Could the Cardinals be moving back into the discussion for the NCAA Tournament? They have won four of their last five in Big East play, including a road win at DePaul and dominant home victories over Providence and Connecticut.

Villanova: Another Big East team looking much better lately. Since starting 0-2, the Wildcats have won on the road at Providence and Georgetown and also beat Texas and Notre Dame at home.

Texas Tech: With Bobby Knight’s record-breaking campaign, the actual play of the Red Raiders has been overshadowed. They have won 6 of 7, including back-to-back home wins over Kansas and Texas A&M, and are now in 1st place in the Big 12.

Indiana: Despite their loss at Illinois on Tuesday, the Hoosiers look like a team that could make noise in March. They had won five in a row prior to the loss, with wins at Connecticut, and over Michigan State.

Stanford: The Cardinal are positioning themselves to be in the at-large hunt come March. They are 4-3 in the Pac-10, and have won four of five, including a victory over Washington State.

USC: The Trojans are four points away from being undefeated in the Pac-10. They have won four of their last five, including a road win at Oregon and a home victory over Arizona. Looking like a tough out.

Washington State: The Cougars could make a case for a top-four seed at this point in the season. They are 5-2 in the conference, with road wins at USC and at Cal, as well as a home win over Arizona.

Vanderbilt: Like every year, the Commodores are making their way onto the bubble. This could be different, though. They have won four of their last five, with home wins over Alabama and Tennessee, and road wins over Kentucky and LSU.

Georgia: The Bulldogs are another SEC team making moves. They have won four of five, with the lone loss at Alabama on a questionable buzzer-beater. UGA has beat Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Kentucky in their recent streak.


Maryland: Despite their win Wednesday over Georgia Tech, the Terrapins are still only 2-4 in the conference and had lost three of their previous four, including a home loss to Miami. They need to finish very strong in their last ten.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets seemed to be hitting their stride after beating Duke and Florida State. However, they have been blown out in back-to-back road games to UNC and Maryland to drop to 2-4 in the ACC.

Boston College: The Eagles are still 6-1 in the ACC and in first place in the conference. However, since Sean Williams and Akida McClain were kicked off the team, they were blown out at Clemson and needed a buzzer beater to beat Florida State at home.

Providence: The Friars were in the thick of the at-large discussion only a few weeks ago. However, they have lost three of four, including a road loss at Seton Hall. Four of their next five are on the road, which could spell doom.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers were the talk of the Big East after their 3-0 start, but they are 1-3 since then, with a loss to Cincinnati being the latest defeat. They need to win on the road.

Notre Dame: The losses for the Irish keep mounting, on and off the court. They have lost two of three, and have yet to win on the road this season. Moreover, point guard Kyle McAlarney was dismissed from the school on Tuesday.

Connecticut: At this rate, UConn won’t make the NCAA Tournament. Who would have thought that heading into the season? They have lost six of eight, and are now 2-4 in the Big East. Their at-large chances are fading fast.

DePaul: The Blue Demons’ inconsistency is catching up to them. After their loss to Georgetown, DePaul is now 11-9 overall and 3-4 in the Big East. With three of their next four on the road, this team could be done.

Arizona: The Wildcats still have some of the best computer numbers in the country, but their 5-4 Pac-10 record isn’t getting them anywhere. They have lost four of six, and are playing awful defense.

Alabama: The Crimson Tide simply can’t win away from home. They are 2-3 in the SEC, with all three losses coming on the road—by an average of 24 points per game. If that keeps up, the Tide are going to be an early out in March.

LSU: Another SEC favorite that has faltered since conference play started. The Tigers have not played well at all lately, including their disappointing loss at home to Vanderbilt Wednesday. Big Baby and co. need to right the ship immediately.

Arkansas: Does anyone want to win the SEC West? Anyone? The Razorbacks have lost four of five, including one on the road Wednesday at SEC East bottom-feeder South Carolina. No SEC West team has won a conference game on the road yet.

Tennessee: The Volunteers seemed to be hitting their stride after winning nine in a row. However, they lost their next three road games by a combined six points, and barely escaped South Carolina at home. The loss at Ole Miss Wednesday didn’t help.

Wichita State: Who would’ve thought the Shockers would be out of the MVC race before the end of January? They have lost 8 of 12, and are now only 4-6 in the conference. They only have three MVC road games left, but they are struggling.

Indiana State: Any at-large hopes the Sycamores had this season are pretty much gone after their four-game losing streak, including a home loss Wednesday to Evansville. 10-8 overall and 4-5 in the MVC aren’t cutting it.

Missouri State: The Bears were looking very good, at 12-3 overall and 4-1 in the MVC, on January 9th. However, since then, they have lost four of five, including two home losses. They are now only 5-5 in the MVC.

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