Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stock Report, Feb. 10

Welcome back to another edition of March Madness All Season’s weekly feature, “NCAA Tournament Stock Watch”. As stated last week, 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 or could make noise in the coming weeks. Once we get closer to March, this will be replaced with “Road to Selection Sunday”, which will be released every Sunday night from this Sunday until March 14.


Maryland: The snow that postponed the Terrapins’ Wednesday game against Virginia is the only thing that has stopped Maryland recently. Wins in six of their last seven has put them right on Duke’s heels in the ACC race.

Wake Forest: After beating Boston College on Tuesday, Wake Forest has now won three in a row and five of its last six. The Demon Deacons are still in the mix in the ACC race and are pushing towards a top-five seed.

Kansas: Sure, the Jayhawks didn’t move up in any sort of seedings, but they solidified their spot as the No. 1 team in the country with their handling of Texas in the Big 12 showdown on Monday.

Texas A&M: The Aggies had one of the better weeks in the country last week, defeating Missouri on the road and then coming home and defeating Baylor by seven. They have now won five of their last six.

Illinois: The Fighting Illini are absolutely rolling right now. After losing three in a row in mid-January, they have ripped off five straight wins, including a home win over Michigan State and a huge road victory at Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes might be underseeded come Selection Sunday due to Evan Turner’s injury, but keep an eye on them. They have won five in a row and eight of their last nine. Three of the next four are on the road.

Vanderbilt: In a showdown against Tennessee on Tuesday to figure out who the second-best team in the SEC is (after Kentucky), the Commodores ended all the mystery. They blitzed the Volunteers early and rolled to an easy win.

New Mexico: The Lobos aren’t conceding an inch to BYU in the Mountain West race. They have won eight in a row after going on the road and knocking off UNLV by 10. With their litany of quality wins, this team is a top-four seed.

Richmond: The Spiders might have locked up a bid in the past few days. They dominated Temple at home on Saturday, beating the Owls by 17, but then went into Rhode Island and held off the Rams late, winning by two.

Dayton: The Flyers are also rolling in the Atlantic-10 right now. After losing three of four in late January, the Flyers have won three in a row, including two straight blowouts over Atlantic-10 leaders Xavier and Charlotte.

UTEP: The Miners continue to win and lead Conference-USA. They are 9-1 in the league and have won eight in a row since losing three of four to start January. With Randy Culpepper and Derrick Caracter, this team is tough.

Northeastern: The Huskies are still at the top of a crowded CAA race. They have won 14 of their last 15 games, and are showing an ability to win both home and away. They have won their last four road games by at least 12 points each.


Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets officially dropped out of the ACC race on Wednesday, with their two-point loss at Miami (Fl.). They have now lost two of three, with the lone win coming by two at home against North Carolina State.

Florida State: I had been thinking about FSU as a potential Sweet 16 sleeper – not anymore. The Seminoles have lost three of five, and didn’t look overly competitive in the first half against Clemson on Wednesday night.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels had a chance to get back into the at-large hunt with a home win over Duke on Wednesday, but they fell short, for their seventh loss in their last eight games. UNC is now a shocking 2-7 in the ACC.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats were looking good a couple of weeks ago, at 4-3 in the Big East and on a two-game winning streak. Now, they have lost three of their last four, with the lone win coming by four points at home over Providence.

Texas: Can the Longhorns fall any further? They had a chance to bounce back against Kansas on Monday, but they were blown out in the first half and never really rebounded. They have lost five of their last seven to drop to 5-4.

Michigan State: The Spartans were 9-0 in the Big Ten heading into February, looking like a lock to win the regular-season title. 10 days later, Michigan State is just 9-3, after a 12-point home loss to Purdue on Tuesday.

Northwestern: The Wildcats couldn’t afford too many bad losses in order to stay in the at-large hunt – so their blowout loss to Iowa was very bad news. They are now just 5-7 in the Big Ten and have lost three of their last five in the league.

Florida: The Gators are still in good shape, considering they had won six of their previous seven. However, a loss at South Carolina on Wednesday will not help their case for an at-large bid. Florida has a monster game against Xavier on Saturday.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs are making it hard for the Selection Committee to give the SEC West more than one bid. They have lost four of their last five to drop to 4-4 in the conference. However, four of their next five are at home, so they can bounce back.

Charlotte: The 49ers are still atop the Atlantic-10, but their blowout loss to Dayton and their finishing schedule could put their at-large hopes in doubt. They still have to face Richmond and Xavier, and also have to take a trip to Rhode Island.

UAB: The Blazers’ ability to live on the edge caught up to them last week, losing at home to UTEP and then falling by double-digits at Memphis. They did bounce back against Rice over the weekend, but they need to pick it up.

Wichita State: The Shockers were one of the final teams in consideration in most mock brackets this week, but that certainly won’t be the case next week after their road loss to Evansville, a team that had yet to win a MVC game this year.

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