NEWS AND NOTES
-Ive gone ahead and highlighted the games for the next two days. Ive got a busy New Years Eve planned and wasnt sure if Id have time to do it later on.
-The new bracket projection should be up either Monday or Tuesday. There were a lot of big games on Saturday and I'll talk about the significance of some of them when the bracket is released.
-WISCONSIN AT GEORGIA. Other than a win against a Gonzaga team that appears to be in a tailspin of their own, Georgia doesnt have any notable wins. Wisconsin is one of the best teams in the country so this is a huge opportunity for them, but it would take a tremendous effort to pull off the upset. If they do, it would boost their resume tremendously. Wisconsin, on the other hand, is looking like a #1 seed right now and this would be a nice road win for them.
-DAYTON AT NORTH CAROLINA. Dayton is off to a pretty good start. They were blown out by Pittsburgh in their last game, but that didnt hurt their resume all that much and neither will this game if they fail to win. They either need to pick up a quality win at some point, or post a very impressive conference record to make the NCAA Tournament, but they do appear to be good enough to do that. A win would be great for the Flyers, but a loss isnt the end of the world. North Carolina continues to look like a #1 seed and a win here keeps them on pace to get one.
-WASHINGTON AT UCLA (Pac Ten) (***Pod System Implications***). Washington was surprised by USC in their conference opener and UCLA almost went down to Washington State. This game is big because both teams are trying to make the pod system. UCLA clearly looks like a pod team and should contend for a #1 seed, but Washington really needs some big wins and needs to finish high in the standings. Its a great opportunity for them because there are first/second round games being played in Spokane. Winning on the road against UCLA would be a huge high mark on their resume.
-NORTHEASTERN AT BOSTON COLLEGE. BC should win this one easily, but if they can lose to Duquesne, they can pretty much lose to anyone.
-GEORGIA STATE AT CLEMSON. Clemson just got a big win against Georgia and can improve to 14-0 with a win in this game.
-SAN JOSE STATE AT DUKE. This is one of the best teams in college hoops going up against one of the worst. Duke should roll.
-SIENA AT MARYLAND. Maryland should have little trouble improving to 13-2. Siena could end up being a force in the MAAC, but they arent likely to give Maryland much of a game.
-OKLAHOMA AT ALABAMA. Oklahoma got off to a rather sluggish start, but they are playing very well right now. An upset win would really get the attention of the committee, as well as give them a ton of momentum going into conference play. It would also be their best win of the season by far, and would go a long way as far as their resume is concerned. Alabama is 12-1 and is looking like a solid pod team. If Oklahoma can continue to improve, this could turn out to be a rather nice win for them.
-ILLINOIS STATE AT CREIGHTON (Missouri Valley). Creighton had a rough stint out of conference, but they just got a big win in their conference opener against Missouri State and can improve to 2-0 in league play with a win today. Every game is big from here on out for Creighton, because theyll have to rely on doing well in conference in order to impress the committee.
-WICHITA STATE AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. Wichita State has lost three straight games, the most recent was the other night to Northern Iowa. They are in danger of making it four straight losses and starting off 0-2 in league play. Expect a very intense environment for this one. Southern Illinois looks very good and can improve to 2-0 in league play with a win. Both teams are good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, so the committee will look at this game.
-NEW MEXICO AT TEXAS TECH. Bob Knight
s first attempt at 880 wins came up short against a very strong UNLV team. New Mexico is off to a great start and is playing very good basketball right now at 10-3, but they have struggled on the road. If they want a solid profile, they need to win some big road games, so this is an important game for them. Its important for Texas Tech as well, because they also need to build up their resume. It will be very interesting to see what New Mexico does on the road against a good team who is playing for something historic in Knights 880th win.