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Bob Green
02-21-2011, 12:28 PM
Last week was tough on the top teams as Kansas, Ohio State, Texas and Pittsburgh all lost. Duke won twice and moves back into #1 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The AP Poll has yet to be released. Here are some key games to keep an eye on:

Monday:

Syracuse (20) at Villanova (14) – ho-hum, another Big East game involving two Top 25 teams.

Wednesday:

Temple (25) at Duke (1) – With our return to #1, I have to list our game, giving it the prominence it deserves, but we will discuss it in the game thread.

Kentucky (22) at Arkansas - can the Wildcats win a SEC game on the road? They've lost their last three SEC games on the road and are 1-5 this season.

Thursday:

Gonzaga at St. Mary's - with St. Mary's losing at USD, the West Coast Conference race has tightened up. Gonzaga appeared to be dead-in-the-water a couple of weeks ago but a victory at St. Mary’s would leave the two tied for 1st Place. The Gaels have dropped two games in a row and looked awful against Utah St.

Saturday:

BYU (7) at San Diego St. (4) - this rematch of Top 10 teams places the Mountain West Conference in the national spotlight. BYU won at home but can they knock off the Aztecs in San Diego? It's Jimmer time! (Yuck, did I actually type that?)

Sunday:

Pittsburgh (6) at Louisville (16) – ho-hum, another Big East game involving two Top 25 teams.

Washington State at Washington – the Huskies look for payback as the Cougars beat them earlier in Pullman.

Can the top teams avoid another disastrous week? This list of games is not all inclusive so feel free to add games as you join in the discussion as we move another week closer to Selection Sunday on March 13.

Jarhead
02-21-2011, 12:36 PM
To start out the week, Duke is #1 in the coaches poll (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/rankings). The AP poll has not yet been released. Kansas, Ohio State, San Diego State, and Texas fill out the top five. What it means is this... uh, well...http://crazietalk.net/ourhouse/images/smilies/39.gif I don't know.

Bob Green
02-25-2011, 01:47 PM
With the weekend approaching, I thought it was time to revive this thread.

Kentucky lost on the road again, dropping an overtime decision to Arkansas 77-76. The Wildcats are now 1-6 in SEC road games with one road game left at Tennessee.

Gonzaga defeated St. Mary's, 89-85, in overtime so the two teams are now tied atop the West Coast Conference at 10-3 and on a collision course for the Championship Game of the conference tourney in Las Vegas on March 7.

Olympic Fan
02-25-2011, 02:42 PM
With the weekend approaching, I thought it was time to revive this thread.

Kentucky lost on the road again, dropping an overtime decision to Arkansas 77-76. The Wildcats are now 1-6 in SEC road games with one road game left at Tennessee.

Gonzaga defeated St. Mary's, 89-85, in overtime so the two teams are now tied atop the West Coast Conference at 10-3 and on a collision course for the Championship Game of the conference tourney in Las Vegas on March 7.

I stayed up late to watch the Gonzaga-St. Mary's finish. Great game -- St. Mary;s should have won in regulation ... at the end, it was tied and St. Mary's had the ball under its own basket with 10 seconds left. They inbounds to McConnell (who hit the game winner vs,. the Zags in the first meeting). He very casually brought it up, not crossing midcourt until less than four seconds left. He never passed or made a move -- he merely launched a 40-footer than had no chance. The Zags dominated the OT.

It looks like the two teams will tie for the conference title. A month ago, Gonzaga appeared headed for the NIT ... now they look good for an at large bid (if they don't win their conference tourney, which they could).

I was about to click off when I noticed another West Coast game on -- a meaningless Loyola-Marymount vs. Santa Clara game. I was just going to watch the last few seconds, but it went into OT ... and then into double OT. Santa Clara pulled it out.

Looking forward to Saturday's lineup -- especially that BYU at San Diego State game.

Bob Green
02-26-2011, 09:02 AM
Looking forward to Saturday's lineup -- especially that BYU at San Diego State game.

A little over four hours to go until tip-off in the BYU at San Diego State marque match-up. I'm anticipating a really competitive game featuring two outstanding players in Jimmer Fredette and Kawhi Leonard. BYU won the first meeting 71-58, but the Aztecs are at home this time.

Looking at other West Coast action, there are two important games in the PAC 10 this weekend. Arizona (23-5/12-3) travels to Pauley Pavilion to face UCLA (20-8/11-4). Arizona's Derrick Williams is the odds on favorite to win PAC 10 Player of the Year honors. This game tips at 4 pm ET.

On Sunday, Washington (19-8/10-5) hosts Washington State (17-10/7-8). Washington must win to stay in the hunt for a top two finish in the PAC 10 in order to earn a 1st round bye in their conference tournament. This is a late night game with a 10 pm ET tip.

Olympic Fan
02-26-2011, 09:59 AM
A little over four hours to go until tip-off in the BYU at San Diego State marque match-up. I'm anticipating a really competitive game featuring two outstanding players in Jimmer Fredette and Kawhi Leonard. BYU won the first meeting 71-58, but the Aztecs are at home this time.

Looking at other West Coast action, there are two important games in the PAC 10 this weekend. Arizona (23-5/12-3) travels to Pauley Pavilion to face UCLA (20-8/11-4). Arizona's Derrick Williams is the odds on favorite to win PAC 10 Player of the Year honors. This game tips at 4 pm ET.

On Sunday, Washington (19-8/10-5) hosts Washington State (17-10/7-8). Washington must win to stay in the hunt for a top two finish in the PAC 10 in order to earn a 1st round bye in their conference tournament. This is a late night game with a 10 pm ET tip.

Thursday night before the Gonzaga-St. Mary's game, I watched Southern Cal upset Arizona, which cut their lead in the Pack 10 to one game over UCLA. The Bruins can tie for first place in the conference with a win today .... although they have to finish up with the Washington swing on the road, while Arizona gets the two Oregon teams at home to close out the regular season. So I guess the odds still favor Arizona, even if UCLA does win ...

pfrduke
02-26-2011, 10:04 AM
A little over four hours to go until tip-off in the BYU at San Diego State marque match-up. I'm anticipating a really competitive game featuring two outstanding players in Jimmer Fredette and Kawhi Leonard. BYU won the first meeting 71-58, but the Aztecs are at home this time.

Looking at other West Coast action, there are two important games in the PAC 10 this weekend. Arizona (23-5/12-3) travels to Pauley Pavilion to face UCLA (20-8/11-4). Arizona's Derrick Williams is the odds on favorite to win PAC 10 Player of the Year honors. This game tips at 4 pm ET.

On Sunday, Washington (19-8/10-5) hosts Washington State (17-10/7-8). Washington must win to stay in the hunt for a top two finish in the PAC 10 in order to earn a 1st round bye in their conference tournament. This is a late night game with a 10 pm ET tip.

I'm pretty sure only the bottom 4 teams in the Pac-10 play in the first round of the tournament, while the other 6 get a bye, leaving 8 teams total for the quarterfinal round. The Huskies would love to keep winning to improve their tourney status (and really should be able to finish 22-8/13-5 with the games they have left), but their Pac-10 tournament bye is very secure (unless the Pac-10 drastically changed their tournament format this season).

Bob Green
02-26-2011, 10:08 AM
I'm pretty sure only the bottom 4 teams in the Pac-10 play in the first round of the tournament, while the other 6 get a bye, leaving 8 teams total for the quarterfinal round.

I'm going to go look it up as I'm guilty of listening to others. In this case, Seattle Sports Radio (http://www.kjram.com). They were going on and on the other morning about how important it was for Washington to be a top two seed in the tournament due to receiving a bye.

I'll be right back...

Bob Green
02-26-2011, 10:14 AM
I'll be right back...

Pfrduke is correct and I'm wrong so Dick Fain is going to receive an email from me in a couple of minutes, "Hey Dick, what the heck? Why are you feeding me misinformation?" Well, then again, perhaps my ears need calibrating. :cool:

Bob Green
02-26-2011, 10:29 AM
The Bruins can tie for first place in the conference with a win today .... although they have to finish up with the Washington swing on the road, while Arizona gets the two Oregon teams at home to close out the regular season. So I guess the odds still favor Arizona, even if UCLA does win ...

The odds definitely favor Arizona as Washington will be motivated when the Bruins visit on March 3rd. Washington defeated UCLA 74-63 at Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 31st and they know UCLA is looking to return the favor. Washington runs hot and cold at times, due to being a team which relies on the 3-point shot, but they are a talented team with a very good coach who can beat anybody when clicking on all eight cylinders. Their 87-86 loss at Arizona last week was a heart breaker. Derrick Williams came out of nowhere to block Darnell Gant's potential game winning shot as time expired (was it goal tending?).

Olympic Fan
02-26-2011, 10:42 AM
Just looking at another interesting matchup that could have an impact on Duke.

No. 17 Syracuse is at No. 11 Georgetown at 2 p.m.

It will be Georgetown's first game without Chris Wright. The team's PG (and No. 2 scorer) broke his hand in a loss to Cincinnati and is out for the season.

That could be huge in the race to secure one of the Charlotte pods in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Up until this week, (1) Duke, (2) Georgetown (which can't play on its homecourt in DC) and (3) UNC were the favorites for the the two spots.

But Georgetown's disaster is UNC's gain. If the Hoyas continue the slide that started with Wright's injury and the loss to UC, it won't be long before UNC leapfrogs them in the polls -- and on the committee's s-curve. If the committee follows their guidelines (and they sometimes don't), then the higher-seeded of UNC and Georgetown would be sent to Charlotte.

A victory over Syracuse at home would go a long way towards giving the Hoyas an edge. For the Orange, anything outside the state of New York is an adventure.

Anyway, Wright's injury opens the door to allow UNC -- if they finish strong -- to get to Charlotte with Duke. I've written before that that wouldn't be the repeat of 2005 that many expect ... but I keep urging Duke fans to keep buying tickets for the Charlotte site.

stillcrazie
02-26-2011, 11:27 AM
Mizzou 18, KSU 25 halfway through the first half. I'd think a KSU win would help us.

Bob Green
02-26-2011, 12:53 PM
...at the under 4:00 timeout. There is lots of basketball left to be played but Kansas State is in good shape. A KSU victory helps Duke's resume.

I've watched the whole 2nd half and KSU is beating Missouri with solid inside play and timely 3-point buckets. Jacob Pullen is on the bench with 4 fouls.

Billy Dat
02-26-2011, 01:25 PM
The atmosphere at this BYU/SDSU game is electric! 12 minutes left in the first half, both teams playing really hard, fans going bonkers.

Bob Green
02-26-2011, 03:22 PM
I watched the 1st half and then listen to most of the 2nd half on the radio as I had some running around to do. Jimmer Fredette had 25 points and nine assists, while Kawhi Leonard recorded a 17 points and 13 rebounds double-double. The difference was BYU's supporting cast stepping up and playing great. Charles Abouo had 18 points and Noah Hartsock 15 points. The two combined to shoot 7-9 on 3-pointers. The Cougars were 14-24 overall from behind the 3-point line. 58.3% from the bonusphere is a remarkable performance. BYU will be a tough out in the NCAAT.

dukelifer
02-26-2011, 03:51 PM
Just watched St Johns win against another top 20 team - this time on the road. They remind me a bit of NC State 1983- not in style of play but in some strange team of destiny sort of way. They are unafraid and everyone is contributing. They are having fun being the team everyone gave up for dead and now beating the big boys. They are a going to be a tough out.

Olympic Fan
02-26-2011, 04:08 PM
...at the under 4:00 timeout. There is lots of basketball left to be played but Kansas State is in good shape. A KSU victory helps Duke's resume.

I had the same thought as I watched K-State close out the win. They are playing great ball in the last few weeks -- beating No. 1 Kansas, winning at Nebraska (right after Nebraska's victory over Texas), now beating No. 21 Missouri.

But I didn't realize how much K-State's surge might help Duke until I looked at the RPI. Going into today's game, Kansas State was No. 26 in the RPI.

Now, the NCAA uses some arbitrary breakdowns to look at a team's resume. I mean, there is, in reality, little difference between a team that's No. 25 and No. 26 (or 50 and 51 or 100 and 101). But the committee DOES look at those arbitrary breakdowns. Listen to the bubble talk in the next two weeks and see how often a talking head talks about a team's record against the top 25 ... the top 50 ... the top 100.

Going into today, Duke was a modest 1-1 against the RPI top 25. If K-State can move up one spot, the Devils' top 25 record suddenly becomes 2-1.

That's not all. Going into today, Butler was No. 51 before winning today and Marquette was No. 54. Princeton and BC were tied at No. 58. If one or two of those move up, Duke's record against the top 50 will get better.

As of today, Duke's best RPI asset is its record against the top 100. As of this morning, Duke had 15 top 100 wins ... only Kansas (with 16) had more. By comparison, Ohio State has 14, Pitt 13, BYU 12, Georgetown and San Diego State 11 and Texas just 10.

Here's the kicker -- Kansas was playing No. 118 Oklahoma, so they'll stay on 16 top 100 wins. If Duke can beat No. 50 Virginia Tech tonight, the Devils can go to 16 top 100 wins. Both Duke and Kansas finish the regular season with two top 100 opponents.

One caveat: N.C. State started the day at No. 98 in the RPI. If they drop three places, Duke loses two top 100 wins. I found this out just as they were about to blow their home game with Georgia Tech -- fortunately, they hung on to win.

Obviously, if Duke keeps winning, it doesn't matter that much -- if the Devils are 32-2 on Selction Sunday (m ranked No. 1, 15-1 in the ACC and ACC champs), they are a clear No. 1 seed and maybe even THE No. 1 seed. And if Duke loses a couple more (from VPI, UNC or the tourney), then it will be tough to get a No. 1.

It's that middle ground -- one more loss to either VPI, UNC or in the tourney -- where the strength of the resume could determine whether Duke is a 1 or a 2 seed ... and whether they are in the New Orleans or the Anaheim Regional.

PS Happy to see that Temple bounced back from a sluggish first half to beat George Washington going away ... every little bit helps.

anon
02-26-2011, 04:09 PM
but I think BYU should get a 1 seed (not to the exclusion of Duke!), especially if they win out. Even if they lose to SDSU in their conference tournament, I might still argue for it. They have a lot of good wins: 2x SDSU, 2x UNLV, 2x Utah State, Arizona, St. Mary's. And they have two single-digit losses on the road.

Dukeface88
02-26-2011, 04:34 PM
Just watched St Johns win against another top 20 team - this time on the road. They remind me a bit of NC State 1983- not in style of play but in some strange team of destiny sort of way. They are unafraid and everyone is contributing. They are having fun being the team everyone gave up for dead and now beating the big boys. They are a going to be a tough out.

How the heck did this St. John's team manage to lose to Fordham? Seriously, Kenpom and Sagaron both have the Rams ranked lower than Wake. Was St. John's trying out some zany defensive scheme or something (a la Cuse's loss to a Div II team last presason)? Half the players out with the swine flu?

MChambers
02-26-2011, 04:42 PM
How the heck did this St. John's team manage to lose to Fordham? Seriously, Kenpom and Sagaron both have the Rams ranked lower than Wake. Was St. John's trying out some zany defensive scheme or something (a la Cuse's loss to a Div II team last presason)? Half the players out with the swine flu?
Maybe Lavin was calling the shots until the Fordham loss and since then Keady's taken over. I find it hard to believe that a Lavin coached team could have such a resurgence.

jv001
02-26-2011, 04:55 PM
Maybe Lavin was calling the shots until the Fordham loss and since then Keady's taken over. I find it hard to believe that a Lavin coached team could have such a resurgence.

Lavin is evidently a better coach than he was an announcer. I've never liked him much and that includes his time as the Bruin coach. Maybe it is Keady as you mentioned. Go Duke!

NashvilleDevil
02-26-2011, 04:56 PM
Under 4 timeout and Colorado is winning 78-67. Saw they are on some ridiculous 37-9 run.

juise
02-26-2011, 05:09 PM
Texas is rallying, but it's too late. Apparently, they had 25 possessions with 1 field goal.

Colorado is making some bad decisions late (foul on a three pointer). However, they continue to score and Texas is shooting horribly from the line. This will be two top 5 losses, three top 10 losses, and six top 15 losses today. Let's hope Duke bucks the trend.

Bob Green
02-26-2011, 05:10 PM
UCLA absolutely destroyed Arizona 71-49. Reeves Nelson had a monster game with 27 points and 16 rebounds. Josh Smith contributed 17 points. While I do not believe a scholarship was ever offered to either player, Duke recruited both Nelson and Smith.

jv001
02-26-2011, 05:19 PM
Everyone's darling the Longhorns went down again for the 2nd Saturday in a row. Even Coach Knight was bragging on them today. They forget about their coach(Barnes). Go Duke!

78Devil
02-26-2011, 05:37 PM
So the Texas loss is irrelevant if we win out, but as that is unlikely I suspect that it could help keep Duke in the running for a #1 seed if we lose only once and then win the tournament. Thoughts?

ice-9
02-26-2011, 06:11 PM
There's still a lot of basketball left to be played, but IMO this takes Texas out of immediate consideration for a 1 seed. They'd have to win out, win the the Big 12 tournament (thus beating Kansas), and need other candidates to lose one or two to get it.

It's looking like a five horse race among Ohio St, Pitt, Duke (assuming we win tonight), Kansas and BYU.

On that note it's amazing how just two weeks ago the popular opinion is that Texas is playing like the best team in the nation. Two losses later to teams that aren't likely to make the NCAA tournament, I bet no one will list Texas in their top three any more. The sheen is gone. Whodathunk that reputations can be so fragile, ready to change in just a couple of games?

Bob Green
02-27-2011, 10:33 AM
Can the top teams avoid another disastrous week?

The answer to my question is no. While not as bloody as last week, teams in the Top 25 are having another tough week. Those who've dropped games this week:

#1 Duke
#4 SDSU
#5 Texas
#10 Arizona
#11 Georgetown (twice)
#13 Florida
#14 Villanova (twice)
#15 Connecticut
#18 Vanderbilt
#21 Missouri
#22 Kentucky

It must be the last week of February. There are seven Top 25 teams in action today so plenty of opportunity for more bleeding.

moonpie23
02-27-2011, 10:39 AM
wow....i guess all those other schools' fan bases are picking their teams bones apart this weekend calling for gloom and doom in march as well....

devildeac
02-27-2011, 11:08 AM
The answer to my question is no. While not as bloody as last week, teams in the Top 25 are having another tough week. Those who've dropped games this week:

#1 Duke
#4 SDSU
#5 Texas
#10 Arizona
#11 Georgetown (twice)
#13 Florida
#14 Villanova (twice)
#15 Connecticut
#18 Vanderbilt
#21 Missouri
#22 Kentucky

It must be the last week of February. There are seven Top 25 teams in action today so plenty of opportunity for more bleeding.

Go terps.

Excuse me while I go use some disinfectant now.

Olympic Fan
02-27-2011, 11:09 AM
I had the same thought as I watched K-State close out the win. They are playing great ball in the last few weeks -- beating No. 1 Kansas, winning at Nebraska (right after Nebraska's victory over Texas), now beating No. 21 Missouri.

But I didn't realize how much K-State's surge might help Duke until I looked at the RPI. Going into today's game, Kansas State was No. 26 in the RPI.

Now, the NCAA uses some arbitrary breakdowns to look at a team's resume. I mean, there is, in reality, little difference between a team that's No. 25 and No. 26 (or 50 and 51 or 100 and 101). But the committee DOES look at those arbitrary breakdowns. Listen to the bubble talk in the next two weeks and see how often a talking head talks about a team's record against the top 25 ... the top 50 ... the top 100.

Going into today, Duke was a modest 1-1 against the RPI top 25. If K-State can move up one spot, the Devils' top 25 record suddenly becomes 2-1.

That's not all. Going into today, Butler was No. 51 before winning today and Marquette was No. 54. Princeton and BC were tied at No. 58. If one or two of those move up, Duke's record against the top 50 will get better.

As of today, Duke's best RPI asset is its record against the top 100. As of this morning, Duke had 15 top 100 wins ... only Kansas (with 16) had more. By comparison, Ohio State has 14, Pitt 13, BYU 12, Georgetown and San Diego State 11 and Texas just 10.

Here's the kicker -- Kansas was playing No. 118 Oklahoma, so they'll stay on 16 top 100 wins. If Duke can beat No. 50 Virginia Tech tonight, the Devils can go to 16 top 100 wins. Both Duke and Kansas finish the regular season with two top 100 opponents.

One caveat: N.C. State started the day at No. 98 in the RPI. If they drop three places, Duke loses two top 100 wins. I found this out just as they were about to blow their home game with Georgia Tech -- fortunately, they hung on to win.

Obviously, if Duke keeps winning, it doesn't matter that much -- if the Devils are 32-2 on Selction Sunday (m ranked No. 1, 15-1 in the ACC and ACC champs), they are a clear No. 1 seed and maybe even THE No. 1 seed. And if Duke loses a couple more (from VPI, UNC or the tourney), then it will be tough to get a No. 1.

It's that middle ground -- one more loss to either VPI, UNC or in the tourney -- where the strength of the resume could determine whether Duke is a 1 or a 2 seed ... and whether they are in the New Orleans or the Anaheim Regional.

PS Happy to see that Temple bounced back from a sluggish first half to beat George Washington going away ... every little bit helps.

Just did a check of the RPI this morning and guess what ... even with the loss, Duke's RPI climbed from No. 5 to No. 4.

K-State did climb into the top 25 and Butler rose one point to No. 50, giving Duke a 2-1 top 25 mark and a 6-3 top 50 mark (15-3 top 100).

It could get better -- Boston College is currently No. 51.

After the loss to Va Tech, Duke is going to need any edge it can get if the Devils are going to be a No. 1 seed. With the loss in Blacksburg, I think Duke fell off the No. 1 line temporarily ... but with two wins next week and three wins in Greensboro, I'm pretty confident that we'll be back there.

Probably should be another thread, but I think Texas and San Diego State took big hits Saturday -- much bigger than Duke. That leaves Kansas, Ohio State (two near locks) vying with Duke, Pitt and BYU for the other two No. 1 spots -- IMHO. Today it wuld be Pitt and BYU, but two more weeks of bball to play and it's close.

WVDUKEFAN
02-27-2011, 03:09 PM
I'm watching Pittsbugh vs. Louisville. Pittsburgh is going to be a tough out. Wannamaker has icewater running through his veins. None the less, if we don't win another game this year, I'll just be glad that Coach K doesnt' wear white suits (ala Pitino). Ouch.

NashvilleDevil
02-27-2011, 03:40 PM
Pitt the #6 team loses. #1, #4, #5 and #6 lost this weekend. Barring a collapse it's safe to say that Kansas and Ohio St are both getting 1 seeds. That leaves Duke, BYU, Pitt and Texas for the other 2. I have to say I like Duke's chances of getting a 1 seed but they will not drop to a 3 seed as someone suggested in the post game thread.

Wander
02-27-2011, 03:46 PM
Pitt the #6 team loses. #1, #4, #5 and #6 lost this weekend. Barring a collapse it's safe to say that Kansas and Ohio St are both getting 1 seeds. That leaves Duke, BYU, Pitt and Texas for the other 2. I have to say I like Duke's chances of getting a 1 seed but they will not drop to a 3 seed as someone suggested in the post game thread.

Don't forget Purdue. Their resume doesn't look that different from ours right now.

NashvilleDevil
02-27-2011, 03:50 PM
Don't forget Purdue. Their resume doesn't look that different from ours right now.

Terrible oversight on my part. Thank you. Cannot believe I forgot about them. Yes they are definitely in the conversation now.

Olympic Fan
02-27-2011, 06:13 PM
Terrible oversight on my part. Thank you. Cannot believe I forgot about them. Yes they are definitely in the conversation now.

Maybe in the coversation, but -- like Texas -- they are on the fringe of it.

Their resume is close, but clearly inferior to Duke's -- five losses to three, they are two spots behind Duke in RPI, same number of top 25 wins, less top 50 wins, less top 100 wins.

That's not to say that if Duke stumbles at UNC or in the ACC Tournament, Purdue couldn't move past the Devils. But right now, they are behind Duke. Easy finishing schedule (Illinois at home, at Iowa) ... the the Big 10 tourney.

Bob Green
02-27-2011, 10:02 PM
Washington State leads Washington 24 - 17 at the half. These are teams that average 86 (UW) and 73 (WSU) points per game. Ugly! The baskets have the proverbial lid on them.