Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Feast Week, Part II

Arkansas 61, Southern Illinois 53, OT
In this day and age, a win like this is actually a morale boost and resume builder for Arkansas. Southern Illinois is going to be a bubble team, and likely so will Arkansas, which made this game an important one for the record of both teams. Southern Illinois missed a good opportunity to build a case for the NCAA tournament by losing a very winnable game. Their defense is still outstanding, but their offense is atrocious. The Missouri Valley is a defensive conference, but atleast a modicum of offense is needed to be a real competitor. The Salukis need to improve in that respect.

Missouri State 66, #7 Wisconsin 64
Speaking of goood resume builders for Missouri Valley teams... Of course, this isn't a huge loss for the Badgers. They've still looked like a legitimate top ten team early on this season. They simply had a bad day. They shot 2-15 from the 3-point line throughout the game, and suffered while the Bears shot 63% from the field in the first half to open up an 18 point lead. Wisconsin did well to fight back in the second half, despite continued poor shooting, by simply playing shut-down defense. This is most likely not enough to drop the Badgers out of the three hole in next week's BP65.

#2 North Carolina 101, #21 Tennessee 87
An excellent bounce-back game for the Tar Heels. They looked solid, athletic, and confident. They shot extremely well and got good production from their young talent. Brandan Wright, for example, shot 9-10 from the field and pulled down 8 boards. As for Tennessee, by all means they should be a good team this year. They simply haven't showed it early on. They might just be running into teams at the wrong time. Atleast that's what Vols fans should be hoping.

Butler 79, #23 Gonzaga 71
And finally, the biggest story of Feast Week. Another good win for a Bulldog team that got an early lead on good outside shooting and just hung on for dear life. Are they due for a letdown game today against Kent State? Very likely. I wouldn't be surprised to see them lose today. Either way, it's a far better than expected start for the Horizon League team that is currently ranked #1 in the RPI. Of course, Wichita State and Texas-Arlington are also in the top 10 in terms of national RPI, so let's temper some of the Butler hype for now. They have to make sure that their season doesn't peak in November.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Congrats to Butler on winning the NIT. They were voted to finish #6 in the Horizon League so the voters really messed that one up.