Sunday, December 03, 2006

W-14 BP65

Before we get to the BP65, some thoughts on the last 2 days:

#6 North Carolina 75, Kentucky 63
Another solid victory for the Tar Heels. I know that pollsters have trouble getting out of the "social promotion" mindset, but North Carolina would get my #1 vote on Monday. Unfortunately, I don't think they will. Fortunately, this isn't college football, so rankings in December are pretty irrelevant. As for Kentucky, they showed up well. They are playing like a top 25 team, and they showed that they have the athletes (especially on the inside) to bang with any SEC team. They'll be a tough beat for LSU, Florida and Alabama. I still see Kentucky as the second best team in the SEC East.

Xavier 95, Western Carolina 61

Not that this is a marquee win by any means, but just another example of Xavier taking care of business this year. They have a very good core of Juniors and Seniors that seems poised to take the Musketeers back to the tournament. They have a few more shots at good resume builders, as they have a real shot to wrap up a tournament bid even before the regular season ends.

Clemson 74, South Carolina 53
You have to take notice any time an ACC team is 9-0, but Clemson needs to beat a legit team before we can take them too seriously. The Tigers scheduled a patsy out of conference schedule to build team confidence (their best opponent will be Georgia on New Year's Eve), but it just may work. They could very well go 14-0 out of conference. The sort of hype that would create could be a negative in early conference play, but even if they only go 8-8 in the ACC, do you see the selection committee rejecting a 22-8 ACC team? Probably not. Definitely a team to pay attention to.

Depaul 64, #5 Kansas 57
Jayhawk fans expect this by now. They have incredible amounts of talent, but they're just incredibly inconsistent. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, all of this is taken into account in the BP65. You know they're going to have a few more great wins, and few more awful losses. In the end, I still see them as #2 seed. They don't have the consistency for a #1 seed, but just have too much talent to expect them to fall to a #3. They'll jump up and down in the polls and in other bracket predictions, but that's the difference between those predictions and BasketballPredictions. We don't fall prey to the daily hype.

#21 Gonzaga 87, #25 Texas 77
Wow, Gonzaga has looked amazing so far this season. You have to wonder if Mark Few was right when he said that a healthy Heytfelt would have made Gonzaga a real national contender last year. Either way, they have obviously just about wrapped up a tournament spot and are only worried about their seed. Unfortunately, just like Butler, they have no good in-conference losses. It's so difficult to go perfect in conference (like they did last year) so you have to expect that at some point they'll lose a game and drop in the polls. I still see them as a #6 seed right now. As for Texas, they still look like an excellent team. They will likely fall out of the top 25, but they'll be back soon. On any given day, they can have several of their young players look like All-Americans. I still think they're the second best team in the Big 12. Not too much to be ashamed of to lose to this Zags team.

#10 Duke 61, #23 Georgetown 52
Two teams underperforming so far. So was this an example of both teams continuing to struggle, or a turnaround game for both? Honestly, it's hard to tell. It was a messy game, with a lot of turnovers and fairly poor shooting. But I still believe that Duke is Duke, and they're hard to beat in any given game. Unfortuntaely for Georgetown, this was a chance to prove themselves that they desperately needed to take advantage of. The Hoyas are better than they have played so far, but they have to prove it on the court. And they're going to have to do it in the Big East - they can't salvage too much out of the rest of their out of conference schedule.

#22 Wichita State 64, #14 Syracuse 61

Another great win for Wichita State. For all the hype over Butler, the Shockers have been the best mid-major so far this year (other than Gonzaga, a team that is hardly a "mid-major" anymore). In fact, they've almost locked up a tournament bid already. I'd say that they only need a Top Five finish in conference to get a bid. I'm pretty sure that's never been said of a Missouri Valley team on a December 3rd before.

North Dakota State 64, #9 Marquette 60
Marquette was due for a step back. They're a young team that is going to have an off night. The question is how they will bounce back from this. They have a huge game next weekend against Wisconsin that they need to win if they want to stay among the top four seeds in the BP65. No reason for real panic, of course, for a loss against a North Dakota State team that has always been difficult for top teams. They're not an easy beat. Especially when they shoot 48% and you shoot under 36%.



Now, without further ado, the new BP-65. Note that conference champions are now denoted by capital letters with the conference name in parentheses:

1. NORTH CAROLINA (ACC)
1. UCLA (PAC 10)
1. FLORIDA (SEC)
1. OHIO ST. (BIG 10)

2. LSU
2. KANSAS (BIG 12)
2. Arizona
2. Alabama

3. Texas
3. Duke
3. PITTSBURGH (BIG EAST)
3. Wisconsin

4. Texas
4. Texas A&M
4. Marquette
4. MEMPHIS (CONFERENCE USA)

5. Kentucky
5. UConn
5. Maryland
5. California

6. Syracuse
6. Boston College
6. GONZAGA (WCC)
6. Washington

7. Tennessee
7. WICHITA ST (MVC)
7. Virginia
7. Georgetown

8. Michigan St
8. NEVADA (WAC)
8. Georgia Tech
8. Villanova

9. Creighton
9. Oklahoma St
9. Missouri
9. Oregon

10. Missouri St
10. XAVIER (ATLANTIC 10)
10. UAB
10. AIR FORCE (MOUNTAIN WEST)

11. Illinois
11. Northern Iowa
11. Arkansas
11. San Diego State

12. BUTLER (HORIZON)
12. Southern Illinois
12. Clemson
12. OLD DOMINION (COLONIAL)

13. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)
13. ARKON (MAC)
13. MARIST (MAAC)
13. WESTERN KENTUCKY (SUN BELT)

14. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
14. PENN (IVY)
14. NORTHERN ARIZONA (BIG SKY)
14. BUCKNELL (PATRIOT)

15. DELAWARE ST (MEAC)
15. ORAL ROBERTS (MID-CON)
15. TENNESSEE TECH (OHIO VALLEY)
15. BELMONT (ATLANTIC SUN)

16. FURMAN (SOUTHERN)
16. SAM HOUSTON ST (SOUTHLAND)
16. JACKSON ST (SWAC)
16. CAL STATE-NORTHRIDGE (BIG WEST)
16. ROBERT MORRIS (NORTHEAST)

6 comments:

D. Moore said...

Clemson-
Yes, they've played a weak schedule, but they've taken care of business, and they've looked pretty good in their televised games.

Duke-
Yes, they're certainly underperforming on the offensive end, but their defense is shockingly good for a team this young.

Mike said...

PITT? do you have something against the best team in the country?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff said...

Guys, constructive criticism is encouraged, but cursing and immature behavior will be removed. There are plenty of other blogs for posting garbage - keep it off BasketballPredictions please.

Anonymous said...

Wichita ST. at 7? Are you a big ten moron?

Jim said...

I am starting to think this guy has no common state and is a moron. Come on, use your head a bit before you spit out teams.