Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Congratulations are in Order

To the University of Wisconsin for its first trip to #1 in the Associated Press poll. With Ohio State and UW switching positions in the Coaches Poll we are going to have a rare #1 vs #1 matchup on Sunday that I certainly can't wait for. Moving onto other games played over the past two days:

North Carolina State 81, #25 Virginia Tech 56
Every dog has its day, but the Wolfpack have had several of those days already this season. As some analyst commented (I can't remember which one, maybe someone can remind me), how much could you have gotten in Vegas on a team sweeping UNC and getting swept by NC State in the same season? Beyond that, of course, is a real issue with this Tech team. They really aren't as talented of a team as a casual observer might think from their wins over Duke and UNC. You have to wonder if they're the type of team that can get up for an occasional big win but which lacks the overall maturity and talent to win consistently enough to be a real contender. Just look at how they're 7-3 against the RPI top 50, but only 3-4 against teams with an RPI between 101 and 200. Pretty odd statistic. Either way, Tech's eight ACC wins should be enough for a Tournament bid. But games like this are going to drop their seed.

Maryland 82, Clemson 66
Another solid win for a red-hot Maryland team. This marks their 20th win, brings them back to .500 in the ACC, and puts their RPI inside the Top 20. If the season ended now, no way does this team get denied. A good turn around for Gary Williams after his Terrapins had really struggled early on this season. Maryland has two very winnable home games left, against FSU and NC State. Wins there will assure a bid, making them the sixth ACC team in the Dance. You should notice that those six teams do not include Clemson, a team in a real freefall. They have 19 wins and a pretty good RPI of 31, but surprisingly lack a single big win for a team in the ACC. They get another good shot on Thursday against Duke. They will probably need that one, since a 7-9 record might not be enough.

#6 Kansas 71, Kansas State 62
Another good win for a Kansas team still hoping to steal a #1 seed. I wouldn't bet on it, but it's certainly possible if the Jayhawks can win out and get a little help. As for K-State, they had that great seven game stretch where they looked like a really elite team, but they have looked rather mediocre otherwise. They have a solid 8-5 record in the Big 12, but 9 losses overall and a weak 1-5 record against the RPI Top 50. Worst of all, their RPI is an awful 61. Also, they just don't entirely feel like a Tournament team, mostly due to the fact that they haven't felt played like one for most of the season. They need to win atleast two of their final three games to feel confident on Selection Sunday. They don't have the premier wins and the glamor name to get in with a weak resume.

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