Saturday, December 01, 2007

Non-ACC/Big Ten Results

#9 Texas A&M 76, Alabama 63
Another impressive win for Mark Turgeon's boys. And again, it's not a single star doing it, but rather a lot of players sharing the ball well. They also shot really well, including 53% overall from the field. Alabama, meanwhile, is playing their way out of the Tournament. Richard Hendrix has continued to be an All-SEC caliber player, but nobody else is stepping up. The Tide did a good job of scheduling, so they have time to make this up. They've managed to schedule a few decent opponents, all of whom come to Tuscaloosa. Georgetown, Missouri State, Clemson and George Washington all come to town. Alabama needs atleast two of those to salvage the out of conference season. Texas A&M's out of conference season is already a success with this win and the pummeling of Ohio State. Don't look past the game at Arizona tomorrow, but after that it's an easy schedule until 2008.

George Mason 85, Drexel 38
An unbelievably impressive win for George Mason. Let's remember that Drexel is a bubble team, or atleast that they were until this blowout. I can tack off the stats in this one: 51% shooting to 30%, 40 rebounds to 24, 23 assists to 7. You expect a team that shoots far better than its opponent to win the defensive rebounding battle, but the Patriots even won the offensive rebounding battle 11 to 6. Drexel definitely needs to bounce back today against Creighton, or a lot of people will start writing them off. As for George Mason, they deserve a spot in the Top 25, although they might not get it yet. They follow this up with five very winnable out of conference games, followed by an easy start to the conference season before they head to Hofstra in mid-January. That would put them at 15-1, which would obviously be good enough for a spot in the Top 25. If George Mason can run through the conference with something like a 16-2 record, the question won't be if they'd deserve an at-large bid, but how highly they'll be seeded. Something like a 5 or 6 seed is not out of the question for this bunch.

#17 Oregon 80, Kansas State 77
A big road victory for an Oregon team still bouncing back from the St. Mary's loss. Michael Beasley showed up, as usual, with 24 points on 10-17 shooting. Not another 30-20 game, but he also wasn't playing Sacramento State either. Oregon's attack, meanwhile, was very balanced. Tajuan Porter, Maarty Leunen and several others played well. The biggest question about this team is its size (Leunen is the only regular over 6'6"), but K-State doesn't have the size to exploit anybody on the inside. One thing you really have to like about this Oregon team is how they do all of the little things well. Ernie Kent has brought a bit of the Kamikaze Kids Version 2.0 to his coaching here. This was never more apparent than on the final play of regulation, when Jacob Pullen's layup was called off because of an offensive foul drawn by Joevan Catron. The next test for the Ducks? Probably not until conference play starts and they head to Arizona on January 5th.

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