#18 Georgetown 81, Drexel 53
I know that this is the only website projecting Georgetown as a 2 seed right now, with everybody else in the Bracket Matrix putting them as a 3 or lower, but their performance in this one is why I think they have an outstanding chance at winning the Big East and getting a second straight 2 seed. Yes, Roy Hibbert can't be replaced, but DeJuan Summers, Austin Freeman and Jessie Sapp are a pretty good trio to bring back. Still, the real reason I am projecting Georgetown so high is the same reason I'm projecting Wake Forest higher than anybody else: a super-frosh. Whereas Wake Forest has the super scorer of Al-Farouq Aminu, Georgetown has a beast of a young man in 6'11", 250 pound Greg Monroe. Drexel just didn't have anybody big enough to play him, and he went for 20 points and 8 rebounds, on 7-for-9 shooting. Even hacking him didn't do anything, as Monroe went 6-for-6 from the line. Obviously a win over Drexel (even such an impressively large win) won't mean much in March, and we all want to see what they do against the nation's elite, and we'll probably have to find that out next week at the Old Spice Classic. Other than a December 13th match-up with Memphis, the Old Spice Classic will feature their only real tough opponents before the Big East regular season in a little over five weeks. Georgetown opens the Old Spice Classic on November 27th against Wichita State. A win there will probably match them up against Tennessee (unless Siena upsets the Vols). Their final game will be against either Maryland, Michigan State, Oklahoma State or Gonzaga. It's a heck of a field, and we should learn a lot about all of those teams.
Saint Louis 53, Boston College 50
A nice bounce back for Saint Louis after the tough loss to Kent State. I spoke yesterday about how Saint Louis would get plenty of chances for a good win, and that the real question was whether they'd improve from the Kent State loss. So far it's looking like the answer is that they did. I don't think I'm quite ready to put them in the BP65, but they're certainly one of the first teams out of the field at this point. Turning our attention to Boston College, this is really not a loss to feel bad about. They actually played pretty well here, with more assists and fewer turnovers than their opponent. They were outrebounded, but that was mostly because they missed far more shots, as shooting was the real problem here: 33% from the field, 58% from the line, 3-for-18 from behind the arc. They're not going to shoot like that normally, and to hang close with what looks to be a very good Saint Louis team despite those awful shooting numbers should actually be somewhat encouraging. The lack of turnovers (only 12 the entire game), despite tight Saint Louis defense, is a sign of the fact that (other than most other teams from BCS conferences) they don't have any freshmen starting. Their top player off the bench, Biko Paris, is also a guy who got extended minutes last year (7 ppg, 3 apg). Now, it's off to New York for the final two rounds of the Preseason NIT, and a big match-up with Purdue. They then follow that with a game against either Oklahoma or UAB. Those two good match-ups will give us a better sense of where Boston College is.
UAB 77, Old Dominion 62
Speaking of UAB, how about this good early season win? On the heels of that crazy win at Arizona this is a great start for Mike Davis and his Blazers. Next come those two big NIT games, and honestly any win there (out of two games) will be a great result. Mike Davis obviously was confident enough in this team to give them a very tough out-of-conference schedule. He clearly is trying to make his team into the poor man's Memphis, earning them an at-large bid with a few good out-of-conference wins along with a good record in the mediocre Conference USA. I'd like to see a Top 25 win before I'm ready to put them in the BP65, but they've had about as good of a start as possible. As a half-serious note to complete this post, can you believe that Robert Vaden still had another year of eligibility? The fact that he was an established veteran under Indiana coach Mike Davis (believe it or not, that's three Indiana coaches ago) is probably what makes it feel like he's been around forever.