Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kansas Beats Griffin-less Sooners

#15 Kansas 87, #3 Oklahoma 78
This game was actually unsatisfying in a lot of ways, because it could have been such an epic.
As it was, it was a very exciting game. But for Kansas, they still don't know whether they could beat an Oklahoma team with Blake Griffin. And for Oklahoma fans, they just kind of have to ignore these games. They'll probably still be a 1 seed, and they're going to be a legitimate National Title threat assuming Griffin is back to 100%, so it's all about getting him healthy at this point. The thing with head injuries is that you never know how long they take to heal. Kanas, meanwhile, ends with games against Missouri, at Texas Tech, and at home against Texas. They're currently one game ahead of both Oklahoma and Missouri, so they'll get their shot to earn their Big 12 regular season title. They actually still have a possible shot at a 1 seed if they can win out.

#6 Louisville 76, Georgetown 58
Louisville is clearly back on a roll, and they've got an excellent shot at a share of the Big East title. They are tied for first place with UConn. Pittsburgh and Marquette are a game back, and Louisville gets a chance to bury Marquette at home on Sunday. Speaking of burying teams, Louisville might have sealed Georgetown's NIT fate with this solid victory here. Georgetown is now 5-10 in the Big East with a terrible 14-12 overall record. Their only chance at an at-large bid rides on winning their final three regular season games and then going on a little run in the Big East tournament. They head to Villanova on Saturday night, and a loss there will end any chances they have at the Tournament. With the horrible way that the Big East has set up their conference tournament, it's absolutely impossible for any team with a seed of nine or worse to win it. No team can win five games in five days against this year's Big East, it's just not going to happen.

Providence 81, #1 Pittsburgh 73
Another week, another top ranked team goes down. This one was about foul trouble, as Providence got DeJuan Blair to foul out, and got two other players to four fouls. This game was also about motivation. The reason so many #1 teams fall is because it's hard to stay motivated when there is no where else to progress to. It can feel like there's nothing to play for. Providence, on the other hand, is playing for a Tournament bid. This was unquestionably a huge victory for them, but it's premature for people to start putting them in the Tournament. They are indeed 9-7 in the Big East, but they are 5-11 against the RPI Top 100. They are rated 71st in the RPI, 65th in Sagarin and 71st in Pomeroy. That's simply not a Tournament resume right now. Unless they win at Villanova to close the season they are going to enter the Big East tournament with quite a bit of work left to do.

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