Monday, March 02, 2009

UCLA Hangs In Pac-10 Title Hunt

#19 UCLA 72, California 68
UCLA's chances for a fourth straight outright Pac-10 title are now over, but UCLA keeps their chances for a share of the title alive with the win here. They end with a very easy set of home games against Oregon and Oregon State, so they should be an automatic 13-5. The question will be whether Washington State can keep their hot streak alive and knock off Washington next weekend. As many struggles as they've had, UCLA can still get a good seed if they can win out and take the Pac-10 tournament title. Even a 2 seed is still possible if they can get a little bit of help. As for California, they haven't yet locked up a Tournament bid but should still be in. They are 10-5 against the RPI Top 100, but also have losses to Stanford and Oregon State (twice). Cal closes with road games at the two Arizona schools, and a split will probably be enough to get them in even if they don't win a Pac-10 tournament game.

#6 Louisville 62, #10 Marquette 58

It's looking more and more likely that Rick Pitino and his hideous white suit will be earning at least a share of the Big East regular season title. They are now 14-2 and close with Seton Hall and then a road game at West Virginia. UConn is tied with two losses, but should be a heavy underdog when they close their regular season at Pitt. The question for Louisville will be whether they can still earn a 1 seed, and I don't think there's any question that they can. If they can win out then I think they'll be a lock for a 1 seed. But they've got to get at least the regular season or postseason Big East title or else their ceiling will be a 2 seed. Marquette, meanwhile, is continuing to slide without Dominic James. They are actually in danger of falling out of the fourth place spot in the Big East, which could potentially mean having to play a fourth game in the Big East tournament. Considering the fact that their next game is at Pittsburgh, and that they then close at home against a red hot Syracuse team, you've got to wonder where the wins are. Marquette has got to prove that they can make a Tournament run without James.

Tennessee 79, Florida 75
Games like these are why Tennessee continues to make me feel like they're the best team in the SEC. I think it's clear that they have the highest ceiling in the league, but they just seem to lack the consistency to do it game in and game out. They now head to a very important game at South Carolina, the team that they're tied for first place in the SEC East with. Winning the SEC East isn't about the bragging rights, it's about avoiding LSU until the SEC tournament finals. I don't think there's any question that Tennessee would prefer Auburn or Florida or Kentucky in the semifinals than LSU. As for Florida, they actually might not be in the Tournament if the season ended now. They are 8-6 in the SEC and only 6-7 against the RPi Top 100. They have a win over Washington, but they also have a loss to Georgia. The RPI has fallen to 50th, and their other computer ratings aren't much better. Florida has to at least split their two remaining regular season games, and then they'll need at least one win in the SEC tournament. If they fall in their season finale to Kentucky they will actually probably be on pace for an SEC quarterfinal match-up with LSU, a bad situation for a Florida team that might need a win to avoid a trip to the NIT.

1 comment:

luciente said...

I love you.

Please stop saying "highest ceiling" :)