Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kansas Locks Up #1 Overall

#1 Kansas 72, #9 Kansas State 64
Kansas was efficient here, knowing that they didn't have to extend themselves to win this one. They pounded the ball inside, where Kansas State just does not have the bodies to match up with Cole Aldrich and the Morris brothers. Marcus Morris was the star here, with 18 points and 8 rebounds. The star Kansas State back court had 30 points combined, but that wasn't enough to counter the big Kansas advantage inside. The win would have been by an even larger margin if Cole Aldrich didn't have to spend a lot of time on the bench in foul trouble. For Kansas, this assures them the #1 overall bid. They will play the play-in winner. As for Kansas State, even though they didn't win this game, the fact that they kept this game close means that they should get a 2 seed, which was the seed they were probably getting even if they won this game. So really, this game didn't mean a whole lot to either side, and was merely for our entertainment, and for the hardware for the schools.

San Diego State 55, UNLV 45
UNLV seemed tight here trying to go for the Mountain West tournament championship on their home court. They turned the ball over 15 times and hit only 33% from the field. None of the UNLV stars were able to score points efficiently, and so it became such a grind for them to try to get back into this game late. Of course, UNLV already had locked up a Tournament bid with their win in the MWC semifinals, so they were only playing for seed anyway. They finish 8-5 against the RPI Top 100 with wins over Louisville, BYU (twice), New Mexico and San Diego State, along with bad losses to USC and Utah (twice). Their RPI is 44th and their ELO_CHESS will be around 40th-41st. They will end up with a seed somewhere between a 9 and an 11. Unlike UNLV, San Diego State entered this game not completely assured of an at-large bid. So this win made things certain, although their seed won't be as good as their inflated RPI of 19th would suggest. Their ELO_CHESS will end up right around 35th, and that's closer to where they'll be seeded. I expect them to be seeded somewhere in the 8-10 range.

#6 West Virginia 60, #22 Georgetown 58
This was the type of game that we often see late in the Big East tournament, with lots of athleticism and players diving all over the floor, with a bit of messy play but always fun to watch. Georgetown should get credit as always for their passing, which I think is the best in the country. They had some very nice interior passes in this one. But down the stretch things really got out of control, with some chaotic decisions on the final few possessions, including an inexplicable foul by Chris Wright during a tie game, coming out of a timeout, with about 30 seconds remaining. West Virginia actually probably wasn't even playing for much here. With this win they'll keep their hopes alive for a 1 seed, but it's unlikely, particularly if Duke wins the ACC tournament on Sunday. Georgetown was playing for something, as the Selection Committee will have to balance the brutal Georgetown schedule with the fact that they only went 10-8 in Big East play. Their RPI is 7th, and their ELO_CHESS should be either 12th or 13th. They should be a 3 or a 4 seed in the Tournament.

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