Thursday, December 23, 2010

Georgetown Thumps Memphis

#9 Georgetown 86, #17 Memphis 69
I was surprised to see Wesley Witherspoon back for Memphis, only two weeks after we were all told he would be out for five weeks. But even if Witherspoon was playing at 100% of his ability, the gulf between Georgetown and Memphis was just too massive in this game. Memphis still hasn't developed any kind of half court offense, and they struggle to rebound as well. After two straight very narrow wins over poor teams (an overtime victory over Austin Peay and a five point victory over Texas A&M-CC), Memphis was clearly overrated at 17th in the nation. Their best win on the season is still that narrow four pointer over the University of Miami back in mid-November, and they are a thoroughly unimpressive 1-2 against the RPI Top 100. They will play at Tennessee on January 5th, and will play Gonzaga on February 5th. They're the favorites to win Conference USA, but they're not as good as most people think they are. Georgetown, meanwhile, is off to begin Big East play on December 29th at Notre Dame. They definitely played well enough out-of-conference (wins over Missouri, Memphis and Old Dominion, and only a loss at Temple) to earn a 1 seed in the Tournament if they can win the Big East. Mark on your calendar a January 12th home game for Georgetown against Pitt.

Colorado 78, Indiana 69
Indiana had a tough narrow loss yesterday against Northern Iowa, and I said that if Indiana really is good enough to make it onto the bubble this season that they should easily take care of business against a mediocre Colorado team. I guess they're not that good yet. To be fair, the difference in this game was really free throw shooting (Colorado his 27-for-31, Indiana hit 16-for-25), and Indiana did nearly come back from a large deficit with an aggressive press that Colorado really struggled with. But as a whole, Indiana's players just really haven't progressed this year like I thought they would. They have a blue chip recruiting class coming in next year, but even that might not be enough for them to get back to the Tournament right away considering where they are currently. Indiana is 9-4, but they still have no wins over RPI Top 100 teams, and this is a bad loss. If they can't bounce back in their Big Ten opener, on December 27th at home against Penn State, this season could really begin to tailspin. Big Ten games don't get any easier this season than at home against Penn State. Colorado moves to 8-4, but this is likely their best win and they do have a loss to San Francisco. They have only three cupcakes remaining out-of-conference, so they should be 11-4 when they open Big 12 play against Missouri on January 8th.

#23 BYU 89, UTEP 68
When a BYU player not named Jimmer Fredette shoots 6-for-9 behind the arc, you know it's going to be a long day for their opponent. Tonight it was Jackson Emery putting on that performance (Jimmer added 25 points of his own). UTEP did jump out to an early 9-0 lead, but this game was over early in the second half. BYU doesn't have any really big time wins yet, but they've got a bunch of good wins and they're 5-1 against the RPI Top 100. Their RPI is actually currently 5th in the nation. BYU probably isn't the fifth best team in the nation, but they are very good and could be in line for something like a 3 or a 4 seed in the Tournament if they win the Mountain West. They will get an early start on that championship race when they open MWC play on January 5th at UNLV. UTEP is now 9-3, but it's about as soft as a 9-3 record can be. The closest thing they have to a quality win was over Texas Tech, and they've lost to Pacific and Georgia Tech. They'll have to go at least 12-4 in Conference USA play to get onto the bubble.

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