Friday, November 17, 2006

More Defining Games

Sorry for a few days without new posts. Computer difficulties. Moving on, some key games from the last few days:

Butler 60, Indiana 55
Indiana really looks like a team adrift right now. They have a lot of good young talent, but with no one really satisfied with their coaching situation everyone just seems a little too distracted. In comes a solid Butler team, and Indiana finds themselves out of the NIT. But we can't put this all on Indiana. Butler showed a lot of maturity and toughness in hanging in after falling down early. The typical pattern for an upset occurs when the inferior team gets up early in the game and hangs on. You rarely see a BCS conference team blow a 12-point second half lead over a Horizon League team.

Winthrop 57, Iona 38
A testament to the amazing senior class that Iona had last year. That high-flying team was one of the highest scoring teams in the nation, with the highest scoring background in Division I, and nearly took out LSU in the NCAA tournament. Now, 38 points against Winthrop? Atleast they have a solid freshman class to look forward to. They should be able to make another run at the tournament by next year.

#2 North Carolina 73, Winthrop
Maybe it wasn't so bad that Iona lost by 19 to the Eagles. Carolina didn't come out and stink it up. They played well.
Winthrop just played real well and almost pulled off the upset. The BP Preseason 65 already had the Eagles winning the Big South, but these good early wins might move them up the ladder to a higher seed. I don't think they're going to be stuck with a 15 seed again.

Oral Roberts 78, #3 Kansas 71
To be honest there's not too much to say about this game that hasn't been said. The worrisome thing for Jayhawk fans has got to be that this team is showing the same faults that the last two years' teams have showed - extreme talent and extreme inconsistency. On a good night they can beat anyone, on a bad night they can lose to anyone. Play like this has gotten them bounced in the First Round of the tournament for two straight years. Bill Self's main priority right now has got to be getting consistency out of this team. More than likely they are going to drop to a #2 seed in the next BP65, because they simply don't have the consistency to be a #1 seed - teams like that just win, win, win. Kansas is a lock for atleast a few more bad losses unless they can get their act together soon.

Maryland 92, St. John's 60
I'm going to define this as a good Maryland game more than a bad St. John's game. The Johnnies are better than they've been the last few years, and the 32 point victory for Maryland has to be seen as real impressive. The ACC now has atleast four, possibly even five really good teams. This is all bad news for Boston College which, with their bad start, are not looking nearly as good as Maryland or Virginia. On a side note, it's interesting that DJ Strawberry won the battle of Sons of Degenerate Fathers over Anthony Mason, Jr.

Michigan St. 63, #18 Texas 61

Texas clearly has a boatload of talent, but they're young and inexperienced and nights like this are bound to happen. The freshmen are leading the way for the Longhorns, and you have to expect them to gel as the year goes on. There's absolutely no reason for Texas fans to panic over a loss on a neutral court to an underrated Tom Izzo-coached team.

Missouri 89, Lipscomb 69

A 20 point victory over Lipscomb isn't anything for a Big 12 team to write home about, but there are a few pieces of noteworthy information gathered from this game. First of all, it seems clear that the outstanding up-tempo system Mike Anderson used at UAB will transfer over to Missouri. Missouri isn't going to get the talent that Kansas and Texas get, so if they're going to compete in the Big 12 they need a coach like Mike Anderson. On another note - you've got a new coach with an uptempo system, becoming the first coach to start 4-0 at Missouri in 84 years, and you can't get more than 5,413 fans to show up? Yikes. Time for Tigers fans to wake up to an up-and-coming program.

No comments: