Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Syracuse Slaughters Georgetown

#4 Syracuse 73, #11 Georgetown 56
Georgetown actually got out to a 14-0 lead, but even then it never seemed like Syracuse had much of a chance of losing this game. The Hoyas made a bunch of jump shots to start the game, but it was clear that jump shots was all that they were going to get all game. Georgetown always struggles to run its offense against zones, and Syracuse is particularly well suited to play Georgetown because they have a couple of big men who can handle Greg Monroe in a box-and-one zone. Monroe fouled out with only eight points scored, along with four rebounds and six turnovers in 28 minutes played. The Georgetown backcourt actually played really well in this game, but Syracuse is just a horrible all-around match-up for them. The Hoyas fall to 6-3 and fifth place in the Big East. Their chances of winning the Big East are very small at this point, but they do still have an opportunity for a very good NCAA Tournament seed, and get their next chance for a nice win Saturday afternoon against Duke. As for Syracuse, they are very much in the thick of the Big East title race. They are in second place, only one loss behind Villanova, and their one match-up with Villanova is at the Carrier Dome (on February 27th). If Syracuse can win a share of the Big East regular season title and combine it with the Big East tournament title then they will probably be a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Florida State 68, #18 Georgia Tech 66
I've been keeping Florida State as a bubble team just outside of the bracket because of how awful their half court offense is. According to Pomeroy their offensive efficiency is currently rated 98th in the nation, which is second worst in the ACC, but even that is deceptive because of how many easy baskets they get. Pomeroy rates them 30th in forcing turnovers, 37th in forcing steals, 20th in collecting offensive rebounds, and 3rd in overall defense. So they're getting a lot of fast breaks, and a lot of easy put-back baskets, and they still are struggling to score efficiently. But that said, their defense is so good that they have managed to win quite a few games this year and their overall resume is getting pretty good. This win moves them to 15-4, including 3-2 in the ACC and 6-4 against the RPI Top 100. Their RPI and Sagarin ELO_CHESS are both 31st, which means that they'd definitely be in the NCAA Tournament if the season ended now. As for Georgia Tech, they fall to 3-3 in ACC play with a fairly brutal upcoming ACC schedule. The Yellow Jackets are going to have to beat some very good teams over the next few weeks or they risk falling onto the bubble.

Seton Hall 64, #11 Pittsburgh 61
The final minute of this game was fairly hectic, the second straight wild finish for a Seton Hall game. More than anything this was just a terrible game played by Pitt, featuring 35% shooting and 20 turnovers. But even though this marks two straight losses for for Pitt, it's unlikely to snowball into a losing streak, with Saint John's and South Florida up next. Their next big test is February 3rd at West Virginia. For Seton Hall, this win pushes them to 3-4 in the Big East, 12-6 overall, and 4-6 against the RPI Top 100. They have this win along with wins over Louisville and Cincinnati, and their worst loss was to Virginia Tech. Their RPI is 54th, but their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 42nd, and it's important to remember how few teams inside the ELO_CHESS Top 50 miss the Tournament each year (usually only about four or five). The key for Seton Hall is having a respectable Big East record, and one more good RPI Top 50 scalp will help as well. I think that they've got to get to 9-9 in the Big East to earn an at-large bid, and unless they get to 10-8 they'll still have a lot of work to do entering the Big East tournament. With road games remaining against West Virginia, Villanova and Pittsburgh (all of which would be huge upsets for Seton Hall), that doesn't leave a lot of room to spare. They really need to take care of business at home and against the bottom half of the Big East from here on out.

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