Around the Hoop: Illini, Hoyas make some noise
What a way to open the Big 10 and Big East – the RPI’s No. 2 and No. 3 conferences (the ACC is currently No. 1).
Monday, Georgetown goes to Connecticut and posts a convincing 74-63 victory. Tuesday, a rebuilding Illinois team see five players reach double figures en route to an overtime upset of preseason league favorite Purdue, 71-67. When you talk about “road wins,” these will resonate throughout the year. Still, we won’t know the true value for another month. Why? Well, the Hoyas host Pittsburgh on Saturday and then travel to Notre Dame. The Hoyas could be a very impressive 3-0 by this time next week, or be 1-2 in the Big East and have nothing bad of note. For the Illini, they visit Ann Arbor Sunday to battle Michigan – which has beaten UCLA and Duke.
Other games of note this week … Memphis got a much-needed win at home over Cincinnati (they had lost their three top games: Xavier, Georgetown, Syracuse) …. Davidson won a close game at Charleston to take an early lead in the Southern conference …. Butler rallied to beat UAB at home, improving to 10-1 …. a healthy West Virginia pounded Ohio State 76-48 on Sunday while the Buckeyes played without David Lighty (foot) …. Oklahoma dropped a surprise at Arkansas – the young Razorbacks are 10-1 with a loss at Missouri State …. Clemson stayed undefeated with a win at rival South Carolina …. Syracuse welcomed back Eric Devendorf and steamrolled Seton Hall …. and BYU posted a decent road win at Tulsa.
On New Year’s Day we’ll unveil our … What have we learned in 2008 … as we prepare for weekly bracket updates with in-depth regional breakdowns. Remember, we attempt to take the whole season into perspective, along with a team’s outlook. While we must use current data to help evaluate teams, we don’t work under the premise of if the season ended today. As always, send us a rebound – Bracketguy.
Happy New Year!