Archive

Archive for November, 2019

Quick Takes: Michigan makes case for No. 1 seed on Monday

November 30, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Anyway you slice it, Michigan has made its case for a No. 1 seed when the first in-season bracket arrives on Monday.  The Wolverines exited the Battle 4 Atlantis with back-to-back wins over North Carolina and Gonzaga.  They also own November wins over Creighton and Iowa State.  That’s a pretty strong quadrant of victories.

Past performances are never an indication of future performance, of course, but Juwan Howard’s crew is worthy of distinction.  If Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky or Kansas had the same collection of wins we’d be gushing over such a strong start.  For what it’s worth, Michigan visits Louisville for the Big-ACC challenge this week.  It’s a game that could overshadow Duke-Michigan State and even Ohio State-UNC. Who thought that three weeks ago? Read more…

Quick Takes: Michigan, SDSU impress; Iowa makes statement

November 29, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015On a day when Oregon and Gonzaga needed overtime in the Bahamas, two of the most impressive performances on Thanksgiving arrived via Michigan and San Diego State.  The Wolverines thumped North Carolina (a late UNC push made the final score deceiving), and SDSU throttled Creighton.  If you haven’t yet tuned in the Aztecs, it’s time.  Their earlier road win at BYU is looking better all the time, too.

For what it’s worth … Michigan looks like a major player in the Big Ten race – and San Diego State looks like a strong challenger to Utah State in the Mountain West.

Let’s also not overlook Iowa’s surprising victory over Texas Tech in Las Vegas.  Moving forward, we’ll see whether that result tells us more about the Hawkeyes or the re-tooling Red Raiders.  Read more…

Seed List: Oregon, Gonzaga feasting for top line

November 28, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Beyond our turkey and stuffing today, we can fill our plates with a casserole of college hoops.  The top choice is Oregon and Gonzaga at the Battle 4 Atlantis.  As our first in-season bracket prepares to drop on Monday, the Ducks and Bulldogs are feasting for a spot on the No. 1 seed line.

Seed List

Oregon’s late-night rally over Seton Hall on Wednesday gives the Ducks early wins over full-strength Memphis, Houston and Seton Hall, two of those on neutral courts.  It might be hard to find a better true resume right now.

We begin the morning with a No. 1 seed line in this order … Louisville (Midwest), Oregon (West), Kansas (South), Ohio State (East).  Gonzaga, North Carolina and Maryland are next in line – with both the Zags and Tar Heels in Atlantis – and those two could potentially meet in the title game.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Quick Takes: Virginia Tech fills its plate with Spartan stuffing

November 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Collectively, the college basketball world wasn’t expecting too much from Virginia Tech this season.

That narrative may have changed Monday afternoon in Maui.

Tenacious on both ends of the court, the Hokies filled their plate with some Spartan stuffing en route to a huge resume-boosting victory over Michigan State.

In many ways, the Hokies resembled the previous team coached by Mike Young.  Yes, that would be Wofford, whom Young guided to the NCAA tournament five times in his final 10 years at the school.  It’s one game, so let’s not push all of our chips in just yet.  But it’s a huge start that gives Young and the Hokies a nice stack of cache to play with. Read more…

Feast Week: Five teams hoping to fill their resume plates

November 25, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015From afternoon tip-offs to food aplenty, Feast Week is one of the best set-ups in college basketball.  The Maui Invitational features Michigan State and Kansas.  The Battle 4 Atlantis has the deepest field, with the likes of North Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon and Seton Hall in attendance.  And that’s not factoring in solid groups gathered in Orlando, Anaheim and Las Vegas.  It’s a cornucopia of hoops, for sure.

With that as a backdrop, here are five teams hoping to build up resumes in the next seven days …

Dayton – An under-the-radar pick to potentially win the Atlantic 10, the Flyers open with Georgia in Maui. It’s a big opportunity in itself, but even bigger given the route a victory could provide (a matchup with Michigan State, for example).  With Davidson struggling out of the gate, it remains to be seen how many up games await during the A-10 season.  The Flyers would love to exit the islands with a couple of notables on their team sheet. Read more…

Seed List: Duke moves to No. 1

November 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015With victories over Cal and Georgetown at the 2K Empire Classic in New York, Duke’s resume slides past Louisville and moves the Blue Devils to No. 1 overall on the Seed List.  Duke also owns an opening-night win over Kansas on the same Madison Square Garden court.  Maybe it’s the newest incarnation of Cameron Indoor?

Seed List

The rest of the top line remains the same: Louisville, Michigan State and Kansas.  If we were assigning regions, it would look like this … Duke (East), Louisville (Midwest), Michigan State (South) and Kansas (West).

Ohio State, Oregon, Gonzaga and North Carolina are next in line.  The biggest climbers in the past week: Penn State, Georgetown, Connecticut and Temple.  Evansville, Alabama and South Carolina are among those sliding.  All of that noted, we still have several teams who have yet to leave the confines of their home floor and/or play an opponent that provides an insight into where the team stands.  Feast Week provides many of those teams an opportunity to clarify.

Quick Takes: Hoyas look the part against Texas

November 22, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Georgetown played its best half of the season and looked the part of an NCAA tournament team while pulling away from Texas at Madison Square Garden.  Mac McClung led four Hoyas in double-figures with 19 points, and G’Town won despite limited minutes from Omer Yurtseven, who was saddled with foul trouble.  Just as important, the victory sets up match-up tonight against Duke in the 2K Empire Classic Championship.

A follow-up question might be … How good is Penn State?  The Nittany Lions rolled the Hoyas, 81-66, a week ago in DC.  We’ll see how both advance.

Much of the other action on Thursday went as planned, setting up some tasty pre-holiday matchups today in Charleston and Myrtle Beach – including Villanova vs. Mississippi State, Florida vs. Miami and Xavier vs. Connecticut. Read more…