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QT: Rutgers protects the RAC; Some bad Ls

December 4, 2022 Leave a comment

QuickTakesRutgers held Indiana to 48 points, had guard Paul Mulcahy return from injury, and protected its home court on Saturday, beating IU for the sixth straight time.  Another reminder that Rutgers is a tough out at the RAC and road victories are hard to find.  From a resume perspective, it was the Scarlett Knights’ best victory of the season – by far.  Early losses include Temple and Miami.  Next up: a trip to Ohio State, the team’s lone remaining true road game before a visit to West Lafayette on January 2.

Three days after a rather surprising home loss to Wake Forest, Wisconsin upended Marquette on its own home floor Saturday.  Close games (and overtimes) seem to be an early mantra for the Badgers.  College basketball is nothing if not unpredictable.  In a three-day span – on the same floor – Marquette rolled Baylor and lost to its rival from Madison.  

Additional Quick Takes:

  • A few teams absorbed what could be labeled “bad” (and surprising) losses on Saturday: Nevada (at Loyola-Marymount), Colorado State (Northern Colorado), Davidson (at Delaware), BYU (South Dakota)
  • Texas AM is floundering.  The Aggies lost by double-digit at home to Boise State on Saturday.  They have also lost games to Murray State and Colorado.  AM’s best win: DePaul.  Time to get things figured out or it’s going to be a long season.
  • Cam Whitmore made his debut for Villanova and the Wildcats knocked off Oklahoma.  We’ll see where this leads for both teams.
  • In its last three games, Notre Dame has managed an interesting trifecta: losses to St. Bonaventure and Syracuse – and an 18-point home victory over Michigan State.
  • Charleston moved to 8-1 (lone loss is at UNC).  The Cougars could well be 12-1 heading into an early Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) showdown at Towson on New Year’s Eve.

Seed List: Maryland leads rising group of M’s

December 3, 2022 Leave a comment

SeedListGraphicMaryland has taken the first month of its season by storm, capped by a home victory against Illinois Friday night to open Big Ten play.  Along the way, the Terrapins have routed Saint Louis and Miami on neutral courts, two teams projected to make the NCAA tournament.  As part of this morning’s Seed List update, the Terrapins also garner the automatic bid from the B10.

Seed List

Two other M’s are also rising quickly: Mississippi State and Marquette.  The Golden Eagles are fresh off a rout out Baylor in Milwaukee.  Marquette’s two losses this season?  A five point defeat at unbeaten Purdue and a three-point loss to aforementioned Mississippi State at the Fort Myers tip-off.

With Arizona’s loss at Utah, Connecticut leaps into the top four and actually jumps Texas for the No. 3 slot based on its most notable wins coming on neutral courts.  Texas has two strong victories, both at home.

Per principles, Clemson claims this morning’s automatic bid for the Atlantic Coast Conference, entering the field.  We would also welcome Indiana State (Missouri Valley), Siena (MAAC) and Middle Tennessee (Conference USA).  Although the Colonial has yet to begin conference play (as of this posting), Charleston would be an at-large team.  The Cougars hold the AQ right now.

QT: UNC falls again, Marquette routs Baylor

December 1, 2022 Leave a comment

QuickTakesWhile it’s not surprising North Carolina lost to a good Indiana team in Bloomington Wednesday night, it is surprising the Tar Heels have dropped three straight.  Thus far, UNC hasn’t looked anything like a potential No. 1 seed.  The Heels’ schedule gets no easier this weekend with a Sunday trip to Virginia Tech.

How about Marquette?  The Golden Eagles routed Baylor in Milwaukee.  Marquette lost by just five at Purdue and by three to Mississippi State in Fort Myers.  It’s one game, but it helps the early profiles of both MU and MSU.

Speaking of routs, Michigan State was throttled by a Notre Dame squad that was coming off a double-digit loss to St. Bonaventure.  The Irish blew the game open early and never looked back.

A little reminder that life on the road is tough and road wins remain nuggets of gold. Read more…

Bracketology: New list of No. 1 seeds

November 29, 2022 Leave a comment

home-tournament-64-thumb.jpgFresh off an incredible Feast Week of college hoops, we have a new group of teams on the No. 1 seed line: Arizona, Virginia, Purdue and Texas.  Early projections are always a mixed bag, but finding a collection of November resumes better than Arizona, Virginia and Purdue is a tough task.

Bracketology
Seed List

Houston opened the season on the top line and may well return.  To date, however, the Cougars best wins are Oregon and Kent State.  It’s not Houston’s fault the Ducks have staggered out the gate, but it’s reality.  Putting it another way, Houston hasn’t done anything to fall, but several other teams put passed them with stronger early profiles.  Soon enough, the Cougars host Alabama and travel to Virginia.  Opportunity awaits.

Keep in mind, it’s still November.  Current standing is not necessarily an indicator of future results. Some teams have yet to be truly tested.  Others have quality losses.

QT: Maui and Mississippi State

November 22, 2022 Leave a comment

QuickTakesCreighton and San Diego State posted key wins at the Maui Invitational on Monday.  The Bluejays passed their first test of the season against Texas Tech.  The Aztecs took down Ohio State, adding the Buckeyes to an early victory list that includes BYU and Stanford.  Today: Creighton squares off against Arkansas; SDSU gets Arizona.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech is now in an unenviable spot.  By losing to Creighton, the Red Raiders face Louisville and the winner of Cincinnati-Ohio State on Wednesday.  If it’s UC, TTU could end up facing two team with losing records.

Mississippi State, the final at-large team selection in Monday’s (way too early) bracket projection, edged Marquette to move to 5-0 on the season.  MSU’s other notable win came against Akron in Philadelphia; the Zips throttled Western Kentucky Monday in Grand Cayman.  The Bulldogs could well be 10-0 before their schedule picks up. Read more…