Quick Takes: Minnesota-Bama and PK-80 showdowns

November 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Minnesota found itself playing five on three (yes, 5 on 3) to close out its game against Alabama.  And nearly found a way to lose its lead.  You’ve probably seen video and read the story, but if not, read and watch more here (per ESPN).  Crimson Tide freshman Collin Sexton scored 40 points and got ‘Bama within three before the final margin (89-84) was etched in the books. Crazy.  I’ve seen a triangle-and-two defense before; not sure I’ve ever seen a triangle-and-none.

Somewhere down the road, the Selection Committee might be reviewing game results and come across this interesting twist.  Minnesota earned a neutral-court win; Alabama a close loss.  But the final score doesn’t tell the story.  Chance are, this will be a game neither team needs to make the NCAA tournament.  Could it affect seed line?  It may never come up, but if it does, it would be fun to be a fly on the wall in the Committee room.

Other Quick Takes for Sunday: Read more…

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Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Arizona lost in Atlantis

November 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Whether its the palm trees, soft sand, or clear waters, the Arizona Wildcats look a little lost in Atlantis.  A preseason No. 1 seed, UA has dropped back-to-backers against NC State and SMU.  Neither is bad, per se, as both are potential tournament teams, but still unexpected.  Yes, Rawle Alkins remains out with an injury, but Arizona is far from depleted with Allonzo Trier and Deandre Ayton on the court.  If there’s any good news, head coach Sean Miller said yesterday the early losses might end up being helpful because everyone was telling them how good they are.  We’ll see if that’s true.  Today, Arizona gets Purdue.  One of those two squads will leave Atlantis 0-3. Think about that for a moment.

Other Thanksgiving Quick Takes: Read more…

Thanksgiving Seed List: Duke now No. 1

November 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Perhaps the Blue Devils should have been No. 1 on the Seed List after beating Michigan State.  Now, there’s no question.  North Carolina State beat Arizona on Friday in what turned out to be a wild opening day at the Battle 4 Atlantis.  That opened up the top slot for Duke.  The only question now: Will the Blue Devils give it back?

Seed List

Back to the Bahamas: Tennessee’s overtime victory over Purdue, along with Northern Iowa’s tipping of SMU, leaves the Atlantis bracket a bit befuddled.  As it relates to today’s update, those neutral-court wins for NC State and UT provided significant vaults.  Winning against quality teams away from home has that effect – especially this early when resumes lack depth. Read more…

Quick Takes: Baylor back at it again

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015One of these preseasons, I’ll learn.  Maybe.  Despite losses and questions, the Baylor Bears will make a favorable early impression and climb the Seed List.  Count on it.  I just need to leave my notes where I can find them next October.  Exhibit A: This year’s den of bear cubs, which started at No. 28 (final 7 seed) on our preseason list, vaulted up to No. 20 this morning (update not posted; Thanksgiving edition planned) after a rather fine trip to Kansas City.  The Bears head back to Waco with wins over Wisconsin and Creighton. Pretty good stuff, I’d say.  Next up? A couple of teams you may have heard of – Xavier and Wichita State.  If Baylor ends up 7-0 after those two (adding in the wins they just garnered), the Bears will have one of the best early resumes in the country.   Even a 1-1 finish puts them in great standing as December arrives.

Other Quick Takes of mention for today: Read more…

Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Early sunshine in the Sun Belt

November 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Early in the afternoon on Monday, the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana upended Iowa at the inaugural Cayman Islands Classic.  Beyond the outcome itself, the victory was another early ray of sunshine for the Sun Belt Conference.  Just over a week into the season, Louisiana has its win over Iowa, UT-Arlington has a win at BYU, and Georgia-Southern has a win at Wake Forest and another over Missouri State, a favorite in the Missouri Valley.  How these early successes end up impacting future resumes remains to be seen, of course.  But it’s worth a mention, regardless.

Other Quick Takes from Monday’s action: Read more…

Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Texas Tech makes statement

November 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Texas Tech departed the Mohegan Sun (Uncasville, CT) on Sunday night with a pair of neutral-court wins on its resume.  The latter, Sunday’s throttling of Northwestern, was particularly impressive.  Last season, the Red Raiders struggled to win away from home, thus adding a potentially important footnote to their successful weekend.  Whether TTU can win on the road remains to be seen – their first true road game isn’t until January 2 at Kansas.  But Sunday’s triumph gives the Red Raiders an early surge of momentum and a victory that should still look good in March.

Additional Quick Takes from Sunday: Read more…

Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Rocket start for Toledo

November 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015How about the start for Toledo?  The Rockets opened their season by beating Saint Joseph’s (Atlantic 10), and followed it up Saturday with a victory over Horizon League favorite Oakland.  Neither of those wins will shake the rafters, per se, but they are solid nonetheless.  The Mid-American Conference (MAC) race appears wide open, and thus far, Toledo has the notched the league’s best two wins.  Up next for the Rockets? A trip to Syracuse.  Opportunity knocks (again).

Other Quick Takes from Saturday: Read more…