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Posts Tagged ‘Quick Takes’

Quick Takes: Rutgers’ road woes continue

February 27, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Away from The RAC, it’s been tough season for Rutgers. After rallying from a 21-point deficit Wednesday night, the Scarlet Knights saw another elusive road win disappear in the waning seconds at Penn State, leaving them 1-8 in road games and 1-10 in games played away from home.

After hosting Maryland next Tuesday, Rutgers travels to Purdue to close the regular season; one last chance for the Scarlet Knights to win a road game before heading to the Big Tourney (neutral court) in Indianapolis.

How might the Committee handle a Rutgers’ team with potentially 10 Big Ten wins – if they beat Maryland at home – but who might also finish 1-12 away from home if the Scarlet Knights lose at Purdue followed by an opening-round B10 tourney game?

It’s a question we don’t have to answer right now, but it looms large over the next two weeks. Historically, that type of futility away from home has given past Committee’s a reason to leave a team out. Read more…

Quick Takes: Oklahoma’s Bubble win; Duke’s loss to Wake

February 26, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Let’s start on a positive note.  Oklahoma picked up a needed Quadrant 1 victory against Texas Tech in Norman.  It boosted the Sooners to 4-9 vs. Quad 1 teams (not great, but four of its losses are to Kansas and Baylor); it was also, based on the NCAA’s NET Ratings, their first Quad 1A (Top Tier) victory of the season.  At least for today, OU can smile.  Next up, a trip to Morgantown, followed by dates with Texas (home) and TCU (road).  We’ll see if the Sooners can keep improving an overall mark of 17-11. (See note on Texas Tech below)

Meanwhile, Duke lost at Wake Forest.  Although technically a Quad 2 road loss (so not horrible), it does raise questions as to how the Selection Committee will view Duke’s seeding profile unless the Blue Devils beat Louisville and/or Florida State in the ACC tourney.  While analytics love the Blue Devils (Top 10 in all metrics listed on Team Sheets heading into Tuesday), the ACC simply hasn’t offered its usual chances for high-end wins.  As of this morning, Duke has three (3) wins over current tournament teams and is 4-3 vs. Quadrant 1.  By comparison, the top Big East schools vying for spots on the Top 3 lines have much better totals: Creighton (9-6), Villanova (8-6), Seton Hall (10-5). Read more…

Quick Takes: FSU sweeps Louisville, WVU continues slide

February 25, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015It may not have been a volume night in college hoops, but Monday’s results could certainly impact how the bracket appears in three weeks.  Takeaways:

Florida State looked scary good in the second half against Louisville in Tallahassee.  The Seminoles put up a 50-27 margin in the final 20 minutes; perhaps the most dominant single-half performance we’ve seen this season.  The victory gives FSU a season sweep of the Cardinals and positions the Seminoles as a strong two-seed heading into a closing stretch that includes Clemson, Notre Dame (road games) and Boston College (home).

Louisville wraps up its regular season with Virginia Tech (home) and Virginia (road).  The Cardinals may need another shot at Duke or FSU in the ACC tourney to reclaim its seeding mojo. Read more…

Quick Takes: NC State throttles Duke, ugly nights for UC, ‘Bama

February 20, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Opportunity knocked in Raleigh on Wednesday, and NC State seized the moment by throttling Duke.  The victory helps offset an untimely loss to Boston College on Sunday and keeps the Wolfpack squarely in the at-large conversation with Florida State due in town on Saturday.  Adding a win over the Seminoles would further enhance NCSU’s profile heading into the season’s final two weeks.

If there’s a pause, the BC game serves as a perfect backdrop.  The Wolfpack have proven to be enigmatic, having also been swept by Georgia Tech (and losing to UNC).  As for Duke, the Blue Devils head home to face Virginia Tech. Read more…

Quick Takes: Illini earn huge road win; LSU keeps tumbling

February 19, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Towing a hefty four-game losing streak, Illinois re-tuned its engine, welcomed back Ayo Dosunmu and exited Happy Valley with a smile.  It was a huge road win for the Illini.  It could also be season-defining.

Illinois was 15-9 (D1 record) heading into its matchup with Penn State, without anything to showcase from its non-conference campaign.  A fifth straight loss would have increased the pressure on a young team still learning how to win.  The Illini’s work isn’t done, but a weight has been lifted.  They close with three of five at home.  We’ll see if they can seal the deal.

Meanwhile, LSU keeps tumbling.  The Tigers lost for the fourth time in five games, dropping a home game to Kentucky.  Once 8-0 in the SEC, the Tigers have gone from a near-lock to make the NCAA tournament to a team that still has work to do.  Up next, trips to South Carolina and Florida.  Drop those two, and instead of tumbling, LSU could be in free-fall. Read more…

Quick Takes: Creighton making its case for protected seed

February 13, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Overshadowed this season a bit by the likes of Seton Hall, Villanova and even Butler, the Creighton Bluejays are building their own case for a protected seed in March.  With a road victory at Seton Hall on Wednesday, the Bluejays now own road conquests over both the Pirates and Villanova.  In all, Creighton picked up its seventh Quadrant 1 victory, six of those away from Omaha.

With three weeks and conference tournaments ahead, the jockeying for protected spots along the Seed List is likely to be fierce.  Creighton has placed itself squarely in that conversation.

Related, the Big East has separated itself into he haves and have-nots … Seton Hall, Villanova, Butler, Creighton and Marquette are clearly tournament teams (without some type of closing disaster).  Which leaves Xavier and Georgetown (realistically right now) as options for teams six and/or seven from the league. Read more…

Quick Takes: How many from the SEC?

February 12, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi State were among the final at-large teams in Monday’s bracket projection.  Arkansas and MSU promptly lost lopsided road games Tuesday night to Tennessee and Ole Miss.  Which begs the question … How many teams from the SEC will ultimately make the Field of 68?

Beyond Auburn, Kentucky and LSU, the answer is very much in doubt.  Florida has been a roller-coaster ride.  The Razorbacks are dealing with an injury to Isaiah Joe.  And Mississippi State’s overall resume is highly questionable.   Perhaps Alabama or Tennessee can close with a flurry.  If not, it’s possible that only three or four teams will earn at-large berths on Selection Sunday. Read more…