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Posts Tagged ‘Wichita State Shockers’

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…

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Categories: Current Updates

Quick Takes: Golden road win for Gophers

November 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Winning away from home has always mattered to the Selection Committee. True road wins?  Those are like pure gold, especially outside the conference.  That’s why Minnesota’s victory at Providence on Monday will resonate throughout the season.  The Golden Gophers dominated the paint -and the second half.  Expect both teams to be threats in March.  It was an NCAA-level game.

Other Quick Takes from Monday: Read more…

Quick Takes: Five tasty weekend matchups

March 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Between Thursday and Friday, three eleven seeds won.  We also had the usual 12 over 5-seed.  And yet, the first two days of the 2017 NCAA tournament feel rather chalky.  Maybe that’s because the twelve seed, Middle Tennessee State, was actually favored to win its matchup with Minnesota.  Also, were we surprised to see Xavier beat Maryland? Or Rhode Island trip up a less-than-healthy Creighton?  If there was a surprise, it’s USC.  The Trojans rallied from double-digit deficits twice, beating Providence in the First Four, and then SMU on Friday.

While the results might leave us a little hungry, the Round of 32 looks might tasty. My Quick Takes on the weekend’s top five matchups …

Gonzaga vs. Northwestern – We could rename this game: Ultimate Underdog vs. New Kids on the Block.  While Gonzaga is respected for its consistent excellence, the Bulldogs have never reached a Final Four and remain many people’s pick as first No. 1 seed to lose.  Thus, the pressure is squarely on the Zags, who struggled to score against South Dakota State (shooting 39 percent overall and 27 percent from 3).  The good news: Gonzaga no longer relies on its offense to carry the day.  Flipping the page, Northwestern might be the feel good story of the year. They survived a late rally by Vanderbilt to win their first-ever NCAA tournament game in their first-ever appearance. And who doesn’t enjoy those sidelines shots of Doug Collins and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, right? Read more…

Categories: Current Updates

Bracketology: Wichita State punches its ticket

March 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015Wichita State took care of business Sunday in St. Louis, locking up the Missouri Valley’s automatic bid, and with it, a ticket to the Big Dance.  Winners of 15 straight, the Shockers enter the 2017 tournament on quite a roll.  Advanced metric models like their profile more than the RPI.  We’ll know more about how the Selection Committee views them when seeding is revealed on Sunday.  Regardless of where they fall, the Shockers will be a dangerous opponent.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

Meanwhile, Illinois State begins a long, arduous wait.  The Redbirds’ body of work is complete.  All they can do is watch what unfolds in places like the Big 12, Big Ten, Atlantic 10, SEC, and even the Pac-12.  They’ll be rooting for league favorites to advance.

Categories: Current Updates

Bracketology: Big day in the Valley

March 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015It’s a big day in the Valley.  The Missouri Valley, that is.  Illinois State and Wichita State square off for the MVC championship under the Arch in St. Louis.  The winner punches its dance ticket.  The loser figures to have an anxiously long wait until Selection Sunday.  As of this morning, Wichita State retains its at-large spot in the bracket.  Illinois State is in as the auto bid due to its No. 1 seed in the league tourney.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

The questions are easy. The answers not so much.  Both Wichita State and Illinois State have put together outstanding seasons.  Unfortunately, the rest of the MVC was along for the ride; no other team cracked the Top 100 of the RPI.  Which leaves this year’s Selection Committee with an intriguing debate.  How to weigh consistency on the court over a full season versus the opportunities to collect notable wins in a more accomplished conference?  We’ll have to see how it plays out.

 

Quick Takes: Florida, Big 12 States headline wild Saturday

February 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Dave2015What a Saturday in college hoops – and it’s February!

Four of the top eight teams on Saturday morning’s Seed List lost, two at home and two in blowout fashion on the road.  Another two lost in slots 9-12, and another two in slots 13-16.  Simple math equates to eight of the top 16 teams on the Seed List losing Saturday.  The flip side, of course, is that eight other teams (the winners) posted signature or marquee victories on their resumes.  My initial takeaways are that Florida and three Big 12 “States” benefitted most from a wild Saturday.

Florida’s win over Kentucky added an important piece to the Gators’ otherwise solid profile: a victory over a sure-fire NCAA team.  Prior to Saturday, Florida had nice wins against Arkansas, Seton Hall, and Miami-FL, among others.  But are you confident all of those teams will reach the final Field of 68?  See bullet-point below about the Razorbacks loss at Missouri.  On a related note … with South Carolina’s win over Georgia, the SEC title chase is up for grabs. Read more…

Bracket Update: Long wait ahead for Monmouth

March 8, 2016 Leave a comment

Dave2015This year’s NCAA tournament bubble became that much more intriguing Monday night.  If you love drama, it’s shaping up to be an intense week.  In that past two days, we’ve seen Wichita State, Monmouth, and Valparaiso join the at-large pool as conference champions with legitimate at-large hopes.  That’s three additional resumes for the Selection Committee to review, dissect, and compare at their bunker in downtown Indianapolis.  How it all shakes out by Sunday afternoon is unknown.  What we do know is that it’s going to be a long wait for Monmouth, one of this year’s most talked-about teams.

Bracketology   |   Seed List

We touched on Wichita State yesterday; the Shockers are hoping a dominant run through the Missouri Valley, combined with a strong non-conference SOS and a win over Utah will hold up.  Valparaiso has a win at Oregon State, but probably needs a little more help.

Given the results of the past two days, there should be an even greater sense of urgency for those along the cutline.  If Wichita State and Monmouth both end up earning bids, there are two less slots available.