Ville Knocks Off ‘Cuse, Notre Dame Keeps Fighting, and Bubble Teams Aren’t Helping Themselves Out Mu
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It was a busy weekend in college hoops. Let’s see where things stand as we dive head-first into conference tournament week.
Battle for the #1 Seeds
All those Syracuse fans crying out for respect went mute after Saturday’s loss to Louisville. It’s now looking doubtful that Syracuse has a chance for the #1 overall seed after Kansas swept K-State and Missouri in style last week. ‘Cuse fans shouldn’t be too concerned with the loss at Louisville, though, because they’re still a really good team. The Cardinals run a zone themselves, so they practice against it every day. Most teams in the NCAA Tournament won’t be able to prepare for the ‘Cuse zone (as good as it’s ever been) in such a short amount of time. Kentucky seems posed for the third #1 seed, but who will grab the fourth? Duke and Ohio State are the leaders in my view, and it’s probably best to forget about those games Ohio State played without Evan Turner. If both teams won out, I’d give the edge to Ohio State because capturing the Big Ten conference tournament would be a better accomplishment.
Does Anyone Want to Dance?
I’m really not sure who had more a disappointing weekend: James Cameron or all the bubble teams. The biggest issue with the bubble teams this year is that the mediocre bunch hasn’t been helping themselves out. It seems as if no team out there wants to win games they need to improve their resume. Cincinnati rolled into D.C. and got run out of the building by a Georgetown team who has looked as questionable recently as Cameron Diaz did on Oscar night. Georgia Tech continued their free fall by losing at home to Virginia Tech. They now face the possibility of the NIT if they show poorly in the ACC tourney.
The sense of urgency wasn’t there for Mississippi St. either, as they let Tennessee score the first 17 points before they even got on the scoreboard. Nice job fellas… Florida and Illinois also continued to sputter down the stretch. Both had opportunities for resume wins and both fell flat on their face. The biggest plus for the bubble teams over the weekend was that all the favorites kept progressing in the mid-major conference tournaments. Wins by Gonzaga and Old Dominion tonight will only reinforce that.
While most of America was taking the day off, there were thankfully a couple teams that rose to the occasion. Who needs Luke Harangody? O.K., he did come off the bench for Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish showed once again they’re a better team when they don’t rely as heavily on their leading man. That win over Marquette was very impressive. As mentioned above, Louisville notched their second win against Syracuse to improve their standing, but a win over Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament would further help their case. They’d lock things up should they take it a step further and beat West Virginia in the quarterfinals. Wake Forest is also lingering after a solid home win against Clemson. Al Farouq Aminu and Ish Smith have the ability to beat that Clemson press, but it’s still to be determined whether or not they can grab a couple more quality wins.
Tonight’s Hoops Schedule:
6 p.m.: Western Kentucky vs. Troy (ESPN360.com) — Sun Belt Conference
7 p.m.: William & Mary vs. Old Dominion (ESPN) — Colonial Athletic Conference
7 p.m.: IPFW vs. Oakland (ESPN360.com) — Summit League
7 p.m.:Fairfield at Siena (ESPN2) — Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
8:30 p.m.: Denver vs. North Texas (ESPN360.com) — Sun Belt Conference
9 p.m.: Appalachian State vs. Wofford (ESPN2) — Southern Conference
9:30 p.m.: Saint Mary’s vs. (14) Gonzaga (ESPN) — West Coast Conference
9:30 p.m.: Oral Roberts vs. IUPUI (ESPN360.com) — Summit League “