Friday, February 27, 2009

NCAA Weekend Preview

Here are the top games this weekend for the conclusion of Judgement Week:

Nasty Top 25 Matchups:

1. #11 Missouri (24-4) @ #15 Kansas (23-5)-2pm-CBS-Sunday

This is a showdown for first place in the Big 12 between two of the hottest teams in the country. On Monday, Kansas went into Oklahoma and beat the Sooners who were without star Blake Griffin. Kansas has now won 12 out of their last 13 with their only loss at Missouri on February 9th. The Tigers meanwhile have won 7 straight and 11 of their last 12. The Jayhawks' Sharon Collins has scored 20 or more points in their last 3 games and his hot shooting could be the key to another Jayhawk win. If Mizzou can slow him down they have a chance to go into Lawrence and get another big win and sweep the Jayhawks this year.

2. #8 Marquette (23-5) @ #6 Louisville (22-5)-Noon-CBS-Sunday

What better way to start your Sunday (for those of us who wake up at noon on the weekends, don't judge me) than to see a battle of two top ten teams in the nation's toughest conference, the Big East. Marquette lost PG Dominic James for the rest of the season after he broke a bone in his foot against UConn on Wednesday. Marquette is really going to miss him especially with their tough schedule to end the season (this game, @ PITT-3/4, and Syracuse-3/7). However Marquette still has guards Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews who both average around 20ppg. Louisville has won 4 straight since getting embarrassed at Notre Dame by 33. Louisville's star power comes from the forward spots and their ability to rebound and defend. The winner will have at least a tie for second place in the Big East and could possibly move up into the top 5 if UNC or Oklahoma were to lose this weekend.

3. #12 Clemson (22-5) @ #23 FSU (21-7)-2pm-ESPN360/Local Fox Affiliates-Saturday

In the best game that Saturday has to offer, these two ranked ACC school will battle to try to get to 9-5 in the conference. FSU needs one more win to guarantee an at-large in the big dance while Clemson is trying to secure a 2 or 3 seed in the tourney. In an earlier meeting FSU went into Clemson and upset them by four points. Clemson is a very athletic team who likes to play at a fast pace and can defend pretty well. They will have to stop FSU star guard Tony Douglas who might be the best player in the ACC. No player in ACC means more to their team than Douglas and with his lights out shooting, the Seminoles should be back in the dance this year

4. #9 Michigan St. (22-5) @ #20 Illinois (23-6)-4pm-CBS-Sunday

I know Big Ten basketball may not be as exciting as the other conferences but this game pits two very talented teams against each other. Michigan St. won their earlier meeting by six, but Illinois is getting better and has been very tough to beat at home just ask Purdue or Ohio St. (Illinois beat both of them at home by 18). What this game lacks in star power it more than makes up for in coaching, toughness and good fundamental basketball. A Michigan St. win clinches the Big Ten title for them.

Other Great Matchups:

5. #22 UCLA (21-7) @ Califorinia (21-7)-9pm-ESPN-Saturday

Both teams are 10-5 in the PAC-10 and are coming off of wins earlier in the week. Another win for CAL here will clinch them a spot in the tournament. If you like great guard play then this is a great game to watch. The key matchup will be between the PG's. UCLA has senior Darren Collison who has been a star for years. While CAL is led by 5-10 junior Jerome Randle who reminds me a lot of former Oregon star Aaron Brooks who is now in the Houston Rockets. California is the place to be on Saturday night with this great PAC-10 showdown.

6. Ohio St (18-8) @ #16 Purdue (21-7)-4pm-ESPN-Saturday

This game is big for both teams as Purdue tries to rebound from a tough loss at Michigan while Ohio St. tries to get off of the bubble and into the safe zone to get into the big dance. Ohio St. had a big win against fellow bubble team Penn St. earlier in the week. That win broke a 3 game losing streak for the Buckeyes. Ohio St. really needs to get to 20 wins to feel absolutely confident about being in, but a win on the road here at Purdue might just be enough.

7. #25 Texas (19-8) @ OK St. (18-9)-6pm-ESPN-Saturday

What a big weekend in the Big 12, Blake Griffin might return on Saturday, you've got Kansas-Mizzou and this huge game as well. The Texas Longhorns will try to lock up a tournament bid with a win at OK St. It will not be easy as the Cowboys are on a roll, winning 4 straight to put themselves in the best position of any other Big 12 bubble team. In the end both of these teams will likely be dancing in March but this game will go a long way in determining momentum and seeding for both the Big 12 Tourney and the big dance.

Big Bubble Games:

8. Tennessee (17-10) @ Florida (21-7)-2pm-CBS-Sunday

Both of these teams are 8-5 in the SEC and are on the bubble. Florida has a very good record, while Tennessee has a very good RPI at 25. Both teams are very athletic and love to press and trap so whoever wins the turnover battle should have a big edge. The other key will be which team can shoot the basketball better. Tennessee beat Florida pretty bad earlier in the season at Tennessee so the Gators will be looking for some revenge at home.

9. Cincinnati (18-10) @ Syracuse (20-8)-2pm-ESPN360-Sunday

Syracuse needs just one more win and they are off the bubble and easily into the dance. Cincinnati is a clearly on the bubble with a RPI of 51 and their record (18-10, 8-7). The Bearcats had a key win against WVU on Thursday. Cincinnati has some key wins on their resume but they really don't have any big road wins. If they go into the Carrier Dome and pull off the upset it would be a huge step in making the big dance. This will be another great guard matchup in the Big East this year between The Cuse's Jonny Flynn and Cincinnati's Deonta Vaughn.

10. Temple (17-10) @ Dayton (23-5)-4pm-No TV-Saturday

Both teams were feeling good coming into the week. However both teams appeared to be looking ahead to this game as they both lost earlier in the week. That makes this game even more crucial. Dayton has gone from ranked shoe in for the dance to a slumping bubble team. However with a win here and certainly if they beat Xavier next week then they will be back to locked status. Temple had won 5 in a row before they lost at home against LaSalle on Thursday. Temple will go as far as star guard Dionte Christmas takes them. Another loss for Temple and their bubble could be popped so this game might be bigger to the Owls than the Flyers. But make no mistake, Dayton needs this win as well.

Games between Bubble teams trying to upset a ranked team in their conference:

Georgetown (14-12) @ #10 Villanova (23-5)-Noon-ESPN-Saturday

Notre Dame (16-11) @ #2 UConn (26-2)-2pm-CBS-Saturday

Arizona (18-10) @ #21 Washington (21-7)-3pm-No TV-Saturday

#7 Duke (23-5) @ Virginia Tech (17-10)-3:30pm-ABC-Saturday

#18 LSU (24-4) @ Kentucky (19-9)-4pm-CBS-Saturday

Bubble Elimination Games-Basically the loser has a little to no shot of getting in as an at-large, the only exception might be Wisconsin with their high RPI-30.

Illinois St. (22-7) @ Creighton (24-6)-2pm-ESPN2-Saturday

Nebraska (16-10) @ Kansas St. (19-9)-8pm-ESPN360-Saturday

Michigan (18-11) @ Wisconsin (17-10)-2pm-No TV-Sunday

Other games that are remotely interesting if you are addicted to college basketball:

Utah (20-7) @ BYU (21-6)-5pm-No TV-Saturday

S. Carolina (20-6) @ Vandy (16-11)-9pm-ESPNU-Saturday

Utah St. (26-3) @ Nevada (16-11)-10:05pm-No TV-Saturday

Rhode Island (21-8) @ Duquesne (17-9)-3:30pm-No TV-Sunday

Monday, February 23, 2009

NCAA Rankings/Tiers going into judgement week

Here are my rankings going into this week:

1. Pittsburgh (25-2)
2. UConn (25-2)
3. Oklahoma (25-2)
4. Memphis (24-3)
5. UNC (24-3)
6. Louisville (21-5)
7. Duke (22-5)
8. Michigan St. (21-5)
9. Mizzou (23-4)
10. Marquette (23-4)
11. Villanova (22-5)
12. Clemson (22-4)
13. WFU (20-5)
14. Ariz. St. (21-5)
15. Kansas (22-5)
16. Purdue (21-6)
17. Gonzaga (21-5)
18. LSU (23-4)
19. Illinois (22-6)
20. Xavier (22-5)
21. UCLA (20-7)
22. Washington (20-7)
23. FSU (21-6)
24. Butler (23-4)
25. WVU (19-8)

The top 22 are all in the safety zone (locks to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large), then there are 9 High Bubble Teams needing just a win or two be safe.
Here the high bubble teams and their magic numbers with an explanation:

FSU-1-They still have four more games and none of them are easy, but 1 win will give them 9 conference wins guarantee them a winning record in the ACC and guarantee them a spot.

WVU-1-One more win puts them at 20 wins and 9 wins in Big East that along with a RPI of 13 gets them in. I still can't believe they're not ranked in the AP or Coaches Poll.

Butler-2-ESPN has Butler and Dayton as locks, my definition of a lock is different than ESPN. To me a lock is a team that is in no matter what happens the rest of the year are in, if Butler or Dayton were to lose out and lose early in their conference tourney then they would likely not be in the NCAA Tournament.

Dayton-RPI-29, (23-4)-2/or 1 @XAV-see above, if they sweep Xavier they're a lock.

Texas-RPI-34, (18-8)-2-A win vs. Texas Tech doesn't guarantee them anything, but that along with a win
@OK St, Baylor, or @Kansas and they're in.

Utah-RPI-11, (19-7)-1-Their next 3 games are against other MWC bubble teams (UNLV, @BYU, @New Mexico), all they really need to do is win 1 and they are guaranteed a tie in the MWC and a 20 win season, that plus their insanely high RPI will get them in.

Syracuse-RPI-24, (19-8)-2-Need 2 wins to get to 9 wins in the tough Big East.

Arizona-RPI-42, (18-9)-2-They may have a sub 40 RPI but they are red hot 7-1 in last 8 games and their only loss was last night @Arizona St. by 2 points, 2 more wins is a 20 win season/at least 10 wins in the PAC-10.

California-RPI-32, (20-7)-2-Are home vs. LA schools this week then at the Arizona schools next week, if they at least break even in the next four they won't have to worry about the PAC-10 tournament.

Here are my NCAA Tiers:

(5)-The Contenders-The top teams that are currently battling for the #1 seeds.
Pitt., UConn, Oklahoma, Memphis, UNC

(5)-Very good yet inconsitent teams-they have all the tools to be contenders but need to be more consistent.
Louisville, Duke, Michigan St., Clemson, WFU

(6)-Red hot very dangerous teams.
Mizzou (11-2 in 2009 and have won 5 straight), Marquette (12-2 in 2009), Villanova (8-1 in last 9), Ariz. St, (have won 5 straight), Kansas (11-1, now 12-1 in last 13 after big win tonight at Oklahoma), LSU (8 in a row)

(2)-Nasty Mid-Majors if you wanna call them that.
Gonzaga, Xavier

(4)-Battle for #2 in the Big Ten-PAC-10.
Purdue, Illinois, UCLA, Washington

That is the cut off for the safe zone:

(8)-High Bubble Teams mentioned in piece above.
FSU, WVU, Butler, Dayton, Texas, Arizona, Syracuse, California

(4)-SEC East Battle-Tennessee has the highest RPI by far at 25 but is a game back in the SEC standings, these 4 teams all have 2 more games against each other and those games will be crucial in who gets into the tourney.
Florida, S. Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky

(5)-MWC Bubble Madness-New Mexico played themselves into the bubble mess with a blow out win vs. San Diego St. on Saturday, now 5 of the MWC's 8 teams are in the mix but Utah is clearly in the driver seat.
Utah, BYU, UNLV, S.D. St., New Mexico

(5)-Brutal Big Ten Bubble-Michigan and PSU are both on way on outside looking in.
Ohio St., Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn St-

(5)-Even more crazy and brutal Big 12 Bubble.
OK St., Texas A&M, Kansas St., Nebraska, Baylor

(3)-BrackerBuster wins really helped their cause.
Siena, Creighton, St. Mary's

(2)-High mid-major bubble teams with some very major games this week to help out that tourney resume. Temple (@Dayton-2/28), UAB (Memphis-2/26)

(8)-Who's deeper the ACC or the Big East-Who'll end up getting more teams in the Big Dance. Miami, BC, Maryland, VA Tech, Cincinnati, Georgetown, ND, Providence

(3)-Down but not out-These are the final 3 teams which gives us 65 possible teams to make the field of 65, of the 43 teams that are not locked in yet, maybe and I mean maybe half of them will actually end up in the big dance.

USC-have lost 4 of 5 and their record (16-19, 7-7) is not great but playing in the PAC-10 they will have chances to get some more wins and boost up their RPI from 49. Plus they have Lil Romeo.

Utah St-Lost a key game this weekend @St. Mary's, who was without Patty Mills and they have a horrible SOS-140, but they have a great record (24-3) and a good RPI-28

As my final team that still had hope as an at-large, I wanted to put Davidson but there is no way that Stephen Curry and company are going to be the tourney unless they win the SoCon Conference tournament.

Illinois St-They are my final team that still has a slight chance. They can be in both the tiers of Down and Out and High Mid-majors with big games coming up. They have got two of the top teams in the Missouri Valley this week (Northern Iowa-2/25 & @Creighton-2/28) and if they win those two games they will sweep Creighton and if they get to the MVC Title game and lose they still could have a shot to get in. They have a good record, but have no key wins outside the MVC and have a low RPI-58 and SOS-154, but hey this is college basketball you never know.

Better luck next year/good luck in the NIT-Unless of course you win your conference tournament. URI, George Mason, Davidson, WKU, Niagara, Ole Miss, WISC.-GB, Tulsa, UTEP, Auburn, N.C. St., VCU, Miami (OH), Cleveland St., Miss. St., Evansville, Northwestern, Hofstra, American, No. Iowa, Houston, Vandy, St. Joe's, Duquesne, Wyoming, any other school with an RPI below 80 at this point.

Friday, February 20, 2009

NCAA- Big Games this weekend/ BracketBuster Weekend

This weekend is a big weekend in college basketball as there are only 2 weeks left in the regular season and we are just 1 week from March. Selection Sunday is just 23 days away on March 15th. So here are the big games this weekend.

The top 5/6 games:
1. Arizona (18-8) @ #14 Arizona St. (20-5)-10pm-No TV-Sunday
It is a shame that the best game of this great weekend in college hoops is not on TV and is late Sunday night when a lot of the country will be going to sleep. This game matches up two of the hottest teams in the country right now. Arizona has been on a roll since their comeback win over Houston (the game that had the Chase Budinger being stomped on incident). They have won 7 straight starting with that game. They have already beat Gonzaga and Kansas this year and win over ASU could virtually guarantee them an at-large bid. Arizona St. is the highest ranked team in the PAC-10 and has won 4 straight including a sweep of UCLA last week. This game has a lot of star power as well as the wing match-ups of Budinger (ARZ) and James Harden (ASU) along with the frontcourt match-up of Jordan Hill (ARZ) and Jeff Pendergraph will be key. Harden is the likely conference player of the year in the PAC-10.

2. #8 Wake Forest (20-4) @ #9 Duke (21-5)-7:45pm-No TV-Sunday
This is a battle of two very good teams that are struggling. Both teams have been very inconsistent (2-3 in their last 5 games) and Wake is 0-3 on the road in those games. As we all know Cameron Indoor is a tough place to play and the Cameron Crazies know that Duke needs this one. This game could also be a battle for a number 2 seed and more importantly a near home game in the first two rounds of the NCAA tourney in Greensboro, NC.

3. #2 Oklahoma (25-1) @ Texas (17-8)-9pm-ESPN-Saturday
On paper this is a battle of two teams going in different directions. It's simple for Oklahoma, if they win they will be #1 in the nation next week. Texas on the other hand might need a big win like this to save their season/save tourney hopes. The question will be if anyone on Texas can come close to stopping Blake Griffin. Even if Texas still had Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin who would both be Juniors' this year, I still think the game would be close. Now that would be a game, hey a basketball fan can dream. Anyway on paper, Oklahoma should blow out Texas. But this is college basketball and the game is in Texas, so anything can happen.

4. Tennessee (16-9) @ Kentucky (18-8)-1pm-CBS-Saturday
I don't know who will win. I don't know who to pick. As a Gator fan I don't know who to root for. What I do know is this game will be a hard fought, athletic, physical battle between SEC rivals. Both are coming off of losses early in the week and both are on the bubble. The last time they met Kentucky star Jodie Meeks went into Tennessee and lit it up for 54 points in Kentucky's 90-72 win. That might not happen this time but Kentucky will need another huge game from its star with F/C Patrick Patterson out. Tennessee's RPI is 22 while Kentucky's is 65 so Kentucky needs this game much more, but Tennessee will have revenge on its mind.

5. #12 Villanova (21-5) @ #24 Syracuse (19-7) or #18 Illinois (21-6) @ Ohio St (17-7)-1pm-BCS-Sunday
Depending on where you live you will get one of these two games on Sunday. The match-ups in both games are similar though. They both pit second tier teams from their respective conferences. Both of these games are rematches from a couple of weeks ago where the home team won. Now those two teams, who are also the higher ranked teams, must go on the road against a team that needs the win more. Syracuse and Ohio St. each need one or two more wins to feel 100% safe that they will get in the tournament as an at-large.

Now on to the BracketBuster Games-About a month ago it looked like Butler, Davidson, and St. Mary's looked like they were on their way to the dance easily. Now every team playing in a BracketBuster game needs a win to keep their bubble hopes alive. Their might be some scenario's where a team could lose their BracketBuster game and still get in as an at-large but it is highly and I mean highly unlikely. Also with the BracketBuster games it is not just what your team does but what you conference does as a whole that can affect you.
Now here are the games to watch:

1. #21 Butler-Horizon-(22-4, RPI-27) @ Davidson-SoCon-(22-5, RPI-55)-Noon-ESPN-Saturday
This game has become big with Butler's recent struggles losing 2 straight. Now they must go to Davidson and beat injured star Stephen Curry. Curry didn't play on Wednesday at The Citadel and Davidson lost by 18. So this game is huge. Curry will be back but how effective will he be. If Butler wins then they will feel pretty safe with a high RPI and a key win @Xavier. But don't get the wrong picture, this is a must win for both teams.

2. Utah St.-WAC-(25-2,RPI-32) @ St. Mary's-WCC-(21-5, RPI-64)-5pm-ESPN2-Saturday
Utah St. has good record but their best win is a 2 point home win vs. Utah. They also have a SOS-170 and play in the #12 Conf. RPI the WAC. So a road win against a good or decent team, whatever you want to call St. Mary's would be huge. St. Mary's injured star PG Patty Mills might be the second best player in the country behind Blake Griffin because St. Mary's was a very good team with him (18-2 in games he played) and are terrible since he got hurt (3-3 since). If St. Mary's losses I think they will need to win the WCC tournament (in other words beat Gonzaga), to get in. I know the tourney committee will take Mills' injury into account but it still won't be enough if their RPI is in the 70s or 80s.

3. Northern Iowa-MVC-(18-9, RPI-86) @ Siena-MAAC-(21-6, RPI-31)-3pm-ESPN2-Saturday
Siena has the most to lose this weekend while No. Iowa has the most to gain this weekend. The game is at Siena which is a big advantage for the Saints who last year won their first round NCAA tournament game as a 13 seed. A win for No. Iowa puts them back into bubble discussion despite their low RPI. It is a good contrast in styles as No. Iowa will try to slow it down against the more athletic higher scoring Saints.

4. George Mason-CAA-(18-8, RPI-54) @ Creighton-MVC-(22-6, RPI-52)-9:30-ESPNU-Saturday
This not the George Mason team that went to the Final Four in 2006 and this is not the Creighton team of years past that had Kyle Korver and company. However these are still two good programs who have RPI's in the high 50's. Both teams have very good guard play so the game will be won and lost on the perimeter.

5. Illinois St.-MVC-(22-5, RPI-60) @ Niagara-MAAC-(21-7, RPI-69)-7pm-ESPN2-Friday
The only game worth seeing before Saturday pits two teams with RPI's in the 60's. It will be a good match-up to start the BracketBuster weekend pitting teams from the MVC-Conf. RPI-10 vs. MAAC-Conf. RPI-13.

There are also a bunch of key games that have a bubble team trying to upset a ranked team in their conference:

#10 Marquette (22-4) @ Georgetown (14-10, RPI-37)-2pm-ESPN-Saturday

#7 Louisville (20-5) @ Cincinnati (17-9, RPI-49)-2pm-ESPN360-Saturday

#3 UNC (24-2) @ Maryland (16-9, RPI-62)-3:30-ABC-Saturday

#5 Memphis (23-3) @ UTEP (16-9, RPI-77)-4pm-ESPN-Saturday

Nebraska (16-8, RPI-66) @ #15 Kansas (21-5)-4pm-ESPN360-Saturday

#22 Washington (19-7) @ USC (16-9, RPI-41)-7pm-No TV-Saturday

Auburn (17-9, RPI-89) @ #23 LSU (22-4)-8pm-No TV-Saturday

Wisconsin (17-9, RPI-29) @ #6 Michigan St. (20-5)-3pm-ESPN-Sunday

My likelihood of an upset rankings:
1. Cincinnati
2. Maryland
3. Georgetown
4. USC
5. Auburn
6. Nebraska
7. Wisconsin

Now if you haven't had enough and live for college basketball, here are some "Critical Bubble Games" for this weekend. Their is a lot of "bubble variety" with high bubble teams like FSU and BYU. Then their are some teams whose bubble is likely burst with a loss like Notre Dame, Vandy, Miami, and Providence.
Here are those games:

Notre Dame (14-11, RPI-75) @ Providence (16-10, RPI-70)-Noon-ESPN360-Saturday

Boston Coll. (19-8, RPI-51) @ Miami (15-10, RPI-50)-Noon-No TV-Saturday

Baylor (16-9, RPI-53) @ OK St. (16-9, RPI-33)-1:45-ESPN360-Saturday

Vanderbilt (16-9, RPI-91) @ Florida (20-6, RPI-45)-3pm-ESPN360-Saturday

FSU (20-6, RPI-18) @ Virginia Tech (16-9, RPI-56)-8pm-No TV-Saturday

BYU (20-5, RPI-30) @ UNLV (19-7, RPI-57)-11pm-No TV-Saturday

So their you have it, 25 great games this weekend for the die hard college basketball fan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NBA Team Power Rankings and Tiers

1. Boston Celtics (44-11)
2. L.A. Lakers (44-10)
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (41-11)
4. Orlando Magic (39-14)
5. S.A. Spurs (35-17)
6. Denver Nuggets (37-17)
7. Portland TBlazers (33-20)
8. Houston Rockets (33-21)
9. N.O. Hornets (32-20)
10. Utah Jazz (31-23)
11. Dallas Mavericks (32-21)
12. Atlanta Hawks (32-22)
13. Phoenix Suns (30-23)
14. Miami Heat (28-25)
15. Philadelphia 76ers (27-26)
16. Detroit Pistons (27-25)
17. Chicago Bulls (24-30)
18. N.J. Nets (24-31)
19. Indiana Pacers (22-34)
20. N.Y. Knicks (22-31)
21. Charlotte Bobcats (22-32)
22. Milwaukee Bucks (27-30)
23. Toronto Raptors (21-35)
24. G.S. Warriors (19-36)
25. Minnesota TWolves (18-35)
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (13-41)
27. Memphis Grizzlies (15-39)
28. L.A. Clippers (13-42)
29. Washington Wizards (12-42)
30. Sacramento Kings (11-44)

My Tiers:
(3) The Elite- Simply the best teams in the NBA right now, they look like they can not only compete for a title, but win the championship this year.

(3) The Division Leading Contenders- Orlando was in the elite but the Jameer Nelson injury slightly dropped them, these teams are very good right now but not quite in the elite.

(6) Six teams only five playoff spots out West- they all have over 30 wins currently and just like in recent years a team with a winning record out West will likely miss the playoffs. It's put up or shut up time for these teams.

(4) Good teams with winning records in the East- At this point all of these teams should feel pretty comfortable about making the playoffs in the East but all four are trying to get that #4 or #5 seed in the east to avoid the big three in first round.

(7) Not so good teams that are still in the playoff hunt in the East- these teams are all battling for #8 seed right now, they all have talent but each has their own problems.
Injuries- IND, MIL, TOR
Weak Frontcourt- CHI, NJ
Youth and Inexperience- NY, CHR

(2) Better than their record- If they played in the East they might have a shot at making the playoffs.

(5) The Blake Griffin Sweepstakes- I wanted to put OKC in the above group but it would be better if they just lost the rest of their games and got the #1 pick. I would pay to see Durant and Griffin on the same team, I would even consider moving to Oklahoma if their weren't so many losers, I mean Sooner fans there:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NBA All-Star Break Awards

I know it's a few days past the All-Star Break but here are my All-Star Break/Just past mid-season awards:

1. LeBron James-CLV-SF- King James deserved it last year and deserves it even more this year. His team is a contender, he has gotten better and his stat line (28, 7, 7) is unbelievable. The showcases' between him and Kobe in MSG just show LeBron's overall effectiveness, what would you rather have, 50+ points and a triple-double or 60+ points? DWade is having a great year and might be more valuable to his team than LeBron, but I would have to put James ahead at this point. Barring a collapse in both his numbers and the Cavs losing, King James will get his first MVP in 08-09.
2. Dwayne Wade-MIA-SG
3. Kobe Bryant-LAL-SG
4. Dwight Howard-ORL-C
5. Chris Paul-NO-PG

Rookie of the Year:
1. Derrick Rose-CHI-PG- Rose is trying to help lead his team into the playoffs while Mayo is hoping the Grizzlies can win the lottery and get Blake Griffin. Rose has better assist numbers while Mayo has better scoring numbers. Since Rose is playing for something I have to give him the slight advantage right now.
2. O.J. Mayo-MEM-SG
3. B. Lopez-NJ-C

Coach of the Year:
1. Stan Van Gundy-ORL- Many people like Mike Brown on Cleveland but Van Gundy has done a better job in a tougher situation in Orlando. He took over last year from a tough situation with the whole Billy Donovan thing and has help turn the Magic into a serious contender. His coaching skill will be put to the test the rest of the year without PG Jameer Nelson
2. Jerry Sloan-Utah
3. Mike Brown-CLV

6th Man Award:
1. Jason Terry-DAL-CG- Terry has the second best player on the Mavs behind Dirk and has them in the playoff hunt in the very tough West. Everyone knows about his scoring ability but his defense is very under rated especially his ability to guard both PGs and SGs.
2. Manu Ginobili-SA-SG
3. J.R. Smith-DEN-G/F

Most Improved:
1. Devin Harris-NJ-PG- This is the toughest choice as Harris, Millsap, Lee along with Jameer Nelson have all stepped up their game to another level but since joining the Nets last year he has gone from a role-playing PG to a young star. He can score, defend, and pass. He also has the Nets in the playoff hunt.
2. David Lee-NY-C
3. Paul Millsap-Utah-PF

Defensive Player of the Year:
1. Dwight Howard-ORL-C- Leads the league in Rebounding and Blocks Per Game that's enough for me. He is the most imposing player in the game right now, sorry Shaq. Howard is the best defender in the league right now and it really isn't close.
2. Kevin Garnett-BOS-PF
3. Marcus Camby-LAC-C

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Rookie/Sophomore Rankings

At the All-Star break and after watching all the festivities the past two nights including the Rookie Challenge, The game of Horse or Geico, the 3-point contest where Daequan Cook dominated, the Slam Dunk Contest, and hearing Kenny Smith talk trash about everyone on the planet. I have decided to make my Rookie/Sophomore Rankings for this year.

The Rookies:

1. Derrick Rose-CHI-PG (17, 6.3)- I know that Mayo is a better scorer but Rose is the PG of a young team that is still in the playoff hunt. Mayo right now is the front runner for the ROY (rookie of the year), but if Rose can some how lead the Bulls into the playoffs I don't know how you could not put him in as the top rookie this year.

2. O.J. Mayo-MEM-SG (19.3, 4rpg)- The man can score and is the biggest ray of hope in for the Grizz right now. If he continues this and finishes with over 20ppg and Rose does not lead the Bulls into the postseason then Mayo will likely win ROY.

3. Russel Westbrook-OKC-PG (15, 4.9apg, 4.7rpg)- He keeps getting better and better as the season goes. plus he is getting more comfortable at the PG position running a team. His overall stat line combined with his defense makes him like a better scoring version of Rajon Rondo. If only he could start winning like Rondo.

4. Brook Lopez-NJ-C- (12.3, 8.1)- He has been very consistent and is the perfect compliment down low for Guards' Devin Harris and Vince Carter. Just like the Bulls, the Nets are going to be in the playoff hunt in the East for one of those last seeds and Lopez is a huge factor in the Nets hopes.

5. Michael Beasley-MIA-PF/SF- (13.3, 5.3)- He is a key player on a playoff team right now. While he should be getting more boards, he still is improving and will now be expected to score more and create on the perimeter as a 3 will Shawn Marion out and Jermaine O'Neal in.

6. Eric Gordon-LAC-SG- (14.7ppg)- Just like with Al Thorton last year, the Clippers injuries and struggles have allowed for a talented rookie to showcase his skills. Gordon can score but can he do more. We might not find that out this year, but he is still a top talent.

7. Marc Gasol-MEM-C- (11, 7.1)- I love this guys fundamentals and what he brings as a role player. He is never going to be a star but he knows his role and plays it well. Besides 7-1 Centers with great fundamentals are tough to find.

8. Kevin Love-MIN-PF- (9.4, 8.7)- Is just like Gasol in that he knows his role and his game and does not play out of it. The Al Jefferson injury is going to be very tough for the TWolves but it will give Love a chance to show if he can be the go to guy inside while Jefferson is out.

9. Jason Thompson-SAC-PF- (10.4, 6.8)- He might be the best unknown basketball player on the planet. He played college ball at Rider and now plays on the Kings. Unless you follow basketball hardcore, you probably don't know about Thompson. But he can play and is a very good young PF.

10. Mario Chalmers-MIA-PG- (10.1, 4.8)- He is the Joe Flacco of the NBA. A rookie PG (QB of the basketball court) who is starting for a winning team. As long as he helps facilitate to superstar Dwyane Wade, plays decent defense and hits some big shots, something he knows a little bit about, the Heat are in good shape to be a 4-6 seed in the East.

Rudy Fernandez and Greg Oden were both in the Rookie Challenge but not in my top 10. It is not cause I hate the Blazers, in fact I wanted Rudy to win the the Dunk Contest. But i feel the 10 guys ahead have been better up to this point in the season.

Sophomore Rankings:

1. Kevin Durant-OKC-SF- (25.5, 6.7)- He's fifth in the league in scoring, he owned the Rookie Challenge dropping 46 and should have been in the All-Star game with the big boys. He is a rising superstar in this league who behind Kobe and DWade has the most complete offensive game. Oh by the way he is only 20. Barring an injury he should make about 10-12 All-Star games. I know he plays for a bad team. I know he should be averaging more rebounds and I know he has the body of a contestant on America's Next Top Model not a Pro Athlete. But even with that, he is still maybe the best 20 or under player I have ever seen. Just compare his stats to Kobe, LaBron, or KG when they were his age. Durant is the truth.

2. Al Thorton-LAC-SF- (16.9, 5.2)
3. Jeff Green-OKC-SF- (16.7, 6.6)
I've got Thorton slightly ahead of Green though their numbers are about the same . Their game, size and skill set are very similar. Both are on losing teams and have had to play a big role early in their pro careers. They both are combo forwards who can post up, score inside and rebound. They are listed as SF's but are not traditional slashers.

4. Al Hortford-ATL-C- (10.4, 8.4)- Hortford is a winner above everything else and is a perfect big man to compliment the great talent around him in Atlanta. He is coming back from an injury but if he is well the Hawks are likely a 4 or 5 seed and might get a rematch with Boston in the second round. Remember those young Hawks took the World Champs to 7 games last year and Hortford was a key part in that especially with his defense against the best PF in the game in KG.

5. Luis Scola-HOU-PF- (12.4, 8.1)- The guy just plays basketball and is a warrior down low. He does all the little things. Like Hortford he is a winner that will do whatever is best for the team in order to be a contender. With all the injuries in Houston the past two years he has remained a constant.

6. Wilson Chandler-NY-SF- (13.7, 5)- He is a good player who has struggled with his consistency but that is bound to happen when you play with the chemistry experiment gone wrong that is called the Knicks. However the Knicks need him to step up if they are going to get back in the playoff picture in the East.

7. Thaddeus Young-PHL-SF- (13.7, 4.9)- He is a good payer who can become a great player in due time. He has got a nice all-around game and possesses great length similar to Josh Smith/Tayshaun Prince. He has had to play out of position at PF with Elton Brand being hurt. This shows how committed he is to his team and winning.

8. Rodney Stuckey-DET-PG- (13.7, 4.9, 3.4rpg)- At 6-5 is a very good big PG who can score and get to the whole at will. His PG skills are still developing, but with his size, athleticism, and ball-handling skills make him a very unique player. The Pistons are committed to him as their PG of the future or else they wouldn't of traded Chauncey to Denver. He has the keys to the offense we'll see where he takes them.

9. Ramon Sessions-MIL-CG- (11.7, 4.8)- When he is a starter he is a star, however in limited action he is not as effective. It still remains to be seen if he can be the "man" as a PG or a SG, but when he gets his chances as a starter he has been very very good. He has had 44 points in a game this year and had 22 assists in a game last year. So he is not just a specialty scorer, he is very well rounded.

10 (tie)- Nick Young-WAS-SG- (10.8ppg) & Daequan Cook-MIA-SG- (10.4ppg)- Both come off the bench and provide a great shooting touch for their team. The main difference is that Young has a lethal mid-range shot and game while Cook as we saw on Saturday night is one of the league's best 3-point shooters. Young is on a struggling team and has played both the 2 and 3. Cook is on a good team and can play some point but is really best at backing up DWade or playing with DWade in 3 guard sets.

Just missed the cut: Carl Landry-HOU-PF, Mike Conley-MEM-PG, Aaron Brooks-HOU-CG, Yi Jianlian-NJ-PF (due to injury), Brendan Wright-GS-PF

Here are my Top 25 Career Projection, in other words how I feel the Rooks and Sophs will have the best NBA careers:

1. Kevin Durant
2. Derrick Rose
3. O.J. Mayo
4. Michael Beasley
5. Eric Gordon
6. Russel Westbrook
7. Thaddeus Young
8. Rodney Stuckey
9. Al Hortford
10. Brook Lopez
11. Jeff Green
12. Al Thorton
13. Yi Jianlian
14. Ramon Sessions
15. Greg Oden
16. Courtney Lee
17. Mike Conley
18. Nick Young
19. Mario Chalmers
20. Kevin Love
21. Rudy Fernandez
22. Wilson Chandler
23. Marc Gasol
24. Jason Thompson
25. Luis Scola

Monday, February 9, 2009

NCAA-My real Top 25/ My tounament seeding S-Curve

Here are my rankings along with record in ( ) and RPI according to

1. UConn (22-1)-4
2. Oklahoma (23-1)-3
3. UNC (21-2)-6
4. Pittsburgh (21-2)-2
5. Duke (20-3)-1
6. Louisville (18-4)-11
7. Clemson (19-3)-8
8. WFU (18-3)-14
9. Michigan St. (19-4)-7
10. Memphis (20-3)-9
11. UCLA (19-4)-26
12. Xavier (20-3)-5
13. Marquette (20-3)-24
14. Villanova (19-4)-12
15. Butler (21-2)-10
16. Kansas (19-4)-16
17. Ariz. St. (18-5)-39
18. Mizzou (20-4)-22
19. Gonzaga (17-5)-38
20. Syracuse (18-6)-23
21. Illinois (19-5)-15
22. Ohio St. (17-5)-20
23. LSU (19-4)-52
24. Pudue (17-6)-36
25. Utah St. (23-1)-35
25(tie). WVU (16-7)-17

Just on the outside:

Washington (17-6)-18
California (18-6)-29
Florida (19-4)-30
Texas (15-7)-45
Dayton (21-3)-33
Minnesota (18-5)-25
FSU (18-5)-19
Utah (16-7)-12

My NCAA Tournament S-Curve for Top 8 Seeds
The sites are:
East-Boston (host-Boston College)
South-Memphis (host-Memphis)
MW-Indianapolis (host-Butler)
West-Phoenix (host-Ariz. St.)
Opening Rounds:
Philadelphia (PHL)-(host-St. Joseph's)
Dayton (DAY)-(host-Dayton)
Greensboro, NC (NC)-(host- The ACC)
Miami (MIA)-(host-FIU)
Kansas City (KC)-(host-The Big 12)
Minneapolis (MIN)-(host-Minnesota)
Boise,ID (Boise)-(host-Boise St.)
Portand (POR)-(host-Oregon)
Teams cannot play in the region/site that they host, conferences can

1-East UConn (PHL)
1-MW Oklahoma (KC)
1-South UNC (NC)
1-West Pittsburgh (DAY)

2-West Duke (NC)
2-South Louisville (DAY)
2-MW Michigan St. (MIN)
2-East Clemson (MIA)

3-East Memphis (MIN)
3-South Xavier (KC)
3-West UCLA (POR)

4-West Butler (POR)
4-South Villanova (MIA)
4-MW Marquette (Boise)
4-East Kansas (Boise)

5-East Ariz. St. (Boise)
5-MW Gonzaga (Boise)
5-South LSU (MIA)
5-West Mizzou (POR)

6-West Ohio St. (POR)
6-South Washington (KC)
6-MW Syracuse (PHL)
6-East Illinois (MIN)

7-East Florida (MIA)
7-South FSU (DAY)
7-West WVU (NC)

8-West Purdue (PHL)
8-South Texas (NC)
8-MW Minnesota (KC)
8-East Dayton (PHL)

Utah St- Even though they are ranked, they have an RPI-35 and SOS-190 and play in a small conference. I would put them as a 9-seed in the MW or drop their seed to an 11-seed but put them in the and have them play their 1st 2 rounds in Porland, OR.

Utah- Has a very high RPI, but has 7 losses and plays in a mid-major conference. They would likely be a 10 or 11 seed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

NBA Player Tiers and Top 100 honorable mention

Before I get to my NBA player tiers let me add my Top 100 Honorable Mention List:

Ray Felton-CHR-PG-24
Eric Gordon-LAC-SG-20
Kelenna Azubuike-GS-SF-25
Kenyon Martin-DEN-PF-31
Nate Robinson-NY-CG-24
Travis Outlaw-POR-SF-24
Jermaine O'Neal-TOR-C-30
Drew Gooden-CHI-PF-27
Marvin Williams-ATL-SF-22
Ronnie Brewer-Utah-SG-23
Andrea Bargnani-TOR-PF-23
Yi Jianlian-NJ-PF-21
Roger Mason-SA-F/G-28
James Posey-NO-SF-32
Marc Gasol-MEM-C-24
Chris Duhon-NY-PG-26
Kevin Love-MIN-F/C-20

Other players who would surely be in the top 50/100 if not for season injuries
Gilbert Arenas-WAS-CG-27-has not played at all this year (knee surgery)
Michael Redd-MIL-SG-29-only played in 33 games before season ending knee surgery
Monta Ellis-GS-CG-23-just came back from high ankle injury suffered in off-season on a mo-ped

Here are the tiers of the NBA's best players:

(3)-The 3 best players in the world- LeBron, Kobe, DWade

(5)-Absolute Superstars- Dwight, CP3, KG, Amare, Tim Duncan

(6)-Next Level Stars-Just a notch below the 8 best players in the league these guys are all still perennial all stars.-
Joe Johnson, Dirk, Bosh, Chauncey, Paul Pierce, Yao

(3)-Up and Coming Stars-These young stars are getting better and better and could enter any of the three above categories in the next couple of years.- Brandon Roy, Danny Granger, Devin Harris

(4)-Snubbed All-Stars-They won't be playing in the All-Star game next weekend but they are still stars.-
Melo (who would be a Next Level Star if not for injury), Al Jefferson, Kevin Durant, Andre Igoudala

(7)-Underrated Stud PF/C's- Pau, Rashard Lewis, David West, LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee, plus Carlos Boozer and Zach Randolph (when they're healthy)

(4)-Stud Floor Generals-It's no coincidence that these guys are winners and their teams are winners as well.-
Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Mo Williams, Jameer Nelson (before injury)

(4)-Past their prime but still very good players- AI, Shaq, Vince, Ray Allen

(10)-Versatility is their middle name-My favorite category, these guys don't do any one thing great but they do many things very well, some are the best players on their team, some are compliments to a star player, but anyway you look at it these guys are great players who can do it all.-
Josh Smith, Stephen Jackson, Richard Jefferson, Rudy Gay, Caron Butler, Hedo Turkoglu, Josh Howard, Manu Ginobili, Ron Artest, Tayshaun Prince

(7)-Specialty Scorers-Pretty much the opposite of the versatile studs, these guys can score, score and score some more, but don't really show anything else on their stat line.-
Jason Terry, Rip Hamilton, Kevin Martin (pretty much the token speciality scorer), O.J. Mayo, Ben Gordon, John Salmons, Gerald Wallace

(6)-Very Good PG's-Some are young, some are old, some are the stars of their team, some are role players on very good teams, but they are all very good PG's.-
Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Andre Miller, Baron Davis, Jamal Crawford

(6)-Very Good Big Men-Same as the very good PG's but for Big Men.-
Antawn Jamison, Emeka Okafor, Mehmet Okur, Al Harrington, Nene, Andrew Bynum

(5)-Injured former stars playing less of a role this year- T-Mac, Elton Brand, Cory Maggette, The Matrix, JRich

(5)-Role-Playing Double Double Machines-Another of my favorite categories, these guys crash the boards hard but can also score some points too.- Andrew Bogut (before injury), Paul Millsap, Marcus Camby, Andris Biedrins, Troy Murphy

(4)-Good Role-Playing Veteran PG's- Mike Bibby, Jason Kidd, Jose Calderon, T.J. Ford

(7)-Young Inside/Outside Forwards-
Charlie Villanueva, Boris Diaw, Al Thorton, Jeff Green, Loul Deng, Wilson Chandler, Thaddeus Young

(6)-Nasty Young PG/CG's-
Randy Foye, Russell Westbrook, Rodney Stuckey, Ray Felton, Eric Gordon, Nate Robinson

(6)-Absolute Warriors in the Paint-These guys are beasts and are very important to how far their team goes-
Al Hortford, Brook Lopez, Udonis Haslem, Luis Scola, Drew Gooden, Kenyon Martin

(4)-Veteran Centers who have all been former all-stars.- Big Z, Rasheed Wallace, Brad Miller, Jermaine O'Neal

(5)-Sharpshooters-These guys can shoot the rock and add a very good scoring punch to their teams.-
Peja Stojakovic, J.R. Smith, Kelenna Azubuike, Roger Mason, Mike Dunleavy (when healthy)

(4)-Its only a matter of time-These are the stars of tomorrow who aren't so bad today, they keep getting better and in a few years they could be stars.- Michael Beasley, Marvin Williams, Andrea Bargnani, Yi Jianlain

(4)-More than just lock down defenders-While they are used primarily for their ability as shutdown defenders, these guys can do a lot of other things as well- Raja Bell, Travis Outlaw, Ronnie Brewer, James Posey

(6)-The Rookie Hot List-
Big Men- Kevin Love, Marc Gasol, Jason Thompson, Greg Oden
Guards- Rudy Fernandez, Mario Chalmers

(3)-Maybe Next Year-Injured stars who will try to be next year's Dwayne Wade-
Arenas, Redd, Ellis
I will probably need to add Bogut and Jameer to this list now

Well that's the list, 124 of the NBA's best players

Friday, February 6, 2009

NCAA-Big Games this Weekend

I just found out that #8 Marquette lost at USF. That is Marquette's first lost in Big East play. I told you I wasn't sold on Marquette as a contender. This just continues a week of upsets of highly ranked teams. Duke and Wake Forest both were blown out by 27 on Wednesday. #5 Louisville lost to #1 UConn, plus number #11 Butler and #12 Purdue lost this week as well. So five of the teams ranked 4-12 have lost this week. With this there are some teams that can move up pretty high in the rankings with key wins on Saturday. Here are the ten games to see this weekend.

Major Mid-Major Showdown In Spokane:
1) #14 Memphis @ #18 Gonzaga-9pm-ESPN-Saturday
Even though Xavier and Butler are ranked higher, these are the two most talented teams from non "BCS" conferences. Both are undefeated in their conference and could stay undefeated throughout the season. They both have won at Tennessee recently as well. There will be a great match ups both down low and on the perimeter. I will especially look forward to the match up between Gonzaga's Austin Daye and Memphis' Robert Dozier, both players are effective inside and out. Daye is more of an offensive threat while Dozier is a great defender. The X factor will be Memphis' PG Tyreke Evans who will be the most talented player on the court. If he is the best player on the court on Saturday night then Memphis is going to be very hard to beat. Its pretty even because it's in Spokane. I think though the talent will prevail and I'm picking Memphis.

Big games influencing the rankings-these games are must see and can have a big effect on the next weeks
2) #20 Syracuse @ #17 Villanova-Noon-ESPN-Saturday
UConn's Haseem Thabeet and Pitt's DuJuan Blair get most of the attention when talking about the Big East best big men, and that might be rightfully so. However Villanova's Dante Cunningham and Syracuse's Paul Harris are two of the top post players in the conference as well. This game should be a great battle between them, as well as a battle of the PG's with Villanova's Scottie Reynolds and The Cuse's Jonny Flynn. Both have similar records, Nova (18-4, 6-3) and The Cuse (18-5, 6-4), and the winner is likely move up a lot in the polls.

3) Miami @ #4 Duke-1:30pm-ESPN360-Saturday
Duke is coming off of a 27 point beat down at the hands of Clemson and Miami is coming off of a huge 27 point win against #7 Wake. However Duke will be ready to redeem themselves at home against this athletic Miami team. Miami is 1-3 on the road in the ACC and Cameron Indoor might be the toughest place to play in all of college basketball. If Miami plays Duke tough or somehow pulls off another upset that will be huge on their tournament resume. You know the crazies' will be ready for this one, but will Miami be ready to pull off a second upset in four days?

4) #12 Purdue @ #23 Illinois-1pm-CBS-Sunday
In the only game worth watching on Sunday, these two teams will play for at least a tie for second place in the Big 10. Both are coming off of losses earlier in the week. Another Illinois loss this week will drop them out of the top 25, while another Purdue loss will at the very least drop them out of the top 20. Obviously only one team can will and the team that shoots the basketball better will likely win. When they met earlier on December 30th, Illinois won at Purdue in overtime.

Looking to make a statement- these unranked teams will try to make a splash on the road against these ranked teams to try to get back on the bubble or feel good while on the bubble:
5) Notre Dame @ #15 UCLA-1pm-CBS-Saturday
The Fighting Irish have lost 6 straight and have 9 losses right now. While UCLA has been inconsistent at times this year, they are still a very talented team and are 12-1 at home. Luke Harangody must have a monster game for Notre Dame to be successful. It will also be interesting to see if an third/forth tier Big East school can go to L.A. and beat the best team in the PAC-10.

6) FSU @ #10 Clemson-7pm-No TV (that's sad)-Saturday
Clemson is coming off of a demolishing of Duke, while FSU is (17-5, 4-3) destined to be on the bubble the rest of the year. Clemson has a better record, ranking, plus their at home, but many teams have fallen after big wins, just look in the ACC with Wake last week. Three of FSU's 5 losses have come to top 10 teams, UNC, Duke and Pittsburgh and FSU lost by less than 10 in each of those games. So the Seminoles can play with the best, its only a matter of time before they beat one of the top dogs.

7) Michigan @ #1 UConn-6pm-ESPN-Saturday
I would be shocked if Michigan can pull off this upset. Now when I say shocked, I mean Michael Phelps getting caught doing the Chech and Chong, Brittany-Federline, Janet Jackson-Jermaine Dupri shocked. But this still is college basketball where anything can happen. Michigan would need to get both Thabeet and Adrien in foul trouble and also just shoot lights out like they did when they upset UCLA in November. It would be shocking, but like I said this is college basketball.

My upset odds for these games are:
FSU 4-1
Notre Dame 8-1
Michigan 30-1

Big Bubble Games:
8) #19 Minnesota @ Ohio St.-8pm-Big Ten Network-Saturday
But Matt Minnesota is ranked and has only four losses, how are they on the bubble? Well if they follow up their 29 point pounding that Michigan St. gave them with another loss then they will very much so be back on the bubble. Ohio St. on the other hand has won 3 straight and will look to avenge an earlier loss to Minnesota back on January 3rd. Ohio St. F/G Evan Turner has been playing as good as any player in the Big 10 and if he has another big game it could mean welcome to the bubble Minnesota and welcome to the top 25 Ohio St.

9) Cincinnati @ Georgetown-Noon-ESPN360-Saturday
Both teams come into the game with 8 losses, yet both teams have won some good non-conference games so it is not neccessarily a bubble elimination game just yet. Georgetown has a lot of talent, but is young and has lost 5 of 6. Cincinnati is a tough team and they already beat the Hoyas a couple of weeks ago, so another win would be a huge boost for their resume and a huge hit to the Hoyas chances of making the tournament. The game is in D.C. so the Hoyas will be favored but this one should be a very good one to keep an eye on.

10) Kansas St. @ Texas A&M-4pm-ESPN360-Saturday
On paper this appears to be a match up of two teams headed in different directions, Kansas St. has won 4 straight, while A&M has lost 4 of 6. Yet all 4 of A&M's losses have come to the conferences top teams (Oklahoma-twice, Texas, and Kansas). KSU's Denis Clemente had a huge game scoring 44 in their upset over Texas last week. He might not need to have that big of an impact but KSU's guards must play well in order to counteract A&M's advantage down low. This is the only regular season game between these two so this is a big game in bubble land.

Honorable Mention:

Providence @ WVU-4pm-ESPN360-Saturday
Ole Miss @ Vandy-1pm-CBS-Saturday
Charleston @ Davidson-6pm-ESPN2-Saturday
Creighton @ Northern Iowa-2:05pm-ESPN360-Sunday

Upset Special:
I was very tempted to pick Nebraska to upset Texas, however I just don't see Texas losing twice this week.
So I'm going with another game in the Big 12.
OK St. over # 21 Kansas-Saturday @ Kansas at 3:30 on ABC
This is Bill Self's first game against OK St. since he met with them in the off-season about their coaching vacancy. Self is an OK St. grad who chose to stay with his Jayhawks after winning the title last year instead of going to his alma mater. Kansas might be a little more talented, however OK St. has 4 guards that average at least 14 points per game. On paper Kansas looks like a huge favorite being at home and having won 7 in a row, however they could have a tough time matching up with all of OK St.'s quick guards. Call it a long shot, I call it a hunch and my upset special, OK St. over Kansas.

Blow Out special
Michigan St. over Indiana-Saturday @ Michigan St at 4pm on ESPN
If the Spartans an beat Minnesota by 29 and Kansas by 13 then the good lord only knows what they'll do to the hapless Hoosiers of Indiana who are (6-15, 1-8). I would not be shocked if Michigan St. wins this one by more than 50 and/or Michigan St. scores 100+ points.
Odds of Indiana winning this game 200-1
Indiana coach Tom Crean is only 2 wins away from his 200th victory. I wonder if he'll get it this year.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NBA Player Rankings (51-100)

Here are players 51-100 with name-team-position-age-but sorry no stats

51. Carlos Boozer (INJ.-34)-Utah-PF-27

52. Hedo Turkoglu-ORL-SF-29

53. Mehmet Okur-Utah-C-29

54. Josh Howard-DAL-SF-28

55. Andre Miller-PHL-PG-32

56. Al Harrington-NY-PF-28

57. Nene Hilario-DEN-C-26

58. John Salmons-SAC-SF-29

59. Manu Ginobili-SA-SG-31

60. Baron Davis (INJ.-14)-LAC-PG-29

61. Jamal Crawford-GS-PG-28

62. Gerald Wallace-CHR-SF-26

63. Ron Artest (INJ.-13)-HOU-SF-29

64. Andrew Bynum-LAL-C-20

65. Tracy McGrady (INJ.-17)-HOU-SG-29

66. Andrew Bogut (INJ.-16)-MIL-C-24

67. Paul Millsap-Utah-PF-23

68. Elton Brand (INJ.-18)-PHL-PF-29

69. Cory Maggette (INJ.-19)-GS-SG-29

70. Marcus Camby-LAC-C-34

71. Mike Bibby-ATL-PG-30

72. Charlie Villanueva-MIL-PF-24

73. Shawn Marion (INJ.-10)-MIA-SF-30

74. Tayshaun Prince-DET-SF-28

75. Jason Kidd-DAL-PG-35

76. Randy Foye-MIN-PG-25

77. Russell Westbrook-OKC-PG-20

78. Jason Richardson-PHO-SG-28

79. Jose Calderon-TOR-PG-27

80. Boris Diaw-CHR-PF-26

81. Andris Biedrins-GS-C-22

82.. Al Thorton-LAC-SF-25

83. Jeff Green-OKC-PF-22

84. Al Hortford (INJ.-14)-ATL-C-22

85. Brook Lopez-NJ-C-20

86. Luol Deng-CHI-SF-23

87. Troy Murphy-IND-PF-28

88. Zydrunas Ilgauskas (INJ.-16)-CLV-C-33

89. Udonis Haslem-MIA-C/F-28

90. Peja Stojakovic-NO-SF-31

91. T. J. Ford-IND-PG-25

92. Luis Scola-HOU-PF-28

93. Rasheed Wallace-DET-C-34

94. J.R. Smith-DEN-SG-23

95. Brad Miller-SAC-C-32

96. Wilson Chandler-NY-SF-21

97. Thaddeus Young-PHL-SF-20

98. Raja Bell-CHR-SG-32

99. Rodney Stuckey-DET-PG-22

100. Michael Beasley-MIA-PF-20

Here's the positional breakdown for the top 20, 50, and 100

Top 20:

Top 50:

Top 100:

Note: Al Jefferson is counted as a C, Pau Gasol-PF, Rip Hamilton-SF, Udonis Haslem-C.