Monday, February 22, 2010

Mr. Matt's Bracketology 2/22

Bracketology 2/21

Oklahoma City
1) Kansas
16) Play In-Lehigh vs. Ark.-Pine Bluff

8) California
9) FSU

5) Butler
12) UConn

4) BYU
13) St. Mary’s

6) Maryland
11) UTEP

3) Ohio St.
14) Sam Houston

7) Baylor
10) Florida

2) West Virginia
15) Wofford


New Orleans
1) Kentucky
16) Robert Morris

8) Georgia Tech
9) Mizzou

5) Michigan St.
12) Arizona St.

4) Georgetown
13) Old Dominion

6) Northern Iowa
11) San Diego St.

3) Wisconsin
14) UCSB

7) Richmond
10) Virginia Tech

2) Villanova
15) North Texas


1) Syracuse
16) Vermont

8) Xavier
9) Clemson

San Jose
5) Texas A&M
12) Illinois

4) Gonzaga
13) Murray St.

San Jose
6) Tennessee
11) Utah St.

3) New Mexico
14) Weber St.

Oklahoma City
7) Wake Forest
10) Marquette

2) Kansas St.
15) Jacksonville


1) Purdue
16) Coastal Carolina

8) Louisville
9) Rhode Island

New Orleans
5) Texas
12) Cornell

4) Vandy
13) Kent

6) Temple
11) Siena

3) Pittsburgh
14) Oakland

7) Oklahoma St.
10) UAB

2) Duke
15) Morgan St.

Last 4 In

St. Mary’s



Arizona St.

Others Barely In:


San Diego St.



First 4 Out, with explanation (Dayton, UNLV, and Texas Tech all have good RPI ratings in the top 50 yet all have struggled mightily as of late. UNLV has lost 3 of 4. Texas Tech has lost 5 of 7 and Dayton has lost 2 of 3 and cannot win on the road. I gave my final spot to St. Mary’s just over Dayton. The more you watch Utah St., the more you realize how impressive it was for St. Mary’s to go on the road and beat Utah St.)



Mississippi St.

Texas Tech

Next 4 Out:

William & Mary



Ole Miss

Some fun possible match ups we could have if this were the real bracket:

1st Round-Syracuse vs. Vermont-The Cuse could get revenge for Vermont’s 2005 1st round upset.

1st Round-Richmond vs. Virginia Tech-Two very good teams that are under the radar.

2nd Round-Kentucky vs. Georgia Tech-Each team has a sick frontline and this game could have 5 possible 1st round picks, (Kentucky-John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson. Georgia Tech-Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal.)

2nd Round-Ohio St. vs. Maryland-Two of the country’s best and most versatile players, Evan Turner and Greivis Vasquez meet in Milwaukee.

Sweet 16-Kansas St. vs. New Mexico-The Rodney Dangerfield Bowl. Neither of these teams gets as much respect as they deserve yet both are very capable of going to the Final Four

Elite 8-Purdue vs. Duke-E’Twaun Moore against John Scheyer. Robbie Hummel against Kyle Singler. Both have great front court play too. Two great teams, great coaching, great fans in battle to see who goes to Indy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NCAA-BracketBuster Weekend Preview

BracketBuster Weekend is finally here. It is the perfect opportunity for mid-majors to face each other and get some national exposure. More importantly it is a great opportunity for mid-major bubble teams to boost their resume in hopes of getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Previews of BracketBuster Games:
Siena @ Butler-Saturday-11am-ESPN2
This is the best BracketBuster game as it pits a ranked Butler team against Siena, who has won in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament the past two years. Siena has a RPI of 33 and a very good record at 22-5 but they lack any quality wins against top teams. A win over Butler would go a long way in getting an at-large bid if the Saints were to some how blow it in the MAAC conference tournament. Both teams have 4 players who average over 10 points per game. Siena is a very experienced team, yet they still have had some trouble playing good teams on the road. Butler is 12-0 at home this year so the Saints have their work cut out for them.

Old Dominion @ Northern Iowa-Friday-7pm-ESPN2
Just like Siena, Old Dominion needs a key win to boost their bubble resume. They will have that opportunity against a very good Northern Iowa team that is ranked in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Northern Iowa will be without 7 footer Jordan Eglseder who is suspended. But they still are tough up front with forward Adam Koch who happens to be the Panthers leading scorer. Old Dominion will need a big game from their star Gerald Lee if they are going to get this big win on the road.

Wichita St. @ Utah St.-Saturday-11:59pm-ESPN2
If you love and I mean love college basketball then you will want to stay up to watch this one. Utah St. is one of the hottest teams in the nation having won 11 straight. Their RPI is now at 36. So if they keep winning and win their conference tournament the Aggies could be looking at an 8 or 9 seed in the tournament. Wichita St. plays in the Missouri Valley along with Northern Iowa. So it will be very hard for the Shockers to win their conference tournament. Therefore a win here would be huge. Wichita St. has a low RPI of 53 and have not won a true road game this year so it would shock me if the Shockers pull off this upset in Utah.

Other Major Games:
Kentucky @ Vandy-Saturday-6pm-ESPN
Kentucky won big at home when they faced the Commodores earlier in the year. However Vandy is 12-0 at home and has played very well since losing to Georgia 2 weeks ago. They blew out Tennessee at home and beat Ole Miss on the road. The key to this game will be which A.J. Ogilvy shows up. The one who dropped 27 at Ole Miss or the one who played scared against DeMarcus Cousins and Kentucky earlier in the year. Vandy will have their hands full with Kentucky's guards but don't count out the Commodores at home.

Ohio St. @ Michigan St.-Sunday-Noon
This will be a star showcase. Ohio St. has the best player in the Big Ten and maybe the nation in Evan Turner. Michigan St. has last years Big Ten player of the year in Kalin Lucas. Both teams are still in the hunt for the Big Ten title. Ohio St. will try to rebound from a loss at home against Purdue. Michigan St. is a tough place to play so Turner and the Buckeyes will have to be on their A game to have a shot in this one.

Villanova @ Pittsburgh-Sunday-Noon-CBS
Pittsburgh has won 4 in a row including a triple OT game against West Virginia. Villanova is coming off a home loss against UConn. Villanova still has a great record at 22-3 and is ranked #3 in the nation. But the Wildcats will need to finish strong if they hope to get a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Pittsburgh was supposed to be down this year but don't tell that to coach Jamie Dixon and the Panthers. Both teams have incredible guard play and depth so this should be a very even match up.

Virginia Tech @ Duke-Sunday-7:45pm-FSN
Virginia Tech is 21-4, Duke is 22-4. Both have won 5 in a row. On paper this should be a pretty even game. But this game is not played on paper. It will be played at Cameron Indoor Stadium which is the toughest place to play in college basketball. If Virginia Tech were to upset the Blue Devils in Cameron they would pretty much be a lock for the NCAA tournament.

Mega Bubble Games:
Florida @ Ole Miss-Saturday-Noon-CBS
Both teams need this win in a major way. Ole Miss has lost 4 of 5 and are 5-6 in SEC play after starting the season 12-2. Florida blew their chance to get a key non-conference win with a loss at home to Xavier. Now the Gators might need a win at Ole Miss to keep their tourney chances alive. For both teams their strength is their guard play. Florida has a slight advantage up front but Ole Miss might have the best player on the court in Chris Warren who happens to be a native Floridian.

Xavier @ Charlotte-Saturday-2pm
Talk about two teams headed in different directions. Xavier has won 6 of 7 while Charlotte has lost 2 straight. They got demolished at Dayton by 28 then lost at home to a barely .500 Duquesne team. After this game Charlotte has GWU, Fordham, Rhode Island and Richmond. If they lose more than one game in that stretch then their bubble is popped

Marquette @ Cincinnati-Sunday-2pm-E360
Marquette is red hot winning 5 of 6. Teh Golden Eagles are 16-9 and have a RPI of 62. Cincinnati has a higher RPI at 50, but their record is only 15-10 and they have a brutal stretch to finish their season. The Bearcats finish at West Virginia, host Villanova and travel to Georgetown. So a loss here at home to Marquette would be a huge blow to the Bearcats hopes of making the big dance.

Other Good Games:
Baylor @ OK St.-Saturday-1:30pm-E360
Baylor is red hot, but OK St. needs this win more.
Texas @ Texas Tech-Saturday-2pm-ESPN
Both teams are struggling, so a win here could go a long ways.
Georgia Tech @ Maryland-Saturday-2pm-E360
Two teams battling for the #2 spot in the ACC after Duke.

UTEP @ Tulsa-Saturday-4pm
UAB has a higher RPI and Memphis used to own the league, but right now UTEP is the team to beat in Conference USA.
Illinois @ Purdue-Saturday-4pm-ESPN
A great chance to see if Illinois is for real. Purdue is red hot and eying a #1 seed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NBA Power Rankings-(2/10/10)

1. LAL(40-13)-I know the Cavs have the better record, but the Lakers are still the champs until proven otherwise. Plus it looks like Kobe is coming back sooner than later.

2. CLV (42-11)-12 straight wins and are unbeatable at home.

3. DEN (35-17)-After Chauncey destroyed the Lakers on Friday night, a let down at Utah was only natural. They followed that by destroying Dallas by 36 Tuesday night.

4. Utah (32-18)-Have now won 9 in a row including two wins over Portland and a win over Denver.

5. ORL (35-17)-When the Magic are shooting well, they are almost unstoppable.

6. ATL (33-17)-It looks like the Hawks and the Magic will battle for the Southeast division title until the last week of the season.

7. OKC (30-21)-If they were in the Southwest they would win the division. If Kobe,LeBron, and Melo weren't in the NBA Kevin Durant would be the MVP.

8. POR (30-24)-Despite the injuries they are still in the hunt for the Northwest division title.

9. PHO (30-21)-Nash and Amare will be the only two teammates starting in the All-star game. The question is will they still be teammates after the trade deadline?

10. TOR (28-23)-Clearly the 5th best team in the East, Chris Bosh deserves some MVP votes.

11. BOS (32-17)-Their collapse against the Magic on Sunday shows how poorly they've played against the good teams in the NBA.

12. DAL (32-20)-Looked absolutely pitiful against the Nuggets on Tuesday night. Dirk is the man, but the supporting cast needs to step up.

13. SA (29-21)-Expect another 1st round series loss in San Antonio this year.

14. HOU (27-24)-Good record but I'm not 100% sold yet. They get a week to prepare for the red hot Jazz next Tuesday.

15. CHI (25-25)-Rose, Noah, and Deng are a good trio but will they add another piece before the trade deadline?

16. CHAR (25-25)-If Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson aren't the best wing duo in the league, they certainly are the most athletic and toughest.

17. MEM (26-25)-Have lost 4 straight games after a great win against the Lakers.

18. MIL (23-27)-With Miami struggling, the time is now for Milwaukee to step up.

19. NO (27-25)-The Chris Paul injury is starting to settle in as the Hornets are 1-4 this month.

20. MIA (25-27)-Finally snapped a 5 game losing streak on Tuesday night. Lack of a presence down low is hurting.

21. PHL (20-31)-Amare rumors won't go away. It would be interesting to see how Amare and Allen Iverson would gel together.

22. NY (19-32)-First David Lee gets an All-star snub. Then LeBron beats the Knicks by himself on Saturday. Maybe Nate Robinson will win the dunk contest to give Knicks fans something positive to think about.

23. LAC (21-30)-The coach lost control of the team. The team stinks regardless of who's coaching.

24. IND (18-34)-Danny Granger is good. The Pacers are not.

25. DET (18-32)-Imagine if they drafted Carmelo Anthony in 2003. I think they would be defending at least their 3rd title this year.

26. SAC (17-34)-Tyreke Evans is still my ROY, but the Kings playoff hopes have faded into the sunset.

27. WAS (17-33)-First they play terrible, then the Gilbert Arenas gun charge, and now the snowstorm. DC just can't get a break.

28. MIN (13-39)-On the bright side they have won 4 of 5 including a win at Dallas on Saturday.

29. GS (13-37)-Monta Ellis scores a ton of points almost every game, but the result is still usually a loss for the Warriors.

30. NJ (4-47)-On pace to be one of the worst teams in NBA history!!! I'm sorry but 4-47 deserves 3 exclamation points.

Monday, February 8, 2010

NCAA-Power Rankings

1. Kansas (23-1)-Stars, depth, and coaching. The Jayhawks have no glaring weaknesses.

2. Kentucky (23-1)-All of a sudden DeMarcus Cousins (not John Wall) is looking like the top Freshman in the country and the #1 pick in the NBA draft.

3. Syracuse (24-1)-The Orange play at Georgetown next Thursday. They better not overlook Louisville on Saturday though.

4. Villanova (20-2)-Rebounded nicely from a loss to Georgetown with a good win against West Virginia.

5. Purdue (20-3)-The Boilermakers have a 6 game winning streak after a 3 game mid-season skid. E'Twaun Moore is proving he might be the best guard in the Big Ten.

6. West Virginia (19-4)-After a loss against Villanova it doesn't get any easier as the Mountaineers go on the road to race rival Pittsburgh on Friday night.

7. Georgetown (18-5)-Two blowout home wins over top 10 teams Villanova and Duke in between was a let down loss against USF. When Georgetown plays their best game they a virtually unbeatable.

8. Duke (20-4)-They are without a doubt a step ahead of any team in the ACC. However that doesn't guarantee them any success in March.

9. Kansas St. (19-4)-With Texas' recent struggles the Wildcats are easily the 2nd best team in the Big 12.

10. Ohio St. (19-6)-Evan Turner (19.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 5.7 apg) is my choice for national player of the year. He is the most versatile player in the country and the Buckeyes are going to need him to step up big as their next 3 games are against Illinois, Purdue, and Michigan St.

11. Gonzaga (19-4)-They had a good win on the road against Memphis on Saturday. If they beat St. Mary's tonight at home. There is no reason the Bulldogs wouldn't win out and finish 26-4.

12. New Mexico (22-3)-The most underrated team in the nation. The Lobos have won 8 straight including wins over BYU and UNLV. Coach Steve Alford's team has beaten 5 ranked teams this season

13. BYU (22-3)-The race for the Mountain West title should be decided on February 27th when BYU hosts New Mexico.

14. Vandy (18-5)-The Commodores rebounded nicely from a loss at Georgia with a blowout win against Tennessee. LSU on Saturday should be an easy win. But next week is brutal as they travel to Ole Miss then host Kentucky.

15. Wisconsin (18-6)-Good defense and toughness wins in the Big Ten. Another classic Bo Ryan team that can do some damage in March.

16. Michigan St. (19-6)-You can't blame all 3 losses on Kalin Lucas' injury. Even Ohio St. went 3-3 without their star Evan Turner. The Spartans will host Turner and the Buckeyes on February 20th.

17. Tennessee (18-5)-We will see if they are for real or not this weekend when they travel to Rupp to play Kentucky. I'm not saying they will win. But if they get blown out like they did against Vandy then the Vols would prove to be nothing more than a flash in the pan this season.

18. Texas (19-5)-Speaking of a flash in the pan, it seems like a very long time ago when Texas was the #1 team in the nation. Since then, they've been 2-5 with 2 home losses.

19. No. Iowa (22-2)-We know the Panthers will be in the dance. But what seed should they get? Lunardi has them as a 6,'s Jerry Palm has them as an 8,

20. Butler (20-4)-Four more wins and they run the table in the Horizon League. I can't wait for the Bracketbuster showdown against Siena. The winner could be looking at a NCAA Tournament seed as high as a #5.

21. Temple (19-5)-Big A-10 showdown at home for the Owls against Rhode Island on Saturday.

22. Texas A&M (17-6)-The Aggies have won 5 of last 6. However they are still only 1-3 on the road in Big 12 play. It's a good thing they host #1 Kansas on Monday. They travel to Texas Tech on Saturday. Can you say trap game.

23. Cornell (20-3)-You don't have to be an Ivy League grad to realize the Big Red will mathematically clinch the Ivy League title (and an automatic bid) sooner than later.

24. Pittsburgh (18-6)-The Big East is once again the toughest conference in college basketball and Pittsburgh has more than held its own in the division.

25. Richmond (18-6)-They have consecutive wins over Temple (by 17 at home), then at Rhode Island on Wednesday night. The Spiders have now won 5 straight and 7 of 8 plus they are 4-2 against the RPI top 50. They've got me convinced they belong in the top 25.

Just Outside:

Baylor (18-5)

UNLV (19-5)

Ole Miss (17-6)

Wake Forest (17-5)

Maryland (16-6)

Rhode Island (19-4)

Virginia Tech (19-4)

Siena (21-4)

St. Mary's (20-3)

Georgia Tech (17-7)

3 Teams Struggling:

UConn (14-10)-RPI-51, lost 4 of 5. Will benefit a lot from having coach Jim Calhoun back.

Mississippi St. (16-7)-RPI-72, lost 4 of 5. Must win tonight against rival Ole Miss.

UNC (13-11)-RPI-82, lost 7 of 8, are 2-7 in the ACC and arch rivals Duke ended what little hope the defending champs had at getting an at-large. This team still has talent, so watch out in the ACC tournament.

3 Teams Surging:

Illinois (17-8)-RPI-67, have won 5 straight including consecutive wins this week vs. Michigan St. and at Wisconsin.

Dayton (17-6)-RPI-32, after losing 3 of 4, the Flyers have won 3 in a row including a wins over Xavier and a 28 point throttling over Charlotte Wednesday night. However both games were at home. They need to prove they can win on the road. They still have to travel to Temple and Richmond in the coming weeks.

Arkansas (13-11)-RPI-114, they've won 5 straight following a 31 point loss at Kentucky. Their RPI is way too low to get in as an at-large. They are 6-4 since star guard Courtney Forston came back from an injury. If they were to go 6-1 the rest of the way, which would give them a record of 19-12 overall and 12-4 in the SEC the selection committee would have to consider them for an at-large.

Biggest games coming up:

Thursday February 11:
St. Mary's @ Gonzaga: 11pm-ESPN
Ole Miss @ Mississippi St.: 9pm-ESPN
Washington @ California: 9pm-ESPN2
Friday February 12:
West Virginia @ Pittsburgh: Friday-Feb. 12-9pm-ESPN
Saturday February 13;
Tennessee @ Kentucky: 9pm-ESPN
Maryland @ Duke: 1pm-CBS
Rhode Island @ Temple: 4pm
Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest: 8pm E360-ACC Network Syndication
Mizzou @ Baylor: 1:45pm-E360
Texas A&M @ Texas Tech: 5pm-ESPN2
Xavier @ Florida: 6pm-ESPN
Virginia @ Virginia Tech: 8pm E360-ACC Network Syndication
USF @ Marquette: 8:30pm-E360
UNLV @ San Diego St.: 4pm
Sunday February 14:
Ohio St @ Illinois: 1pm-CBS
Louisville @ Syracuse: 1pm-ESPN
Monday February 15:
Kansas @ Texas A&M: 9pm-ESPN
UConn @ Villanova: 7pm-ESPN
Tuesday February 16:
Wake Forest @ Virginia Tech: 7pm-ESPN2
Kentucky @ Mississippi St.: 9pm-ESPN
Texas Tech @ Baylor: 8pm-E360
Cincinnati @ USF: 7pm-ESPNU
Wednesday February 17:
Purdue @ Ohio St.: 6:30-Regional TV Coverage (should be on ESPN)
Texas @ Mizzou: 9pm-ESPN2
FSU @ Virginia: 7pm-ESPNU
Notre Dame @ Louisville: 7pm-ESPN2
South Carolina @ Arkansas: 9pm-E360 (Courtney Forston vs. Devan Downey)
Thursday February 18:
Syracuse @ Georgetown: 7pm-ESPN2
Vandy @ Ole Miss: 7pm-ESPNU

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

NCAA: Team Tiers

(4) The Big 4-All have only one loss.-Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova, Kentucky

(7) Next Level Contenders-West Virginia, Purdue, Georgetown, Kansas St., Texas, Michigan St., Duke

(6) Underrated/Under The Radar-BYU, Ohio St., New Mexico, Temple, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech

(3) Who's #2 In The SEC?-Tennessee (16-4, 4-2), Vandy (16-4, 5-1), Ole Miss (16-5, 4-2)

(6) Ranked/High RPI Mid Majors-Gonzaga (#13-coaches), Butler (#15-coaches), No. Iowa (#22-coaches), Cornell (#25-coaches), Rhode Island (RPI-11), Xavier (RPI-22)

(6) The Jury Is Still Out-

Pittsburgh (lost 3 of 4 after beating Syracuse, Cincinnati and UConn all on the road)

Wake Forest (great wins @Gonzaga, Richmond and Xavier, but have been blown out on the road by 20 to Duke and by 19 to Georgia Tech)

Clemson (lost 3 of 4 and have a RPI-36)

UAB (good record, 18-3 and good RPI-27, but need to win at Memphis this week to prove they are the best team in C-USA)

FSU (solid RPI-29, plus they swept Georgia Tech but still have some work to do)

UNLV (16-4, RPI-41, I like them, but they really need to beat BYU at home on Saturday)

(4) Very Good 2nd Tier Big 12 Teams-Baylor, OK St., Texas A&M, Mizzou

(3) The Atlantic 10 Bubble List-Richmond (16-6, RPI-35), Dayton (15-6, RPI-38), Charlotte (16-5, RPI-43)

(4) Good on the Computer, Not So Good In Real Life-

California (RPI-24, 14-7 with 3 losses in the sorry PAC 10)

St. Mary's (RPI-33, 18-3 but lacks a win over any really good team0

Texas Tech (RPI-39, 14-7 and 2-5 in the Big 12)

San Diego St. (RPI-42, 13-6 but 2-5 vs. RPI top 100 teams)

(5) How the mighty have fallen (All of these teams were #1 or #2 seeds last year)-
Louisville, UConn, UNC, Memphis, Oklahoma

(7) Inconsistent Major Conference Bubble Teams-Maryland, Florida, Northwestern, Minnesota, S. Carolina, Mississippi St., Illinois

(7) They better win their conference tournament to feel safe-Siena, Wichita St., Utah St., Tulsa, UTEP, Nevada, Kent

(6) Deep Big East Bubble-Cincinnati, USF, Seton Hall, Marquette, Notre Dame, St. John's

(4) Is the Colonial a one-bid league, or do they get 2?-Old Dominion, William & Mary, Northeastern, VCU

(3) Deep Deep ACC Bubble-Virginia Tech, Miami, Virginia

(5) The PAC 10 is terrible (chances are only one or none of these teams ends up making the dance)-
Arizona, Washington, Arizona St., Washington St., USC
NOTE: The 2 Arizona schools play at the 2 Washington schools this week.

There you have it 80 teams who have some shot of making the tournament as an at-large. We've got 5 more weeks of the regular season in most conferences so that means about 10 more games for each team. A LOT can happen in that period of time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

One Former Gator Makes All-Star Team, Two Fomer Gators Don't

Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks made the All Star team for the Eastern Conference, however his selection may have come at the expense of two former Gators.

Pictures-(Left)-David Lee wondering how he didn't make the all-star team. (Right)-Al Horford and Joakim Noah celebrating there National Title, however Horford is the only one celebrating an all-star game selection.

Al Horford made the team over former Gator Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls and former Gator David Lee of the New York Knicks. Noah and Horford of course helped lead Florida to back-to-back National Titles in 2006 and 2007. Lee played at Florida from 2001-2005.

Both Lee and Noah have better numbers than Horford. Lee is averaging 19.6ppg and 11.6rpg. Noah is having a breakout season with 11.3ppg and 12.1rpg (last year he averaged 6.7ppg and 7.5rpg). Noah is second in the league in rebounding while Lee is fourth.

Horford is getting 13.6ppg and 9.8rpg.

However, Horford is a key player on a contender. His Atlanta Hawks are 29-15 and are tied for the lead in the Southeast Division. Noah's Bulls are 22-22, while Lee's Knicks are 18-27.

This is the main reason why Horford will be playing in the All-Star game in Dallas on February 14th, while Lee and Noah will be spending Valentine's Day at home.