Big South - Sub Categories
Its nice to see college athletics programs limiting games played during finals period.. its the only time of the year there's even a fake veil of caring about academics. Not all teams had the day off though..
Hofstra barely escaped with a 67-64 win over lowly Saint Francis (NY). Hofstra's bounced back from a dismal 0-3 start.. but mainly because they've now played 6 bad teams in a row. Wins over Alsaka Anchorage and 0-11 SFNY don't necessarily point to a big Hofstra turnaround as much as a big drop in quality of opponent. Things pick up again for the Pride as they now go on the road to face Syracuse, Saint Joseph's, and UNCW in the next couple of weeks.
Not much going on in college basketball until next Saturday thanks to finals. There were some games of note on Monday.. but mostly I can take today's Dribble to discuss whatever nonsense I please.
The Games. New Top 25 member Oregon improved to 8-0 by blowing out Bethune- Cookman by 28. The big margin gave little used freshman Joevan (a potential All-first name pick) Catron a chance to shine. Catron, who had scored 9 points all season, poured in 15 on 6 of 6 shooting.
New Mexico State's won 5 in a row after a bad 1-3 start. The Aggies were supposed to be an NCAA Tournament contender, but they've still yet to win a game on the road. Senior Elijah Ingram has been hampered with achilles issues all year and has been coming off the bench. The point guard only played 11 minutes in Monday's easy win over UAPB. Transfer Fred Peete, who was supposed to be a major scoring force, has only been mediocre. Peete averaged 13 per game two years ago with Kansas State, but is only averaging 10 so far on a weak 38% from the floor. To make things worse, the shooting guard is just 15 of 27 from the line.
6-3 Winthrop gave it another good run against a ranked team.. falling in overtime to Wiscosnin. The Eagles pose an interesting problem for how we look at mid-major teams. For example, well-played, close losses at UNC, Maryland, and Wisconsin are impressive and have to count for something. But on the flip side, Winthrop's best win so far is at Mississippi State. We had Winthrop in our CHN Top 50 Ranking.. and I still believe they are a top 50 team.. but there gets to the point that they have to win a big game to warrant the ranking. If Purdue for example lost to those three teams and had only beaten Mississippi State and some nobodies, then it would seem perfectly normal not to put them in the Top 50. The difference though when comparing a Purdue and a Winthrop is that a Winthrop will never have the chance to play the likes of a UNC, Wisconsin, and Maryland on their home floor. Winthrop plays a 5th BCS team this year, Texas A&M, but also on the road. I'd say its an assumption that if a team goes on the road and takes a team to OT, that they would be the favored team at home. Unfortuntely, we may never know.
Radford senior forward Chris Oliver has been selected as the Big South Conference Player of the Week while Liberty guard B.J. Jenkins won Freshman of the Week honors.
A lot of talk on CHN's message board this week about who would win the Josh Heytvelt-Tyler Hansbrough battle on Thanksgiving eve. In the end, it was Heytvelt's 19 and 8 boards which accounted for the difference in Gonzaga's big win over #2 ranked North Carolina. For Hansbrough, his 7 points was the 2nd lowest ouput of his career, and the first time he's scored under double digits since last December 3rd. By my count, this is 27 games in a row.. and in fact Hansbrough never had less than 13 in any of those 27. More important than Hansbrough's struggles (you know he'll start another impressive streak) is Gonzaga's statement to the basketball world that they still matter. All the talk of the young guns in Carolina, Duke, and other places.. but the Zags are basically a sophomore and freshman dominated team outside of Raivio.
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- Bracketology: Saturday Night NCAA Tournament Projection
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- College Basketball Top 50: Indiana Ends Regular Season #1
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- College Basketball Top 50: Maryland and Iowa St Drop Out
- Non-BCS Top 25: Davidson In, Wyoming Out
- College Basketball Top 50: #2 Gonzaga Hits All-Time High
- Non-BCS Top 25: Air Force, Davidson Making Moves
- College Basketball Top 50: Another Week, Another #1