Daily Dribble: 12/31

December 31st, 2006

Just about every conference had one team in action yesterday.. so I thought for a change that I'd run down the results conference by conference.. a little bit of fun for everyone.

America East.. Last year's tournament representative, Albany, had their 5-game winning streak snapped at Utah Valley State (discussed in yesterday's independents review). The Great Danes head into conference play with a 7-5 record, presumably the favorites along with 8-5 Vermont.

Atlantic 10.. Saint Louis picked up their 8th win in 9 home games, beating Ole Miss (the Billikens first win over a BCS team in almost 3 years.. Kansas State in January of 2004). The Bills face a poor Saint Bonaventure squad to start conference play, where they should improve to 11-3.

ACC.. A pair of teams lost to non-conference foes.. Miami at home to Nebraska and Virginia Tech at Marshall. The Hokies loss snapped a 5-game winning streak, but this team has stuggled mightily away from home. They have road/ neutral losses against mediocre teams like WMU and Marshall (who is just 4-8).

A-Sun.. ETSU almost shocked Tennessee, falling 93-88 in a well fought game. Freshman guard Dequan Tilley had a career game with 17 points and 8 assists, but Chris Lofton's 28 points were too good for the Vols. ETSU (8-5) next faces conference favorite Belmont (8-5) on Tuesday.

Big 12.. Baylor was almost shocked by 3-9 Delaware State of the MEAC. Aaron Bruce tied a season high with 20 points on a very efficient 6-6 from the floor including 4-4 from three. With 9 wins, Baylor already more than doubled last season's win total of 4.

Big East.. UCONN went on the road for the first time all season.. and lost. No surprise there as the #9 Huskies had no business being in the Top 10 to begin with. West Virginia, dealing with as many offseason losses as any team in the country, has to be considered a major surprise at 11-1 with just the lone loss against Arkansas.. Seton Hall and Cincinnati dropped non-conference games to BYU and Ohio respectively. The Hall ended up 1-2 at BYU's Holiday Classic, losing to the host team and Oral Roberts. Cincy drops to 9-4 after getting dominated on the interior by Leon Williams. Williams has been a beast for Ohio in the past week.. going for 18 and 10, 19 and 15, and 20 and 12 in three wins.. Georgetown (10-3) picked up a much needed name victory at Michigan. The Hoyas have won 6 straight to move back into Top 30-40ish consideration.

Big Sky.. Portland State, coming off a weak 12-win season, already has 10 wins after beating Montana State. The Vikings were led by 17 and 10 from junior big man Scott Morrison. At 13 and 7 boards per game, Morrison is one of the most productive Canadian players in the NCAA.

Big South.. VMI (6-9) put up 111 points against Penn State.. but the Nittany Lions scored a program record 129 in the win. In fact, the Lions also set highs in assists and boards for a single game. If I played fantasy college basketball, I'd simply activate every player that's facing VMI on a given night. Not a good night for the Big South, as the league went 0-5 and only Radford came even close to winning (losing by 3 against IUPUI).

Big Ten.. As noted earlier, Michigan fell to 12-3 losing at home against Georgetown. The Wolverines nice record is basically a joke as their premier win is at home against Davidson.. Big Ten conference play starts this week, and Michigan hosts Illinois. Home wins against solid but not great conference teams like Illinois are a must if Michigan has any chance of making the tourney.. Goran Suton exploded for a career high 27 points, as Michigan State won their 7th straight against Loyola (MD). The last six of those wins have come without talented freshman Raymar Morgan, arguably the Spartans 2nd or 3rd best player. Morgan is still a week or so away from returning.

Big West.. UCSB improved to 10-3, winning their first big conference test against 10-3 Fullerton. The Gauchos held Fullerton star Bobby Brown to his worst game of the season, 10 points on just 4-17 shooting. Stuggling Pacific improved to 4-9 by beating CS Northridge. The Tigers, the premier Big West team for the past handful of seasons, had lost 8 of 9 before the win.

CAA.. 9-3 VCU lost a home game to a surging Appalachian State squad. The Commodores got 27 points from inconsistent guard Eric Maynor, but couldn't defend the 11-3 Mountaineers. Appalachian St's probably the hottest unranked team in the country.. having beaten Virginia, VCU, Vandy, and UCF away from home.. George Mason (6-5) won their best game since last year's tournament run, beating 9-3 Mississippi State at home. Will Thomas led all scorers with 22.

That's all for today.. I'll move on to the next 11 conferences next Saturday.

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