Daily Dribble: 2//22
Ohio State's won 12 in a row, but are they really getting better? I envisioned them not only being a grind-it-out, half-court team that beats you 65 to 55.. but also a team that if they were hot offensively would beat you 85 to 55. Oden's quietly putting up 16, 10, and almost 4 blocks per game.. but no one's been exceptional on offense. Luckily no team in the Big Ten can really score the ball this year, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against good teams that push the tempo in March.
Oklahoma State's tumble continues (5 of 6 losses).. getting rocked at home by Texas A&M last night. Its too early to say the Cowboys are done, because they have winnable games left (at Texas Tech, vs Kansas State, at Baylor, at Nebraska).. but they need to get a move on. If they win those 4 and end up 23-8 and 9-7 in the Big 12.. they'll be in the Dance.
Kansas State is 19-9 and 8-5 in the Big 12.. Cincinnati is 10-17 and 1-12. Yes, Cincy lost a lot of talent, but Huggins probably would be worth an extra 3-4 teams to them.
Bad loss by Virginia last night, falling to Miami. Despite falling a game behind UNC in the ACC, the Cavaliers actually still have a decent shot at the conference title. They have remaining games at home vs GT, VT, and then on the road at wake. UNC on the other hand has a much harder schedule with games at GT, Maryland, and then back home against Duke.
VT (tied with Virginia currently) also has a serious shot at winning the ACC, with winnable home games against Clemson and Miami left, wrapped around the huge road game at Virginia.
Mississippi State moved into a tie with Ole Miss in the SEC West by beating Vandy last night. The Bulldogs moved into the Top 70 of the RPI last week.. and then bumped up all the way to 60 with last night's win. Since a heartbreaking loss to Alabama on Feb 7th, the Bulldogs have won 4 straight to make a late tournament push. Jamont Gordon had the 2nd triple-double in school history in the win, going off for 15, 12 and 10. Not bad for the 67th ranked player on CHN's Top 100 player ranking.
As an aside, how was Alabama still ranked in the Coaches Poll going into last night. This is a team whose best win is over Kentucky at home.. and otherwise has beaten a bunch of nobodies.
Purdue's tourney hopes took a huge blow last night, losing by 19 at Iowa. The Boilers have some good non-conference wins, but no one will be impressed by a team that has one lone conference road win at Penn State. Purdue is now 6-7 overall in the Big Ten, tied with similarly mediocre Michigan. The Wolverines lost at Illinois last night.. and like Purdue have one lone Big Ten road win (at Northwestern).
Some big games in the Pac-10 tonight.. particularly Stanford at USC (both teams are tied in 3rd at 9-5) and Washington State at Oregon. For some unknown reason, Oregon is still ranked despite having lost 5 of 6 games, and 7 of 9. One of the two recent wins was at Washington State, so you figure they'd be in line to win tonight. But since that game, Washington State has won 6 straight and is arguably playing their best basketball.
Too bad Rice at Memphis is one of the two games on ESPN tonight. The only interesting thing about this game is whether Memphis will win by a greater differential than the amount of points Morris Almond scores.
Besides the Pac-10 games and Duke at Clemson, there's one other game I would really like to see tonight: 20-7 Utah State at 20-6 New Mexico State for 2nd in the WAC.
- The tournament is getting closer and closer.. which is exciting, but also quite overwhelming for someone who runs a college basketball site..