Here’s a quick preview of the ESPNU O’Reilly Bracket Busters games this weekend that will not be shown on television involving northeast teams. In most cases, the organizers of this event have done a better job of limiting the travel for non-television games, with the exception of UC Davis visiting Loyola (MD) among games involving northeast leagues. Bracket Busters, originally put together to provide schools in non-BCS leagues one last opportunity to add to their resume, now involves some 100 schools from sixteen conferences.
Niagara @ Appalachian State (Saturday, 1 PM)
Am I the only person watching the Drexel/Creighton game tonight that was confused about the emphasis on "bench decorum"? Each head coach, Bruiser Flint of Drexel and Dana Altman of Creighton, was T'd up in this BracketBusters game that the visiting Dragons eventually won 64-58. Altman's technical, in which he was called for being about six inches outside of the coaches box, brought back memories of Dean Smith getting a T for the same offense in the 1991 Final Four. Coach Altman said nothing to the official to warrant this call, just happened to do something that coaches throughout the nation have been doing for years. Drexel went on a run after this, and things seemed to be going well for the Dragons until Coach Flint found himself on the wrong side of the whistle when yelling at his player for a foolish reach-in foul. Jumping into the air and yelling at his guy wouldn't have been a problem (nor should it be) had an official not been right next ot Flint. Luckily for Drexel, they were able to hold on despite some horrific foul shooting (at one point they had missed five straight from the charity stripe).
Thoughts, thoughts, and more thoughts..
- Most people find this hard to believe.. but I don't really read ESPN.com's basketball coverage (or any other site's for that matter). Honestly, I rarely pay attention to what goes on over there unless a reader or a message board poster highlights something. Apparently they set up a Mock Selection Committee, which I only heard about after reading an email from a reader by the name of Travis Klein. Looks like a cute endeavor on ESPN's part.. but what's really the point of this? To highlight what we already know about the process.. that's its completely subjective, arbitrary, and biased? If that's the point, then I guess they succeeded. What's really odd about the whole thing is how it took into account some ridiculous occurrences like Memphis losing the CUSA and Evansville winning the MVC? Did they just roll a dice or throw darts? And why did only Mid-Major powers lose in their mock up (Butler, Memphis, SIU/Creighton) all fell? Hell, lets make believe Rutgers wins the Big East tournament! I guess even this "shake-up" biased towards the power-conferences.. apparently only mediocre mid-majors win their conference tournaments.. but mediocre power conferences teams (ie, Syracuse last year..) never make such runs.
Saturday signaled the beginning of the Christmas break for college basketball, with everyone pretty much taking off the following three days for time with family and friends. One result from Saturday that surprised me was Kansas 84, Boston College 66. The result wasn't a surprise, but the margin was, as the Jayhawks took over from the start. But the biggest loss for the Eagles may have been the services of star forward Jared Dudley, who aggravated a lingering left foot injury in the loss. Dudley may sit out BC's next two games, Duquesne and Northeastern, in order to regain his health in time for then ACC schedule. Add this injury to those of John Oates and Akida McLain, and you have a frontcourt that's paper-thin behind Sean Williams and Shomari Spears. Also, the injury bug puts even more emphasis what I think is the key to the Eagles' success this season: the shot selection of guard Tyrese Rice.