Daily Dribble: 2/8
If you want Duke/UNC talk.. go elsewhere.. this is a Tobacco free Dribble.
- The Pac-10's learned the key to getting more national recognition. Have your 2nd tier teams play joke non-conference schedules to build up the wins. Oregon's Non-Conference SOS: 254. Washington State's: 297. Southern California: 187. Out of the Top 50 RPI teams in the country, there's only 2 as bad or worse than those 3 Pac-10 schools. Clemson played the 204th best schedule, and Kansas State played the 198th.
- After starting 3-0 in conference play, Clemson looked like they weren't going to repeat last year's horrible collapse once the ACC schedule started. But then the Tigers lost 6 of 7 to drop below .500 in the ACC. A home win over FSU bounced them back to .500, and now they have winnable games at Wake and vs Maryland which should push them to a solid 7-5.
- Georgetown won its sixth straight at Louisville in impressive fashion. Jeff Green isn't really known for his scoring totals, but the junior forward has been a bit more assertive in recent weeks. Over the last 4 games, he's averaging 19 ppg on 60% shooting. Louisville meanwhile drops to 6-4 in Big East play. They have a lock win over South Florida next, but then a killer road trip to Pitt and Marquette. Considering the Cardinals havent beaten anybody on the road, they will mostly likely be 7-7 after that trip. This is a team that hasn't beaten anyone all year and .500 in the Big East wont cut it.
- Akron's quietly 18-4 and 9-1 in MAC play. The Zips have actually received a few AP Top 25 votes in each of the last few weeks. The problem is that the MAC is the country's most mediocre league (15th in the RPI) and the Zips played the 305th best non-conference schedule. Whoever put them in the Top 25 shouldn't be allowed to vote again..
- Don't count Old Dominion out of the CAA race. The Monarchs won at Georgia State last night and are now 11-3 in league play. They've won 6 straight, but more impressively.. 4 of those wins were on the road. Up next are two huge games against Hofstra and VCU (the two teams ahead of them in the standings). The games are at home, so they definitely have a good shot at winning both.
- Like ODU, Florida also has a 4-game conference road winning streak. If the Gators beat Kentucky this Saturday in Lexington, they should just cancel the rest of the schedule and give the Gators the title.
- Ramel Bradley might be UK's best hope against Florida. The junior guard had 24 points and 9 assists in last night's win over South Carolina. Over the past three games, he's averaging 22 points and 6 assists.
- Its been a forgone conclusion that Butler would win the Horizon League.. but Wright State is giving the Bulldogs a serious challenge. WSU beat UIC in overtime Wednesday night to improve to 11-2. Next up is Butler who head to Dayton to face the streaking Raiders. Butler's still a big favorite in that game.. but if somehow WSU could win, the two would then be tied in first.
- For awhile it seemed like Michigan State was a lock to make the Big Dance.. but the Spartans have now lost 4 straight. The Spartans were held to just 38 little points against Purdue last night. MSU is now just 8th in the Big Ten at 4-6.. and its not like the Big Ten is a dominant league right now. The Spartans now have a rare 4-game homestand coming up.. so they need to turn things around in a hurry.
- After 20 minutes against Evansville, it looked like Creighton was going to fall out of a first place tie with SIU atop the MVC. But despite being down 48-34, the Bluejays came back at home for the win. Now the Jays head to SIU for a big weekend game.. though the smart money is on SIU being alone in first place after that game.
- Does Oklahoma have a shot at the NCAA Tournament? The Sooners upset #17 Oklahoma State last.. and are now 5-4 in Big 12 play (ahead of OSU and Texas Tech.) With games against Texas, A&M, and Kansas left.. I wouldn't expect much of a late season surge.
- Thanks for Dribbling -