The Report Card
A new series, the Daily Report Card tells you all you need to know about the day in college hoops. From good to bad and bad to worse, I'll be laying down the law.
A - Maryland
The Terps have been hideous at times this season, and I've mocked them repeatedly during that time. But beating the #1 team on their home court is a big deal so Maryland deserves the spotlight for today. Quietly, Gary Williams' squad has actually won 6 of 7 games. And barring a late collapse in Blacksburg that led to a 1-point defeat to Virginia Tech, they could easily have won 7 in a row. As it is, they sit at 12-7 overall, and at least somewhat alive for a Tournament bid. I hate to say that considering how bad they've been, but lets be honest, the committee loves any ACC team that finishes above .500 in league play.
B - Baylor
Giving a B to the Baylor Bears is fitting, so I went with it. At 15-2, 3-0 in Big 12 play, the Bears are getting absolutely no respect. Their lone losses are to Final Four contender Washington State and an admittedly poor effort against Arkansas. And yes, I know that Baylor has yet to face frontrunners like Kansas or Texas in league play. But considering the usual bias the media has towards power conference teams, its odd no one has jumped on their bandwagon.
C - Texas
At one point earlier in the season, the Longhorns were the darlings of the country having beaten two Top 10 teams in UCLA and Tennessee. But after a loss to Mizzou dropped them to 13-3, you figure they'd have been fired up to take on Colorado at home. Not so, Texas was down 37-28 to the lowly Buffs in the first half. Even though they came back to win thanks to Abrams and Augustin, such results won't get it done. The Big 12 might not be the best conference out there, but its no cakewalk and you have to bring 100% effort every night.
D - Syracuse
13-6 isn't the worst thing in the world, and neither is 3-3 in Big East play. But look at who this team has actually beaten? Their three league wins are against Rutgers, South Florida, and St. John's.. otherwise known as three of the worst BCS teams in the country. Their best non-conference win is against Virginia (currently just 1-2 in the ACC). All this adds up to a resume that is no better than most MAC teams. Yet, this is Syracuse so the announcers during yesterday's game spent 35 of the 40 minutes talking about Syracuse player, almost forgetting that there was a game going on against a better, ranked Villanova team.
F - ESPN Headline Writers
This is a pet peeve of mine. Every time an unranked team beats a ranked team, you see headlines on ESPN.com about how X "stuns" Y or "shocks" them. Here, I'm referring to Kansas State over Texas A&M. Is that result really stunning? A solid K-State beating an overrated A&M at home? No, its not shocking at all. Once a week, you see some ridiculous headlines like that on ESPN.. but they need to save it for the real stunners, like Maryland over UNC.
Previous Best / Worst
January 18th - Cleveland State / Marquette
January 17th - Drake / HP Laptops
January 14th - Roy Hibbert / Michigan State
January 10th - Tony Bennett / Saint Louis
January 9th - DJ White / CSTV
January 8th - Robert Morris / Schedule Makers
January 7th - Wayne Ellington / Illinois
January 6th - Herb Sendek / Kentucky