Sunday, January 07, 2007

NCAA Hoops Round Up

Clearly, this was an NFL day, and so you'll be excused if you didn't track all the insanely awesome action that occurred in the NCAA Hoops World. But man, there was a ton of upsets today. UCLA is no longer undefeated. Duke lost, which always warms the heart of my bottom.

Let's get to it, shall we?

(16) Oregon 68 (1)UCLA 66

I didn't get to see any of this game, as it was deemed by the brass of CBS that it was far more important that I watch chicks play hoops. But that's cool. Who wants to see one of the last undefeated teams, and the #1 team in the country go down on in the final seconds? Certainly not me! Thanks TV! It should be noted that UCLA held Oregon to one field goal in the last 7 minutes. This is a team that may or may not hold onto the #1 ranking, but regardless of where they end up in the Polls come Monday, know this--they play absolutely sick defense.

The PAC-10 got a little weirder with a much bigger upset:

(7) Arizona 73, Washington State 77

This is a huge win for the Cougars of Washington State. They aren't considered the cream of the crop of the PAC 10 (be honest, did you know that there was such a place as Washington State?). They barely lost to UCLA and beat USC--they are now 3-1 in Conference Play. If they end up over .500, they'll get into the Tourney, and from the sound of it, they will be dangerous.

At this point, I'd like to mention that there are at least 4 conferences that seem capable of sending 2 teams to the Final Four. Which is of course, mathematically impossible. But still, look at the Big 10--who beats Wisconsin, or Ohio State? In the ACC, you've got Duke, NC, and Clemson. In the PAC-10, you've got UCLA, Oregon, Arizona and Washington State. In the SEC, Florida, Alabama. And that's before you factor in the teams from non Major conferences, which means you have to talk about Butler, Creighton, Wichita State, Nevada. If it wasn't obvious already, this is going to be just a fantastic year of College Hoops. Back to the scores (and the upsets. Some of the most delicious are upcoming).

(5) Duke 67, VA Tech 69

Speaking as someone who has hated the Blue Devils since he was in Short Pants, and has loved various Virginia teams for about the same length of time, oh man, is this sweet. VA Tech? Scheduled to be in the lower half of the ACC wins their opener against the mighty Coach UNSPELLABLE NAME and his band of vicious dicks? Awesome, awesome. Huge win for the Hokies. I doubt they'll win a bigger one all year. Did you know that a Hokie is a castrated turkey? You learned something today.

(8) Bama 61, Arkansas 88

I've discussed earlier how Alabama has a pattern. They start strong, look great, get put into the top 10. And then they flounder badly, before finishing the season strong, and getting everyone excited about them. And then they usually lose in the first round. Last year was an aberration, in which they reached the Elite 8. But here we see the cycle starting again. They got trounced, trounced, rocked by a rather unheralded squad from Arkansas. Don't dismiss Arkansas--I think they are a very solid squad, and will probably cause match-up headaches for the rest of the SEC. But this isn't the classic Nolan Richardson squad--Arkansas should not be blowing out a Top 10 team. And they did.

The score doesn't reflect how bad they beat Alabama. They were up by 36 points at one point. Here's a name to remember: Gary Ervin.

(17) Notre Dame 48, Georgetown 66

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I won't pretend to have some sort of impartiality here. I love the Hoyas. My first sporting event was a Georgetown hoops game, back in the era of Ewing and Sleepy Floyd. And I believe in this current squad. Hibbert is learning every game, just like he did last year, and Jeff Green may be the best small forward in the country. The Hoyas started ranked, and then lost to some bag of scum (Old Dominion, I believe). But they've opened up the Big East conference play in fine fashion, beating the living shit out of the Papists from Notre Dame. Hibbert and Green were huge, and it should be noted that this was the first game that Notre Dame played on an unfriendly court all year. Which makes them pussies, too.

(18) UConn 49 (14) LSU 66

UConn has played maybe the pussiest schedule out of any team in the Top 25. I didn't think their wins deserved Top 25 status, and here we are--getting blown out by a Top 25 team that has issues a plenty in LSU. UConn is ranked simply because of reputation, and their ability to beat a bunch of shitty teams. This was their first real challenge, and they got destroyed. And they got destroyed by an LSU team that has yet to be able to solve certain defenses. I don't think this game will boot UConn out of the Top 25--I imagine that come Monday they'll be 24, or 25, but they shouldn't be in there at all. If you are a UConn fan, prepare yourself for sadness this year.

Just about all the other Top 25 Teams Took care of business today.

Things to note though: Clemson's rise; Kansas State giving Texas A&M all they could handle; Baylor hanging tough with OK State, and Air Force being pushed by UNLV.

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