Monday, February 26, 2007

College Hoops Round Up

OK, so I didn't blog much (or at all) about the Ohio State vs Wisconsin game on Sunday, that Ohio State pulled out in a squeaker. 49-48. Ohio State was rightfully given the #1 slot in the Top 25 after this victory. In the long run, what has to worry Wisconsin the most is that it appears they'll be without big goofy, but shockingly effective Brian Butch, who felt awkwardly on his elbow, dislocating it, and fracturing a bone as well. They only possible way he plays for Wisconsin again this year is if they go deep into the tournament, and his injury heals quickly. That's bad news for the Badgers. I've read some reports that made it sound like this game was Mike Conley Jr's big debut stepping out of Oden's shadow. In truth, Conley's been impressive all year long. Anyone surprised by his game here hasn't been watching much Buckeye basketball. That said, this team depends on a lot of freshman. They are very talented, and they beat a good team here. We'll see how well they handle the Big 10 Tournament atmosphere.

Also yesterday, if Maryland hadn't already punched their ticket to the Big Dance, they definitely did it yesterday. They beat North Carolina, 89-87. The Straw's kid, DJ Strawberry pumped in 27 points. Maryland has been weirdly streaky all year long, and they are currently riding a hot streak, with 5 straight wins. I have no idea how much weight the committee will put on that (The Terps probably need a good tournament run to get a really good seed). Keep an eye on this team, but feel free to be a bit dubious, too. But Gary Williams knows what he's doing as a coach, and even if this team has had a Jekyl and Hyde thing going all year long, they are finishing right.

Disappointing loss for the Hoyas, but not a shocking one. They dropped to Syracuse in Syracuse 72-58, two days after knocking off Pitt and taking first place in the Big East. That was a tough game, and I just don't think the Hoyas were really up for playing this one. The game was closer for longer than the score might suggest. Sometime in the 2nd half, the Syracuse 3-point shooters just became unconscious, hitting well-defended, off-balance threes everytime down the court. They were still hoisting them up with a 15 point lead inside of 4 minutes. I've said all year that I have little faith in this Syracuse team, and this game doesn't change much for me. It was a crazy-ass shooting night. If they can do that for the next month, they may win the whole thing. They can't do it, though.

Oh, and Kansas got by Oklahoma 67-65. I'm so disinterested in Kansas. I think that may be a mistake--from the scores I've seen they are very capable of putting up big scores. They've only lost 4 times all year, and only twice in the Big 12, which seems to me to be a bit underrated this year. It is a tough damn conference, and Kansas is at the top.

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