News, Notes and Highlighted Games for 12/23

News, Notes and Highlighted Games for 12/23
Dec 23, 2006, 01:52 am

-The biggest surprise of the day was New Mexico’s 71-68 win against previously unbeaten Wichita State in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Shockers did not have guard P.J. Couisnard, but it’s still a huge win for the Lobos, especially since it was a win away from their home court. New Mexico had a 40-27 lead in the second half, but Wichita State came roaring back. It wasn’t enough to get them the win though. New Mexico will face USC in the championship game and Wichita will face Kansas State for third place.

-Drexel was once again impressive with their 69-54 win against Temple. Temple isn’t particularly good, but they aren’t bad either and they had been playing well in their last few games. It’s a nice road win for Drexel, who has a pretty good NCAA Tourney profile right now.

-Georgia Tech got a big 78-69 win over rival Georgia. Georgia hasn’t played many road games yet, so although they have a good record and a good win against Gonzaga, they still have some work to do.

-Kent State, who looked fantastic against Duke earlier this week, fell at home to Youngstown State, who is one of the worst teams in the Horizon League. Talk about inconsistency.

-This is the last day of games before a three day break for the Christmas Holidays. I was never a fan of teams playing games on the 23rd either, and most didn’t unless it had something to do with television, but since the 23rd falls on a Saturday this year, we have pretty much have a full slate. Since I’m visiting my family and friends that I grew up with, and since most of those people don’t want to spend the Holidays watching twelve hours of basketball, I probably won’t see many of the games, but I’ll keep up with the scores as best I can.


-OHIO STATE AT FLORIDA (***Pod System Implications***). In about two weeks these two will meet in football to decide the BCS Championship. That fact should add quite a bit of atmosphere to this game. Both teams are highly ranked and potential pod teams. Florida has dropped two games this season and this would definitely be their biggest win so far. It could turn out to be one of their biggest wins all season. The same could be said for Ohio State. No matter what the outcome is both teams should remain strongly in the pod picture, but the winner of this game would have a leg up.


-NORTH CAROLINA STATE AT CINCINNATI. These are two 7-3 teams that could use a win.

-CALIFORNIA AT DE PAUL. Cal’s center is injured and will be out for several weeks. De Paul is really hot right now after getting off to a poor start this season. They could add yet another good win to their profile.

-BOSTON COLLEGE AT KANSAS. Both teams have two losses and have somewhat under-performed on occasion, but both have a tremendous amount of talent and potential and could end up making the pod system. A win here would go a long way for either team in that regard.

-VILLANOVA AT LA SALLE. This is a Big Five showdown. Both teams have just two losses, but Nova has looked a lot better. Both teams also need to win some quality games if they want to make the bracket picture.

-DAYTON AT PITTSBURGH. Dayton has just one loss on the year, and even has some notable wins against Creighton and Louisville, but a win in this game would really boost their resume. They’d go from borderline, to top 25 caliber overnight. It’s easier said than done, though. Pitt has lost two straight games, but both were on the road to highly ranked teams. Those didn’t hurt much, but they were some missed opportunities. This would be a great game as far as rebounding from that goes, and getting back on track to get a top four seed.

-TEXAS AT TENNESSEE. These are two teams that have a lot of momentum right now, so it should be a good game. Tennessee just got a big win against Pitt in their last game, which was their fifth in a row. They’ve also beaten Memphis and Western Kentucky during that stretch. Texas has won three in a row, including big wins against Arkansas and LSU. Right now, both these teams look like top four seeds, so this should be a great game.

-BUCKNELL AT TEXAS TECH. Bucknell is on a role. They’ve won three in a row and all of those came on the road. A win here would be huge for their profile. Texas Tech is hot as well, and Bobby Knight can Dean Smith on the all time wins list. More importantly, his team can continue to build their NCAA Tournament profile.

-MICHIGAN AT UCLA. Michigan has played an absolute cupcake schedule, so their 9-1 record means very little. UCLA is unbeaten and has played some pretty good teams along the way. This is a big test for Michigan. Even if they don’t win, a good showing would be a statement that they are capable of playing well on the road. That may not mean much to the committee, but it would at least give us an idea of how good Michigan can be.


-COPPIN STATE AT ALABAMA. A win gets the Tide to 11-1.

-WESTERN CAROLINA AT CLEMSON. Clemson can improve to 12-0 with a win. It is worth noting that they began last season 11-0 as well, but missed the NCAA Tournament.

-SAINT PETER’S AT FLORIDA STATE. FSU is off to a great start and can improve to 11-2.

-NAVY AT GEORGETOWN. Georgetown is looking for their fifth straight win.

-LOUISIANA TECH AT LSU. This appears to be a mismatch. LSU was clobbered in their last game against Washington, but today it should be them that is doing the clobbering.

-AMERICAN AT MARYLAND. Maryland should have little trouble improving to 11-3.

-MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE AT MEMPHIS. Memphis should improve to 9-3 today.

-WISCONSIN GREEN BAY AT MICHIGAN STATE. Expect Michigan State to win with little trouble and improve to 12-2.

-MERCER AT OREGON. Oregon should improve to 11-0 with little trouble.

-CAMPBELL AT VIRGINIA TECH. Virginia Tech has won four in a row and this will likely be number five. They got off to a sluggish start, but have really hit their stride.


-Since most everyone in my family goes to bed way before I do, I’ll probably do my next bracket late Sunday night, so be sure and keep an eye out for that.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Holiday season.

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