Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Archive for November 27th, 2008

Mid-Major Top 15 (Weeks 1-2)

Posted by Patrick on November 27, 2008

https://i0.wp.com/cache.daylife.com/imageserve/06KL3Miflo5U0/610x.jpg

Keeping up with good mid major teams is much harder than it looks, with top teams in action almost everyday and playing tough teams on the road so its tough to weigh which losses are better than the rest. Anyway, here is the Mid Major Top 15 for weeks one and two.

(Gonzaga, Memphis, Xavier, MWC, WAC, and C-USA are not considered)

1. Davidson (5-1)- Still at the top of the list. Stephen Curry is in my opinion the best player in college basketball. Should be interesting to see them against North Carolina State and West Virginia in their next two games.

2. Kent State (3-0)- Al Fisher continues to lead this team to great heights and they look as if they’re establishing themselves as the best team in the MAC.

3. Siena (2-1)- Tough loss against Tennessee in the first round of the Old Spice Classic, but I expect that they will bounce back and take fifth place in the tournament.

4. Butler (4-0)- Matt Howard is probably the best player in the Horizon League, and Butler’s defense is helping their chances of making it back to the NCAA tournament.

5. Saint Mary’s (3-1)- Lost to UTEP earlier today, but they still stay high on the list because of their experience and overall talent in the starting lineup.

6. Arkansas Little Rock (4-0)- It looks like this team is for real upsetting Creighton at home and they may be the new favorites in the Sun Belt.

7. Rhode Island (4-1)- Only loss is at Duke, with Jimmy Baron being one of the best three point shooters in the nation, it’s possible that the Rams could strongly contend with Xavier for the A-10 title.

8. Dayton (4-0)- Dayton hasn’t really been tested yet, but they could definitely be another force in the A-10 with the great play of Chris Wright and Marcus Johnson leading the way.

9. Illinois State (4-0)- This team could possibly be emerging as the team to beat in the MVC, especially with Creighton struggling on the road.

10. Cleveland State (4-2)- J’Nathan Bullock is still one of the most athletic big men in the nation, and with Cedric Jackson at point I wouldn’t be too concerned with those two losses. The Vikings are for real this season.

11. Creighton (3-1)- Only loss is at Arkansas Little Rock. It should be interesting to see how they fare on the road against Nebraska.

12. Portland State (4-0)- A balanced team is playing great on the road and should easily win the Big Sky conference this season to get back to the NCAA tournament.

13. American (4-1)- After getting manhandled by Oklahoma in their first game, Garrison Carr is leading American and giving them a great chance at repeating as Patriot League champs.

14. Vermont (2-2)- Only two losses are against George Mason and Maryland, both in overtime. Vermont has a strong core group of leaders and Mike Trimboli’s outside game will cause a lot of trouble for teams playing the zone against the Catamounts. Marqus Blakely may be this year’s Jason Thompson.

15. Virginia Commonwealth (2-2)- Rough start to the season, but Eric Maynor will not let his senior season end with the Rams not in the NCAA tournament field.

Also Considered: San Francisco, Northeastern, Southern Illinois, Mercer, San Diego

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Notre Dame vs. North Carolina: Recap and Thoughts

Posted by Patrick on November 27, 2008

https://i0.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3231/2674166667_4aeb958988.jpg

Last night was the final of the Maui Invitational, which always means that we’ll get to see two national powerhouses go head to head to bring the distinguished trophy home. North Carolina showed why they should be the unanimous top rated team in the nation- they absolutely picked apart Notre Dame’s defense, shooting 58% from the field. The Tar Heels grabbed the lead with 12:36 left in the first half and never looked back en route to a 102-87 victory over the eighth ranked Fighting Irish.

Kyle McAlarney broke his own school record of nine three pointers in one game with ten last night against North Carolina, accounting for 30 of his 39 points. To the credit of the Fighting Irish, their star player Luke Harangody had some kind of sickness all day leading up to the game, but still managed to score 13 points and grab seven rebounds.

Overall, North Carolina right now is too much for any team in the nation to even contend with. The talent level is way above any I’ve seen in college basketball in my lifetime, and they play hard on every possession. Even if Harangody was healthy they wouldn’t have a great chance to beat the Tar Heels. Another key to UNC’s success is their unbelievable depth. When they sub out a few players, its like replacing them with better rested versions of themselves. North Carolina’s bench would make up one of the better teams in college basketball.

Also, the last time North Carolina won the Maui? 2004. The last time North Carolina won a national championship? 2004.

ZACH: Three thoughts on North Carolina:

– Ty Lawson makes this team go. Anyone who watches college basketball on a regular basis knows this already, but watching him last night makes me think he added another gear to his electric speed baseline-to-baseline this summer. He abused Tory Jackson on multiple occasions after Jackson was foolish enough to risk a steal instead of staying in front of Lawson, using the quickest first step in college hoops and finishing every time down, often drawing a foul to boot. He knocked down free throws and hit outside jumpers too. If Lawson plays like he did last night all season, an undefeated season will happen.

– How’s that shin, Tyler? As the esteemed Red Sox announcer Don Orsillo might say, “Psycho T’s back…and he’s back BIG!” 34 points, an earth-shattering dunk, his patented turnaround hook shots, diving for rebounds, and even a three point shot? Yeah, I think he’s back. Hansbrough is really an incredible player down low- when he puts up a shot you think there’s no chance it goes in, then it hits the bottom the net.

– Carolina is so loaded, it’s not even funny/fair. They’ve turned into the Evil Empire even moreso than Duke, which puts me in an awkward position because the one game I used to root for Carolina was against the Blue Devils. As Pat pointed out, their bench of Drew-Frasor-Green-Graves-Davis would beat most high-major teams. While Notre Dame lost their legs by the end of the tournament, North Carolina was fresh because they’re so deep and talented.

Posted in Quick Posts | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Thanksgiving Day Selections

Posted by Zach on November 27, 2008

Zach’s Picks: (Season Record: 50-50-1)

Siena (+8) over Tennessee- LOSS
Georgetown (-17) over Wichita State- LOSS
UTEP (+10.5) over Saint Mary’s- WIN
Wake Forest (-11) over Cal State Fullerton- LOSS
Michigan State (-8.5) over Maryland- LOSS
Arizona State (-7.5) over Charlotte- WIN
Gonzaga (-7.5) over Oklahoma State- WIN
Baylor (-3.5) over Providence- WIN

Patrick’s Picks (Season Record: 54-46-1)

Siena (+8) over Tennessee- LOSS
Georgetown (-17) over Wichita State- LOSS
UTEP (+10.5) over Saint Mary’s- WIN
Cal State Fullerton (+11) over Wake Forest- WIN
Maryland (+8.5) over Michigan State- WIN
Arizona State (-7.5) over Charlotte- WIN
Gonzaga (-7.5) over Oklahoma State- WIN
Baylor (-3.5) over Providence- WIN

Tommy’s Picks: (Season Record: 56-44-1)

Tennessee (-8) over Siena- WIN
Georgetown (-17) over Wichita State- LOSS
UTEP (+10.5) over Saint Mary’s- WIN
Wake Forest (-11) over Cal State Fullerton- LOSS
Maryland (+8.5) over Michigan State- WIN
Arizona State (-7.5) over Charlotte- WIN
Gonzaga (-7.5) over Oklahoma State- WIN
Baylor (-3.5) over Providence- WIN

Posted in Daily Selections | 5 Comments »