Posted on: February 5, 2009 11:51 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2009 12:46 am

CBB Nightly: Wisconsin has a pulse


Tonight's 10 College Basketball Thoughts:

1) Did you really think Wisconsin was done? Really? No way. The Badgers are never out for the count, and tonight they showed that against Illinois. The Badgers still have a lot of work to do, but anyone that doesn't consider them as a bubble team at this point is smoking some crazy stuff. ESPN didn't have the Badgers listed on their bubble watch, which was released this afternoon. I know a 4-6 Big Ten record isn't impressive (by no means) but it does put a team like Wisconsin into consideration for an at large bid.

2) Does anyone other than me realize that Utah State has the most wins in college basketball after their win over New Mexico State on Thursday night? Don't get me wrong, I know that 22 wins while playing a weak OOC and the WAC confererence schedule is pale in comparison to--for instance--what a team like Oklahoma is doing in the Big 12. I know that, so don't leave a comment about it. All I'm saying is that Utah State is still winning basketball games, and that's something most teams can't do consistently regardless of their opponent.

3) Florida State's NCAA Tournament hopes almost took a huge blow tonight, but an encouraging thing happened that hasn't happened to past Seminoles teams. Tonight Florida State came together and rallied past Georgia Tech after trailing by six at halftime. Maybe the culture is changing in Tallahassee.

4) I know I gave Wisconsin the #1 spot tonight in the top 10 (which is meaningless) but to be honest the Badgers win wasn't even the most important win in the Big Ten on Thursday. Instead that honor would go to Michigan, who knocked off Penn State 71-51. The Nittany Lions had been red hot while Michigan has been reeling. Well forget that. Who knows why I went against my gut and picked the hot team to knock off the bubble team in TWO matchups like this tonight. Both went against me.

5) What seeding does Xavier deserve? At 20-2 and in clear control of the A-10 a top four seed is looking likely. Tomorrow I will have more in my bracketology, but it's very interesting to me that the Musketeers get absolutely ZERO national attention despite their great record. It's not like they play in the WAC like previously mentioned Utah State. Winning 20 games in the A-10 is not easy, regardless of the conferences overall strength.

6) Arizona refuses to die. After trailing at halftime at Oregon State the Wildcats made yet another second half comeback and won another Pac 10 game. This one was an unnoticed game tonight on the schedule but it was huge for Arizona. Be very very quiet about it (in the word's of Elmer Fudd) but Arizona is sneaking its way back towards the NCAAs.

7) In my last bracketology I got blasted for having California too high. This crazy conference we call the Pac 10 is now getting even craziesr. Washington is considered a "lock" by most bracketologists but the Huskies lost to California on Thursday night. The Golden Bears should be a top nine seed after the win that improves them to 17-6 overall on the season.

8) Gonzaga took over in the second half against Portland and showed their doubters--if there really is anyone stupid enough to doubt hte Zags at this point--that they are very much for real. Gonzaga is looking like a top five NCAA Tournament seed.

9) Tomorrow I am going to release my bracketology. That's bolded because it's important. A lot of people are waiting on it. The plan is to post it on OSF, link it here, and then post it here. It should be posted midday tomorrow.

10) The picks competition has been very fun so far. I wish everyone would join. Please keep up with your own points if possible. We have so many people involved in the competition that I'm not sure I can continue to do it. I am planning on posting the leaders points if possible.

My Picks:

Here's the Standings After Night 1:
Dantheman4250 POINTS: 80, RECORD: 13-2

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 5, 2009 10:58 am
Edited on: February 5, 2009 12:15 pm

Thursday Night Picks: Hot teams vs. Bubble Teams

I'm not one to brag at all but even I must say that I went to bed smiling last night, right after watching Miami destroy Wake Forest & Missouri knock off Texas in Austin.

And it's not because I have any personal problem with Wake or Texas.

It's because in my first edition of nightly picks I picked both of these upsets to take place. Basically I actually looked like a genius, but I'm sure tonight I will screw that up with some crazy pick.

Tonight there are some interesting picks. Nobody truly thinks Wisconsin is done yet, but they play a red hot Illinois team. The same goes for red hot Penn State against struggling Michigan, where the Wolverines can't afford a loss. One of the most intriguing games to me is Gonzaga at Portland. The WCC Tournament is being played at Las Vegas, a neutral site, for the first time. A lot of people are wondering if Portland is this season's San Diego in the WCC.

Enough talking though, let's get to the picking.

Here's the rules:

  1. Make your picks and then rank each game in order from most confident to least confident. Tonight there are 10 games so the most confident game is worth 10 points and the least is worth 1. Remember you want to put the most points possible up on the game you are most confident about, that way you are more than likely to get the points.
  2. For every game you lose you must deduct those points. So if we had 5 games and I won my 5 pt and 3 pt games and lost my 4, 2, and 1 games I'd end the night with 1 point overall.

Here's the Standings After Night 1:
Dantheman4250 POINTS: 80, RECORD: 13-2
Beer POINTS: 80, RECORD: 11-4
Badgerboy1183 POINTS: 74, RECORD: 11-4
Fishstick POINTS 65, RECORD: 11-4
Skins Throwback POINTS: 60, RECORD: 11-4
BCEagles4 POINTS: 54, RECORD: 10-5
Huskyonspeed POINTS: 51, RECORD: 8-6
GTucker POINTS: 48, RECORD: 9-6
Gonzagafan62 POINTS: 18, RECORD: 8-7

Here's my Picks Tonight:
10-Florida State over Georgia Tech (@ FSU)
9-Gonzaga over Portland (@ PORT)
8-Xavier over Temple (@ XAV)
7-Arizona over Oregon State (@ OSU)
6-Penn State over Michigan (@ MICH)
5-Vanderbilt over Alabama (@ VAN)
4-Illinois over Wisconsin (@ WISC)
3-Stanford over Washington State (@ STAN)
2-San Diego over Santa Clara (@ SD)
1-Washington over California (@ CAL)

Everyone join. I made the picks so that you anyone could join at any time.

Posted on: February 1, 2009 11:12 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2009 11:28 pm

Mailbag: Discussing Mid Majors, Gtown, & More

I asked my readers to ask questions for a mailbag segment I wanted to do and I received some great responses. If you have a question for next week's mailbag either send me a PM or email me at dantheman4250@aol.com .

Hey Dan, I have a question for you to answer next time you do a blog on here or OSF. What mid-major teams do you think could get an at-large if they slip up in their conf. tourney? I was thinking of Davidson and Siena, maybe a MWC team too? Thanks.


I love this question Husky. First we have to determine the definition of a mid major. Most people don't say that Gonzaga, Memphis, and Xavier are mid majors, so for this exercise we will refrain them from being an answer to this question. If it matters all three are getting at large bids.

Butler and Davidson are getting into the field, even if they lose in their conference tournaments. The Wildcats would be closer to the cutline than the Bulldogs, but I think they'd both get in. St. Marys is another likely to get in, but it all depends on how they fare without Patty Mills. So far in they blew a halftime lead to Gonzaga without him and then lost to Portland without him.

Siena would be an interesting case with a RPI of 21 and a SOS of 39. If their RPI number stayed that high it would be almost impssoble for the Saints to be left out of the field. Dayton is in my field for now but their lack of marquee wins is going to hurt them. Utah State may be one of the more interesting bubble cases on Selection Sunday if they lose in the WAC Tournament. Right now their RPI (42) is impressive but their SOS would likely mean a NIT berth (202).

The Mountain West is considered a mid major league, although it has proven itself pretty good on both the football and basketball courts. It looks like at least two of five teams are going to get in; TCU, San Diego State, Utah, BYU, and UNLV. Right now Utah and UNLV lead the way. Chances are the regular season champion will be relatively safe going into the MWC Tournament.

The CAA also presents an interesting case. Northeastern, VCU, and George Mason are all in the 'discussion' for an large berth but I don't feel like any would be in without winning the CAA Tournament unless a LOT of chaos goes on before the final week of the season.

To clear up my answer I think Butler & Davidson are going to get in, even if it means stealing an at large berth. The same goes for Siena if their RPI stays like it is. The Mountain West is probably going to get two or three bids, and the CAA will probably get one unless something crazy takes place.

Hey dan where do you think Georgetown is gona end up in the tournament? As in what seed? They've played good at times and have beat high caliber teams, but have lost to them too. Anywhere from 5-7 maybe? And what about Arkansas? Are they in?


Another great question. In my bracketology I have Georgetown out right now due to their 3-6 Big East record. I don't think that's going to last very long though. Being realistic at this point I don't see the Hoyas getting higher than a 6 seed in the Big Dance. If I had to guess right now (assuming they do indeed get in) I'd say they get in a scary 8-9 game. I'm sure the last thing a #1 seed wants to do is see Georgetown looking at them in round two, a team as talented as any in the entire country.

Before we can really discuss the Hoyas and the words 'NCAA Tournament' in the same sentence they have to prove they deserve to be in. Right now they don't.

Arkansas is done. They are 1-4 in SEC play and struggling. Their two wins over Texas & Oklahoma were nice, but they appear only to be a sign of the future in Fayetteville and not the present. I'm sure its sad for Razorbacks fans that weren't expecting much, and then raised their expectations after the two big wins. The SEC will be lucky to get five teams in, but without a Georgia-esque run for the SEC Tournament title Arkansas will be in the NIT or CBI.

Do you think that they still have a decent shot to get a #4 seed? They are probably going to run through the WCC now, with Mills hurt. Portland may be a contender, but I am not sure yet. I guess I wait on that for Thursday. Your thoughts on Zaga getting a 3-5 seed? And is it realistic?


Another great question. First off gonzagafan makes an excellent point. I mean no disrepect to the Zags at all when I say this, but I'm not sure Gonzaga would be the top team in the WCC without Patty Mills injury the other night. Gonzaga was down (but certainly not out) against the Gaels before Mills left the game.

But to the dismay of St. Marys fans the injury did take place and Gonzaga did win the game, proving once again they are the beasts of the WCC. Now onto the seeding scenarios for Gonzaga.......

If the Zags win out and win the WCC Tournament they can probably still get a 3 seed. A 2 isn't completely out of the picture but it would depend more on the other top teams faltering and nothing Gonzaga could control. Winning out would put Gonzaga on the top 4 seed lines for sure (at least that's the way the tournament appears to be shaping at this moment). When all is said and done I think Gonzaga ends up in the 3-7 range. Right now I have them as a 5 seed, and that should only improve from here on out.

This is a good potential sleeper team for the Final Four.

How many games do you think Wisconsin can lose and get into the NCAA's with their great rpi and sos?


I actaully answered this one somewhat yesterday. I played out the Badgers season midday yesterday and had them finishing 18-12 with a 9-9 conference record. Is that good enough to get in? Honestly I'm not sure. Their computer numbers are going to help them a lot but a lot also depends on how the other bubble teams from the Big Ten and from around the rest of the country fare.

I cannot narrow it down to a specific number realistically but I can say this. Anything below .500 in the Big Ten probably isn't going to get it done, no matter how good your computer numbers are. Still a 37 RPI and a 3rd ranked SOS will get you a long way, even without a gaudy record overall.


Earlier today I made a post regarding Penn State's NCAA Tournament chances. Right now I think the Nittany Lions would be in, but I created a thread to ask you guys what you thought. Early on the lead answer to the question is that 'Yes, the Nittany Lions should be in the field', but I'd like everyone to keep voting. If you haven't voted or if you'd just like to review the poll here's the link .

-Daniel Evans

Posted on: January 28, 2009 11:53 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2009 12:01 am

Make Your Case: Which Team is Really #1?

Are Blake Griffin and Oklahoma the nation's best team? Over the next few months you are going to hear a lot of commentary from me, your official NCAA Tournament blogger, so I'd loving nothing more than to get some feedback from you guys. Now that #1 Duke and #3 Pittsburgh lost on Wednesday the conversation about who the nation's best team is has started back up.

The Blue Devils ran into a Wake Forest squad ready to take out revenge on whichever team was next on its schedule, and the Blue Devils just happened to be that team. Duke has been playing exceptional basketball, including a absolute domination of Maryland in Cameron Indoor on Saturday.

But guess who is sneaking back into the #1 picture?

Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons last second win over Duke showed that they aren't going to just fade away after their loss to Virginia Tech last Wednesday night.

Duke's loss brings a lot of teams into the mix though. Oklahoma, Connecticut, and North Carolina are in the mix along with Wake Forest. I can't argue with people that want to still claim Duke or Pittsburgh either.

So what I want from you guys is the answer to a couple of questions.

  • Who should be ranked #1 in the country?
  • Who is actually the best team in the country (in your opinion)?
  • Who is playing the best basketball in the country?

And then I want to know which one of these three things is the most important to you when you create a top 25.

If you want my opinion North Carolina is the best team in the country. Louisville is playing the best basketball but after their win tonight Wake Forest should be ranked #1. Go figure.



Just a few quick nuggets from tonight's games:

  1. Michigan is not playing well right now, and it's making everyone forget about those two early wins over UCLA & Duke. I've received a lot of criticism for having the Wolverines outside my bracketology, but at 14-7 and losers of four of their last five it's hard to believe Michigan is one of the best 65 teams in the country right now.
  2. Remember the argument about Villanova? You know the one I'm talking about, it's the one where they don't have any big wins. Well scratch that. 
  3. Providence has me dying to do my bracketology right now. The Friars win over Syracuse showed that they can beat good competition and that their 6-2 Big East record...yes 6-2...is no fluke. Syracuse is 5-4 now in Big East play.
  4. Georgetown is in a lot of trouble. Teams that only win 12 of their first 19 games usually aren't even on the bubble. The Hoyas are because they've played the nation's hardest schedule and because they play in the Big East. The Hoyas have now lost four games in row, but they have the computer numbers to fall back on. Don't sleep on Cincinnati (who knocked off Gtown tonight). The Bearcats are 4-4 in Big East play.
  5. What is it about struggling powers right now? Notre Dame, Georgetown (as previously mentioned), Wisconsin, and Tennessee are struggling to find themselves. The Volunteers lost again at home on Wednesday, their fourth home loss this season. LSU picked up a huge win and is even arguably now even/ahead of Tennessee in the SEC pecking order for an at large bid. The Volunteers computer numbers and sheer talent can only count for so much when the NCAA Tournament committee looks at their profile. Next up? Florida with College Gameday in the house.
  6. Remember that this was the year that Memphis was suppose to have some road blocks in Conference USA? Well mark down a 48th consecutive win, this one over East Carolina. I am planning on seeing the Tigers in person when they travel to Bartow Arena to take on UAB in February.
  7. Northern Iowa showed who the real power is in the Missouri Valley conference. It looks like Illinois State was a early season Cinderella that has lost its slipper sometime way before Midnight was suppose to strike.
  8. Ty Lawson should be in the POY race. I have said that before tonight's games, but after his three lifted North Carolina past Florida State tonight at the buzzer I think it proves it. Sure Stephen Curry, Jodie Meeks, Blake Griffin, and Tyler Hansbrough are all great candidates, but so is Lawson.
  9. Jerry Palm might be on to something . If you haven't seen CBS' guru's latest 'Projecting the Field' he has Northwestern in his field. The Wildcats barely escaped tonight against lowly Indiana and although it was close a win is a win. The Wildcats are 3-5 in conference play but they do have some nice wins and pretty good computer numbers. Maybe just maybe they can make their first ever NCAA Tournament, although I'm still not counting on it.
  10. On an unrelated note, if you guys have used March Madness on Demand the last couple of years to get NCAA Tournament games outside of your area then listen up. This year I'm told they have a brand new player set up and it's suppose to be better than ever. It's not ready just yet, but here's the link where you can sign up to get an email notification for when it is.

Just a few quick things I want to add aside from my post. I am considering moving my bracketology here as well, although it will always be on OSF. A new bracket will be available tomorrow night since I did not have time to create one tonight, and I apologize for that.

-Daniel Evans

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com