Nice work jamiemac's blog
I'm relaxing and watching hoops this afternoon. I'm feeling like a slacker, however, and I am not putting together a 2,000-word plus Bubble News, even though relevant action abounds today relative to Michigan's tournament chances.
I don't know if folks wanted to rap about hoops or not, but, if you do, let's chat.
Here are a few opening salvos:
If you need a complete list of games and rooting interests,Dylan at UM Hoops has compiled one for you. Some nice discussions ensued in the comments section, the latest being insights on an intriguing bubble exercise the folks on GameDay did involving Michigan. By all means, chat hoops there too. If you can't handle two different hoop discussions, you are soft. And, you wont survive the next two weeks.
One simple win over Purdue completely redirected opinion on Michigan's chances. While the Wolverines are still a long way away from being a consensus invite from the Bracket Matrix, 20 brackets have updated since the convincing win over the Boilers and 12 of them have Michigan on a bracket line.
One of those brackets is Joe Lunardi at espn.com. Lunardi has Michigan seeded 11 and the last team in his field. He has them matched up with LSU and a date with #3 seed Duke looming. Any thoughts on that draw? Also, check out this interview he did yesterday after releasing his update. It's a solid perspective on the national landscape, but he saved his most intriguing observsation for last: next Saturday's game at Minnesota might be an at large elimination game.
As the noon games begin their second halves, there is really only one bubble game going on and that's Georgetown at Villanova. At 14-12, 5-10 in the Big East, it's hard to say the Hoyas have a chance and keep a straight face. But, they close with a pair of league lightweights and currently have the nation's #1 SOS. If they can steal a road win in Phily today, they will likely finish at 17-12. They could sneak in with a pair of league tournament wins. A loss today forces them to go much farther in the Big East Tournament to get a bid, with perhaps winning it all being their only way to entry. The Hoyas are up 5 at the half against the solidly favored Wildcats. I still think Villanova comes back and wins this one. So much so that I just put some coin on them -6.5 on the second half time.
I'm also keeping my eye on Cleveland State at Butler, over on ESPN2. Butler will get an at large bid even if it cant win its league tournament, so next week we'll be pulling very hard for the Bulldogs. In the regular season closer today, they're facing one of the teams that might pick them off. I'm really just pointing the game out because way back on December 3 when these teams first played, I suffered unquestionably my worst beat of the year. In a pick 'em, I had the Vikings, and Butler drained a 25-footer as time expired to come from behind and win. I swear it took 10 seconds from release to swish. That was almost three months ago. Its hard to believe its even from the same season. This afternoon, Butler is going for the outright crown and up 6 at the break. If you want a complete look at how the mid majors are currently impacting the bubble, Joe Cribbs Car Wash has you covered.
In the next set of games, the big bubble game is Notre Dame at Uconn. The Irish have won four of five to rope themselves back into contention for a bid. The next 50 hours will tell a lot about Notre Dame's ultimate tale. After today, they host Villanova Monday night. Conventional wisdom in DomerVille is that a 2-1 record to close the season and a 2-1 BE Tourney record will get them in the field. That sounds like something worth rooting against.
And, I will be watching Clemson at Florida State. The game is a pick 'em, and I really, really like Florida State. Oh boy!
I'll have a few updates as the day goes on. Let's talk hoops.
The heavy action of the day is about to begin. If you're controlling the remote today, here's what to keep an eye on:
Arizona at Washington, 3pm, FSN. Line, UW -8.5
Arizona has lost two in a row and now they play the best team in the league. The Cats need this one. They're a solid looking # 8 in the Matrix, but of the 20 brackets updated since Thursday, 12 have Arizona as a double digit seed. They'll be on the edge of the cut line if a third straight loss occurs today. They close at home against Cal and Stanford. Observers said the Cats looked disinterested in their game at Wassau Thursday night, so it will be interesting to see how they come out today.
Duke at Virginia Tech, 330, ABC. Line, Duke -6.5
Virginia Tech picked themselves off the mat with their win over Clemson this week. The Hokies are the final team cut out of the Matrix and are in one more field than Michigan of the 20 updated since Thursday. They close with Duke, UNC and at FSU. How many of those do they need to feel solid about a bid. Perhaps just one, if they dont got 0-1 in the ACC Tournament. The Hokies have a history of playing Duke tough and with close to half their games this year decided by 5 or less, expect this one to be dramatic and down to the wire.
LSU at UK, 4pm, CBS. Line, UK -4.5
I'm going to pat myself on the back right here. Throughout all the Bubble News editions, I touted LSU as the most talented team in the SEC. This week, they clinched the league title. Monsiour Jamie Mac, Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler! Here's hoping it stays that way as a road win in Lexington today would be a huge dagger through the heart of Kentucky's NCAA hopes. I cant shake the feeling that of UK, Florida and Tennessee, only two will make the field. The Gators and Vols square off tomorrow, so a Wildcat loss today would probably give bubble teams a pair of vulnerable SEC teams to pick off during the final week. The Cats are a soap opera. Gillespie is coaching like Rick Moranis. All I know is I dont want to be in Billy Clyde's shoes if UK ends up in the NIT. Unless LSU is still celebrating their crown I dont think UK has the chops today to get it done.
Ohio State at Purdue, 4pm, ESPN. Line, PU -9.5
Lets consider the Big 10 standings, and not the NCAA Bubble, for this one. With a Michigan win tomorrow and an Ohio State loss today, Michigan would rise to fifth in the league standings. Throw in a Penn State loss to Indiana (I saw a Crean and Crimson shirt at the gym this morning. Gotta be a good omen, right?) and Michigan would be in fourth place. Intriguing.
Temple at Dayton, 5pm, no TV. Line, DU -3
Temple had been steadily climbing the bubble until their awful loss to LaSalle on Thursday. They're fifth to last out according to the Matrix, but none of the 20 brackets since Thursday have included the Owls. Dayton has been in the field the whole way and the most recent bracketology straw poll has them as a double digit seed. The loser falls to fourth place in the Atlantic 10. Can you see an at large coming from that position? Dayton closes at Xavier and home vs. Duquense. I'm not trying to be a Chicken Little, but the Flyers cant afford a losing streak here at the end of the season.
Utah at BYU, 5pm, no TV. Line, BYU -6
Both these teams are solidly in the field at this point. BYU is the only vulnerable one of these two. If the Cougars lose today, once more in the final week and flames out early in the league tournament, they could get bounced. I would actually expect that happen under those circumstances.
Texas at Oklahoma State, 6pm, ESPN. Line, OSU -1
One of the biggest bubbles games of the day. The Cowboys sit as a #12 in the Matrix. A big win tonight could move them so far up the bracket lines that only a tailspin to close the season can get them out of.
Nebraska at Kansas State, 8pm, ESPN Full Court. Line, KSU -8
Like the Cowboys, the Wildcats are on the Matrix 12 line. They cant afford a loss or else teams will pass them. KSU players seem to writing their own at large bid obit, after getting blown out by Missouri the other night. The Big 12 schedule makers should get a cookie for this one. One Tuesday, KState travels to Oklahoma State in one of the most important bubble games of the final week. That game becomes more desperate if either the Pokes or the Cats lose at home today.
USC at Stanford, 8pm, no TV. Line, Stanford -2
Michigan sits solidly ahead of the Trojans in most people's minds. But, the Trojans close with a pair of layups at home against the Oregon schools. A win today could lead to a three game winning streak to end the season. Add a fourth win in the Pac 10 and you've got a hot, 20-win team. You see where I am going with this, dont you? Go Cardinal. Pretend it's football and 2007.
Nice work jamiemac's blog
Jamie you are a golden God of Basketball.
I can't keep track of all these teams, I'm glad you are here to guide us.
I'm good at things
odds are I have either a polisci or kinesiology degree, but that could be just how I talk.
eh, its probably polisci. I do the whole entitled thing, don't I?
Jamie, Georgetown is NOT being cool right now.
.....Nova's right there though. Just need a little run, thats all. Still, Hoyas have 22 TOs and Nova should be running them out of the gym.
Nova cuts it too 2 w/ 6:46 to go.
shitballs man this isn't going well....
And now ND is being all like "we're going to try and beat UConn" and what not. Assholes.
After watching Villanova today, I dont think there is any way they go into South Bend Monday night and win. It will be like Purdue/Michigan.
Still, the bubble does not need ND going on the road and winning this one. Its Senior Day, Huskies....WTF!!!
It doesn't look like ND can get over the hump here. They always seem to be down by 2 to 4 points in this game. Hopefully UConn can hold on for the W.
Sweet time for Thabeet to hit the bench, avoiding him shooting his own free throws.
And with Notre Dame possibly looking for a three, his defense isn't as big of a deal.
Cheers to you, FSU. Good to get a winning ticket.
Wooo Purdue is up 12 on OSU right now.
that if things break right for UM this weekend, they can be as high as 4th place. PU over OSU is one of those outcomes.
Right now, we should be pulling for UW, Duke and LSU in games in progress. If those teams win, it would wound bubble teams Arizona, Va Tech and UK.
With a win tomorrow, UM would pass any of those teams if they lose today.
Duke obliging, up double digits at the half.
LSU doubling up UK 24-12 midway through the first in Lexington!
Arizona, though, is looking real good. Complete 180 from their effort in Pullman two days ago. Giving the Huskies all they can handle are winning 62-58 midway through the second.
All games, plus the Purdue one, all broadcast nationally. This is some good stuff.
I think Arizona's bubble just exploded with Jordan Hill's ankle. That's an absolute death blow to them, they'll have a tough time with Cal if he's out and almost certainly won't win this game unless some other guys really step up. They should still beat Stanford though.
Edit: wow, Hill is actually going to try to come back and play. Looked pretty bad when he went down.
I think they were going to have a hard time with Cal anyway. I like the Bears. I'm thinking Cal +2 tonight vs UCLA is going to be too hard for me to pass up.
Cats are a few minutes and one game away from a four game losing streak. Thats not a good thing during the first week of March. But a great thing for UM's bubble picture.
C'mon UW, close this out.
Thanks for doing all of these bubble viewer guides. Awesome day of hoops. Sucks to see Gtown win even though they played like crap.
For the truly bubble crazed, most of Michigan's non-conference opponents play later at 6 or 7 tonight. Go RPI!
VT was being run out of their own building early on. But, they've been chipping away at Duke the whole time. The Hokies have always reminded me of piranna's.
Anyway only down 3 with 9 mins to go.
I dont think Duke has enough scoring to hold them off.
New definition of "pivot foot": a moving, sliding, switching dance move not detectable by two referees at a critical time in a basketball game. God officiating is bad at times.
.....i'm out for the day.
I really like Cal +2 tonight....i'm taking the FSU winnings (minus the dent from that Nova second half) and rolling it over on the Bears.
Yes, a Bruin win helps UM out, but this is a whole different story when it comes to it.
Enjoy the rest of your night.....I'm sure I'll see some of you in a CIL or something for tomorrow's game.
Cleveland State at Butler--This one didn't mean much, but Butler won. We need Butler to win the Horizon League tourney.
Notre Dame at Uconn--Uconn wins. Barring a miracle, ND is out. Great result for us.
Arizona at Washington--Washington wins. Good for us.
Duke at Virginia Tech--Duke wins. Good for us.
LSU at UK--LSU wins. Good for us.
Ohio State at Purdue--Purdue wins. Good for us.
Temple at Dayton--Dayton wins. Temple is probably out now, but I think a Temple win would have been slightly better.
Utah at BYU--BYU wins. They are probably in for sure now. Too bad.
Texas at Oklahoma State--12 minutes to go, OSU ahead by 13. We want a Texas comeback.
Nebraska at Kansas State--Not started.
USC at Stanford--Not started.
Pretty decent day for us so far. In my opinion though, we pretty much control our own destiny. 2 more wins (including the B10 tourney) is what it will take.
Nice recap. One more: UCLA beats a good Cal team on the road. Good for us.
Rooting against ND and OSU is just so easy to do.