Sunday, 25 February 2007

College Basketball Weekend Roundup

Lots and lots of great stuff from the weekend in college basketball... I'll just hit the highlights and anything else I saw as important.

- Ohio St. beat Wisconsin 49-48. As you can tell from the final score, defense was most prevalent in this game, as the Buckeyes shot 42% and the Badgers shot 35%. Still, a very good and competitive basketball game, as expected. Some thoughts just from this game:
  • I know it's been mentioned before, but I love how when Greg Oden blocks a shot, he keeps the ball in play and taps it to his teammates. Of his 4 blocked shots, at least 2 of them that I can remember basically directly led to layups. In a game where Oden wasn't a huge impact offensively, he was superb defensively.
  • I've mentioned often about how much I enjoy watching Mike Conley play, but what a game for him. There was of course the game-winner with 3.9 secods left, but he was superb throughout. 11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and he appeared to be everywhere out there. Great performance.
  • Hate to see something like what happened to Brian Butch... ugly looking play, and I doubt we'll be seeing him anytime soon on the court.
  • I saw a discussion on Saturday about which possible #1 seed was going to lose first... Tom Brennan said Ohio St. because of their youth, Doug Gottlieb said Wisconsin because their offense tends to stagnant when Alando Tucker isn't doing anything. Just Call Me Juice may be skeptical of the Buckeyes, but I tend to agree with Doug Gottlieb.
- Best defenses I have seen so far this year, in no particular order: Southern Illinois, UCLA, Michigan St.

- I love love Michigan St. right now. First of all, Tom Izzo's coaches tend to do very well in the Tourney (last year notwithstanding). Also, the Spartans are a fantastic defensive team and a great rebounding team, and that will keep you in a lot of ballgames. Finally, Drew Neitzel is second only to Acie Law in terms of 2nd half heroics this year. It's uncanny.

- My pet team to follow this year has been San Diego St., and while they have been maddeningly inconsistent, they showed another flash of their talent with a convining win over #22 BYU. They're going to have to win the MWC Tournament to make it to the Big Dance, but that is entirely possible.

- Lost in the shuffle of all of the other great freshmen this year is Chase Budinger. He's averaging almost 16 PPG, but he does it all in the flow of the game. He's a good shooter, he's very athletic, and he makes an impact in lots of different ways. Just a fun player to watch.

- The SEC West mediocrity continues. With Ronald Steele still not 100%, the Tide lost to Auburn to drop them to 6-8 in conference (same as Auburn). Mississippi and Mississippi St. are tied at 7-7 to lead the SEC West, but it doesn't look like either of those teams will be in the Tourney. Arkansas is down to 5-9. LSU beat Florida... to bring them to 4-10. 0 bids from the West and 5 from the East? Certainly looks very possible.

What jumped out to you over the weekend?