Scoreboard Watching: November 19, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In the books

Michigan 76, SMU 54:  For quite possibly time under John Beilein, the Wolverines have a front-court to be reckoned with, and surprisingly so.  Junior DJ Wilson was a non-factor for Michigan through his first two seasons, and is suddenly drawing ESPN's Jay Williams to declare that he's bound for the NBA just a week into the year.   Their length has helped their defense, as the Wolverines have improved from a team that ranked 248th in 2-PT FG defense a year ago, and are up to 86th already, coupled with a methodical but highly-efficient offense.  
Xavier 82, Clemson 77: The Tigers had looked strong in their first two games but were no match for a strong Xavier squad.  The their third-place game against Oklahoma on Sunday is an intriguing one.
Northern Iowa 73, Oklahoma 67 (OT): The Panthers erased an 18 point second half Sooners' lead to take this one in overtime.  Can they pull off a second straight shocker over Xavier on Sunday?
Villanova 96, Wake Forest 77: With a road win over Purdue and a dominating win on a neutral court over Wake, the defending champs seem more than ready to defend their crown.
Pitt 78, Marquette 75: A day after each team dropped humbling defeats in NYC, the Panthers get the edge and head into Thanksgiving feeling a little better about themselves.  Marquette hopes to get right against IUPUI, Houston Baptist and Western Carolina before heading to Georgia and Hosting Wisconsin in two of their first three December contests.
USC 65, Texas A&M 63: The Trojans announce themselves on the scene as a balanced attack led them to the road win in college station.

Tipping Off This Weekend

Saint Mary's at Dayton: The first real test of the season for the Gaels against a Dayton team that looked solid earlier this week in a road test at Alabama.
Saturday/Sunday, Hall of Fame Tip-Off
Cincinnati vs Rhode Island: Both teams are expected to make the tournament, but have chewed on cupcakes thus far.  This weekend should prove a good early measuring stick for both squads.
Duke vs Penn State: The Blue Devils will use this to get back on track after Tuesday's loss to Kansas before taking on the Cincinnati/Rhode Island winner on Sunday.
Tire Pros Invitational
Northern Iowa vs Xavier:  The Panthers pulled off the upset over Oklahoma on Friday, but Xavier was clicking on all cylinders against Clemson in their semi-final.
Clemson vs Oklahoma:  Both teams had eyes on winning this tournament and boosting their standing, but just as important now is escaping the weekend 2-1.
Davidson vs Arizona St: Much like the third place game above, a 2-1 weekend mark is on the line for two teams that will have a lot of work to do to get in the bubble conversation this weekend.
Paradise Jam
North Carolina St vs Creighton: The Paradise Jam title is likely to be decided in this first semi-final.  The Bluejays have looked very strong thus far including their home win over Wisconsin and look to keep that momentum going against an ACC opponent on an neutral floor.
St Joe's vs Ole Miss: A win against either opponent in the opposite semi-final seems unlikely, making this game all the bigger for two teams that will need some help come March.
Charleston Classic
Villanova vs UCF: The Wildcats have looked like the nation's best team thus far, and there's no reason to thing UCF should slow them down at all.  Should be an easy win for the defending champs.

Scoreboard Watching: November 17, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In the books

Florida Gulf Coast 85, UT-Arlington 72: The Eagles have been impressive in their 1-1 start, hanging with Florida for the first thirty minutes of their opening game loss before taking care of the Sun Belt favorites at home.
Butler 70, Northwestern 68: An Instant Classic in Hinkle Fieldhouse as Kamar Baldwin drained a long two with 0.5 seconds left to give Butler the edge at home.  Northwestern showed they can hang with tournament level teams.  If they can better themselves in end of game situations, they could sneak themselves into the bubble conversation.

Tipping off tonight

Michigan vs Marquette: A coin toss game between two teams who could live anywhere from solidly in the field to bubble-out.
Pitt vs SMU: Both teams have looked solid in their respective tune-up games, this will start to set the bar for how they go moving forward.
Seton Hall at Iowa: A tough road test for a Pirates team hoping for an at-large berth.
Clemson vs Davidson: Clemson looks to keep momentum going after their opening-night win over Georgia at home.
Providence at Ohio St: The Buckeyes don't have too many chances to impress ahead of their Big Ten/ACC clash at Virginia at month's end.  Meanwhile, Providence looked good in their 80-58 win over a solid Vermont team in their opener.
Valparaiso at Oregon: How will Oregon respond from their whooping at Baylor on Tuesday?  This home tilt against Valpo should not be slept on before their trip to Maui next week.

Scoreboard Watching: November 18, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In the books

Michigan 79, Marquette 61: Michigan stormed to a big first half lead and never looked back, burying Marquette in a rather surprising result for both sides.

SMU 76, Pittsburgh 67: The Mustangs have looked strong through three games - maybe even strong enough to be crowned AAC favorites heading into Feast Week.

Seton Hall 91, Iowa 83: The Pirates notch a strong road win over a Big Ten opponent that hopes to get itself into the bubble conversation.  The Hawkeyes get a tune-up before facing Virginia in the Emerald Coast Classic later this week.

Northern Iowa 82, Arizona St 63: Northern Iowa took control of this game early and cruised home for a quality win.

Ohio St 72, Providence 67: JaQuon Lyle paced the Buckeyes with 21 PTS, 8 REB and 7 AST to notch a nice home win.

Clemson 95, Davidson 78: The Tigers have been red hot through two games, but face a real test today against Xavier.


Tipping off tonight

Michigan vs SMU: Both teams have looked strong through their early games, each disposing of formidable foes in the semi-finals of the 2K Classic to set-up this title game.
Marquette vs Pitt: Was Thursday's blowout loss to Michigan a sign the Wolverines are for real, or that the Golden Eagles have some real problems?  This tilt may begin to answer that question further.
Northern Iowa vs Oklahoma: The first of two intriguing semi-finals from Disney today as Northern Iowa looks to pull a mild upset.
Clemson vs Xavier: As I said above, the Tigers have looked great so far this year, but now face one of their toughest off-season tests.  A win would surely prove that they're ready to take the next step into ACC contention.
Davidson vs Missouri: Davidson couldn't hang with Clemson on Thursday, can they bounce back with this should-win game on Friday?
Villanova at Wake Forest: The champs are coming off a nice road win over Purdue and should keep in rolling in this tilt in Charleston.

Scoreboard Watching: November 16, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In the books

Baylor 66, Oregon 49: The Bears send an early statement to the Big 12, holding Oregon to 3-21 3-PT Shooting(!) to run away with this weekday afternoon showdown.  This started a string of games in which teams projected to be on the top-2 lines of the seed list dropped.
Kansas 77, Duke 75: Just days after getting dealt a tough loss to Indiana, the Jayhawks edge the overall-top-seed-favorite Blue Devils with a Frank Mason III game winner with 6 seconds left.  
Dayton 77, Alabama 72: A solid road win for a Dayton team looking to build momentum heading into Saturday's showdown with Saint Mary's.
Kentucky 68, Michigan St 49: The Spartans looked like a jetlagged team and simply couldn't hang with the young and athletic Wildcats.  Whether or not MSU's November gauntlet will be a blessing or a funeral is still to be seen after thier 0-2 start.  Meanwhile, Kentucky's freshmen are playing well together.  Malik Monk went 7-11 3-PT while De'Aaron Fox is currently 21-21 FT on the season.
Creighton 79, Wisconsin 67: The Big Ten favorites shot 63% from inside the arc, but were only 11-39 (39!) from beyond, including a 3-13 3-PT night from Bronson Koening.  Meanwhile, the Bluejays were an efficient 50% from both inside and beyond the three-point line and cruised to the home win.

Tipping off tonight

UT-Arlington at Florida Gulf Coast: A night after the powerhouse collision in New York City, peaceful Fort Myers plays host to a mid-major clash as two small conference favorites tip off at Alico Arena.  Both teams are looking to bounce back after losses to Power-5 teams after the Eagles fell to in-state foe Florida and UT-Arlington came up short against Minnesota.
Northwestern at Butler: Is this finally the Wildcats year?  NU should be improved under Chris Collins, but it would be tough to see them finishing above .500 and punching a ticket.  If they could work themselves into the bubble conversation, this would be a quality road win they would love to have.

Scoreboard Watching: November 15, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Villanova 79, Purdue 76: The defending national champions grind out a road win in their first test of the season, proving they're ready to defend their title.

Gonzaga 69, San Diego St. 48: The 'Zags pulled away early on this one and never looked back, cruising to quality win at home.

BYU 82, Princeton 72: The Ivy League darlings were no match for the Cougars, falling on the road.

Tipping-Off Tonight:

Duke vs Kansas: Can KU kick the jet-lag from their overnight flight from Hawaii Friday night in time to bounce back from their opening loss to Indiana?  It's a tough task against a Duke team that's looked very good in their two warm-up games to date.

Oregon at Baylor: Oregon looks to prove they're up to the hype that has them billed as a pre-season 1 seed.

Michigan St vs Kentucky: The Wildcats has been slow to start in their first two games, while Sparty must also regroup from a last second loss followed by the long trip from Hawaii.

Wisconsin at Creighton: The Badgers are Big Ten favorites, but face an early season test against.

Dayton at Alabama: The Flyers look for a quality road win.

Maryland at Georgetown: A Capital City battle as Georgetown looks to hold serve against their Big Ten neighbors.

Scoreboard Watching: November 14, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In the books:

Friday, November 11

Indiana 103, Kansas 99 (OT): James Blackmon lead the Hoosiers with 26 points and a KenPom ORating of 133, while Frank Mason shined in a losing effort, posing 30 PTS, 7 Reb and 9 Assists.  Kansas looks for a better outing against Duke tomorrow.
Arizona 65, Michigan St 63: The good news for Spartan fans? Flintstone Freshman Miles Bridges looks every bit as good as his 5-star hype going for 21 PTS and 7 Reb in the loss.
Wagner 67, UConn 58: The Northeast Conference favorites used a balanced attack to take down the Huskies in Storrs, despite a 9-25 3-PT shooting performance.
Marquette 95, Vanderbilt 71: Early projects would have both these teams somewhere around the bubble conversation, so a blowout win on a neutral court certainly won't hurt Marquette.
Clemson 74, Georgia 64: The Tigers open up the newly-renovated Littlejohn Collisieum with a solid win over a Georgia team that will push for an at-large bit.
Chattanooga 82, Tennessee 69: The Mocs are consensus favorites to win the SoCon, and looked every bit of it going on the road and cruising to a win over a power 5 opponent.  Justin Tuoyo led the way with 22 PTS, 11 REB.
Pitt 93, Eastern Michigan 90 (2OT): The Kevin Stallings era begins with a win over one of the MAC's stronger teams this season.
Florida 80, FGCU 59: The Gators begin their non-conference barnstorming tour (The O'Connell Center is undergoing a massive renovation) with a win over FGCU in Jacksonville.  The Eagles looked dangerous early on, until a long scoring drought in the 2nd half ended their chances.
Sunday, November 13
North Carolina 97, Chattanooga 57: Two days after their comfortable win over Tennessee, UNC ran wild over the Mocs, holding Justin Tuoyo to 8 PTS just two days after he posted 22 PTS, 11 REB against the Volunteers.
SMU 91, Eastern Michigan 64: The Eagles played like a team drained after a double-overtime loss followed by a long flight south.  Meanwhile, SMU passes an early test with flying colors heading into Saturday's game with Pitt.

Tipping-Off Tonight

ESPN's annual Tip-Off Marathon gets underway today, meaning there's a bevvy of hoops on tap today and tomorrow.
Villanova at Purdue: The defending national champions face a tough test on the road in Boilermaker territory.
San Diego St at Gonzaga: An intriguing early-season showdown by two perennial mid-major powers in Spokane.
Princeton at BYU: The Tigers are this year's Ivy League darlings, but face a tough test on the road in Provo.

Scoreboard Watching: November 11, 2016

Welcome, College Basketball 2016!  Here’s watch to watch on college hoops’ opening weekend.

Friday 11/11

Arizona vs Michigan St: The first regular-season glimpse for MSU freshman Miles Bridges, while Arizona looks to be down Alonzo Trier and and Ray Smith.
Indiana vs Kansas: More freshmen sensations debut in the second half of this double-header as De-Ron Davis leads IU against Josh Jackson and KU.  The Jayhawks are projected by many to be a 1-seed come March.
Marquette vs Vanderbilt: An early neutral-site test for two projected bubble teams.
Georgia vs Clemson: The Tigers open newly-renovated Littlejohn Coliseum, which was always a tricky place to play.  If Clemson fans are aware it’s actually basketball season now, they should provide a good home court for another clash of teams that look destined for the bubble conversation.
Chattanooga at Tennessee: The Mocs are the consensus pick to win the SoCon this season, so a win over a power-5 school could help them in seeding come March should they live up to the hype.
Saturday 11/12
Nothing of note.  Enjoy some football.
Sunday 11/13
Eastern Michigan vs SMU: The Eagles are expected to contend for the MAC lead, while SMU begins live under Jim Jankovich alive for a tourney-bid.

Bracketology 2017: The Presason Bracket


(Analysis to come)

1: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova
2: Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon
3: Arizona, Louisville, Xavier, Purdue
4: UCLA, Michigan St, Gonzaga, Indiana
5: Saint Mary’s, West Virginia, Syracuse, Connecticut
6: Rhode Island, Butler, Cincinnati, Creighton
7: Iowa St, Wichita St, California, Baylor
8: Miami FL, Texas, Florida, Texas A&M
9: Michigan, Dayton, NC State, VCU
10: Maryland, Florida St, San Diego St, Oklahoma
11: Seton Hall, Princeton, Ohio St, SMU/Colorado
12: Monmouth, Valparaiso, UNC Wilimgton, Georgetown/Virginia Tech
13: UT Arlington, Long Beach St, Vermont, Chattanooga
14: New Mexico St, Lehigh, Winthrop, UAB
15: Stephen F. Austin, Weber St, Ohio St, Belmont
16: Texas Southern/Howard, Siena/Wagner, Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota St

By Conference
ACC: 10
Big 12: 6
SEC: 3
Big East: 6
Pac-12: 5
Big Ten: 7
West Coast: 2
American: 3
Atlantic 10: 3
MVC: 1
Mountain West: 1
Ivy: 1
Colonial: 1
Horizon: 1
Metro Atlantic: 1
Sun Belt: 1
Big West: 1
America East: 1
Southern: 1
Conference USA: 1
Big South: 1
Patriot: 1
WAC: 1
Southland: 1
MAC: 1
Big Sky: 1
Ohio Valley: 1
Summit: 1
Atlantic Sun: 1

NEC: 1