Scoreboard Watching: February 1, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Creighton 76, Baylor 67: The Jays complete the season sweep over Butler.  In doing so, Creighton picked up it's third win over a ranked team in a calendar month for the first time in school history - and may have erased doubts that crept in after their back-to-back losses following Mo Watson's ACL injury.
 
Kentucky 90, Georgia 81 (OT): The second road overtime loss against one of the SEC's top teams  - to go along with the screwjob they received at Texas A&M - has kept Georgia at arm' length from a bubble bid.  One more stop here down in regulation and the Bulldogs would have vaulted themselves in the field.  Meanwhile, Kentucky needed 60 points from Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe to keep themselves from dropping a third straight game heading into Saturday's trip to Gainesville.
 
Maryland 77, Ohio State 71: The Terps just keep winning.  20-2 overall and 8-1 in the Big Ten, Big home game next against Purdue on Saturday.  Meanwhile, OSU falls to 3-7 in conference and needs a very, very strong finish to salvage any tournament hopes.
 
North Carolina 80, Pitt 78: How narrow the line between hope and despair.  Jamal Artis' desperation three missed badly.  Had he managed to find the net, the Panthers would have new life.  Instead, they're 1-8 in conference and all but eliminated from at-large consideration.
 
Tennessee 87, Auburn 77: The Vols get themselves above .500 in SEC and creep closer to a tournament bid.

Tipping Off Tonight

Baylor at Kansas: Basketball nerds like us have had this one circled ever since Baylor's stunning comeback over Louisville in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game.  They've looked like Big 12 contenders since.  But to road to the top of the B12 mountaintop always runs through the Phog, where contenders dreams most often die.
 
Florida State at Miami: The one thing Leonard Hamilton didn't do in FSU's non-conference schedule was to schedule a true road test.  It may be to their detriment, as they're now 0-3 on the road in ACC play, including their two most recent games at Georgia Tech and Syracuse. 
 
Northwestern at Purdue: Chris Collins has the Wildcats playing the best basketball in program history.  At 7-2 in Big Ten play, they're very close to being mortal locks to make the dance.  A road trip to Purdue will be a tough task, however, as the Boilermakers hope to prove their weekend loss to Nebraska wasn't a sign of bigger problems.
 
TCU at Kansas State: The Horned Frogs have started to fade, while K-State looks to break a two-game skid of their own.
 
Seton Hall at Xavier: Like conference-mate Creighton, the Musketeers now have to deal without life after their best player was lost to an ACL injury.  Edmond Sumner - a "major contributer" by KenPom standards - is out for the year, dealing a blow to a team that's already slid a bit in Big East play.  Meanwhile, Seton Hall hopes to take advantage of Xavier's short-handedness and keep their tournament hopes alive.
 
Georgia Tech at Clemson: The Tigers need wins now as teams like GT pass them in the ACC pecking order.  The road has not been kind to Josh Pastner's team though, as the Yellow Jackets are just 2-5 away from home.
 
Villanova at Providence: The Wildcats first road trip since their loss at Marquette.

Scoreboard Watching: January 31, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Duke 84, Notre Dame 74: Aside from an Irish run around the midpoint of the second half, The Blue Devils controlled this game throughout - a great showing on the road for a team coming off a poor opening in conference.  After a 5-0 conference start, Notre Dame has lost four of their last five.

Oklahoma State 68, Oklahoma 66:  The Cowboys have started to get right as well, winning four straight against, including three prior against potential tournament teams in Texas Tech, TCU and a 28 point win over Arkansas.  They could very much use a win over of the the conference's elite teams.  With WVU and Baylor on deck after a mid-week bye, that opportunity is at their doorset.

Tipping Off Tonight

West Virginia at Iowa State: WVU forces turnovers on 30.6% of opponent possessions, tops in the country. Iowa State only turns it over on 13.8% of possessions, 2nd best.  Which team wins that battle stays within striking distance of 2nd place in conference with first place Baylor/Kansas set to meet tomorrow.
 
Creighton at Butler: Butler is incredibly inconsistent.  They've beaten Arizona, Villanova, Cincinnati and Xavier.  Meanwhile, three of their four losses are to teams outside the KenPom Top 50.  Creighton is the other loss, who won easily on January 11 in Omaha.  Maurice Watson led the Jays in that one with 21 points in one of his last games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
 
Tennessee at Auburn: The Vols are coming off their best week of the year, but their overall record of 12-9 has them on the wrong side of the bubble - for now.  Wins should start coming in droves, with only Kentucky and South Carolina left as teams ranked in the KenPom Top 50.

Maryland at Ohio State: An intriguing road test for a Maryland team that keeps trying to prove they can swing with the big boys in conference.


Bracketology 2017: January 30

Seed List

1: Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas, Villanova
2: Arizona, North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky
3: West Virginia, Virginia, UCLA, Cincinnati
4: Florida St., Butler, Wisconsin, Maryland
5: Duke, Florida, Purdue, Oregon
6: Creighton, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Saint Mary's
7: South carolina, Xavier, SMU, USC
8: Iowa St., Virginia Tech, Dayton, VCU
9: Miami Fl, Kansas St., Marquette, Arkansas
10: Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Seton Hall
11: Akron, California, Michigan St., Texas Tech, Indiana
12: Utah, Clemson, Nevada, Illinois St., Valparaiso
13: UNC Wilmington, East Tennessee St., UT Arlington, New Mexico St.
14: Monmouth, Princeton, Florida Gulf Coast, Vermont
15: Belmont, UNC Asheville, Bucknell, North Dakota St.
16: Weber St., Sam Houston St., North Carolina Central, UC Irvine

Bullets:

  • Out This Bracket: TCU, Michigan, Georgia Southern, Winthrop
  • In This Bracket: VCU, Michigan State, UT Arlington, UNC Ashville
  • Even more movement took place after another unpredictable weekend. Winning on the road in the ACC seems like a monumental task for anyone.  Miami and Georgia Tech were big winners, each picking up huge home wins.  The Yellow Jackets are suddenly in good position after knocking off their third upper-tier ACC team.
  • Also big movers this week is VCU after a decisive home win against A10 leader Dayton.  The Rams are now tied for conference lead on losses.
  • Creighton moves back up to a 6 six after getting right against Depaul.  I expect them to settle in around that mark after a volatile week.
  • Only 9 ACC teams are in right now after NC State gets bumped.  The Big Ten is close behind with 8, though Minnesota and Indiana could easily fall out.
  • On the bubble, I took Minnesota, Seton Hall, Cal, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Indiana, Clemson and Utah over NC State, Wichita State, Wake Forest, Pitt, Tennessee Oklahoma State, Richmond and Rhode Island.
  • Housekeeping:
    • Teams are selected and seeded based on an "If the season ended today" scenario.  This is not a projection of where I think they will end up, but where think they'd be based on season-to-date showings.  Doing it this way lets us track a team's stock as the season progresses.
    • Automatic bids are awarded to the team KenPom projects to win the regular season.  We'll keep it that way though January, before flipping over to the teams in first place in the conference standings.

Bids By Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference: 9
Big Ten Conference: 8
Big 12 Conference: 6
Big East Conference: 6
Pac-12 Conference: 6
Southeastern Conference: 4
American Athletic Conference: 2
Atlantic 10 Conference: 2
West Coast Conference: 2
America East Conference: 1
Atlantic Sun Conference: 1
Big Sky Conference: 1
Big South Conference: 1
Big West Conference: 1
Colonial Athletic Association: 1
Conference USA: 1
Horizon League: 1
Ivy League: 1
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: 1
Mid-American Conference: 1
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: 1
Missouri Valley Conference: 1
Mountain West Conference: 1
Northeast Conference: 1
Ohio Valley Conference: 1
Patriot League: 1
Southern Conference: 1
Southland Conference: 1
Southwestern Athletic Conference: 1
Sun Belt Conference: 1
Summit League: 1
Western Athletic Conference: 1


Scoreboard Watching: January 30, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Friday
VCU 73, Dayton 68: Just over a week after they lost at Fordham, the Rams spring back to live with their best win of the season.  They're now in a three way tie with Richmond and the Flyers in the loss column atop the A10.
 
Saturday
Kansas 79, Kentucky 73: The Wildcats have failed to score over 1.00 PPP three times this season - two of which were the two losses suffered this week (the other was a 69-48 W vs Michigan State in NYC in November).  Meanwhile, Kansas bounces back from their loss at WVU in a monumental way, staving off a hysterical, Michael Buffer hyped Rupp Arena to win the mother of all signature games.  This marks only the third season in which John Calipari's has lost two games at Rupp.  The first was their disastrous first-round NIT exit year, the other their national runner-up season in 2014.
Duke 85, Wake Forest 83: The grave was dug.  Everyone was ready to shovel dirt on the Blue Devils.  Then Luke Kennard did Luke Kennard things.  The sophomore went 10-10 from the field in the second half, including 6 3-PT field goals to power Duke to a much, much needed road win.  With Georgia Tech rising, this might be too tough a lost opportunity for the Deacons to overcome.
Syracuse 82, Florida State 72:  The Seminoles ran head-first into kryptonite this week, in the form of strong zone defenses.  Just days after Josh Pastner put on a clinic as Georgia Tech shut down FSU's offense, they seemed to have no answer for the Orange's 2-3 zone.  The fall is going to be long and hard for FSU after a trainwreck of a week - with a road trip to Miami still on deck.
Miami 77, North Carolina 62: Speaking of the Hurricanes, Miami proves no top dog is safe on the road in the ACC this season, dismantling first place UNC in Coral Gable.  However, the Tar Heels still remain in first place in the ACC after...
Georgia Tech 62, Notre Dame 60: ...the Yellow Jackets take down their third ACC title contender in Atlanta this season.  If Georgia Tech finished .500 in ACC play (they're 5-4 now), the committee is going to have a hard time keeping them out.
Vanderbilt 84, Iowa State 78: it was a poor showing from most of the Big 12 tournament teams not named Kansas in the B12/Sec challenge.  Iowa State couldn't get the job done in Nashville...
Tennessee 70, Kansas State 58: ...while east down I-40, K-State got beat up on the boards by a much shorter Tennessee team to fall in Knoxville.  The win caps a best case scenario week for the Vols, who are at least in back in the middle of the bubble conversation.  Rick Barnes' team should start racking up wins, only two opponents (@ Kentucky & @ South Carolina) are in KenPom's Top 50.
Maryland 85, Minnesota 78: It seems like forever ago when Minnesota had the makings of a tournament team.  Five straight losses later, they're in trouble.  The Terps continue to fly under the radar at 19-2, tied with Wisconsin for the Big Ten lead.
Florida 84, Oklahoma 52: After losing to Vandy at home, the Gators knock back-to-back 30+ point rod wins.
Baylor 78, Ole Miss 75: Much, much to close for comfort, as the Bears trailed for much of the game.  The good news?  Not many people saw it as it played head-to-head with KUvsUK.
Colorado 74, Oregon 65: Fresh off their first conference win of the season, the Buffaloes take down one of the conference favorites.  It would still take a monster remainder of Pac-12 play to get them back in the bubble discussion.
Georgetown 85, Butler 81:  4-2 in their last six games, including wins over Creighton and now the Bulldogs, Georgetown finally looks like they might be a more than a Big East doormat.  The loss is Butler's first at Hinkle Field House since last February.
 
Providence 79, Marquette 78:  One day, you're beating the #1 team in the nation.  The next, you're losing at home to a Providence team that entered 3-6 in Big east play.  Back toward the bubble for Wojo's boys.
East Tennessee State 76, Chattanooga 71: The Buccaneers take the drivers' seat in the SoCon with the win. Their return trip to Chattanooga is on February 18.
Nevada 82, New Mexico 65: Couple with Boise State's loss to Wyoming, the Wolf Pack are clearly in control of the MWC at this point.
William & Mary 96, UNC Wilmington 78: Quite a swing (32 points to be exact) from when these two teams last met on January 12, a 101-77 victory for UNCW.  The Seahawks are still the clear favorites in the CAA.
Sunday
Villanova 61, Virginia 59: Donte DiVencenzo's tip-in barely beat the buzzer as Nova survives.   Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins combined for just 4-19 from the floor, including a woeful 0-7 from inside the arc.  Win and advance.
Louisville 85, North Carolina State 60: Since losing in Tallahassee last weekend, the Cards are 2-0, having won those games by a combined score of 191-111.  Back to the bubble for NC State.
Michigan State 70, Michigan 62: Zak Irvin was scoreless in 36 minutes played while Michigan shot just 7-26 from 3.  A normal Michigan State team would have won this game by 30.
Nebraska 83, Purdue 80: The Huskers break a five game losing streak - which included losses to Ohio State and Rutgers - to knock off Purdue.
Northwestern 68, Indiana 55: These two teams met and one leaves very comfortably in the field, while one is hoping to scrape out a bubble bid.  If I had told you Northwestern was the comfortable team pre-season, would you have believed me?  Big game on Wednesday as they head to a Purdue team that hasn't lost back-to-back regular season games since 2015.

Tipping Off Tonight

Duke at Notre Dame: Both teams surely still hold out hope that they can make a late season push for the ACC crown after recent slides.  The game may come down to how good of looks ND can generate from three - the Domers rank 11th nationally in 3-PT percentage at 40.2%, while Duke holds opponents to 30.5%, 19th nationally.

Scoreboard Watching: January 27, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Oregon 73, Utah 67: Dillon Brooks returned from an ankle injury to lead the Ducks to a quality road win.  Utah still needs a win over one of the Pac-12 big boys to feel good about their chances.
 
Michigan 90, Indiana 60: The most lopsided win of the season for the Wolverines is the latest chapter in what's been a very up-and-down season in Ann Arbor.
 
Cincinnati 86, Xavier 78: At 18-2 overall, the Bearcats are 4-1 against the KenPom Top 50 and could be starting a push toward a spot on the first-4 seeds.
 
North Carolina 91, Virginia Tech 72: The Hokies remain in first place in the ACC.
 
Northwestern 73, Nebraska 61: At 6-2 in Big Ten Play and 17-4 overall, the Wildcats are a handful of wins away from being assured the first NCAA tournament bid in program history.  If they can push for a top-5 seed - which isn't out of the question at this point - Chris Collins should get NCOY consideration. 

Tipping Off This Weekend

Friday
Dayton at VCU: Big opportunity for the Rams to play themselves back into the field
 
Saturday
Kansas at Kentucky: After Tuesday night, this game has a different feel as both teams come in off a loss.  KenPom has the Wildcats has heavy favorites at home.
 
Duke at Wake Forest: The Blue Devils' slide continued on Monday with a loss to NC State.  Wake Forest is desperate for a win like this.
 
Kansas State at Tennessee: The Vols still have a work to do to get back into the bubble conversation, even with their win over UK on Tuesday.  K-State looks to rebound from their road loss to Iowa State earlier this week.
 
North Carolina at Miami: Winning in the ACC isn't easy.  The conference leaders will head to Miami to take on a Miami team that badly needs a win.
 
Florida State at Syracuse: How will the Seminoles bounce back from Wednesday's humbling loss at Georgia Tech?  Syracuse is down, but it's never an easy place to win.
 
Clemson at Pittsburgh: Both teams are on the outside looking in currently, making head-to-head match-ups like this very big.
 
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech: Tech is the team nobody wants to play right now, especially in Atlanta.
 
Maryland at Minnesota: A loss and the Gophers may be on the bad side of the bubble halfway through Big Ten play.
 
Sunday
Virginia at Villanova: The Cavs have won five in a row in ACC Play, including Tuesdays impressive road win in South Bend.  Meanwhile, Jay Wright looks to get the Wildcats back on track after shooting just 2-for-13 down the stretch in Milwaukee in Tuesday's loss.
 
Indiana at Northwestern: Four straight wins for the Wildcats have them at 4-2 in Big Ten play.  KenPom projects them at 11-7 in conference which would certainly be good enough to clinch their first ever NCAA Tournament bid.
 
Michigan at Michigan State:  Tom Izzo may not care about the fan base, but the fan base sure cares about this one.  A loss would be their fourth in a row and their 10th of the season.  Michigan has had their own struggles though...
 
Friday
Dayton at VCU: Big opportunity for the Rams to play themselves back into the field.
 
Saturday
Kansas at Kentucky: After Tuesday night, this game has a different feel as both teams come in off a loss.  KenPom has the Wildcats has heavy favorites at home.
 
Duke at Wake Forest: The Blue Devils' slide continued on Monday with a loss to NC State.  Wake Forest is desperate for a win like this.
 
Kansas State at Tennessee: The Vols still have a work to do to get back into the bubble conversation, even with their win over UK on Tuesday.  K-State looks to rebound from their road loss to Iowa State earlier this week.
 
North Carolina at Miami: Winning in the ACC isn't easy.  The conference leaders will head to Miami to take on a Miami team that badly needs a win.
 
Florida State at Syracuse: How will the Seminoles bounce back from Wednesday's humbling loss at Georgia Tech?  Syracuse is down, but it's never an easy place to win.
 
Clemson at Pittsburgh: Both teams are on the outside looking in currently, making head-to-head match-ups like this very big.
 
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech: Tech is the team nobody wants to play right now, especially in Atlanta.
 
Maryland at Minnesota: A loss and the Gophers may be on the bad side of the bubble halfway through Big Ten play.
 
Sunday
Virginia at Villanova: The Cavs have won five in a row in ACC Play, including Tuesdays impressive road win in South Bend.  Meanwhile, Jay Wright looks to get the Wildcats back on track after shooting just 2-for-13 down the stretch in Milwaukee in Tuesday's loss.
 
Indiana at Northwestern: Four straight wins for the Wildcats have them at 4-2 in Big Ten play.  KenPom projects them at 11-7 in conference which would certainly be good enough to clinch their first ever NCAA Tournament bid.
 
Michigan at Michigan State:  Tom Izzo may not care about the fan base, but the fan base sure cares about this one.  A loss would be their fourth in a row and their 10th of the season.  Michigan has looked better in the last week, but it's been a very up-and-down season for the Wolverines so far.

Bracketology 2017: January 26

Seed List

1: Baylor, Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas
2: Butler, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona
3: UCLA, Florida State, West Virginia, Virginia
4: Purdue, Louisville, Wisconsin, Oregon
5: Cincinnati, Duke, Notre Dame, Maryland
6: Florida, South Carolina, Saint Mary's, Xavier
7: Iowa State, USC, Northwestern, SMU
8: Indiana, Dayton, Kansas St., Creighton
9: Virginia Tech, Marquette, Arkansas, Minnesota
10: Utah, Miami, Seton Hall, Texas Tech
11: California, North Carolina State, TCU, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennssee
12: Nevada, Illinois State, UNC Wilmington, Akron
13: Valparaiso, Monmouth, New Mexico State, East Tennessee St.
14: Georgia Southern, Princeton, Florida Gulf Coast, Vermont
15: Belmont, Winthrop, Bucknell, North Dakota State
16: Mount Saint Mary's, North Carolina Central, UC Irvine, Sam Houston State, Weber State, Texas Southern

Bullets:

  • A lot of shake up a the top after five teams on the top two lines of Monday's bracket lost.  I moved Baylor to the number one overall seed, though Gonzaga has a claim to it as well.  Florida State falls to the 3-seed line after taking it on the chin in Atlanta last night.
  • Creighton has slid big time.  The Jays are now an 8 seed and need to show signs of life.
  • Housekeeping:
    • Teams are selected and seeded based on an "If the season ended today" scenario.  This is not a projection of where I think they will end up, but where think they'd be based on season-to-date showings.  I expect Gonzaga to fall as their strength of schedule weakens, while Michigan St. should rise as they get healthy and win games in the B1G.  Doing it this way lets us track a team's stock as the season progresses.
    • Automatic bids are awarded to the team KenPom projects to win the regular season.  We'll keep it that way though January, before flipping over to the teams in first place in the conference standings.
  • The bubble remains very, very fluid.  In the end, I took Seton Hall, Texas Tech, Cal, NC State, TCU, Michigan and Georgia Tech over Clemson, Wake forest, VCU, Houston, Georgia and Rhode Island.

Bids By Conference:
Atlantic Coast Conference: 11
Big 12 Conference: 6
Big Ten Conference: 7
Big East Conference: 6
Pac-12 Conference: 6
Southeastern Conference: 4
American Athletic Conference: 2
Atlantic 10 Conference: 1
West Coast Conference: 2
America East Conference: 1
Atlantic Sun Conference: 1
Big Sky Conference: 1
Big South Conference: 1
Big West Conference: 1
Colonial Athletic Association: 1
Conference USA: 1
Horizon League: 1
Ivy League: 1
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: 1
Mid-American Conference: 1
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: 1
Missouri Valley Conference: 1
Mountain West Conference: 1
Northeast Conference: 1
Ohio Valley Conference: 1
Patriot League: 1
Southern Conference: 1
Southland Conference: 1
Southwestern Athletic Conference: 1
Sun Belt Conference: 1
Summit League: 1
Western Athletic Conference: 1


Scoreboard Watching: January 26, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books


Georgia Tech 78, Florida State 56: A day after #JanuaryMadness saw the #1, #2 and #4 teams go down, #6 FSU wasn't even competitive in their second loss of ACC play.  The loss leaves UNC alone in first, while Georgia Tech officially enters the bubble conversation.

USC 84, UCLA 76:  Make it five top ten teams hanging an L this week.  Huge win for the Trojans, who had started to slide back to bubble territory after a poor start to PAC-12 play.  They're now 5-4 in conference play.  The loss is the Bruins' second straight, leaving them three games behind Arizona in KenPom's projected Pac-12 finish.  It'll be hard to see the Bruins get back to the 1-seed line in the end without a conference title.

Butler 61, Seton Hall 54: The Pirates can't keep up in the Big East, dropping four of their last five in conference play.  They'll be in for a fight to keep their bubble hopes alive.

Ohio State 78, Minnesota 72: The Gophers have now lost four straight and are two games under .500 in conference play.

Georgetown 71, Creighton 51: Guys, Creighton is in trouble.  In their two full games without Maurice Watson, Jr., they haven't been competitive against mid-tier Big East teams.  Greg McDermott has hit work cut out for him.

Baylor 65, Texas Tech 61: The Red Raiders kept it close, but could never get ahead over a Baylor team that now sits back as the #1 overall seed on the S-curve.

Nevada 76, Boise State 57: A pretty emphatic bounce-back from their loss to Fresno State, as the Wolf Pack go into their nearest MWC competitors and leave no doubt in a 19 point win.

Tipping Off Tonight

Oregon at Utah: KenPom has the Utes as very slight favorites in this one against one of the Pac-12 favorites.  The win would be huge toward their tournament chances.

Indiana at Michigan: The Wolverines need to win games like this at home if they want to make the field this year.

Xavier at Cincinnati: All bets are always off when these cross-town rivals meet up.  Big tournament implications are on the line in this year's edition.

Virginia Tech at North Carolina: The Tar Heels look to hang onto their one-game lead in the ACC.


Scoreboard Watching: January 25, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Marquette 74, Villanova 72: Pretty good week for Wojo's boys, eh?  Just a couple days after shooting Creighton out of the gym, Marquette erases a 17 point deficit as Villanova shoots 2 for 13 in the final 8 minutes to allow Marquette the signature win they badly, badly needed.

West Virginia 85, Kansas 69: Well, West Virginia now owns wins over Virginia, Baylor and Kansas, but still have four losses to unranked teams.  A one-seed is still within reach though if they can manage to take the Big 12 title.

Tennessee 82, Kentucky 80: Kentucky topped off the night with three of the top 4 teams losing, meaning either KU or UK will be on two-game losing skid Saturday for the first time this season.  The Vols are still a few good wins away from a bubble bid.

Purdue 84, Michigan State 73:  At 12-9 overall, Sparty's tournament chances need a boost.  They'll host rival Michigan on Sunday in a game between two bubble teams.

Louisville 106, Pitt 51: Well then.  Coming off Saturday's disappointing loss in Tallahassee, the Cards double up Pitt at home, posting 1.47 PPP on offense.  The Panthers have lost five straight since beating Virginia - and are on the bad side of the bubble for the time being.

Virginia 71, Notre Dame 54: Huge win on the road for the Cavs, who remain a game out of first in the ACC, where FSU and North Carolina lead the way.

Iowa State 70, Kansas State 65: The Cyclones controlled throughout and look good into Saturday's game with Vanderbilt.  The good news for K-State?  WVU's win over Kansas makes their weekend win carry a more weight.

Syracuse 81, Wake Forest 76: The win by the Orange dampers Wake's bubble hopes a bit.

Tipping Off Tonight

UCLA at USC: The Trojans need a signature win still to feel comfortable, but UCLA is likely to come out swinging after falling at home to Arizona on Saturday.

Butler at Seton Hall: At 3-4 in conference, the Pirates need to hold serve at home.


Scoreboard Watching: January 24, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Oklahoma State 89, TCU 76: The Horned Frogs are on a three game slide and have now moved squarely into bubble territory.

NC State 84, Duke 82: Huge win for the Wolfpack.  They're in good position to be in Thursday's edition of Bracketology 2017.  Meanwhile, the Blue Devils are likely in danger of dropping out of a top 4 seed.

Tipping Off Tonight

Kansas at West Virginia: I have no idea what to expect from West Virginia.  They dismantled Baylor at home, but have fallen to teams they should easily beat.  Kansas, meanwhile, hasn't loss since Veteran's Day in Honolulu.

Virginia at Notre Dame: The Irish remained tied with FSU and North Carolina for the ACC lead but get a big test at home from a Virginia squad.

Villanova at Marquette: The Golden Eagles shots the light out at Creighton over the weekend. Can they follow it up against the nation's best team at home?

Purdue at Michigan State: The Spartans badly need wins like this, while Purdue looks to keep pace with Wisconsin.

Kansas State at Iowa State: Both teams sit somewhat comfortable in the field as of now, especially following KSU's win over West Virginia on Saturday.

Wake Forest at Syracuse: The Deacons are barely in the field and need wins like this to put themselves in.

Louisville at Pitt: The Panthers needs wins like this to improve their profile.


Scoreboard Watching: January 23, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Friday

Akron 70, Eastern Michigan 63: Big week for the Zips, who knock off both of the MAC's top contenders at home.  Every other MAC team has at least two wins, while Akron now sits at 6-0 in conference.

Saturday

Florida State 73, Louisville 68: The Cards were dealt a tough hand, tipping off against the ACC co-leaders in Tallahassee just 41 hours after beating Clemson at home.  The 'Noles took advantage of a predictably sluggish start jumping out to a 14-0 start in the game's opening minutes.  Louisville cut the lead to one on three separate occasions, but could never take the lead, extending FSU's home winning streak to 17.

Kansas State 79, West Virginia 75: I don't get West Virginia, man.  On one hand, they have very impressive wins against Baylor and at Virginia.  On the other, all four of their losses came to unranked teams.  Kansas comes next and I have no idea what to expect.

Baylor 62, TCU 53: TCU finishes 0-3 in their first round against the Big 12's title contenders, but a bubble bid is definitely still in reach..

Arizona 96, UCLA 85: The Wildcats got the news they've been waiting for Saturday morning when Allonzo Trier was cleared by the NCAA to return.  The Sophomore scored 12 points and had 7 rebounds in 27 minutes, leading the Wildcats to a huge road win.  Arizona's only losses are on neutral courts to Butler and Gonzaga and are now KenPom's favorites to win the top-heavy Pac-12.

Wisconsin 78, Minnesota 76: The Gophers have now dropped three straight in conference and are at a bit of a crossroads at they head to Columbus on Wednesday.

Marquette 102, Creighton 94: It's easy to look at a Creighton L and chalk it up to Maurice Watson Jr's absense, but the offense was clicking for the Jays.  Marquette pushed the pace and picked up their best win of the season.

Oklahoma State 83, Texas Tech 64: After an incredibly weak non-conference schedule, the Red Raiders need to make hay in Big 12 play.  At 3-4, they have a lot of work left to do.

SMU 85, Houston 64: Both teams entered in the bubble conversation, but only the Mustangs looked like anything that resembled  a tournament team.

Duke 70, Miami 58: Amile Jefferson returned for the Blue Devils, leading the way on the glass with twelve boards.  The 'Canes are 2-4 in ACC play with North Carolina and Florida State looming after a home tilt with BC.

Indiana 82, Michigan State 75: The Hoosiers have now won three games in a row and are back to .500 in Big Ten play.  Meanwhile, Sparty has dropped three of four and host Purdue on Tuesday.

Kentucky 85, South Carolina 69: The Gamecocks #1 rated defense did little to slow down Kentucky's attack, scoring just .03 under their season PPP average.

Michigan 66, Illinois 57: When the Wolverines were playing well (pre-Thanksgiving), it was in large part because of sophomore DJ Wilson.  The big man scored 19 to go along with 7 boards and 5 assists to lead Michigan, who held the Illini to their second lowest point total of the season, just a week and a half after giving up 85 points in Champaign.

Vanderbilt 68, Florida 66: A terrible week for the Gators, who fall at South Carolina and then at home in this stunner of a loss.  The Gators don't have enough good wins to make up for losses like this if they want to play opening weekend in Orlando.

Central Michigan 101, Miami Ohio 92: Not tournament impacting at all, but one must take note of Marcus Keene's 50 points thanks in large part to a 10-15 3-PT night.

Sunday

Virginia Tech 82, Clemson 81: Both teams badly needed a conference win.  Right now I have the Tigers still in my field of 68, but only by the slimmest of margins.  They need to finish very strong in ACC play to make the cut.

Northwestern 74, Ohio State 72: The Wildcats surrendered a halftime lead briefly, before taking control and never handing the game back to the Buckeyes in Columbus.  Guys, barring a collapse, Northwestern is going to make the tournament.

Tipping Off Tonight

TCU at Oklahoma State: The Horned Frogs had a bad week last week and need to get back on the winning track in Stillwater tonight.