Scoreboard Watching: January 11, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Florida State 88, Duke 72: The Seminoles are for real.  They're deeper than just about any top team and still run out some elite scoring talent in Xavier Rathan-Mays, Dwayne Bacon and the raw talented freshman Jonathan Isaac.  FSU looks solidly seated on the 2-seed line with the win.  They'll take their 16-1 record into the Dean Dome on Saturday in a battle of teams KenPom currently projects atop the ACC.

West Virginia 89, Baylor 68: The Bears come crashing back down to earth just a day after earning the consensus #1 ranking.  Nathan Adrian's 22 PTS lead the Mountaineers, who are now 5-2 against the KenPom Top 100 and 2-0 against the Top 10.

Villanova 79, Xavier 54: The Wildcats are definitely back to form with a dominating display over one of their top conference rivals.

Maryland 75, Indiana 72: The Hoosiers missed a three at the buzzer that would have pushed things into overtime, but the Terps seemed to have control of this thing late after trailing for much of the second half.  The loss drops IU to a woeful 1-4 in B1G play, squarely into bubble territory with a lot of work left to do.

Virginia Tech 83, Syracuse 73: The Hokies get things back on track after a woeful road swing last week saw them drop games to NC State and FSU.

Texas Tech 66, Kansas St. 65: Another big win for the Red Raiders, who remain undefeated at home.

Tipping Off Tonight

Butler at Creighton: Two teams looking to stay with Villanova atop the conference standings - and a spot in the Brackets Top 4 seeds - square off in Omaha.

North Carolina at Wake Forest: The Tar Heels need to be careful not to look ahead toward Saturday's game against FSU and take care of business down the road in this one first.

Minnesota at Michigan St.: The Spartans took another big blow over the weekend, losing to Penn State and falling to 11-6 on the season.  Meanwhile, Minnesota comes in hot, winning three in a row since this teams first squared off in the B1G opener December 27.

Michigan at Illinois: Two teams squarely in bubble territory square off in a game that likely puts the loser in next week's Bracketology 2017 and leaves the loser out.

Seton Hall at Marquette: Opportunities to play themselves into the field are slipping away for Marquette.  They need wins like this at home.

Iowa St. at Oklahoma St.: It's much of the same story for the Cowboys, who have to win games like this at home if they're going to make the dance.


Scoreboard Watching: January 10, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching
All eyes last night were on football.  No basktball to wrap-up from Monday, but a ton of action tonight.

Tipping Off Tonight

Duke at Florida State: This may be the biggest basketball game in Tallahassee since I moved here 9 years ago.  The crowd will be electric as the Noles look to stay undefeated in conference against against a strong Duke team.

Baylor at West Virginia: The Bears are the #1 team in the country, but face their biggest test of the season tonight in Morgantown.  If they can get by this, all eyes immediately turn toward their February 1 trip to Lawrence.

Indiana at Maryland: The Hoosiers did beat Illinois over the weekend, but plenty of questions remain.  Maryland looked good in their weekend win at Michigan.

Kansas St vs Texas Tech: Both teams reside squarely on the bubble.  This could be a play in game for next week's edition of Bracketology 2017.

Xavier at Villanova: The first big test since losing to Butler least week is this home contest against the Muskateers.  Xavier is 1-1 against the KenPom top 25 this season, looking to improve that tonight with a signature win.

Syracuse at Virginia Tech: It's a long road back to the bubble for the Orange, but after back-to-back wins against likely tournament bound ACC foes, it's not impossible.  They need road wins like this one to get back in the hunt.  Meanwhile, Va Tech looks to bounce back from a bad 0-2 road swing at NC State and FSU


Bracketology 2017: January 10, 2017

Seed List
1: Baylor, Villanova, Kansas, UCLA
2: Kentucky, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Duke
3: Oregon, Florida St., North Carolina, Louisville
4: Butler, Purdue, Wisconsin, Creighton
5: Notre Dame, Arizona, Flroida, Virginia
6: Virginia Tech, Saint Mary's, Cincinnati, Xavier
7: Maryland, South Carolina, Dayton, Minnesota
8: Seton Hall, USC, Indiana, Arkansas
9: Northwestern, Clemson, SMU, Iowa St.
10: Texas Tech, Miami FL, Pittsburgh, Kansas St.
11: Wichita St., TCU, Michigan/Utah, California, VCU
12: UNC Wilmington, Chattanooga, Oakland, Middle Tennessee
13: UT Arlington, Boise St., Vermont, Florida Gulf Coast
14: New Mexico St., Monmouth, Belmont, Bucknell
15: Ohio, UNC Ashville, Weber St., New Orleans
16: North Dakota St., Princeton, LIU Brooklyn/North Carolina Central, UC Irvine/Texas Southern
 
Bullets
  • 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.
  • With Villanova's first loss since last year's tournament began, Baylor takes over the #1 overall seed.  Only the Bears and Gonzaga remain undefeated. 
  • It was a bad week for bubble teams, with a ton losing leaving us with a pretty unimpressive pool at the end.  I wound up taking Texas Tech, Miami, TCU, Michigan, Cal, VCU and Utah over team like Oklahoma St., Rhode Island, Marquette, Houston and Michigan St.
Conferences with multiple bids
10: ACC
7: Big 12, Big Ten
6: Pac-12
5: Big East
4:  SEC
2: American, WCC, A10

Scoreboard Watching: January 9, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching
Nothing tip off tonight of note...enjoy the football National Championship Game
 
Friday
Dayton 67, Rhode Island 64: The Rams miss a great opportunity slip away after surrendering their lead in the final ten minutes. Dayton tightens their grip on the A10 lead.
 
Oakland 78, Valparaiso 66: The Grizzlies recent ascension to Horizon League favorites is secure with their road win over their nearest competitor.
 
Saturday
Notre Dame 75, Clemson 70: Clemson is still on solid ground, but will need to right hte ship against Georgia Tech on Thursday after a 1-2 ACC start.
 
Cincinnati 67, Houston 58: At 12-4 but with only only one win against the KenPom Top 50, the Cougars' chances to play themselves in the dance continue to slip away.
 
Butler 85, Georgetown 76 (OT): The Bulldogs biggest problem has been stringing good wins together.  They needed the extra period, but survived this one and remain as one of the better teams in the field.
 
Creighton 78, Providence 64: The Friars need a signature win to get them over the hump.
 
Kansas 75, Texas Tech 68: After knocking off West Virginia at home, the Red Raiders are sound humbled by the Big 12 powerhouse. 
 
Florida St 93, Virginia Tech 78: The Seminoles only loss this season was a last second one to Temple.  Meanwhile, they've beaten six KenPom Top 100 teams including a road win at Virginia and this decisive win at home.  Tuesday's game against Duke will be one of the biggest in Tallahassee in quite some time.
 
Syracuse 77, Pittsburgh 66: At 10-6 the Orange still have a world of work to do to get htemselve sinto the dance, but wins over Miami and Pitt was a promising first two steps.
 
Penn St 72, Michigan St 63: Just when it looked like the Spartans were picking themselves up off the mat, they're knocked right back down with a tough loss in the Pelestra.
 
South Carolina 79, Texas A&M 68: The Aggies fall to 1-5 against the KenPom Top 100 while South Carolina is beginning to turn around their own skid with two wins in a row.
 
Baylor 61, Oklahoma St 57: The Bears are sure to be the #1 team in this week's polls.
 
Villanova 93, Marquette 81: The Wildcats bounce back from their first loss since Selection Sunday.
 
Maryland 77, Michigan 70: The Wolverines have not shown much life since Thanksgiving and are in danger of slipping into NIT purgatory.
 
West Virginia 82, TCU 70: The Mountaineers get back in the win column after falling at Texas Tech.
 
Indiana 96, Illinois 80: The Hoosiers pick up their first win of B1G play.
 
Kentucky 97, Arkansas 71: The Wildcats prove once again they are the clear class of the SEC.
 
Arizona 82, Colorado 73: An 0-3 start to PAC 12 play for the Buffs, with UCLA and USC calling could spell N-I-T if they can't right the ship.
 
Texas Southern 87, UT Arlington 73: A big upset in the Sun Belt.
 
Sunday
Purdue 66, Wisconsin 55: Huge win for the Boilermakers, smothering Wisconsin and making their presence known as B1G contenders.
 
North Carolina 107, North Carolina St 56: Nothing like a 51 point win over your rival to remind everyone you're ready to play for the ACC title.
 
Minnesota 78, Ohio St 68: The Gophers continue to look like a tournament team, while you cannot be so sure about the Buckeyes.
 
California 74, USC 73: Cal continues to play themselves onto the bubble, while the Trojans drop to 1-2 in PAC-12 play after a 14-0 non-conference showing.

Scoreboard Watching: January 5, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Nebraska 93, Iowa 90 (2 OT): Nebrasketball moves to 3-0 in B1G play, but still only 9-6 overall.  It seems like they would have to get to 11 B1G wins to punch a ticket, though their non-conference SOS is strong (17th according to KenPom).  It could be a fun ride.
 
Purdue 76, Ohio St 75: A quality road win for the Boilers against an Ohio State team that needs to pick up the pace if they want to get on the right side of the bubble.
 
Minnesota 70, Northwestern 66: The Wildcats go ice cold down the stretch as Minnesota takes control and picks up another solid win for their resume.
 
 
Saint Mary's 81, BYU 68: BYU's chances to play themselves into a bubble bid steadily get more slim.  They need to knock off the WCC big boy's to have a real chance at making the dance.

Tipping off Tonight

 Friday
Rhode Island at Dayton: The Rams badly need to pick wins up against quality opponents.  This road test against the Flyers - who are the narrow A10 favorites by KenPom - is the opportunity they need.
 
Oakland at Valparaiso: The Horizon League favorites clash on Valpo's home floor, 9pm Friday on ESPN2.
 
Saturday
Clemson at Notre Dame:  The Irish are coming off their best win of the season over Louisville and look to move to 3-0 in ACC play.  Meanwhile, Clemson is 7-3 against the KenPom Top 100 and looking to prove they can hand with the ACC's top teams after an overtime loss to North Carolina on Tuesday.
 
Cincinnati at Houston: The Cougars are badly in need of a win here against the AAC favorites on their home court.
 
Butler at Georgetown: Butler looks to build upon their monumental road win over Villanova on Wednesday night.
 
Creighton at Providence: A 11-5, Providence is knocking on the door of a bubble bid.  A home win over Creighton would be a big step in the right direction.
 
Pitt at Syracuse: At 9-6, the 'Cuse continue to be on their final lifeline, though a 15 point win over Miami earlier this week was an encouraging sign.  Meanwhile, Pitt looks to avoid a letdown after their biggest win under Kevin Stallings when they knocked off Virginia on Wednesday.
 
Texas Tech at Kansas: Is there any chance the Red Raiders can roll the momentum of their home win against West Virginia into a road win in Lawrence?
 
Virginia Tech at Florida State: The Hokies got trounced at NC State on Wednesday, leaving many to wonder what team will show up.  Meanwhile, a young FSU team just needs to keep focused on the task at hand, with Duke due for a visit to Tallahassee on Tuesday.
 
Maryland at Michigan: The Wolverines needed a 14 point second half comeback to get by Penn State earlier this week.  The'll need a stronger showing if they want to survive this one.
 
Texas A&M at South Carolina: Both of these teams have been on a slide as of late and need to string some wins together.
 
Oklahoma St at Baylor: The Cowboys are all that stands between Baylor and the #1 overall seed in next week's Bracketology 2017.
 
Marquette at Villanova: Last week's #1 overall seed looks to bounce back from their home loss to Butler, while Marquette has to see this as the opportunity for a signature win they so badly need.
 
TCU at West Virginia: The Horned Frogs are on the good side of the bubble, for now.  They'll need to handle a Mountaineers defense that forces turnovers on 1/3 of the opponent's possessions, tops in the country.
 
Illinois at Indiana: The Illini are quietly building a resume, while Indiana has lost four of their last six games.  The Hoosiers have to defend the perimeter, where opponents have hit 47.4% of their shots in those four losses.
 
Sunday
Wisconsin at Purdue: The Big Ten favorites hit the road against their top contender in a game that will set the drivers seat for weeks to come.
 
Northwestern at Nebraska:  Nebrasketball is off to a 3-0 start in conference play, while Northwestern let a second half lead slip away with an ice-cold shooting stint to put themselves back squarely on the bubble.
 
Ohio St at Minnesota:  The Gophers took full advantage of that Northwestern drought mentioned above, picking up the road win, improving to 2-1 in conference play. 

Scoreboard Watching: January 5, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

Butler 66, Villanova 58:  The Bulldogs now own a road win over Utah, neutral court wins over Arizona and Indiana and home wins against Cincinnati, Villanova, Providence, Northwestern and previously unbeaten and overall #1 seed Villanova.  If they hadn't dropped look-ahead games to St. John's and Indiana, they'd be a top seed in the bracket.
  
Notre Dame 77, Louisville 70: The ACC is going to beat a lot of good teams up the next few months.  Louisville is one of it's earlier victims, falling to 1-2 in conference play.
 
Pittsburgh 88, Virginia 76: The Panthers pick up their biggest win of the year while Virgina (like Louisville above) falls to 1-2 in ACC play after opening up conference season with a win at the Yum! Center.
 
Duke 110, Georgia Tech 57: With Grayson Allen back in the starting lineup, the Blue Devils ran past Tech, nearly doubling their score.
 
Syracuse 70, Miami 55: The loss puts an end to Miami's seven game winning streak.  They're now 0-3 against the KenPom Top 50.  Syraucse hasn't won back-to-back games since Thanksgiving.  They'll try to do that this weekend at home against Pitt.
 
Texas 82, Oklahoma St. 79: Finally a sign of life from Shaka Smart's Longhorns, which isn't good news for an OK State team that falls to 0-2 in conference play heading into Saturday's game with Baylor.
 
Baylor 65, Iowa St. 63: The Bears escape with a home win and improve to 14-0 and are now one of only two undefeateds left (along with Gonzaga).  If they can beat Oklahoma St on Saturday, they'll likely be the #1 overall seed in next week's Bracketology 2017.

Tipping off Tonight

Purdue at Ohio St:  The Bucketes are still searching for their first win over a KenPom Top 50 team.  They'll have plenty of opportunity to do it, as their next four opponents (Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan St) are all ranked in the Top 50.  Meanwhile, Purdue looks to bounce back from their overtime home loss to Minnesota on Saturday.
 
Iowa at Nebraska: All the sudden this is a game to watch after Iowa knocked off Michigan at home in Overtime and Nebraska's impressive 2-0 B1G start with road wins over Maryland and Indiana.
 
BYU at Saint Mary's: The Cougars are 11-4, but need a better win to their name than Colorado to catch the committee's attention.  This road game at a fellow WCC contender is one of their few remaining chances for it.
 
Utah at Arizona: The Utes also need some quality wins, but will have to end Arizona's seven game winning streak.

Bracketology 2017: January 4, 2017

Seed List
1: Villanova, Baylor, UCLA, Kansas
2: Gonzaga, Louisville, Kentucky, Virginia
3: West Virginia, Florida St., Wisconsin, Creighton
4: North Carolina, Xavier, Butler, Duke
5: Oregon, Florida, Virginia Tech, Arizona
6: Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Saint Mary's, Purdue
7: USC, Indiana, Minnesota, Clemson
8: Northwestern, Maryland, Kansas St., Arkansas
9: SMU, Miami (FL), Iowa St., South Carolina
10: Wichita St., UT Arlington, Oklahoma St., Michigan
11: Dayton, Seton Hall, Pitt, Michigan St., Texas Tech
12: Marquette, TCU, UNC Wilmington, Middle Tennessee, Florida Gulf Coast
13: Oakland, New Mexico St., Vermont, Boise St.,
14: Bucknell, Belmont, Samford, Akron
15: Princeton, North Dakota St., Canisius, UC Irvine
16: Houston Baptist, Weber St., North Carolina Central, Mount St., Mary's, Texas Southern, Liberty
 
Bullets
  • 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.
  • Villanova is pretty clear cut right now as the #1 overall seed coming off their road win over Creighton.
  • In the end, I selected Michigan St. (2-0 in B1G play following an awful start), TCU (a lot of wins, but none against quality opponents), Marquette (a mixed bag so far) and Texas Tech (huge win over West Virginia last night) over Houston, Providence, Rhode Island, Georgia, Wake Forest and Texas A&M.
  • I kept UCLA as the #3 overall seed despite their loss to Oregon.  Had they won in Eugene, they could have easily been in contention for the top overall spot.
Conferences with multiple bids
10: ACC
9: Big Ten
8: Big 12
5: Big East
4: Pac-12, SEC
2: American, WCC

Scoreboard Watching: January 4, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

North Carolina 89, Clemson 86 (OT): The Tar Heels avoid an 0-2 start to ACC play as Clemson couldn't quite take control late and let's the opportunity for a signature win slip away.
 
Texas Tech 77, West Virginia 76 (OT): Speaking of needing a signature win, the Red Raiders were in bad need of one after coasting through a weak non-conference schedule.  They got it against a WVU team that has been knocking big dogs off on the road thus far.
 
Wisconsin 75, Indiana 68: The Badgers continue to look like the class of the B1G, now 2-0 with a road win over IU and a 7 game winning streak headed into Purdue on Sunday.  Meanwhile, Indiana's slide continues, as a three game losing streak drops to 10-5 on the year.
 
Kansas 90, Kansas St 88: The Jayhawks hold on late for a win over their in-state rival.
 
TCU 60, Oklahoma 57: Jamie Dixon's team continues to pick up wins and will head to Morgantown on Saturday with a 12-2 mark.
 
Kentucky 100, Texas 58: Complete domination.

Tipping off Tonight

 
North Carolina at Clemson: The Tigers have won 9 in a row and look ready to prove they can contend in the ACC with a home contest.  Will they have an atmosphere worthy of the match-up, or will everyone at Little John be caught up football frenzy still?
 
West Virginia at Texas Tech: The Mountaineers have been savages on the road the season and look to move pick up their third KenPom Top 50 win away from home.
 
Wisconsin at Indiana: After Saturday's loss to Nebraska, the Hoosiers have to be wondering what team they'll be the rest of the way - the one that beat Kansas and North Carolina, or the one that fell to the Huskers and at Fort Wayne?  This could be a big step toward answering that question.
 
Kansas St at Kansas: the Wildcats are 12-1 this season, but their only win against the KenPom Top 150 is a three point home win against a hapless Texas team.  The Jayhawks have rolled ever since their opening night loss to Indiana back on November 11 behind Frank Mason and Josh Jackson.
 
Oklahoma at TCU: The Horned Frogs have shown signs of being a tournament team in non-conference play, but want to avoid an 0-2 start in conference play.
 
Texas A&M at Kentucky:  The Aggies badly need a signature road win, but the chances of pulling this one off seem slim to none.

 
Villanova at Bulter: A letter, from the Big East to Villanova: Congrats on your totally awesome national title.  How about you open up conference play on the road at the two toughest teams in the conference.  Sound good?  No? Okay, well you're doing it anyway.  Good luck!
 
Louisville at Notre Dame: The Cardinals second straight game in the state of Indiana is a tough road test at a Notre Dame team that's not easy to beat at home.
 
Virginia Tech at North Carolina St: The Hokies are coming off a win against Duke and look to keep it going in back-to-back road tests against NC State and red-hot FSU this week.
 
Miami at Syracuse: The Orange needs haven't strung back-to-back wins together since Thanksgiving, but need to badly now as ACC play continues and they come off a road loss at Boston College.
 
Virginia at Pitt: Last week was up and down for the Cavaliers, who won at Louisville before losing at home to Florida St.  Pitt on the road provides a good test to get right.
 
South Carolina at Georgia: Both teams need strong starts in conference play to keep their tournament hopes alive after so-so non-conference showings.
 
Creighton at St. John's: The Red Storm already made a victim of Butler at home, will Creighton be able to bounce back from their first loss of the season to leave Carnesecca Arena win a win?
 
Iowa St at Baylor: If they Bears can make it to MLK Day undefeated, they've done some serious work.  They'll host Iowa St and Oklahoma St and travel to West Virginia and Kansas St.

Scoreboard Watching: January 3, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In The Books

The holidays are over, so another week of hoops is here to catch up on.  New Bracketology 2017 coming tomorrow, then every Monday from there.
 
Tuesday, December 27
Michigan St 75, Minnesota 74 (OT): The Spartans will need at least 10 B1G wins to make the tournament after an awful non-conference showing.  This OT win - still without freshman star Miles Bridges - is a step in the right direction
SMU 58, Memphis 54: The Mustangs open things up right in AAC play, where they're expected to fight with Cincinnati for the conference title.
Kent St 63, Texas 58: The Longhorns have major problems, falling to 6-6 on the season.
 
Wednesday, December 28
Oregon 89, UCLA 87: The most impressive win of the weekend was this one by the Ducks, who have move to 10 straight victories with the last-second winner.
Virginia 61, Louisville 53: Huge road win for a Cavs team that looks more than ready for ACC play.
Florida St 88, Wake Forest 72: The Seminoles pulled away late and continue to climb the rankings.
Nebraska 87, Indiana 83: After a poor non-conference showing, the Huskers stroll into Assembly Hall and walk away with a four point road win to go over .500.  Is Tim Miles team ready to make a run for a dance?  Seems far-fetched, but this is surely eye opening, both for the Nebraska and an Indiana team that just can't seem to put consistently good basketball together.
Marquette 76, Georgetown 66: The Golden Eagles need a decent showing in conference play.  A ten point win at home is a good start.
Xavier 82, Providence 56: The Musketeers start off Big East play with an emphatic home win.
 
Thursday, December 29
Florida 81, Arkansas 72: The Gators should roll through the SEC - sans that one team from Lexington.
St. John's 76, Butler 73: The Red Storm hand Butler a loss in their conference opener.
Tennessee 73, Texas A& 63: The Aggies drop to 1-4 against the KenPom Top 100.
 
Friday, December 30
West Virginia 92, Oklahoma St 75: The Mountaineers now own road wins over Virginia and Oklahoma St.  That helps boost an otherwise very weak non-conference slate that ranks 346th according to KenPom.  They'll still be expected to be in the mix with Butler to try to upend Kansas' Big 12 streak of dominance.
Kansas 86, TCU 80: Speaking of the Jayhawks, they hand Jamie Dixon a loss in his Big 12 home opener.
Iowa St 63, Texas Tech 56: The long exposing of the Red Raiders begins.  Tech had only one loss coming in, but played the nation's 2nd weakest non-conference schedule.
Baylor 76, Oklahoma 50: The Bears improve to 13-0 on the season in their first true road game of the season.
Michigan St 61, Northwestern 52: The Spartans get a much needed 2-0 start to conference play, while NU drops to 1-1 heading into Thursday's tilt with Minnesota.  Watching the Wildcats fight for a tournament berth is going to be a fun and suspenseful ride.
Oregon 84, USC 61: Now this looks like the Oregon team everyone had at the top of their pre-season rankings.  No let up here after beating Oregon in a battle of undefeateds in Eugene.
Memphis 70, South Carolina 54: After a great start to the season, Frank Martin's team is reeling, dropping 3 of their last 5 (the two wins coming against South Florida and D-II Lander).
 
Saturday, December 31
Villanova 80, Creighton 70: A monumental Big East opener between two hot and undefeated teams goes to the Champs, who take the win on the road and improve to 14-0 on the year going into Wednesday's game at Butler.
Louisville 77, Indiana 62: The Hoosiers have now lost 3 of their past five and host a tough Wisconsin team tonight.
Virginia tech 89, Duke 76: Luke Kennard tried to carry the Blue Devils with 34 PTS, but Grayson Allen's absence is still too much.  Now they'll have to regroup without Coach K, who's expected to miss all of January recovering from back surgery.
Notre Dame 78, Pitt 77 (OT): The Irish open ACC play with a win over a quality Pitt team that now faces Virginia in their next contest.
Florida St 81, Virginia 58: Speaking of the Cavs, Dwayne Bacon's 29 PTS leads the Seminoles to their biggest road win since 2012, when they topped Duke in Durham in route to an ACC tournament Championship.  Leonard's Hamilton's team is deep and has a good mix of expereince to go along with talented freshman that could make even more noise in conference play.
Miami 81, North Carolina St 63: The Hurricanes have been largely untested in non-conference play, dropping their only two games against KenPom Top 125 teams, so an 18-point win at home is a good sign as ACC play begins.
 
Sunday, January 1
Seton Hall 69, Marquette 66: At 11-3, the Pirates are in good position to make a play for a tournament bid.  Marquette still has much work to do.
Iowa 86, Michigan 83:  the defense that lead Michigan to a very impressive 4-0 start continues to slide, allowing 39.6% shooting against from outside - good for 320th in the nation.  Iowa improves to 9-6 with a win - leaving a tournament bid still an unlikely dream.
Illinois 75, Ohio St 70: The Illini move to 3-3 against the KenPom Top 75 this season and 11-4 overall.  Next weekends trip to Indiana will be a good measuring stick.
Utah 76, Colorado 60: An impressive win for a Utah team that didn't catch any eyes in their conference slate.  Meanwhile, Tad Boyle's Buffs have dropped their the two challenges they've faces (BYU, Utah) since knocking off Xaiver at home back on December 7.
Minnesota 91, Purdue 82: The Gophers dominate the extra period on the road to pick up their biggest win of the season.  They're now an impressive 6-2 against the KenPom Top 100 and head to Northwestern on Thursday.
Nebraska 67, Maryland 61: What is happening in Lincoln? After a disastrous 5-6 start, the Huskers have won three straight and handed upper-tier B1G opponents Indiana and Maryland losses in the first week.  Suddenly, Thursday's game against Iowa is fairly big as both teams have look to keep the slim hope a bubble-bid run alive.
Boston College 96, Syracuse 81: The Orange are in major trouble of missing the dance after falling to 8-6 on the season.

Tipping off Tonight

North Carolina at Clemson: The Tigers have won 9 in a row and look ready to prove they can contend in the ACC with a home contest.  Will they have an atmosphere worthy of the match-up, or will everyone at Little John be caught up football frenzy still?
West Virginia at Texas Tech: The Mountaineers have been savages on the road the season and look to move pick up their third KenPom Top 50 win away from home.
Wisconsin at Indiana: After Saturday's loss to Nebraska, the Hoosiers have to be wondering what team they'll be the rest of the way - the one that beat Kansas and North Carolina, or the one that fell to the Huskers and at Fort Wayne?  This could be a big step toward answering that question.
Kansas St at Kansas: the Wildcats are 12-1 this season, but their only win against the KenPom Top 150 is a three point home win against a hapless Texas team.  The Jayhawks have rolled ever since their opening night loss to Indiana back on November 11 behind Frank Mason and Josh Jackson.
Oklahoma at TCU: The Horned Frogs have shown signs of being a tournament team in non-conference play, but want to avoid an 0-2 start in conference play.
Texas A&M at Kentucky:  The Aggies badly need a signature road win, but the chances of pulling this one off seem slim to none.