Scoreboard Watching: December 3, 2016

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching

In the books

Duquense 64, Pitt 55: The Panthers' 15 year-winning streak against their in-town rivals is over after shooting 3-22 3-PT.  The loss puts the Panthers back squarely in the bubble conversation.
 
Texas 77, Alabama 68: Kerwin Roach netted 16 PTS on 12-16 FT to lead the Longhorns to a much needed home win to get back above .500.  Next weekend's trip to Michigan is a big game for both teams as they look to right their ship heading into the holiday season.
 

Tipping Off Today

Gonzaga vs Arizona: The Zags have three KenPom Top 50 wins, while Arizona looks strong, but their only good win so far this season is over Michigan St, and it's hard to tell what to make of that just yet.  Regardless, this game being on a neutral court in LA makes the prize of the win that much greater for the victor.
 
Xavier at Baylor: Oregon thought they had an easy game in Waco earlier this season - and quickly found out they were wrong.  Meanwhile, all Baylor has done is go 7-0 with 5 KenPom Top 100 wins, including 6 wins in the top 35!  A win against a very strong Xavier team likely means they'll be undefeated going into Big 12 play.  Meanwhile, Xavier starts a stretch of four straight games against KenPom Top 100 foes.
 
BYU vs USC: The Staples Center's other game (along with Gonzaga/Arizona) on Saturday is a big one for two teams that want to fight their way into the dance.  USC Sports a 7-0 record with wins over Texas A&M and SMU.
 
Oklahoma St at Maryland:  The Terps are coming off a tough loss to Pitt while Oklahoma St pulled off an impressive third place in Maui, only losing to UNC.
 
Rhode Island at Providence: Both teams will be looking for a bubble bid but need the wins to get themselves there.  This rivalry game could prove big come March.
 
UCLA at Kentucky: Everything that is a strength for Steve Alford's 8-0 UCLA team, Kentucky looks to have an answer for.  The Bruins lead the nation in effective FG%, the Wildcats are 3rd in defensive effeciency.  UCLA shoots 45.6% from 2, Kentucky has a top 10 3-PT defense.  UCLA doesn't have their shots blocked (3.7% of shots are blocked), while Kentucky blocks 1 of every 5 shots put up against them.  Did I mention this game is in Rupp?  Tough draw for a Bruins team that should cruise to a tournament bid.
 
West Virginia at Virginia: The Mountaineers got caught off guard by Temple last week in Brooklyn.  They'll need to play much better against a Virginia team that has absolutely schooled their opponents so far, ranking 2nd in defense and 10th in offense by tempo free metrics.
 
Vanderbilt vs Minnesota: In an odd game taking place in Sioux Falls, the Gophers look to bounce back from their road loss to Florida State in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge against a Vanderbilt team that has struggled for a 4-3 start.
 
Marquette at Georgia: Georgia is in bad need of something resembling a good non-conference win, and this is their best change at it at home against an up and down Marquette team.  It seems as close to a must-have for both teams as you'll find in early December.