Sunday, February 28, 2010

Random Thoughts

Rutgers is 5-3 in their last 8 Big East games, 6-3 in their last nine overall.

I continue to complain that California’s defense is terrible (adjusted defensive efficiency of 86th in the country through Friday). But on Saturday, in their last best chance to impress the NCAA tournament committee, California held Arizona St. to 4 points in the final 11 minutes of the game.

Thanks to the high tempo of the game, Villanova’s 33 fouls isn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, the 44.6 free throw rate is relatively low for a Villanova loss.

Minnesota has blown big games all season and Illinois has come back all season. So no surprise that Minnesota couldn’t hold a 19 point lead in the final 7:11 against Illinois. Luckily for the Gophers, Illinois missed a potential game-tying shot as time expired.

Notre Dame only had an offensive rebounding rate of 40%, but it was much higher in the first ten minutes. Georgetown could live with the fact that Notre Dame was shooting lights out, but when the Hoyas weren’t rebounding the rare misses, that was the nail in the coffin. Georgetown's Austin Freeman had a terrible game thanks to an illness. That only seemed fair given the injury to Notre Dame's Luke Harangody. But the illness is terrible timing when you consider that Georgetown has to go to Morgantown to play West Virginia on Monday.

The Tennessee – Kentucky game was only slightly more up-tempo than the first encounter. Tennessee just made about 5 more shots in the re-match. Perhaps I’m naïve to expect a high tempo game between these teams at this point. Tennessee has used pressure defense and chaos much less frequently the last two seasons, and they’ve seen their tempo fall from the top 20 to the 70’s. But I keep flashing back to Tennessee vs Memphis, Pearl vs Calipari, from Dec in the 2006-2007 season which was a 74 possession, crazy statement game by Bruce Pearl’s team.

Polls mean nothing as Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim emphasized after the game. But Syracuse will almost certainly jump to number one with Kansas and Kentucky losing. But if Syracuse had lost, could Purdue have moved to number one even with the Hummel injury? Poll voters tend to have these stupid rules about moving teams up unless they lose, so I would have loved to have seen what they did. As is, Syracuse will almost certainly jump Purdue, regardless of what happens to Purdue tomorrow.

Wake Forest lost at home to North Carolina - That’s a pretty bad loss. Who thought they could ever type that? Along those same lines, Oregon won at USC and UCLA this week. And the Ducks are still having a terrible year? In what universe can Oregon pick up those wins and have a terrible year?