Wednesday, January 19, 2005

NCAA: See Who Has What it Takes

The conference season has started, and leagues are beginning to take shape. Some notable front runners in power conferences include Syracuse, Oklahoma/Kansas, Duke, and of course the number one team in the land, Illinois. Its ket to get a good start in conference play as the games will only get more intense and more difficult as the season goes on. Without further ado, the new top 10...

Top 10 (*previous ranking)
1. Illinois (19-0) (1)
2. Wake Forest (16-2) (3)
3. Syracuse (19-1) (5)
4. North Carolina (16-2) (6)
5. Duke (15-0) (7)
6. Kansas (14-1) (2)
7. Oklahoma St. (14-2) (4)
8. Boston College (16-0) (8)
9. Louisville (16-3) (NR)
10. Kentucky (14-2) (9)

just missed: Texas; Washington; Oklahoma
dropped: Texas (10)

Mid Major Power 5
1. St. Mary's (CA) (17-5) (2)
2. Gonzaga (14-4) (1)
3. Vermont (13-3) (NR)
4. Wichita St. (13-2) (NR)
5. Southern Illinois (15-4) (3)

dropped: Old Dominion (5); Western Michigan (4)

Big Game Recap:

Alabama 98 Mississippi St. 49
Mississippi St. needs to compensate for the loss of Winsome Frazier. Lawrence Roberts came in with 19 and 7, but that was not nearly enough to stop the hot shooting of Earnest Shelton who had 34 points including 5 3 pointers to lead the Tide.

Oklahoma 70 Texas A&M 54
A&M continues to slide despite 24 from Antoine Wright. Drew Lavender helped Oklahoma pull away from a 31-31 tie at halftime, scoring 23 to lead 4 Sooners in double figures.

Texas 75 Oklahoma St. 61
Texas outhustled and outrebounded their way to a crucial home Big XII win. They held Oklahoma St. to just 38% shooting, including holding Joey Graham and John Lucas a combined 12 points below their season averages. The story of the game was the play of freshmen guard Daniel Gibson for the Longhorns, who finished with 27 pts 10 rbs 4 assts and 3 steals.

Illinois 73 Iowa 68 (OT)
Paced by 25 points by Luther Head and 14 rebounds from James Augustine, Illinois was able to hold off a more than game Hawkeye team. Iowa was lead by Pierre Pierce with 22 while Greg Brunner added 16 and 11 boards, as they came closer than anyone else this season to bringing down the still unbeaten Illini (19-0).

Oklahoma 64 Texas 60
Kevin Bookout was too much down low for the Horns as he tallied 18 and 10, both game highs. Daniel Gibson was inpressive yet again with 18 in the losing effort. Texas drops to 3-2 in conference.

Wake Forest 74 Cincy 70
Eric Williams paced the Deacons with 29 to counter the tough interior play of Hicks (18 pts 6 rbs) and the usually high scoring Jason Maxiell, who scored only 5 after averaging nearly 17 on the season. Chris Paul was dynamite yet again with 21 pts and 6 rebounds while dishing out 7 assists.

Pitt 76 UCONN 66
Pitt put some teeth in this rivalry pulling out the win in Storrs despite facing an 11 point halftime deficit. Chevy Troutman led the Panthers with a career high 29 as they outscored the Huskies by 21 in the second half. This win helps the previous sliding Panthers who had dropped 3 of their last 5, including 2 in Big East play.

Biggest Upset:
Florida St. 91 Wake Forest 83
Sparked by 12 team 3-pointers and 30 points from Von Wafer, the 'Noles pulled this one out despite blowing a 14 point halftime lead. They watched that lead dissappear as Chris Paul led a strong second half surge to force overtime and ended with a team high 29. However in overtime Todd Galloway took over for FSU, scoring 12 straight at one point and helping them close out the Deacons in OT. While this win is huge, Florida St. enjoyed big home wins last year, but failed to build their tourney resume by constantly losing on the road. Hopefully this win will only encourage them to continue playing hard through the gauntlet that is the ACC.

other big upsets: St. John's 65 Pitt 62; San Francisco 73 Gonzaga 70; Villanova 83 Kansas 62; Virginia Tech 70 Georgia Tech 69

Big Man On Campus:
F Jared Dudley (Villanova @ BC 1/19) 36 pts 6 rbs 4 assts
(12-18 FG 11-13 FT 1-2 3pt)

Big Games This Week
Florida St. @ NC State (1/26)
Maryland @ Duke (1/26)
Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech (1/27)
Georgia Tech @ Maryland (1/30)
Big East
UCONN @ West Virginia (1/25)
Syracuse @ Pittsburgh (1/29)
Marquette @ Louisville (1/26)
Big 10
Illinois @ Wisconsin (1/25)
Michigan @ Michigan St. (1/27)
Oklahoma St. @ Oklahoma (1/24)
Texas @ Kansas (1/29)
Pac 10
Washington @ Arizona (1/27)
Washington @ Arizona St. (1/30)
Kentucky @ Arkansas (1/29)
MVC (Missouri Valley Conference)
Wichita St. @ Northern Iowa (1/24)
Portland @ Gonzaga (1/29)
Dayton @ George Washington (1/30)

*NOTES Texas leading scorer PJ Tucker ruled academically ineligible...Oklahoma Sooners have won 9 in a row and are undefeated in Big XII play (4-0)...Wake Forest had hit 50 straight FTs as a team before missing the one that could have beaten Florida St (1/18)...New Mexico St. coach Lou Henson is stepping down due to health problems (779 career wins)...Kentucky poured in 11 3's in their win over LSU...Oklahoma St. named its court in honor of its coach, Eddie Sutton