Monday, February 16, 2004
We definitely called this one.
See Yahoo! Sports - NCAA Men's Basketball as 21st-ranked North Carolina State knocked off 1st-ranked Duke 78-74.
As we predicted, this puts Stanford and St. Joseph's at No. 1 and No. 2 in NCAA rankings and still undefeated. North Carolina State moved up 8 positions to spot No. 13 and we are glad to see that Memphis has deservedly hit the top 25.
SEC conference eastern division cellar dweller Georgia beat 9th-ranked Kentucky for the second time this season, after having been blown out of the game by Vanderbilt 61-39 just three days previous. Basketball is just a great and sometimes unpredictable game.
Sunday, February 15, 2004
Yahoo! Sports - NCAA Men's Basketball - Nebraska 74, No. 12 Kansas 55
Early in the season I predicted that the Huskers, certainly not known for their basketball prowess, might pull some surprises in the Big 12 this year. It certainly took them a long time, as they finally won a big one and upended 12th-ranked Kansas 74-55 to ruin the Jayhawks chances of winning the conference championship, which almost certainly will go to Oklahoma State this year.
5th-ranked Connecticut has also played true to the form I predicted when I said early this year that the team appeared to be overrated, losing to Nr. 4 Pittsburgh 75-68, as the Panthers extended their home winning streak to 40 games and are now in the conference driving seat.
13th-ranked Cincinnati continues to its puzzling downturn as it dropped its game to 20th-ranked Wake Forest 91-85.
The question is whether Stanford and St. Joseph's will go undefeated in the regular season and the percentages are certainly in their favor, both playing weaker teams to finish out the season.
If Duke stumbles along the way, as I predict that it will tonight at North Carolina State, this would put Stanford 1 and 2 in the ratings as undefeated teams going into March madness, and that would be something unique.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
NCAA Men's College Basketball - Recent Results as of February 4, 2004
It is a tough year for ranked teams in men's NCAA college basketball.
In addition to several losses by ranked teams to other ranked teams,
in the space of the last week the following ranked teams lost to unranked teams:
Nr. 6 Louisville lost to Marquette 77-70 and Memphis 62-58.
Nr. 9 Kentucky lost to Vanderbilt 66-60
Nr. 10 Cincinnati lost to Charlotte 86-83 and to Xavier 71-69
Nr. 12 Arizona lost to Washington 96-83
Nr. 15 Georgia Tech lost to Florida State 81-65 (and also lost to top-ranked Duke 82-74)
Nr. 16 Wake Forest lost to North Carolina State 73-68
Nr. 17 North Carolina lost to Clemson 81-72
Nr. 20 Kansas lost to Iowa State 68-61
Nr. 21 Florida lost to Tennessee 65-63 (and also lost to Nr. 9 Kentucky 68-65)
Nr. 23 Providence lost to Seton Hall 55-46 and to Virginia Tech 69-57
Nr. 25 South Carolina lost to Mississippi 79-68
By comparison, the top 10 did much better than the second ten, though there were several close calls:
Nr. 1 Duke solidified its top rank by beating two top teams Florida State 56-49 and 15th-ranked Georgia Tech 82-74
Nr. 2 Stanford remained unbeaten by topping Oregon State 62-48 and Oregon 83-80
Nr. 3 St. Josephs still unbeaten edged out Temple 83-71 and Villanova 74-67
Nr. 4 Pittsburgh topped Boston College 68-58 and St. John's 71-51
Nr. 5 Connecticut luckily scraped by Boston College 63-58 and then trounced Nr. 18 Syracuse 84-56
Nr. 7 Mississippi State won twice, once over Tennessee 82-60 and once over Auburn 73-68
Nr. 8 Gonzaga came out ahead against San Diego 85-73 and Santa Clara 79-63
Nr. 11 Texas came out the winner against Texas A&M 69-59 and Colorado 76-63
Nr. 13 Oklahoma State beat Nr. 19 Texas Tech 70-66 and Texas A&M 91-79
Nr. 14 Wisconsin beat Ohio St. 69-57 and Minnesota 80-66
All told, 13 of 25 ranked teams lost at least one game. The season continues to be interesting and unpredictable, although in view of Connecticut's stomping of Syracuse, we can be sure that we will have a new NCAA champion when March madness hits the hoops. At the moment, the winner this year is anybody's guess.
Of course, I am rooting for my alma mater Stanford, still unbeaten, but will it stay that way? St Joseph's is also unbeaten but has only 1 win over a ranked opponent while Stanford has 3 such victories. Duke, Nr.1, also has 3 wins over ranked teams and an only loss to Purdue in Alaska early in the season. Nr. 8 Gonzaga has only two losses, each by 7 points to Stanford and St. Joseph's.
Pittsburgh has only a 3-point road loss to Connecticut, as the Huskies have played 6 ranked teams, winning 3 and losing 3, which does not give the impression that they will go all the way this year in the NCAA tournament. Louisville has 3 impressive wins over ranked teams, but then has lost to unranked teams. Mississippi State has one win and one loss against ranked opponents. Kentucky has 3 wins over ranked teams and one loss. Cincinnati blows away weaker teams but tends to lose against better competition, not having beaten a ranked team yet. Texas is 3-3 against ranked adversaries. Arizona is 1-2 against ranked fivesomes. Oklahoma State is 3-1 against ranked teams, having avenged its loss to Texas Tech. Wisconsin has no wins or losses over ranked teams and 3 losses to unranked teams. Georgia Tech is 3-2 against ranked teams and should not be ranked below Wisconsin. North Carolina is 2-2 against ranked teams. Syracuse has been blown off the court in its only two games against ranked opponents and should not be ranked. Texas Tech is 2-3 against ranked teams. The Kansas Jayhawks have a loss to Stanford and 3 losses to unranked teams. Florida is 2-3 against ranked teams and has lost some close ones. Oklahoma is winless in three tries against ranked opponents. Providence is 1-1 against ranked opponents including an astounding win over Connecticut but has 4 losses to unranked teams. Utah State has played no ranked team and has only one loss, to Utah. South Carolina has 1 loss to a ranked team and two losses to unranked teams.
From the UPI poll, we note that 25th-ranked Vanderbilt there is not even mentioned in the AP poll, which is a definite error and mystery.
Vandy has played ranked teams four times, Kentucky twice, winning 2 and losing 2, and avenging its 75-63 road loss to Kentucky at home 66-60, so they should move up considerably in both polls.
Memphis, which just beat Louisville, has been weak on the road but looks unbeatable at home, so they should move up in the rankings.
Dayton, after a weakness during the Christmas holidays, appears to be back in form and should also crack the rankings, last beating two good teams in Xavier (1-2 against ranked teams) and Richmond (1-3 against ranked teams).
Tom Brady - From Rags to Riches
The Patriots second sraight Super Bowl title with with Tom Brady at the quarterback helm is really an NFL story of "from rags to riches" as that story is written by Washington Post writer Mark Maske at
Brady's Rise to 'King of the Hill': As Sixth-Round Draft Pick, Patriots' Quarterback Makes Improbable Ascent.
The world of sports is truly remarkable when it produces stories like this which can serve as a motivation to everyone.
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