Archive for December, 2009

Deep in their shell, and the Top 25
December 31, 2009

Watching the Maryland Terrapins right now get blown out at home by William & Mary, and it’s just amazing how they can’t even compete tonight in regards to not just execution, but athleticism with the Tribe.  I’m not sure what has gone wrong since the Terps won a game in the NCAA Tournament last season, but with a better cast of characters Maryland looks completely woeful.

I need to point out that W&M is a quality team as the Tribe already owns a win at Wake Forest.  But Maryland has played four quality teams thus far (can’t put Indiana in that category) and lost to all of them.

So going forward and looking at how Maryland might make a return trip the the NCAA’s and there margin for error is gone.  They, at minimum need a winning conference record and a good showing at the ACC Tourney.  The Terps are without a single non-conference win for the resume.  When the selection committee compares Maryland to other at-large teams, the Terps will have nothing on which to hang their hat.

So on that jolly note, here’s my AP vote this week.  Not much action at the top, but several new appearances towards the bottom.  Happy New Year!

1. Kansas
2. Texas
3. Kentucky
4. Syracuse
5. Duke
6. Purdue
7. Villanova
8. W. Virginia
9. Georgetown
10. N. Carolina
11. Connecticut
12. Michigan St.
13. Wisconsin
14. Tennessee
15. Ohio State
16. Kansas St.
17. Texas Tech
18. Florida St.
19. Florida
20. Baylor
21. Northwestern
22. Temple
23. Ole Miss
24. Dayton
25. Seton Hall

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Puzzling Playoff Picture
December 28, 2009

Several different national sports websites have different playoff standings for the AFC Wildcard scenario.  Puzzling to say the least, so I went to the source.  Yep, the Ravens are in with a win.

Here is your scenario heading into week 17 per the league office of the NFL.

2009 AFC PLAYOFF SCENARIOS
_______________________________________________________________________

December 27, 2009

For Week 17

AFC

CLINCHED:   Indianapolis – AFC South and homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs

San Diego – AFC West and first-round bye

New England – AFC East

Cincinnati – AFC North

NEW YORK JETS

New York clinches a playoff spot with:

  • NYJ win

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:

  • BAL win

TEAMS STILL IN CONTENTION FOR PLAYOFF SPOT

Denver, Miami, Pittsburgh, Houston and Jacksonville

December 20th AP Ballot
December 24, 2009

I neglected to post my ballot this week, but not because of possible ridicule from my college friends about why Syracuse isn’t higher.  Too many darn presents for which to shop, and too many sports casts to produce.  However, I did have the time to check out Loyola University’s stunner Tuesday night in Bloomington.

A fascinating game as the Greyhounds blew a 24 point lead to Indiana, fell behind with two minutes to go, and then saw Brett Harvey apply the Heimlich Maneuver with his 2nd four point play of the half that sealed the win for Loyola.  Arguably the best in in school history, and entirely entertaining as well.  Thank you cable tv for having the Big Ten Network at my disposal.

1. Kansas
2. Texas
3. Kentucky
4. Syracuse
5. Duke
6. Purdue
7. Villanova
8. W. Virginia
9. Michigan St.
10. Georgetown
11. N. Carolina
12. Connecticut
13. Wisconsin
14. Florida
15. Tennessee
16. Ohio State
17. Kansas State
18. Texas Tech
19. New Mexico
20. UNLV
21. Ole Miss
22. Butler
23. Florida St.
24. Baylor
25. Texas A&M

Top 25: Week 5
December 14, 2009

New movie  out called It’s Complicated. Not necessarily my genre (thank God I’m still too young for that), but the trailer made me think about basketball.

In the movie, Alec Baldwin falls in love with his ex-wife Meryl Streep.  Reminds me of me falling back in love with Kentucky.

Watching the Wildcats nearly lose to Miami, OH this year and struggle to defend the three against everyone the first three weeks had me drop the Cats fast from 1st to 8th.  But now, watching a very young team learn a fairly complicated system from John Calipari, and watching John Wall become an icon before my eyes, I have goose bumps.

Can’t put UK in front of KU just yet, but the Wildcats make a heart go pitter patter nationwide.

Another team to praise this week, the Georgetown Hoyas.  A pair of wins over ranked teams, including winning out west against Washington has me believing John Thompson III has all the wrongs from last season completely righted.  At least he does in December.

Now my list for December 13th:

1. Kansas
2. Kentucky
3. Texas
4. Syracuse
5. Purdue
6. West Virginia
7. Georgetown
8. Villanova
9. Duke
10. Tennessee
11. North Carolina
12. Florida
13. Michigan State
14. Texas Tech
15. Wisconsin
16. Cincinnati
17. Ohio State
18. Connecticut
19. Texas A&M
20. UNLV
21. Butler
22. Kansas State
23 Memphis
24. Baylor
25. Georgia Tech

Top 25 Vote for Week 4
December 9, 2009

Having not voted before, I may not have noticed this but wow, it is hard to get a grasp on who’s any good in November / December.  Five new teams in the ranking this week for me.  More and more preseason tournaments pitting good teams against each other for TV purposes helps the chaos, also that with the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee favoring those that play a tough schedule more and more, it is rare that a top program only plays one or two quality opponents early on.

What I firmly believe after a few weeks in, the Big XII is Marianas Trench deep.

Here’s a list of my vote,  and for comparison sake, the actualy A.P. Ranking: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/polls?poll=1

1)      Kansas

2)      Texas

3)      Villanova

4)      Purdue

5)      Kentucky

6)      Florida

7)      Syracuse

8)      West Virginia

9)      Duke

10)  Tennessee

11)  Ohio State

12)  North Carolina

13)  Michigan State

14)  Cincinnati

15)  Georgetown

16)  Wisconsin

17)  Texas Tech

18)  UNLV

19)  Texas A&M

20)  Butler

21)  Miami, FL

22)  Connecticut

23)  Washington

24)  Baylor

25)  Georgia Tech

AP Vote Week 3
December 1, 2009

Second week in a row with a new number one, such is life in pre-conference basketball.  Too little of a resume for maybe the most accurate of  ballots cast (am I rationalizing not having Kansas #1 from the beginning of course, but at least unlike the world’s number one golfer I’m communicating). 

The preseason tourneys though provide so many great matchups, and do so in such a compact course of time that you can’t hide your flaws.  The Terps had more flaws than I imagined, thoroughly pushed around by two previously unranked teams.  Cincinnati and Gonzaga left no doubt that they are way ahead of Maryland.  Not to say the Terrapins won’t get there.  Of late, Gary Williams’ modus operandi includes much failure early used as fuel and motivation for later.  Thought that might change this year with so many veterans back, but hey, if it’s good for drama in February why rock the boat.

Anyway, here’s my ballot for November 30th, congratulations Jayhawks .  

 1. Kansas

2. Texas

3. Duke

4. Villanova

5. Purdue

6. Kentucky

7. Michigan State

8.  Florida

9. Syracuse

10. West Virginia

11. Tennessee

12. Ohio State

13. North Carolina

14. Gonzaga

15. Cincinnati

16. Georgetown

17. Oklahoma State

18. Florida State

19.  Washington

20.  Clemson

21. Butler

22. Connecticut

23. Marquette

24. Notre Dame

25. Miami,FL