Dan Issel, Pat Riley, Jamal Mashburn, Antoine Walker, Rex Chapman, Kenny Walker. He beat all of them the way he beat Tennessee. He beat all of them the way he beat history. A college game is on 40 minutes, so to score 54 points in that amount of time is extroardinary. Of course, Jodie Meeks is proving to be an extroardinary player.
Just think of long history of Kentucky basketball. The great teams under Rupp and Pitino. All of the national championships. All of the All-Americans. Jodie Meeks 54 points is a number that no one had touched. The crazy thing is, he’s capable of doing it again. He’s posted 39, 37, 32 and 46-point games as well this season and is light years ahead of anyone in the SEC player of the year race. I’ll definitely be watching for the rest of season because he’s going to put up numbers the SEC hasn’t seen in a long time.
Stock Up: Marquette. Quietly, the Golden Eagles have been going about there business in a workmanlike fashion. They’ve won eight in a row including a 22-point pasting of a good West Virginia Team last weekend. Marquette hasn’t gotten into the teeth of it’s Big East schedule yet, but they’ve set themselves up quite nicely.
Stock Down: Maryland. I feel sorry, but I’m not sure who I feel sorry for. I could feel sorry for Gary Williams because he looks like he’s working so hard to everything out of his team. I could feel sorry for the fans because it’s pretty obvious there are players on that roster which shouldn’t be seeing the light of day on an ACC basketball team. In any case, the Terps have lost three of their last four including a game to Morgan St and blown lead of 17 points to Miami.
Stock Up: George Mason. Here come the Patriots again. Clearly Jim Larranaga has a stranglehold over the CAA now. He’s definitely making the most out of going to the Final Four. They’re currently undefeated in conference play with two tough road games coming up at the Northeastern and Virginia Commonwealth. If they can get past those, we’re looking at an at-large bid for the Patriots.
Stock Down: Missouri Valley. I’m used to seeing at least one team from the MVC with a strong case for an at-large bid. Right now, it looks pretty grim with just Illinois St as a possibility and the Redbirds’ case is weak. Might be time to go back to the drawing board at league headquarters.
This week’s Bracket Projections:
Last Four In: UNLV, Arkansas, BYU, Utah
Last Four Out: USC, Stanford, Texas A&M, Illinois St
This bracket is good for games played through Sunday, January 18, 2009.
1.Wake Forest16.Robert Morris Greensboro, NC
5.West Virginia12.UNLV Portland, OR
6.Florida St11.Villanova Minneapolis, MN
7.Arizona St10.Oklahoma St Minneapolis, MN
1.Pittsburgh16.Alabama St/Western Michigan Dayton, OH
5.Minnesota12.Arkansas Boise, ID
4.Butler13.Long Beach St
6.Florida11.Utah Miami, FL
7.Baylor10.Michigan Philadelphia, PA
2.North Carolina15.North Dakota St
1.Connecticut16.East Tennessee St Philadelphia, PA
5.Purdue12.Siena Boise, ID
6.Notre Dame11.Wisconsin Miami, FL
3.Clemson14.Stephen F. Austin
7.Dayton10.Tennessee Kansas City, MO
1.Duke16.Morgan St Greensboro, NC
5.California12.BYU Portland, OR
6.St. Mary’s11.Miami(FL) Kansas City, MO
7.Memphis10.Washington Dayton, OH