In the American Athletic Conference, more ballyhooed basketball programs like UConn, Temple, Memphis and Cincinnati were supposed to keep the league afloat in its second year of existence. However, it’s a program that was left behind that is making the most noise.
Tulsa is 7-0 in league play and has continued it’s great run after ending last season with a blitz through the Conference-USA tournament to the Big Dance.
The Golden Hurricane has managed to sneak its way to an undefeated start by excelling at the free-throw line. No one is as adept at getting to the line as Tulsa as it gets almost a quarter of its points from the charity stripe.
When Frank Haith left Missouri to take this job at the end of last season, everyone wondered why. Now it appears he was just ahead of the curve.
Stock Up: Murray St. It’s been a couple years since the Racers have gone dancing, but they looked primed and ready to not only being the Ohio Valley representative in the NCAA tournament, but also a dangerous out once they get there.
Stock Down: Seton Hall. At the beginning of January, the Pirates looked like a force to be reckoned with. Now they just look like a wreck. They need Isaiah Whitehead back badly.
Stock Up: D’Angelo Russell. The Ohio State freshman is quietly having an All-American season. He’s averaging 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game for a team that needs him to be as good as he’s been in all three of those areas.
Stock Down: Saint Mary’s. The Gaels will inevitably be on the bubble. Their SOS and lack of strong wins will do them in. They’ll have to win the West Coast Conference tournament to get in despite the predictable pontificating on their behalf, which is sure to come.
On to the Bracket
Last Four In: Washington, NC State, Old Dominion, Tennessee
Last Four Out: Michigan St, Seton Hall, Mississippi, Texas A&M
It’s good for games thru 1/25
1.Kentucky16.North Florida/Alabama St Louisville
5.West Virginia12.Murray St Jacksonville
6.Arkansas11.Kansas St Portland
7.Indiana10.Oklahoma St Columbus, OH
2.Notre Dame15.Coastal Carolina
1.Duke16.New Mexico St Charlotte
5.Oklahoma12.Green Bay Jacksonville
4.Maryland13.Stephen F. Austin
6.Providence11.Old Dominion/NC State Columbus, OH
7.San Diego St10.Xavier Omaha
1.Arizona16.North Dakota St Portland
4.Iowa St13.UC Davis
6.Texas11.Western Kentucky Louisville
3.North Carolina14.William & Mary
7.Butler10.Ohio St Seattle
1.Virginia16.St. Francis(NY)/Colgate Charlotte
3.Villanova14.North Carolina Central