Tag: Syracuse Orange

SHOCKing Results

Fred VanVleet has led Wichita St to a 19-0 record

Threw almost three months of the season there is one team whose undefeated record is as surprising as its run to the Final Four last season.  Wichita St rolled through its non-conference schedule and with Creighton in the Big East, it looks like the Shockers will face little resistance in the Missouri Valley this season.

Led by one of the best point guards in the country in Fred VanVleet, the Shockers destroyed Indiana St, the only other team in the Valley with real at-large aspirations.  He runs the show and is surrounded by talent that plenty of high majors schools are probably envious of.  Throw in Gregg Marshall, a man who’s legitimately one of the best coaches in the country and this is a team that looks like a national title contender.

Stock Up: Tyler Ennis.  The Syracuse freshman has taken this team to another level.  Any thoughts of a drop off after Michael Carter-Williams have been erased as Ennis has made the Orange the favorite to win the ACC.

Stock Down: Big East favorites.  Both Georgetown and Marquette are sputtering to find themselves as injuries, suspensions and early departures have crushed their respective rosters.  Both squads thought they’d perform much better this season but neither have been close to upholding the standard the each program has set.

Stock Up: Kansas.  The Jayhawks are putting it together and its going to get scary for everyone else.  It appears that Joel Embiid has taken the reigns as the best player on this team and everyone else has followed.  Kansas already has four losses, but it could be a good while before it losses again…if it losses again.

Stock Down: VCU. The Rams have been figured out.  If you limit VCU’s transition opportunities they can’t score.  This team can get hot from deep, but it’s not consistent when the Rams are off, they’re extremely easy to defend.

On to the bracket:

First one of the year.

Last Four In: North Carolina, Stanford, Providence, SMU

Last Four Out: Saint Mary’s, Boise St, Purdue, Georgetown

 

WEST

1.Arizona16.Robert Morris/Chattanooga               San Diego

8.Baylor9.Florida St

5.Ohio St12.Providence/Stanford             Raleigh

4.Duke13.Mercer

6.Memphis11.Texas       San Antonio

3.Wichita St14.Georgia St

7.Kansas St10.George Washington           Milwaukee

2.Wisconsin15.Vermont

SOUTH

1.Florida16.Radford        Orlando

8.UCLA9.Xavier

5.Pittsburgh12.Toledo   San Diego

4.Cincinnati13.Stephen F. Austin

6.Gonzaga11.Clemson   Spokane

3.Oklahoma St14.Boston

7.Michigan10.Harvard    Buffalo

2.Villanova15.Utah Valley

MIDWEST

1.Michigan St16.Southern            Milwaukee

8.California9.Southern Miss

5.Iowa St12.Missouri      Raleigh

4.Louisville13.Manhattan

6.Oklahoma11.Green Bay            San Antonio

3.UMass14.Northern Colorado

7.Virginia10.Oregon        Spokane

2.San Diego St15.UC Irvine

EAST

1.Syracuse16.South Dakota/Morgan St  Buffalo

8.Minnesota9.Colorado

5.Saint Louis12.SMU/North Carolina        Orlando

4.Kentucky13.Belmont

6.Creighton11.VCU         St. Louis

3.Iowa14.Towson

7.UConn10.New Mexico               St. Louis

2.Kansas15.Old Dominion

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M…I…Z…Z…O…U

Missouri ‘s Marcus Denmon prepares to pass as Baylor ‘s Perry Jones III defends beneath the basket during the first half of a game that matched the No. 5 Tigers against the No. 3 Bears. Tony Gutierrez/The Associated Press

In a year where it appears that the Big XII has three great teams, the best of the three may be the team on its way out.  The Missouri Tigers are rolling along with only one loss this season and is doing by leaning on its their guard play.

Leading the way for the Tigers is All-American candidate Marcus Denmon who’s averaging over 17 points per game, but he’s getting plenty of help.  Running the point for them is one of the most athletic little guys in the country, Phil “Flip” Pressey with Kim English and Michael Dixon also giving the Tigers help in the backcourt and on the wing.

Missouri can beat you in the paint as well now. Ricardo Ratliffe went toe-to-toe with Baylor’s imposing frontcourt and emerged with 27 points and 8 rebounds in it’s 89-88 win over the Bears on Jan. 21.

The Tigers still have plenty of work to do this season, including another match-up against Baylor and two against Kansas.  However, they look like they’re hear for the long haul.

Stock Up: Big Ten Conference.  The Big Ten looks primed to get close to 75 percent of it’s teams in the NCAA tournament.  That it is an amazing feat.  There are no gimmes in the league this year showing how deep it is from top-to-bottom.  Ohio St looks to be the class of the league, but there’s about seven teams in this conference that can beat anybody on any given night.

Stock Down: Colonial Athletic Association.  It was all good just a year ago.  The CAA got three NCAA tournament bids and VCU fought its way to the Final Four.  That will not happen this year.  The winner of the CAA will be fortunate to be a 13/14 seed.  College basketball is cyclical and every league will have a down year, but the sudden fall for the Colonial has been surprising.

Stock Up: Doug McDermott.  He’s not getting publicity like Jimmer Fredette, but McDermott is putting up huge numbers for the Creighton Blue Jays.  McDermott is averaging 23 points and over eight rebounds a game.  He’s a definite All-American candidate and has Creighton fans thinking back to the days of Kyle Korver.  The scariest thing about McDermott is that he’s a sophomore too.

Stock Down: Syracuse University Athletic Department.  Your team is having a great year and great years should be celebrated…when they’re over.  Someone in Upstate New York thought it was wise to sell “No. 1” and “20-0” t-shirts.  Right now the Orange is neither.  Let’s act like we’ve been there before fellas.

This Week’s Bracket Projections:

Last Four In: BYU, Marshall, NC State, Mississippi
Last Four Out: New Mexico, Colorado St, St. Louis, Wyoming

Good for Games through 1/22

SOUTH

1.Kentucky16.Texas-Arlington/Boston U        Louisville

8.Connecticut9.Southern Mississippi

5.Indiana12.NC State/BYU                     Portland

4.San Diego St13.Middle Tennessee St

6.Wisconsin11.Oregon         Columbus

3.Georgetown14.Valparaiso

7.Murray St10.Xavier          Albuquerque

2.Baylor15.Belmont

WEST

1.Missouri16.UNC-Asheville/Miss Valley St      Omaha

8.Illinois9.Dayton

5.St. Mary’s12.Mississippi/Marshall          Nashville

4.Marquette13.Davidson

6.Cincinnati11.Alabama             Louisville

3.Creighton14.Long Beach St

7.Michigan10.UCF             Greensboro

2.North Carolina15.Norfolk St

EAST

1.Syracuse16.Weber St              Pittsburgh

8.Kansas St9.Temple

5.Gonzaga12.Northwestern                Portland

4.Vanderbilt13.Oral Roberts

6.West Virginia11.Arkansas            Columbus

3.Michigan St14.Nevada

7.Harvard10.California       Greensboro

2.Duke15.Long Island

MIDWEST

1.Ohio St16.Bucknell              Pittsburgh

8.Louisville9.Wichita St

5.Florida St12.Memphis                      Nashville

4.Mississippi St13.Iona

6.Florida11.Purdue           Albuquerque

3.UNLV14.Akron

7.Virginia10.Seton Hall          Omaha

2.Kansas15.George Mason

In Graphical Form