College Basketball Top 25 1/3/10

The EJSIC Top 25: NCAA Basketball
January 3, 2010
Pre-season poll, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7

So, without further ado, here are our rankings (votes – first place votes), with next week’s schedule. Week 8 will be games played between January 3 and January 9. As the season progresses, we’ll keep a log of top wins and bad losses so you can follow the important information to the NCAA tournament.

1. Texas 13-0 (147 – 4)
…..Key wins: North Carolina, Pitt, Southern Cal, Michigan State
…..Next week: @ Arkansas 1/05, vs. Colorado 1/09
2. Kansas 13-0 (146 – 2)
…..Key wins: Memphis, Michigan, California, Temple
…..Next week: vs. Cornell 1/06
3. Kentucky 15-0 (135)
…..Key wins: North Carolina, Connecticut, Louisville
…..Next week: vs. Georgia 1/09
3. Purdue 13-0 (135)
…..Key wins: Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, Wake Forest
…..Next week: vs. Minnesota 1/05, @ #12 Wisconsin 1/09
5. Duke 11-1 (125)
…..Key wins: Charlotte, Connecticut, St. John’s, Gonzaga
…..Next week: vs #20 Clemson 1/03, vs. Iowa State 1/06, @ #18 Georgia Tech 1/09

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I’m late, I’m late…for a very light prediction slate

I wonder if anyone in or at this sold out bowl has Pacific Life Insurance.

Okay, I have exactly 37 minutes to get these predictions out. That’s when three of the four Top 25 basketball games being played tonight begin. The Pacific Life Holiday Bowl begins at 8:00, so I need to get started.

Tonight’s bowl game: Pacific Life Holiday Bowl

No. 20 Arizona vs. No. 22 Nebraska. This is a really tough one to predict. Both teams did pretty well in historically tough conferences and Nebraska almost eliminated Texas from the No. 1 vs. No. 2 game (I’m refusing to call it the National Championship game because that would be an insult to the real national championship games played each year).  Both teams also had some inexplicable losses. For Arizona it was Washington and for Nebraska it was Iowa State. (I also think that their loss to Virginia Tech is questionable.) Given that how teams play in bowl games rarely reflects their season of play because the bowl games are usually a month after their last game of the season, I tossed a coin for this one. Nebraska won.

Tonight’s basketball games

Albany at No. 9 North Carolina. Historically, UNC plays horribly on Wednesdays (and Sundays in February). Historically, Wednesday is a really bad day for me–the kind of day where I stub my toe on my desk chair, find that I forgot to pay my gas bill and they’ve cut it off,  and my daughter announces she got a speeding ticket for going 83 in a 65. The only ways to ensure that UNC wins is for me to watch the game in China or Australia where it’s already Thursday or wait and check the scores on Thursday. Since I can’t travel to China or Australia (see how Wednesdays suck?), I’ll check the score in the morning.

No. 10 Connecticut at Cincinnati. I think Connecticut is a good team this

Al's sniffed out an upset for the Huskies.

year, despite their drubbing at the hands of Duke–a win that Duke will ride all the way to their undeserved 2nd seed in the East. However, because of real or imagined (I vote for real) parity in the Big East, I’m sensing an upset here. Some will say a shocking upset, but Cincinnati is also pretty good–and they’re playing at home.

Texas-Arlington at No. 11 Michigan State. Kudos to Michigan State for playing a really tough schedule. They hung tight against Texas and for a while there, they looked like they might win. Fortunately, they have a breather tonight. And for all those people wondering why they’re ranked and predicting that they’ll end up in third place in the Big 10, I’m warning you now: this team will only get better as the season progresses.

No. 19 Temple at Northern Illinois. Kudos to Temple for traveling to the home of the Northern Illinois Huskies. Unfortunately, playing at home will not help the poor Huskies, who have only won two games this year. Temple’s doing really well this season and it’s nice to see them back in the Top 25. I always think they’re in the Big East though; it’s always a shock to realize they’re in the Atlantic 10.

Okay, I now have 11 minutes to add some photos to this post, so I’m signing off until tomorrow.

What’s with these early bowl games? And why is Georgia Tech playing basketball right now? Al ponders some tough questions and makes some predictions

Si, Al puede hablar dos lenguas: basquetbol y futbol Americano.

Well, the college football bowl season really caught me napping. I had no idea that so many bowl games were played before Christmas day. There used to be just one or two, back in the day. Fortunately, I just noticed that the three bowl games that have been played did not feature ranked teams, so I can breathe a sigh of relief, because my plan was only to predict games with ranked teams. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I also ran out of time yesterday and didn’t have a chance to predict the two men’s college basketball games that were played last night, not that anyone should have needed a crystal ball to predict those outcomes. A big congratulations to Kentucky for their 2000th win, by the way. As a Tar Heel fan, I’m seething with jealousy and can only hope that we reach 3000 before Kentucky does.

So, today I have my first ever “bilingual” predictions post. By “bilingual,” I don’t mean that I’ll be providing a Spanish version (sorry, Jose) but that I’ll be predicting basketball games and football games in this post. By the way, what the heck is Georgia Tech doing playing basketball right now? They need to realize that sometimes I can’t write until after lunch. Needless to say, by the time I finish this post, their game with Kennesaw State will be over, dammit. So, I won’t be calling that one.

With this slighly dissatisfying state of affairs, I’ll get right down to business.

The Broken Down Car Bowl is tonight in Las Vegas

Tonight’s Bowl Game: Maaco Bowl, Los Vegas

No. 18 Oregon State vs. No. 14 Brigham Young. I just want to go on record that I think naming bowls after their sponsors is one of the worst ideas ever. Who wants to play in a bowl named after spark plugs or a tire? And, sorry Chik-Fil-A, but there were peaches in Georgia years before you opened your fundamentalist churches restaurants in Atlanta. Anyway, I digress.

If you compare records, it would look like Oregon State, with four losses, doesn’t have a chance. However, this is one of those rare times when I have to go with the Pac 10 team because they’re a Pac 10 team. Sure, Brigham Young beat Oklahoma and Utah, but Oklahoma turned out to be way overrated. Brigham Young also lost to Florida State and, frankly, I don’t see where Oregon State would ever have done that.

Tonight’s Men’s Basketball Games

California at No. 1 Kansas. This could be a very good game. Although I’m

This Marshall is the stuff of Al's UNC basketball nightmares

still a believer that Kansas deserves its No. 1 ranking in the weakest college basketball year ever*, they aren’t infallible. I think California can hang with them for about 35 minutes, but then Kansas will put it away.

No. 9 Michigan State at No. 2 Texas. I’m hoping to participate in the live blog for this one, so everyone will have a chance to make me eat these words, but I just don’t think this game will be that close or that exciting. The top 2 teams in the Big 12 are just way better than the top 2 teams in the Big 10 this year. Sorry, Mr. Sensei, but that’s how I see it.

SIU-Edwardsville vs. No. 4 Purdue. It’s amazing to me, a native of North Carolina, that SIU needs two campuses. To me, that would be like ECU-New Bern or WCU-Blowing Rock. Anyway, the Boilermakers will win this one easily.

Marshall at No. 10 North Carolina. I had a nightmare last night that a team called Crenshaw beat UNC. Yes, my mind is just full of really weird associations. I just hope that it was nothing but a bad dream.

Maine at No. 11 Connecticut. The Black Bears vs. the Huskies–now there’s a nice wintry mascot match up. However, I think that the Huskies are a little faster than the Black Bears and this should be an easy one for them.

No. 16 Butler at UAB. Sorry, ESPN, but I just can’t jump on your Butler bandwagon. You pimp them every year and it’s getting tiresome. I’m picking UAB for the “upset” here.

Cleveland State at No 17 Ohio State. Saturday, Cleveland State surprised me by only losing to WVU by 2 points. It still doesn’t stop me from picking Ohio State, though.

South Alabama at No. 18 Florida. Dammit Florida, you couldn’t “chomp” the Spiders? Jose was right about you. I’m giving you one more chance by predicting that you’ll beat the Jaguars and after that, if you don’t win, I’m going to taunt you mercilessly for the rest of the season.

Texas A&M at No. 19 Washington. This is anybody’s game. The teams are pretty evenly matched. My deal is that I’ve yet to see Washington play more than one or two great games a year. Most of the time, they seem to show up and go through the motions. I think this will be one of those games.

Southern Methodist vs. No. 20 UNLV. It’s interesting that they scheduled a UNLV basketball game on the same day the Las Vegas Maaco Bowl is being played. Good thing it’s not being played there. SMU is doing pretty well this year, but so is UNLV. I think they’ll take this one over in the second half and win.

Western Carolina at No. 23 Clemson. Wow, WCU has won a lot more games than I thought they had. I don’t think they’re a match for Clemson at home, though.

Well, there you have my first bilingual post. As one of the basketball fans I admire most in the world would say, “Some great action tonight. T.T.Y.L.”

*This statement does not necessarily reflect Al’s opinion but rather those who remember what young, silly KU fans said about 2008-2009.

College Basketball Top 25 12/20/09

The EJSIC Top 25: NCAA Basketball
December 20, 2009
Pre-season poll, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5

So, without further ado, here are our rankings (votes – first place votes), with next week’s schedule. Week 6 will be games played between December 20 and December 26. As the season progresses, we’ll keep a log of top wins and bad losses so you can follow the important information to the NCAA tournament.

1. Kentucky 11-0 (95 – 1)
…..Last week: Win vs. Austin Peay 90-69
…..Next week: vs. Drexel 12/21, vs. Long Beach State 12/23
2. Syracuse 11-0 (94 – 1)
…..Last week: Win vs. St. Francis (NY) 75-51, Win vs. St. Bonaventure 85-72
…..Next week: vs. Oakland 12/22
3. Texas 10-0 (93 – 1)
…..Last week: Win vs. Texas Pan America 104-42, Win vs. #9 North Carolina 103-90
…..Next week: vs. #10 Michigan State 12/22
4. Kansas 10-0 (92 – 1)
…..Last week: Win vs. Michigan 75-64
…..Next week: vs. California 12/22
5. Duke 9-1 (83)
…..Last week: Win vs. Gardner-Webb 113-68, vs. Gonzaga 76-41
…..Next week: No Games

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College Basketball Top 25 12/06/09

The EJSIC Top 25: NCAA Basketball
November 29, 2009
Pre-season poll, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

So, without further ado, here are our rankings (votes – first place votes), with next week’s schedule. Week 4 will be games played between December 6 and December 12. As the season progresses, we’ll keep a log of top wins and bad losses so you can follow the important information to the NCAA tournament.

1. Kansas 6-0 (95 – 2)
…..Last week: Win vs. Alcorn State 98-31
…..Next week: @ UCLA 12/06, vs. Radford 12/09, vs. LaSalle 12/12
2. Kentucky 8-0 (93 – 2)
…..Last week: Win vs. UNC Asheville 94-57, Win vs. #11 North Carolina 68-66
…..Next week: vs. # Connecticut 12/09, @ Indiana 12/12
3. Syracuse 7-0 (90)
…..Last week: Win vs. Maine 101-55
…..Next week: vs. # Florida 12/10
4. Purdue 7-0 (86)
…..Last week: Win vs. Wake Forest 69-58, vs. Buffalo 101-65
…..Next week: vs. Valparaiso 12/09, @ Alabama 12/12
5. Villanova 7-0 (85)
…..Last week: vs. Drexel 77-58
…..Next week: vs. Maryland 12/06, @ St. Joe’s 12/09
5. Texas 6-0 (85)
…..Last week: Win @ Rice 77-59, Win vs. USC 69-50
…..Next week: vs. Long Beach State 12/07, vs. Texas State 12/12

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