Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Down to the Nitty Gritty

Its time.... time to play your way in or play your way out. Its time to decide if you are going to be a 7-9 seed or a 4-6 seed.

Clemson vs Miami 7:30
Clemson's NCAA Tournament flame is about to be extinguished and Miami can vote off the island. Miami has been somewhat of a giant killer this season and will be discussed in the context of "well they lost to Miami why should they get in?" on Selection Sunday. I think Miami is ok with that trying to bolster any NIT bid possibility and hoping things turn around in football season. Clemson has been pretty good at home and despite their collapse since the Duke game, I think they squeak one out.

CBS

Duke vs Maryland 9:00 ESPN
This rivalry is not at the level it was a few years ago when both teams were winning national titles, but Duke has got their swagger back after a brief stint in rehab and Maryland is starting to differentiate themselves like how oil rises to the top. The Cameron Crazies will pull out all the stops in this one and will be a huge emotional lift for Duke. I like Duke to lead nearly the entire way, survive a couple of runs, and pull away at the end.

South Carolina vs Vanderbilt 7:30
Vanderbilt just keeps winning. It seems like no matter what teams do, they cannot topple the Commodores. Could the bottom feeder in the SEC East perform such at task? Well, they are at home and Vanderbilt is due for a loss. I think South Carolina's NIT streak is going to end this year. I like Vanderbilt on the road.

Kentucky vs Georgia 8:00 Lincoln Financial
Tubby Smith has to be furious after Sunday's close loss. Five years ago, Kentucky would have squashed most any team in the SEC if they really wanted to - not the case anymore. Still, Kentucky's RPI is top 20 in the nation because of their strong schedule. If the Bulldogs want a signature win, this would be it getting them to 9 conference wins. Kentucky is trying to differentiate themselves into the 4-6 seed range instead of falling to a 7-9 seed. I like Kentucky at home.

Thursday
Georgia Tech vs North Carolina 9:00 ESPN2
Georgia Tech really let a golden opportunity slip away in Charlottesville. They led nearly the entire second half and let a seven point lead go to waste as Virginia closed with a 13-0 run. North Carolina hit the skids this weekend too and will now have to likely win out to take the regular season title. Georgia Tech has been very tough at home losing just once, but that loss was to the best team they have played at home. North Carolina has not lost two in a row and three out of those four wins after losses were on the road. I like the Tar Heels in a hard fought battle.

Recap:
Clemson over Miami
Duke over Maryland
Vanderbilt over South Carolina
Kentucky over Georgia
North Carolina over Georgia Tech




Monday, February 26, 2007

Florida vs Tennessee - Tuesday

Tennessee vs Florida 9:00 ESPN
So Florida has lost two out of their last three. It is a just a bump in the road or a serious chink in their armor? Tennessee finally got a road win in the SEC at Arkansas and with 8 SEC wins and 20 wins total, I think the Vols can rest a little easier now with their NCAA Tournament hopes. Tennessee is undefeated at home and very confident with the Gators limping in. Three out of four losses, is it possible for Florida? I think it is, but then the law of averages pulls me back in. I like Florida in a close one.
Florida needs to start playing better if they want this feeling again

Friday, February 23, 2007

Weekend Predictions

After this weekend, that murky crystal ball which holds those 34 at large bids for the NCAA Tournament should become a little clearer. Teams like Georgia Tech and Clemson need big road wins, while Georgia and Maryland need to try and hold court at home.

Virginia vs Georgia Tech 3:30 ABC
A huge game in regards to the NCAA Tournament. You have one team, Virginia, who is jockeying for seeding position and another team, Georgia Tech, just jockeying for a position. Tech has just one road win all season and a win here might cement their status in the Tournament. The Cavaliers are coming off a head scratching loss to Miami. Javaris Crittenton and the rest of the back court must be able to match Virginia's Sean Singletary and JR Reynolds. I don't think the Jackets are mature enough yet to go into Charlottesville and come out with a win.

Boston College vs Clemson 1:00 Raycom/Lin Fin
Two teams which are reeling right now in the ACC. BC has lost three in a row and Clemson has lost their mind since the fiasco in Durham a few weeks ago. Clemson has to have this game unless they want to run through Greensboro undefeated in a couple weeks. I think BC has too much at home.

Florida State vs NC State 1:00 Raycom/Lin Fin
The Chuck Amato Bowl. FSU kissed its postseason hopes goodbye with the injury to Toney Douglas. The Wolfpack can still play spoiler to some bubble teams and play for an NIT bid. However, I like Florida State at home.

google.com


Sunday
Maryland vs North Carolina 5:30 FSN
Good news for the Tar Heels is that they only have to face Virginia Tech at most one more time this season. Bad news is that Maryland and Virginia Tech might be playing the best in the ACC right now. I think Maryland is at a peak right now in their season, but I wonder if they can carry it through the ACC Tournament. This was a team who lost at to Miami and wasn't even a buzzer beater. I like North Carolina getting a solid road win to pump their argument for a number one seed.

LSU vs Florida 3:00 CBS
Sorry LSU, but Florida already received their only loss in SEC play this season and the Tigers have not shown the ability to play up to expectations all year long. Florida in a tight one in Baton Rouge.

Georgia vs Mississippi State 1:00 Lincoln Financial
Bulldogs on Bulldogs. Georgia has lost some of its fire and firepower with Mike Mercer going down a few weeks back. Miss St is quietly tied with Alabama and Ole Miss for the SEC West lead despite nobody talking about them. I like Miss St on the road in a game they need to bolster a shaky NCAA resume.
google.com

Sunday
Vanderbilt vs Kentucky 1:00 Lincoln Financial
Guess what Kentucky, you might have been replaced as number two team in the SEC East. Not long ago, Kentucky was king of the hill and they are fighting for a first day bye in Atlanta. Vanderbilt already came in and beat the Wildcats in Lexington. Does the crowd rush the floor if they sweep Kentucky? That would cost Vandy a measly $50,000 as their third offense. I will take Kentucky on the road in a minor upset.


Recap:
Virginia over Ga Tech

BC over Clemson
FSU over NC State
UNC over Maryland
Florida over LSU
Miss St over Georgia
Kentucky over Vandy

SEC Spring Football: Its Never Too Early

Only in the South could we be making predictions for next year even before Spring ball starts. A couple of schools in the SEC kick of their spring practices very soon, though everyone has had "voluntary" off season workouts since the bowl games.

Its still way too early, but I think these predictions are pretty close to what I would say at this point, except for I think South Carolina will do better than fifth in the SEC East. Alabama will definitely make an improvement under Nick Saban, which does not bode well for teams like Arkansas.

Yahoo's Preview of Spring Football-SEC


Time to shovel the massive amounts of snow in SEC country and get ready for football

Refs Working Too Much?

Well Bob Knight, the unofficial referee spokesman (for good or bad purposes) thinks so. I wonder how refs look at their work/life balance? Probably the same way most of us do. What is work/life balance

"There's no way officials should work more than three games a week," Texas Tech coach Bob Knight said.
"The NCAA has hidden behind independent employment contractors and I think that's all (expletive deleted)," Knight added. "To have some 54 or 55-year-old referee work six times a week is a real disservice."


How much do refs make?
'A source told FOXSports.com that each ACC referee receives anywhere from $1,600 to $2,600 for each game, depending on whether they fly or drive to games. Big East coordinator of officials Art Hyland confirmed those numbers are comparable for the Big East. That payment covers the game fee, travel expenses and a per diem for meals. '

Check out the full article on Fox Sports
google.com
Obviously, Knight did not stick up for this ref

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Clock Malfunction Part II

The second meeting of the season between Duke and Clemson hopefully will be a little less controversial than the first. In what is likely the most famous game so far in the ACC this season, Duke defeated Clemson by going the length of the court in 4.4 seconds for the winning layup. However, the referees incorrectly set the clock to that time after Clemson stole the previous inbounds pass and made a three to tie the game in just 0.6 seconds.

Clemson vs Duke 9:00 ESPN
You better believe Littlejohn Coliseum will be rocking and rolling for this game. The Tigers would be amped to play Duke anyways, but especially after what transpired earlier in the year. This is a must game for Clemson if they want a shot at the Tournament. The game in Durham really set the Tigers in a tailspin which they are still in, but I think they may have caught Duke a few games too late. The Blue Devils have played pretty consistent their last two games, which also happened to be very important wins. I think Clemson is too disorganized right now and not playing good basketball, while Duke is. I like Duke in close one.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just One Game Tonight?

A game many thought would be between two teams vying for conference titles and a high NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky vs LSU 9:00 ESPN
LSU's fall to the bottom of the SEC West is somewhat baffling considering many think Glen Davis is the best player in the SEC. Problem is that as good as Davis is, he can only do so much before somebody else has to step up. Think Barry Sanders and the Detroit Lions. Meanwhile, the Kentucky fans are red over Tubby's lackluster year (again). If Kentucky does not make it to the Final 4 this year, and it looks like they won't, it will match their longest final four drought ever (9 years). Some programs would love to go every 9 years, but this is Kentucky. Think the New York Yankees in baseball...anyways, I like Kentucky at home.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Weekend Predictions

The Tar Heels and Eagles try to bounce back, Georgia Tech travels to Cameron, and Vandy gives Florida a tough test.

ACC
Virginia vs Florida State 1:00 Raycom/Lin Fin
FSU once thought to be in the Tournament, has played their onto the bubble with a mini slump here in mid season. The Cavaliers got a wake call in Blacksburg last weekend that sent them back to reality (or where people thought they should be). Virginia's back court has propelled to their conference record so far. The Seminoles are hurting without Toney Douglas and their best player, Al Thornton, is playing hurt. I like Virginia on the road.

Boston College vs North Carolina 9:00 ESPN
No way North Carolina loses two in a row. Oh wait, but that would mean Boston College would lose two in a row. Well, I think UNC is more talented and just has a little bug in their system who is in the form of a Hokie. The Baby Heels grow up on Saturday and win one in Boston as their inside game is just too strong for the Eagles.


Sunday
Duke vs Georgia Tech 1:00 CBS
A big sigh of relief was just heard in Durham after the Blue Devils averted their longest losing streak ever on Mike Kryzewski. Now, Duke gets to face maybe the hottest team in the ACC right now in Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have four in a row and finally broke their road losing streak at just a shade under 20. Georgia Tech has the athleticism to give Duke fits like FSU and Va Tech have, but they must pound the ball inside where their real advantage lies. Ra'Sean Dickey and Jeremis Smith need to have big games for Tech to win. I don't think they will as the Jackets will pop threes instead.

Clemson vs Maryland 4:00 Raycom/Lin Fin
Another potential bubble bursting matchup. Well, nobody will be out of the Tourney with a loss, but the loser will definitely have an uphill climb. The problem for Maryland is that this game is at Clemson and the Terps have not played well on the road. Meanwhile, the Tigers have played pretty darn well in LittleJohn Coliseum. I will take Clemson and the home crowd.

SEC
Vanderbilt vs Florida 12:00 CBS
Logic tells me that Florida will lose an SEC game. They are good, but not quite good enough to go undefeated. Alabama played with them for 35 minutes on Wednesday and Alabama is middle of the road SEC. The Gators still have to play at LSU and at Tennessee. I think they squeak by Vandy on Saturday.

South Carolina vs Tennessee 3:30 ABC
Tennessee is solid in the Tournament right now with their high RPI despite a lackluster conference standing. But a loss to a team like South Carolina could send the Vols in a free fall. Chris Lofton is back and that has given Tennessee an emotional lift as well as on court. The Gamecocks may struggle to get to the NIT this year - so much for a three peat.

Georgia vs Auburn
These two rivals meet on the hardwood, but I don't think the passion will be there like a game Between the Hedges or on the Plains. This game means a lot to Georgia and their post season hopes as they have to beat a team like Auburn at home. The injury to Mike Mercer takes away one of the Bulldogs best offensive weapons, but I still like them at home.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wednesday's Roundball Action

Can Florida go undefeated and will Duke end their losing skid?

Florida vs Alabama 8:00 Lincoln Financial
I cannot figure out Alabama along with the SEC West. Who thought Ole Miss would be at the top and LSU at the bottom of the standing more than half way into the year. Does Florida really care about any of this? After the win at Kentucky, I think Florida may end of undefeated in the SEC this year.

Wake Forest vs Clemson 7:00 ESPNU
A preview of what could be a ACCT first round matchup. The Tigers need this game for their NCAAT hopes despite many thinking they will get in as they stand currently. Clemson has strong on the road going 6-3 thus far. I like the athleticism of Clemson in this game over the young Deacs.

Boston College vs Duke 9:00 ESPN
The losing streak stands at 4 for the Blue Devils with the first place Eagles awaiting at Conte Forum. The losses will end at some point, but Boston College is not the team you want to try and do it against. The Eagles has withstood the loss of Sean Williams much better than I thought they would. This game all comes down to the play of Josh McRoberts for Duke. If McRoberts can step and have a big game, then Duke has a good shot, but if not then chants of "NIT" might be heard.


Predictions:
Florida over Alabama
Clemson over Wake Forest
Boston College over Duke

Tuesday Predictions

The Tar Heels get a chance for revenge, Georgia Tech tries to break a streak, and Kentucky tries to rebound.

North Carolina vs Virginia Tech 8:00 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
One of North Carolina's two conference losses was to Virginia Tech about a month ago. Since then, the Tar Heels have been on a tear. Meanwhile, the Hokies have found ACC road a little more bumpy since that big win. North Carolina has too much talent and they are playing at home - they win comfortably.

Florida State vs Georgia Tech 8:00 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
Georgia Tech has lost 17 in a row. A streak dating back to 2005 when they won at Miami. However, Paul Hewitt and his team fell into a little bit of luck with Toney Douglas out and Al Thorton hurting after a bad fall agianst Boston College. Georgia Tech is playing its best basketball since the Maui Invitational. I think this is the game the Yellow Jackets break their road streak.

Tennessee vs Kentucky 7:00 ESPN
Kentucky will have a tough time rebounding from the loss to Florida on Saturday. Tennessee has gotten a boost with the return of Chris Lofton. The Vols smashed Vanderbilt last weekend and are trying to earn their way into the Tournament. I like Tennessee at home with the momentum they have and with Kentucky coming off an emotional loss.


Predictions:
North Carolina over Va Tech
Georgia Tech over FSU
Tennessee over Kentucky

Season Record: 48-26 (.650)

If the Conference Tourneys Started Today

ACC
8. Maryland
9. Ga Tech9. Ga Tech
1. BC
1. BC
5. Clemson4. Va Tech
12. Wake Forest5. Clemson
4. Va Tech4. Va Tech
2. North Carolina
7. FSU
10. NC State7. FSU2. N Carolina
2. N. Carolina
2. N. Carolina
6. Duke3. Virginia
11. Miami6. Duke
3. Virginia

I don’t have too many upsets in this bracket, but there are always upsets. Every team in the Tournament has a shot on a particular day with as deep as the ACC is. Here are some potential upsets.

A team finishing 10-12 will win a first round game
Best Chance: NC State

A team finishing 6th or lower will make it to Semifinals
Best Chance: Florida State

SEC
4W.Miss St
5E.Tennessee5E.Tennessee
1E.Florida
1E.Florida
3E.Vanderbilt3E.Vanderbilt
6W.LSU3E.Vanderbilt
2W.Ole Miss1E.Florida
1E.Florida
3W.Arkansas
6E.S Carolina3W.Arkansas2E.Kentucky
2E.Kentucky
2E.Kentucky
4E.Georgia4E.Georgia
5W.Auburn4E. Georgia
1W.Alabama

The East is so much stronger than the West this year even without Florida. I think this will come to fruition in the SEC Tournament as the East should dominate.

LSU is currently slated for 6th in the West, but they have enough talent to make a run into Sunday.

Other than LSU, I don’t see a whole lot of surprises considering how the East has dominated the West so far.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Weekend Basketball Predictions

North Carolina struggles with ACC's worst, an SEC Showdown in Lexington, and Duke tries to get back on track all this weekend.

Saturday
North Carolina vs Wake Forest 1:30 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
Coming off their biggest win of the season, the Tar Heels will struggle to get motivated for this game. I think Wake sticks around for 17 minutes in the first half, but North Carolina pulls to a lead at the end of the half. However, they will struggle to put Wake Forest away until the final 10 minutes of the game, which will please Roy Williams, but he will get over it as the Heels win by 15.
google.com

Vanderbilt vs Tennessee 3:00 Lincoln Financial
After a rough stretch, Tennessee is starting to rebound and climb the ladder in the SEC East. They would also like to get some revenge on Vanderbilt who beat the Vols on a buzzer beater. Vanderbilt has proven they can win on the road, but I like Tennessee in this one.

Virginia Tech vs Virginia 4:00 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
The Cavaliers are the hottest team in the ACC right now and its most surprising. This team has a good shot to win the ACC, which nobody thought at the beginning of the year. Virginia Tech started off hot, but has cooled a little bit. The Hokies are very formidable in Cassell Coliseum. I think the Cavaliers hit a bump in Blacksburg and the Hokies take one from their rival.

South Carolina vs Georgia 7:00 FSN
Two Jekyl and Hyde teams of the SEC. The Bulldogs are struggling after winning a few close games and are now squarely on an NCAA Tournament bubble about to pop. I think Georgia won't get back to winning until they return home - I like South Carolina in a close one.

Kentucky vs Florida 8:00 ESPN
The premier game in the SEC this year and Kentucky is the underdog. How times have changed. Rupp Arena will be rocking with Dickie V and the ESPN Gameday crew. This is probably on the best chances for Florida to lose in the SEC, but they are playing very well as of late. Florida will lose at least one game in the SEC this year and I think this is one of those games. Expect Kentucky to rain threes and the crowd to go wild.

google.com

Sunday
Georgia Tech vs UConn 1:00 CBS
A rematch of the 2004 National Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. However, both of these are in different states than just three years ago. UConn is in danger of missing the Tournament as is Georgia Tech, but both have game recently to poise themselves for a possible run. I think the loser's bubble may be popped. I like Georgia Tech in this game because of the improved play of Javaris Crittenton at point guard.


Florida State vs Boston College 3:00 FSN
Boston College was supposed to struggle without Sean Williams right? I certainly thought so, but the Eagles are maintaining their spot atop the ACC. Florida State has been very good at home beating Florida earlier in the year. I like the Seminoles at home with Al Thornton outplaying Jared Dudley in a competition for Player of the Year.

Maryland vs Duke 5:00 FSN
Duke has not lost three in a row since 1999, they may miss the Tournament, blah, blah, blah. Ok, I can't take Maryland anymore. They have disappointed me most every game this year except for a few where they took advantage of weak opponents. The Terps crowd will be up for Duke like no other game, but Coach K will have his team ready to play. Duke is rebuilding, but I don't see them losing four in a row. I like Duke.

Summary:
North Carolina over Wake
Tennessee over Vanderbilt
Virginia Tech over Virginia
South Carolina over Georgia
Kentucky over Florida
Georgia Tech over UConn
Florida State over Boston College
Duke over Maryland
Season Record: 46-20 (.700)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Carolina - Duke

Taking one last look at the North Carolina - Duke game tonight with, of course, a prediction on the outcome. I am going to take a look at each team's strengths and weaknesses and how they match up with one another.

SIPictures.com

North Carolina
Strengths:
Depth - The Tar Heels can go 9 deep with quality players; first four off the bench could start for 3/4 of Division I

Frontcourt - Branden Wright and Tyler Hansbrough form one of the best combos inside in the country
Athleticism - Speed, Speed, Speed especially on the perimeter
Length - Even at the guard and small forward spots the Heels are very tall yet very athletic still
Coaching - Roy has been in plenty of big games and has proven he can win the big one now

Weaknesses:
Youth
- Despite all that talent, most of these guys are freshman and sophomore and still prone to mistakes

Level of Intensity - Talent is not an issue, coaching is not an issue, but like last Saturday's effort (or lack their of) can be an issue. If you don't play with intensity, you are pissing into the wind

Duke
Strengths:
Home Court Advantage - Nobody does it like the Cameron Crazies and not too many make it out with a win. Plus, Duke is an underdog at home if they needed an extra incentive.

Defense - As always, Coach K has a group of guys who know how to play defense for 40 minutes
Intensity - Just feeding off the crowd will get you fired up to play, but Coach K makes sure it happens
Coaching - Coach K is one of the top coaches in college with three national titles to show for it

Weaknesses:
Frontcourt - After McRoberts this team is very thin. Duke has struggled defending teams with a post presence

Athleticism - This team is well disciplined, but they can't afford to play a run n' gun style
Depth - The Blue Devils really only play seven guys, therefore any kind of foul trouble puts them in a bind
Scoring - Defense is not a problem, but getting the ball in the hoop has been. Paulus has not stepped up at point and Jon Scheyer is their only consistent deep threat. Duke has made a living off a three pointers in years past.

Matchup:
I think North Carolina's inside duo of Wright and Hansbrough is too much for McRoberts to handle. The speed of PG Tywon Lawson will wear Paulus out and cause the sophomore to make the same mistakes he has all year. Duke's best chance is to get North Carolina rattled early in a hostile environment. The Devils must take advantage of turnovers because the Tar Heels will have some due to their fast pace style. Duke must slow this game down to a half court battle where they can execute on an even level with North Carolina.


Prediction:
North Carolina 72 Duke 66


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

North Carolina - Duke Game Preview Part II

Some game notes for Wednesday's showdown on Tobacco Road. Interesting to see how some of the win/loss numbers differ depending on who you ask. Duke's Student Newspaper offers fans a glimpse into what the rivalry means to the Blue Devils

From goduke.com
-Duke has won 16 of the last 20 games versus North Carolina and eight of the last 10 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

-The Blue Devils are 31-30 against North Carolina under Mike Krzyzewski. per Duke
Duke must not be counting the two losses in 1995 when K was having back surgery (see below)

-Duke and North Carolina are ranked 16th and fifth, respectively, in the latest AP poll.

-Wednesday’s game marks the 122nd straight game with at least one team ranked in the AP poll. That streak dates back to Feb. 27, 1960. Of those 122 games, 110 of the games have featured a team in the top 10.

-Both teams have been ranked in each of the last seven games and in 42 of the last 55 meetings.
-All-time Series: Duke trails the all-time series 96-125.

-Blue Devils have won eight of the last 10 games athome and are 38-31 all-time at Cameron Indoor Stadium versus the Tar Heels.
Duke Official Press Release

google.com

From TarHeels.com
-Duke leads the series 47-43 in games playedin Durham.

-Carolina is 32-31 against Mike Krzyzewskicoached Duke teams. per UNC
I assume Carolina counts the two wins in 1995 while Coach K was recooperating from back surgery

-In the past 30 years, the Tar Heels have played 13 regular season games against Duke when coming off a loss. Carolina is 9-4 in those games.

-Wednesday’s game will be the first time since 1989 that Duke goes into a UNC game with two consecutive losses and UNC losing its previous game

-Carolina and Duke have met 60 previous times when both teams were ranked in theAssociatedPress Top 25, with Duke leading the seriesin those games, 31-29.

-Wednesday’s game is the 138th straight meeting in the series that at least one of the twoschools was ranked in a national poll. The streakdates to Feb. 25, 1955.
North Carolina Official Release

google.com

Tuesday (2/6) Roundball Action

With the beginning of the second half of conference play, we should start to see some things shake out in the standings.

Tennessee vs LSU 9:00 ESPN
LSU can't shoot and really only has one option on offense - Glen Davis. Tennessee should be getting Chris Lofton back after multiple games with an ankle injury. The Tigers slide down the SEC West has to end at some point, right? This was a Final Four team last year. LSU is playing its way out of a NCAA bid as they are currently last in the West with a 2-6 mark. Still, I will take Tennessee at home with the return of Lofton leading a second half comeback.

Georgia Tech vs NC State 7:00 Raycom
The Wolfpack will be looking for their third straight win as an underdog in Atlanta. I never thought NC State would have upset North Carolina last Saturday, but things are starting to click for Sidney Lowe's bunch led by guard Calvin Grant. Teams with a perimeter presence have given Georgia Tech trouble because the Yellow Jackets are very long and lean, but not all that quick. Still, Georgia Tech might have played its best game since Maui last Saturday led by a smothering defense on the perimeter. I like Georgia Tech at home.

Two years ago - This game turned NC State's season around

Maryland vs Virginia 9:00 Raycom
Virginia may be the surprise team in the ACC with their rival Hokies stumbles as of late. The Cavaliers have won six in a row and find themselves near the top of the ACC. I have said all along this Maryland team will be good and I am not jumping ship now. I like the Terps at home.

Monday, February 5, 2007

National Signing Day

National Signing Day is this Wednesday, February 7. Like every other year, the SEC and ACC are dominating the recruiting wars again.

Most of the top prospects have committed to their school of choice, but a few big names remain uncommitted and of course there are always the Signing Day Surprises (Marcus Stroud).

dawgsonline.com

Scout Top 100 Players
Florida has racked up many top recruits this year and LSU is looking for a strong push at the end to challenge the Gators for the top spot.
Scout Team Rankings
After their national title, Urban Meyer went on a recruiting tear securing committments from some of the top players in the nation even convincing a few to switch to Florida from other top schools
Scout Conference Rankings
Georgia Tech is surprisingly leading the ACC, but expect Florida State and Miami to make a late push
Scout Position Rankings
Check out each team and where they rank for each position

Rivals Top 100 Players
Jimmy Clausen and Joe McKnight top the rankings again
Rivals Top Players By State
Florida, Texas, and California dominate the rankings
Rivals Team Rankings

Rivals 2007 Junior All-Americans
Just in case you want to go ahead and get a start on next year

North Carolina - Duke Preview Part I

Just a little primer for this week's big game between North Carolina and Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.



Super Bowl Tidbits

Any coincidence that the first two touchdowns scored in Super Bowl XLI were from players who played at the same college? (Miami)



Also, note that both starting QBs were from the SEC and the starting tailbacks were from the ACC (Thomas Jones-Virginia) and SEC(Joseph Addai-LSU)


Overall, 27 players from both teams (11-Indianapolis, 16-Chicago) played their college ball in the ACC or SEC.




Sunday, February 4, 2007

Bandwagons


google.com
About time to decide whos bandwagon you are on


On:
North Carolina -ever after NC State loss
Virginia - can you say darkhorse ACC title team?
Maryland - call me crazy but I still like them
Vanderbilt - gave Florida biggest scare in SEC
Florida - did anyone ever jump off


Thinking About Jumping Back On:
Georgia Tech - finish with 5 of 8 at home; looked very good vs Clemson
Boston College - doing ok even without Sean Williams

Jumping Ship:
LSU - this team is nowhere near the Final 4 team of last year
Duke - home losses to Va Tech and FSU... in basketball?


google.com

Thinking About Jumping Back Off:
Georgia - two straight losses bring back to the pack

Mid Season Awards and Goats

We are just over the halfway mark of the conference season, so let's take a look at some of the best of the first half of the season.

ACC

Player of the Year: Sean Singletary, Virginia
Also considered: Tyler Hansborough, North Carolina; Jared Dudley, Boston College

Rookie of the Year: Branden Wright, North Carolina
Also considered: Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech; Tywon Lawson, North Carolina

Coach of the Year: Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech
Also considered: Al Skinner, Boston College; Dave Leito, Virginia
Seth Greenberg gives up the thumbs up
google.com

Most surprising team: Virginia Tech
Also considered: Virginia

Most Disappointing Team: Georgia Tech
Also considered: Maryland

SEC

Player of the Year: Glen Davis, LSU
Also considered: Joakim Noah, Florida; Corey Brewer, Florida
Davis celebrating his mid season award
google.com

Rookie of the Year: Jodie Meeks, Kentucky
Also considered: Barry Stewart, Miss St; Patrick Beverly, Arkansas

Coach of the Year: Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt
Also considered: Dennis Felton, Georgia

Most Surprising: Vanderbilt
Also Considered: Georgia

Most Disappointing: LSU
Also Considered: Alabama

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Florida State @ Duke

Just one game this Sunday.
Duke vs Florida State 2:00 FSN
Florida State has a chance in this game because of their athleticism, which has given this Duke team trouble this year. Duke needs this game to keep pace with Boston College for second place in the ACC. The Blue Devils may also be looking ahead to their showdown with that school 8 miles down the road. I expect Florida State to give a Duke a very good game for about 35 minutes, but the Blue Devils take the defensive pressue up a notch and pull out a close one.


Saturday Predictions

ACC
Boston College vs Virginia Tech 1:00 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
I was shocked when Virginia Tech lost at home to NC State; and it was not even that close as they lost 11. This Hokie team is tough to figure out. Were they still celebrating that win from Sunday over Georgia Tech? Were they looking ahead to this weekend? Meanwhile, BC is trying to hang on to a second place tie in the ACC. I don't think BC has the athleticism to hang with the Hokies, so it will come down to how Seth Greenberg's club shoots the ball. I like Virginia Tech in a mild upset.

leecorso.com


Georgia Tech vs Clemson 1:00 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
This is Georgia Tech's season. They are 2-6 in the ACC and already have losses to Wake Forest and Miami. If they want to make any kind of run at the postseason it has to start today with the team who beat them on a last second shot just a few weeks ago. The Tigers have had a week to let the Virginia debacle sit with them. This is going to be a hard fought game, but the Yellow Jackets are very tough at home. I like Georgia Tech in a squeaker.

NC State vs North Carolina 3:30 ABC
Right now, North Carolina looks unbeatable in the ACC. Starting with Georgia Tech a few weeks ago, the Tar Heels have ran through their ACC competition bringing wave after wave of talent off the bench. The Wolfpack and their home crowd will be pumped for the chance to knock off the #3 ranked Tar Heels, but I don't see it happening.

Virginia vs Miami 8:00 ESPNU
The Cavaliers are still in a state of euphoria after a come from behind, overtime win over Duke on Thursday. But they really should not be because this Virginia team is much better than people thought (myself included) and Duke is a bit overrated at #8 in the country. Dave Leito must keep his team focused and not just think Miami will roll over for them. This Hurricane team went into Maryland a few weeks ago and came out with a win. I like Virginia, but close.

SEC
Arkansas vs Kentucky 1:00 Lincoln Financial
Both teams had the week off after convincing victories last weekend. Arkansas has rebounded from a rough start to the conference season with victories over Alabama and LSU though these victories are looking less impressive each day. The East has dominated the West so far this season. Arkansas is 10-1 at home this year with the lone loss on a buzzer beater. Houston Nutt likes my Arkansas pick as well.

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Florida vs Tennessee 3:00 Lincoln Financial
Joakim Noah already had a national title, all the girls (
except UCLA cheerleaders), but he came back to beat Tennessee. The Vols defeated the Gators twice last year and handed them their last home loss. Tennessee will again be without Chris Lofton, but that did not seem to bother them against Georgia - Florida is much better than Georgia. If the Gators want to, they can stomp the Vols by 20 in this game.

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Vanderbilt vs Georgia 6:00 FSN
The Vanderbilt magic carpet ride continues despite a loss to Florida where they led for the entire first half. The Commodores starting this whole "beating teams better than them" after a close loss to Georgia in Athens a few weeks back. The Bulldogs did not play well against Tennessee this week and need this victory to avoid falling in the middle of the pack. Vandy has been very tough at home and I like the Commodores.


Quick and Dirty:
VT over BC
GT over Clemson
UNC over NC State
Virginia over "The U"
Arkansas over Kentucky
Florida over Tennessee
Vanderbilt over Georgia
"Quick and Dirty at its finest "
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