Thursday, January 19, 2006

Alabama Smackdown; Weekend Forecast

I. Troy Blasts Toppers, 76-49
I really do not know where to begin here. WKU had reeled off six wins in a row, but were absolutely destroyed at Troy last night. Sometimes you have an off night. Sometimes the other team plays way above their normal level. Sometimes you can't throw it the ocean. Sometimes that all happens on the same night on the road. That was the case last night. The Toppers elected to engage in Troy's uptempo Three-festival, and shot 5-38 (not a typo) from beyond the arc including 1-21 in the second half. The game was actually pretty close until the 11 min mark of the second half when Troy made four consecutive threes to break the game wide open. The last 4 minutes consisted of alley-oop dunks and a more threes for the Trojans. Bobby Dixon, the Trojans fine point guard, went straight past ludicrous speed and barrelled into plaid with 18 points, 16 assists, 9 rebs, and 5 steals.

The Tops will try to pick up the pieces on the road at league-leading South Alabama tomorrow night. The enigmatic Tops could certainly use a nice road win to restore some confidence.

II. Last Night's GOI
--at Missouri State 71, Southern Illinois 63. Bears get the big win they have been looking for.
--at Virginia 72, North Carolina 68. I had a feeling about this one. That's why I put it on the GOI yesterday.
--at Xavier 73, Cincinnati 71 (OT). This one rarely disappoints and last night was no exception.

III. Weekend Forecast
--Notre Dame at Marquette. ND needs some big wins badly.
--Cal at Arizona. Bears need to get that RPI (95) up if they wanna dance.
--Arkansas at Auburn. The Heath Seat is very warm at this point.
--George Washington at Charlotte. GW needs it for seeding; Charlotte needs it to get in the NCAA picture.
--Duke at Georgetown. HUGE chance for the Hoyas to show that they are a legit tourney team.
--Missouri at Kansas State. Important game for two Big 12 middlers.
--Nebraska at Kansas. Ditto.
--Colorado at Oklahoma State. Same.
--Texas Tech at Oklahoma. You get the idea.
--Alabama at LSU. For a leg up on West supremacy.
--South Carolina at Kentucky. Are the Cats back?
--UConn at Louisville. The Cards badly need a quality win.
--Boston College at Miami-FL. The Canes are starting to roll, but BC could use a win.
--Wake Forest at NC State. Wake looked better against Clemson this week.
--Iowa at Michigan State. They great match ups never stop in the Big 10 this season.
--DePaul at Providence. Demons need to get above .500 to stay alive.
--Western Kentucky at South Alabama. For the Belt's bracket spot on Monday.
--Florida at Tennessee. The two best teams in the SEC East.
--Houston at UAB. For second fiddle to Memphis in CUSA.
--West Virginia at UCLA. A non-conference treat in conference season.
--Syracuse at Villanova. Syracuse needs road wins.
--Rutgers at Cincinnati. Pretty important for the long-term viability of both teams.
--North Carolina at Florida State. UNC suddenly finds itself in need of a win.
--Wichita State at Missouri State. Big MVC matchup with the logjam at the top.