Okay, so everyone’s had a catchy name for what went on this past weekend when #1 Baylor, #2 Gonzaga and #4 San Diego State all were topped on the hardwood … “Shakeup Saturday” or maybe “Pre-March Madness” got you juiced and how about this one: “Hoops Hell” for the highly-ranked teams.
You take your pick!
All we’re gonna say is that while plenty of so-called “bracketologists” claim that the losses by the Associated Press’ #1, #2 and #4 teams “would not greatly impact” the expected seedings in next month’s NCAA Tournament, we say that’s absolute hogwash.
Hey, a loss is a loss and last week we watched one cable TV highlights show where the “experts” each said San Diego State – now 26-1 SU (straight-up) following Saturday night’s stunning 66-63 home loss against 14-point underdog UNLV – would maintain a projected #1 seed in the tourney provided they went unbeaten. Now, what are they saying?
Simply put, the weekend losses by the sport’s elite could mean Baylor drops onto the NCAA Tourney #2 seed line providing Kansas wins the Big 12 regular-season and mini-tourney titles;
It could mean that Gonzaga – now 27-2 SU following that 91-78 loss at 4-point pup BYU – could drop to the #2 seed line with just one more loss between now and Selection Sunday on March 15th;
And, finally, what about the teams that close out the regular season and conference tournaments hot-hot-hot – such as #5 Dayton (25-2) and /or #6 Duke (23-4) could swipe a #1 seed and knock out one of those above-mentioned teams: That’s Baylor, Gonzaga or San Diego State.
Tomorrow, we’ll forecast the top 12 seeds in each region – obviously, that will include a pair of the “First Four” NCAA Tournament games from Dayton – and so we’ll let you know what impact these weekend losses had for some of the nation’s power-packed sides.
Folks, this past winter weekend there were 11 nationally-ranked College Basketball teams that bit the dust. Below, find the game-by-game rundown and note all the home teams are in CAPS … folks, the Ohio State and Indiana wins were on Sunday, while all the rest happened this past Saturday:
|# 3 Kansas||+ 1.5||# 1 BAYLOR||64-61|
|# 23 BYU||+4||# 2 Gonzaga||91-78|
|Unlv||+ 14||# 4 SAN DIEGO STATE||66-63|
|# 25 OHIO STATE||-3||# 7 Maryland||79-72|
|INDIANA||– 1||# 9 Penn State||68-60|
|# 14 Oregon||+ 4.5||# 24 ARIZONA||73-72 (ot)|
|# 15 CREIGHTON||– 5||# 21 Butler||81-59|
|TCU||+ 4.5||# 17 West Virginia||67-60 (ot)|
|Ucla||+ 10||# 18 COLORADO||70-63|
|PROVIDENCE||– 1.5||# 19 Marquette||84-72|
|MEMPHIS||+2.5||# 22 Houston||60-59 (ot)|
NBA NEWS & NOTES
There are worse things in the world than the NBA Finals putting on a Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers showdown in June, right?
The two old rivals bucked heads on Sunday with the Lakers – thanks to a last-minute LeBron James wing jumper – beating (but not covering) the 7.5-point underdog Celtics 114-112. The game had plenty of drama and even a bit of controversy as a last-second push-off offensive foul called on Boston’s Jayson Tatum (game-high 41 points) had Celtics’ fans moaning. But you couldn’t beat the action and it sure seemed as if the ghost of Kobe Bryant was in the building (his memorial is today) because # 8 / # 24 really used to thrive in these high-profile spots.
No PG Kemba Walker (knee soreness) for the Celtics on Sunday, or maybe Boston would have won the “whole game” at Staples Center.
Stat of the day in this clash: The Lakers’ bench starring Kyle Kuzma (16 points and a game-best + 17 while on the court) outscored the Celtics’ reserves 43-to-11.
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Hey, Baseball’s back (we watched some Spring Training action this past weekend in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues!) and so let’s continue with our division-by-division looks at the projected wins totals of all the MLB teams with a key comment tossed into the mix. Today, it’s the American League East:
|TEAM||PROJECTED WINS||QUICK COMMENT|
|NY Yankees||102.5||The injury bug’s been biting already with LHP Jams Paxton, RHP Luis Severino hurtin’ … not again, say Yank fans|
|Tampa Bay||90.5||It’s about time folks stopped saying the Rays are “sneaky good”, right? If TB just splits with NYY, then could win 100|
|Boston||84.5||Trading OF Mookie Betts and LHP David Price wasn’t exactly popular in Beantown, but we say Bosox haters beware|
|Toronto||75.5||Lots of offensive fireworks expected but starting rotation is wobbly and depth an issue too; not sold on “over” here|
|Baltimore||56.5||The Orioles’ “rebuilding job” is gonna take a few more years and so that means more beatings in ’20|