Wednesday, January 21, 2009

InClement Weather: Wednesday Night College Basketball Thoughts...

Ten Thoughts on a Wednesday night...stretched out just a bit.
Yes, even while watching Lost and being more confused than ever before...and still LOVING it.

Don't let the face fool you, I firmly believe Tech walked into their matchup tonight expecting to win. Funny how often you do win with an attitude like that.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

1) Jeff Teague and Wake Forest will no longer remain #1. Not unless about six or seven teams fall too a crazy string of upsets this week(end). It should come as no surprise though, as the life of a college basketball #1 is always week-by-week at best.

2) Virginia Tech, winners of their last 4 of 5 against the Deacs, went into Winston-Salem and walked out 78-71 victors.

3) Jumping out to an early lead, the Hokies combined timely three-point shooting with an aggresive temperment on the boards to lead by as many as 13 in the first half. What had to surprise Wake most was the depths the Hokies went to allow them to come back into the game; especially during three or four stretches in the second half. Missing free throws left and right and not cleaning up on the defensive glass, the Hokies allowed Wake an opportunity to have the ball down only 2. An inability to box out on poor Tech shots and, on their own poor possessions, kick out before driving to the hoop with a little too much steam cost Wake dearly down the stretch. Len "Troy Bell Sr." Elmore might've noticed the most disturbing trend too: Jeff Teague was passive and far too quiet, due to his own inability to demand the ball, in the closing ten minutes.

4) Perhaps the Naismith frontrunner at this point, Teague appeared a little "pouty" according to Elmore. While his teammates were quite frustrating at times with silly fouls and a lack of control (especially with those aforementioned drives to the hoop), Teague passed up several shots late and almost seemed unwanting of the ball in the final possessions. Not a good trend to say the least for one of the nation's most talented playmakers at any position.

5) While that reason can't be divulged as without Teague's input, it did question my faith in Wake Forest in the following:
A) Close games
B) After slow starts
C) Without an inside presence to depend on
The same could be asked of all top tier teams; however, Wake's first blemish - especially at home - did open up some important questions.

6) As for the Hokie-side of things, it goes without saying how HUGE this W is; especially for a 5-loss team. While they have some iffy non-conference losses, the ACC will offer up plenty of opportunities for big time Ws. Let me also state a clear-cut fact: Tech won this game MUCH more than "Mistake" Forest lost it.

7) Unfortunately for the Hokies, due to the strength at the top of the ACC, their worst-case scenario isn't tough to decipher. See Maryland last year after their front-page news upset (on the road, unranked, against an undefeated UNC team) and then see how they faltered late time and time again and even when possessing the most impressive single-win of the year, it wasn't impressive enough come March Madness. In fact, it wasn't close. I have to wonder how much that home loss to Georgia might hurt the Hokies too. Just something to think about, raining on the parade of a team's top effort of the year. My bad.

...after seeing Sayid toss a guy off of a two-story balcony to imminent death (with the amazingly viscous back-breaking sound effects on the side), I'll note three other "affairs" of importance to me...

Outside of Jack Bauer, this is TV's most badassed man.

8) Believe it or not, there are "mid-major stories" out there that don't involve Stephen Curry and Davidson. SHOCK and GASP! While this website has an obvious bias towards the CAA-side of things, it doesn't go without reason. Tonight was an important night for the conference:
A) George Mason fell from the top perch with a 58-57 loss at Northeastern.
B) Both are joined at 7-1 with red hot VCU, who after a rough loss at Delaware two weeks ago, has reeled off six impressive conference victories, although tonight's 5-12 Georgia State team doesn't exactly scream "road test".
C) The true test for Anthony Grant, Eric Maynor, and the Rams will come when the Patriots - who play notoriously well in Richmond (both the Siegel Center and the Collesium) - come marching in Saturday afternoon at 4pm.
Some advice: buy tickets and go if you are affiliated in any way with either school OR figure out when it's on television and watch a truly stellar conference rivalry play out. Sadly, they don't double dip each year like they SHOULD.

9) Northwestern upset Michigan State on the road, South Carolina likely took Florida back out of the rankings on some last-second hoopla, UCONN held off a feisty Villanova team in their hideous gray jerseys, UNC will one day be 100-0 against Clemson at home, and Memphis is going to steamroll through Conference USA and really confuse "bracketeers" come March.

10) Watch college basketball. I can try and inspire you. But I deleted that diatribe. Just watch it. It's awesome.

Tonight's victory will (likely) overshadow their early season's top highlight.

1 comment:

Manuka Honey said...

I love March Madness. Can't wait to place my bets.