Road wins by mid major programs in preconference games are rare. Tonight, Albany made 0 free throws and won @ Utah. Given the home team often picks officials from their own conference that they have seen and will see several times, this is particularly amazing. I’m trying to find out how many times a team has WON while making 0 free throws. Certainly, a team can be overmatched and lose while making none, but Albany actually won.
PS> please check out my blog if you get a chance: http://abasketballseason.blogspot.com/
Anyone disappointed at the late update today should know that I have an excuse (in addition to some technical issues). I was at this game and left in utter shock. Not only did Albany win a road game with no made free throws, but the home crowd generally felt like their team got hosed by the officials. Their angst probably could have been better directed at Luke Nevill’s and/or the coaching staff’s failure to deal with the double teams he got all night from the Albany D. It was a bizarre game all the way around. It’s not often you see a guy make the game winning basket after earlier having a gurney brought out for him. And to top it off, Utah is making a strong claim for unluckiest team in the country.
But the biggest oddity is that this isn’t the first time it’s happened to Utah this season. Back on December 6th, they fell at Utah State 60-57 while the Aggies missed each of their three freebie attempts. In fact, though, those are the only two instances where it’s happened to anybody all season. It only happened once all of last season, Miami of Ohio over Northern Illinois. In that case, Miami was actually able to win without an attempt.
I had 18 points, 10 rebounds, and no turnovers in 19 minutes of action last night. What do I have to do to get my coach to give me the minutes I deserve?
Luke H. didn’t really e-mail me, but I did get a nice e-mail from a Luke fan…
I appreciate you keeping up with Harangody. As an ND season ticket holder (there are a few of us who aren’t students), I can’t begin to tell you what a breath of fresh air this kid is. Last year, the ball went into the post to die and ND’s offense stalled. Harangody has quick moves to the basket, has soft hands, can pass well out of the post, can dribble (see his two three-quarter court drive lay-ups against Alabama), is decisive, brings intensity to the floor, and is a load to boot. He can’t jump too high and gets some shots blocked because of it. But given everything else he does and what we’ve watched the past few years, Harangody’s game is anything but ugly from my view in the bleachers.
Also, he really doesn’t sit behind Kurz. Zeller’s the guy Harangody replaces when he comes in. Harangody will start next year, if he doesn’t break into the line-up this year. Zeller will be the odd (big) man out of those three.
BTW, Zeller last night: 16 minutes, 3 points, 3 boards, 3 TO’s.
Now to change gears, I’d like to jot down a few notes about what the efficiency model is predicting for conference races, like I did last season. In most cases we have enough info to adjust pre-season thinking, and there a few teams I’d like to draw your attention to. Preseason conventional wisdom is taken from Blue Ribbon and current conventional wisdom is my own estimate of things. Here’s how the efficiency model projects conference races.
ACC – 1./2. Duke/UNC. 3. Maryland/Virginia Tech/Clemson. Conventional Wisdom: Preseason…1. UNC, 2. Boston College, 3. Duke. Now…1. UNC, 2. Duke, 3. ???. I think BC was still the pick for third before last night’s loss to Duquesne. Hopefully, people understand you just don’t lose home games to Vermont and Duquesne without having some serious issues. [Note: I didn’t realize Dudley missed the Duquesne game when I wrote this.] I wouldn’t rule out BC for third, although I think Maryland is the wisest choice right now. The main point is that Duke is a solid choice for second, and Virginia Tech and Clemson are going to be legitimate contenders. Clemson has one of the more difficult conference schedules, meaning they could be underrated all season. BTW, Clemson’s James Mays has been a winner in his last 24 collegiate games.
Big East – 1. UConn 2. Notre Dame 3. A bunch of options with WVU a surprise team in the mix. CW: Preseason…1. Pitt 2. Georgetown 3. UConn. Now…1. Pitt 2./3. Georgetown/UConn. UConn and WVU haven’t really played anybody, but I think it’s fair to say that WVU is better than most thought and UConn has done nothing to disprove that they can win the conference. Notre Dame was a preseason 10th pick in Blue Ribbon. Pitt is only 37th in the ratings. I still think the Big East is wide open, and I wouldn’t have regrets about taking Notre Dame if you wanted to take UConn or Pitt.
Big Ten – 1. Wisconsin 2. Ohio State. 3. Illinois/Indiana/Michigan State. CW: Preseason…1. Ohio State, 2. Wisconsin, 3. Illinois. Now: the same. Obviously, the computer, at least mine, can’t see the progression of Greg Oden. Nothing too surprising out of the Big Ten, so far.
Big XII – 1. Texas A&M 2. Kansas 3. Oklahoma. CW: Preseason…1. Kansas 2. Texas 3. Texas A&M. Now…1.Kansas 2. Texas A&M 3. Oklahoma State/Texas. Laugh all you want at Oklahoma, but their defense has been spectacular for the most part. Yes, I know the schedule has been weak. I’m not saying they’re going to the Sweet 16 or anything, but unless the defense is a total mirage, they’re going to win more games than you think, and Oklahoma State (40th) will win fewer games than you think, even though they have tremendous fans.
CAA – VCU is currently projected first, just ahead of Drexel. VCU was predicted 5th in the preseason.
Independents – North Dakota State, get yourself in a conference. The Bison may win 20 this season.
MVC – 1. Missouri State, 2. Southern Illinois, 3. Bradley. Wichita State is sitting fourth, and it should be noted they were fourth before their two losses in Vegas. Creighton is sixth after being the consensus pre-season pick. The collapse in Omaha deserves an expose at some point. CW: Preseason…1. Creighton 2. Wichita State 3. Southern Illinois. Now…1. Wichita State 2. Southern Illinois 3. Missouri State 6. Bradley.
MWC – 1. Air Force 2. UNLV 3. San Diego State/BYU, but both are a good distance behind UNLV. CW: Preseason…1. SDSU 2. BYU 3. Air Force. Now…1. Air Force 2. SDSU 3. UNLV. I still get the impression that SDSU is thought of highly. They were Marcus Slaughter’s team, and I think the race will be between UNLV and Air Force for any tourney bids that come from the MWC.
Pac 10 – Washington is sixth while being picked third in the conference and ranked 14th in the latest AP poll. Given their youth, they should improve more than most from here on out, but I doubt they’ll ever be a true top-15 team. Easy for me to say after the loss to USC, though.
SEC – 1. Florida 2. there are six teams lumped between 27th and 38th in the rankings, Georgia being the most surprising. Florida could really own this conference if they wanted to.
WAC – After initially being on the Nevada bandwagon, it’s time to get off it. If life were fair, this would be a one bid league. Hawaii is a surprising 2nd after being picked 6th. If it wasn’t for their historically bad road play, they wouldn’t be a far-fetched pick to challenge Nevada for the title.