Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Few Early Hoops Surprises

Here's a few college basketball teams that are flying below the radar right now, but possibly not for long:

Virginia Tech: If the fact that they are one of only two ACC teams undefeated in conference play at 3-0 (Boston College is the other at 4-0) doesn't move you, how about back-to-back wins at Duke and at home vs. #1 North Carolina. The Hokies have a veteran backcourt that has been coming up very big lately, a pretty good recipe for sustained success.

Virginia Commonwealth: Just because George Mason won't be making a return trip to the Final Four doesn't mean that a team from the CAA doesn't have a chance. The Rams are 13-3, 5-0 in the conference. Two senior guards, B. A. Walker and Jesse Pellot-Rosa, lead the team in scoring, and I love mid-major teams with veteran guards.

Washington State: The Cougars are 15-2 and tied for first in the Pac-10. They've beaten Arizona and Southern Cal and lost at UCLA by only three points. While they aren't exactly playing at a frantic pace, but new coach Tony Bennett has loosened things up a bit from how his dad's teams ran their offense. Fair to say it's working.

New Mexico State: They haven't exactly played a tough schedule, but any team that has a 12-game winning streak is worth paying attention to. The Aggies are 13-3 overall and could be positioning themselves for an at-large bid if they can manage the heart of their WAC schedule.

These teams bear watching as they move deeper into their conference schedules.


At 6:07 PM, Blogger The Buss said...

I'm a New Mexico State person (one of many die hards out here in southern New Mexico). It's nice to see you giving NMSU a little attention, because honestly, that's about all we can hope for out here. The Aggies have a 13 game winning streak, 14 game home winning streak, 4 game road winning streak, a 4-0 start in conference play, and wins against all of our rivals.
This is the best start we've had since the mid 90's (the last time we were ranked nationally), and the Aggies are actually starting to get votes in both the AP and coaches polls.
You tell me, as someone who is far enough away from New Mexico to not be blinded by the small success (and as you said, most of NMSU's wins don't come against power houses), if NMSU wins their road game against Louisiana Tech on Wednesday and then actually beats Nevada next Saturday night, do they deserve a top 25 spot?

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Jim Johnson, The CourtMaster said...

If the Aggies beat Nevada (assuming Fazekas is playing), I'd vote them in the Top 25.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger The Buss said...

I hope others share your point of view on this (even though the IF you talk about is a pretty big one).


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