(also know as, should I continue this blogging thing?)
By Trot Nixon’s Hat
Let’s start with the Maui Invite:
Yes, Duke cut down the nets as I expected. However, the surprise of the tournament was Marquette finding their way so quickly after looking so poor out of the gate. They played like a top 15 team in their dismantling of Arizona State, and certainly gave the Dukies a run for their money. Maybe it turns out that this pre-season tourney was exactly what the team needed to shake that rust off.
Maybe I should’ve tried to do a little prediction here? Yeah, I think so too. Anyhow, the Syracuse-Ohio State game was not the barn-burner that I expected. I suppose the lesson here is for Boeheim to never leave the protective bubble that is the Carrier dome before January. Washington is not yet ready to join the top-half of the PAC 10, that’s for sure after their two losses to Texas A&M and Syracuse. A&M looks ready to have a solid season, especially after their utter demolition of OSU. Are OSU and Syracuse just that bad, or do the Aggies have a good team this year? I’m going to have to go with the Aggies being solid.
The Legends Classic
Again, no prediction from your esteemed blogger, but tell me my doubt in Tennessee was misplaced? A 2 point escape against West V. and a drubbing at the hands of Texas. Yep, we’re looking at another year of unmatched expectations from this Volunteers team. I know, it’s early, but their history says that we can go ahead and drop there pre-season ranking just a touch. Texas is looking sharp, but, we’ll have to see them against some more varied competition. Sorry, Vols, but you’re not an opponent that I’m willing to base my judgment of a team (yet).
The Great Alaska Shooutout
True to my word, this tournament had a good selection of games. Apparently Gonzaga was able to pull of the Goliath thing against Western Kentucky and their Strawberry Dots mascot, but couldn’t get past the sling of Texas Tech. I at least got our 2nd round matchups right in my pseudo-prediction, but we got our first surprise of the tourney when Butler emerged as the top mid-major in the final against Texas Tech.
The Anaheim Classic
What is up with USC? They went from providing craptacular efforts in their first two games (albeit one of them was against a potential at-large bid Miami of Ohio team) to absolutely blowing SIU off of the court. What did I miss? Was the benching of Mayo at the start of this one a message to the rest of the team? To Mayo? (Floyd stated in his postgame interview that it was merely a decision he made based on the number of potential starting players he has on his roster – yeah, color me skeptical there)
Old Spice Classic
This one makes me feel good about my ability to predict some college hoops action. George Mason and Kansas State did provide one of the best early season games of the year, but the Colonials prevailed in the end. I hedged my bets and didn’t tell you definitively who would win – Yep, I’m kind of a wuss. UCF couldn’t provide the upset I had personally hoped for, but certainly gave Villanova a great shot. The Wolfpack of N.C. State held true to form and eeked out wins in their final two games after taking care of Rider in the first round .
Well, it’s been a good first week of the season, and a pretty good first week blogging. Stay tuned for my next update when we dissect the Big Ten and ask just how many missed shots can a team survive to win?