Monday, February 27, 2006

Couple nice matchups for a Monday

First, stats updated - see over on the right.

Second, there are two matchups tonight featuring teams with a combined total of 40 wins. The first you probably knew - Pitt travels to West Virginia for round 2 of the cross-border rivalry. Remember a few weeks ago when everyone was making a huge deal about West Virginia and their first-place spot in the Big East? Well, they ran into the tough part of their schedule and have gone 2-4 since (including "bad" losses at Seton Hall and Syracuse - side note: you never want to be the marquee win for 2 different bubble teams), and are once again a bit of an afterthought on the national scene. They're a team that lives and dies by the three, and during their little 6-game slide, they're only hitting 29.1%, though they're still shooting 28 a game. A revenge win over Pitt would do much to right the ship, but they'll need to have the outside shot falling to make it happen.

So what's the second matchup featuring 40 combined wins? If you said Montana against Northern Arizona, congratulations, you either follow hoops like I do or cheated by looking at the schedule page for tonight. This showdown doesn't mean anything in the Big Sky standings - Northern Arizona has 1st place wrapped up, and Montana holds the tiebreaker over Eastern Washington for second, so both teams have wrapped up a bye to the semi's of the conference tourney. But you better believe the Grizzlies want a statement win heading into the post-season. The first matchup at Northern Arizona was a great game - NAU came back from 13 down at the half, spurred by Kelly Golob and Steve Sir combining for 42 points on 13 for 19 shooting (including 8 for 12 from outside). Both teams executed extremely well on the offensive end, with each hitting in the 80s in a game with possessions in the high 60s, and each hitting over 50% from behind the arc. Neither team has a shot at an at large, but definitely look for the one who doesn't win the Big Sky tourney to make some noise in the NIT.

Finally - I know I keep saying things like "I should be back on a regular posting schedule" and then failing to post, but this time, actually, I should be back on a regular posting schedule. Part of the problem has been an inability to watch games - didn't see FSU, G. Tech, Temple, Wake, and won't see FSU this week. But now that I actually have a little free time during the day, at least I can make pithy, stat filled comments to the joy of all.

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