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All Shook Up

Thursday January 22nd, 2009

Just like that, the two teams may have taken themselves from a certain trip to the NIT and into the Field of 65.  Virginia Tech knocked off the nation’s last unbeaten on the road, giving the Hokies their 4th win in a row, and 8th in their past 9. 

Meanwhile, Northwestern may be flirting with putting an end to their infamous bar trivia question by finally making the tournament (they remain the only BCS conference school never to go dancing).  After beating Minnesota on Saturday, then Michigan State on the road last night, the Wildcats are starting to put a respectable profile together.  There’s a lot of work left for Bill Carmoday’s team (still only 2-4 in B10 play and 10-6 overall), but their win  last night was a monster first step.

Last Night

Virginia Tech 78, Wake Forest 71:  The nation’s last unbeaten falls, and now Deno Guardio’s squad has a week to think about it heading into next Wednesday’s showdown @ Duke.

Northwestern 70, Michigan State 63:  The Sparties remain the B10’s top dogs heading into this weekend’s showdown with Ohio State, while the Wildcats have begun dreaming of a trip to the dance for the first time in school history.

South Carolina 70, Florida 69: I said yesterday the Gamecocks needed it, and they got it.  After an 0-2 showing last week, USC makes a solid first step back towards the bubble conversation.

UConn 89, Villanova 83: The Huskies protect home court and keep pace atop the ultra-competitive Big East.

Northeastern 58, George Mason 57:The Huskies force a three way tie for first, with George Mason and VCUset to face off this weekend.

VMI 87, Radford 72: The Keydets moves into sole possession of first place in the Big South.

Miami (Fl) 75, Florida State 69:  The ‘Noleschecked out of this one withfive minutes left, giving up 45 second half points in the loss.  The loss makes this weekend’s FSU/Virginia game big for the ‘Noles, who still must prove they can win on the road.

LSU 81, Mississippi State 57: With Arkansas struggling, the Tigers may all the sudden be the SEC West’s top dog.   

Texas-Arlington 67, Stephen F. Austin 52:  The loss moves Texas A&M – Copus Christi into the Southland’s top slot.

Wichita State 64, Illinois State 58:  The Red Birds have gone 3-3 since starting 13-0, and are likely on the outside looking in for a while.

UNC 94, Clemson 70:  The Tigers lose their 54th straight at Chapel Hil.  54. 

Missouri 97, Oklahoma State 95:  A big win by the Tigers of fellow bubble boy O-K State.

Arizona State 53, Arizona 47:  The ‘Cats continue to slide down the board, while the Sun Devils look to solidify a spot in the Power 16.

UNLV 76, BYU 70:  A big road win for the Rebels, while the Cougars have now lost two straight and are likely out the outside looking in at next week’s bracket.

Tonight’s Action

West Virginia @ Georgetown:  The Mountaineers have slipped a bit since the end of their non-conference schedule, and would fall below .500 in Big East play with a loss today before playing Pitt on Sunday.  Georgetown meanwhile is looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss at Duke.

Purdue @ Minnesota:  Its the B10 preseason faves vs. the out of nowhere contenders.  The Gophers announced their presence as B10 title contenders last week by winning @ Wisconsin, then turned around and lost to Northwestern.  A win tonight in the old barn would get them back on track.  The Boilermakers on the other hand are still searching for their first impressive win of the conference season.

UCLA @ Washington State: The Bruins are looking to bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Arizona State, while the Cougars entered the at-large conversation by sweeping the Oregon schools last week. 

Cincinnati @ St. John’s:  At this point, it seems unlikely the Big East will hit the 10-big mark.  However, these two teams, along with Providence seem to be the contenders to make that happen.  A win here would go a long way towards achieving that goal. 

Oregon @ Stanford:  The Cardinal are back in the picture after last weekend’s win over rival Cal, but will need a sweep this weekend to make it into Monday’s field of 65. 

USC @ Washington:  The Huskies entered the field for the first time as a 10, while the Trojans made their first appearance on a “First 4” list.  The winner has a good chance at making next week’s field.

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