Division 1 Football Colleges With A Football Program In Kansas College Basketball – Get Ready for a Phenomenal March Madness Run This Year

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College Basketball – Get Ready for a Phenomenal March Madness Run This Year

They don’t pay Washington head coach Lorenzo Romer big because he’s an idiot. Romer made another in a long line of smart decisions Friday (2-8-08) – he took the blame for his team’s 4-game losing streak.

Romer praised his players throughout the season for being willing to do whatever they asked. They now shoulder the blame because what he was asking them to do is not working.

He was rewarded two days later when his Huskies played their best game of the year, upsetting No. 5 UCLA 71-61 at home in front of a sellout crowd at Hec Edmondson Pavilion.

Tired of losing, Romer pulled starting guard Venoy Overton just 57 seconds after the opening tipoff. Overton, a true freshman with great potential, opened the game with a turnover, but then didn’t back down on defense. Junior guard Justin Dentmon came in and responded with 20 points off the bench on 7-of-12 shooting and the Huskies were off and running.

John Brockman grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds (including the 800th of his career) and added 12 points for his Pac-10 leading 16th double-double of the season. Ryan “Dead Eye” Appleby added another dozen points and sank his 200th career 3-pointer, 12 shy of the U-Dub record.

Washington also got some defense as Artem Wallace held UCLA freshman center Kevin Love to 13 points and true freshman Justin Holiday put the “D” on UCLA’s Josh Shipp as he rebounded for the Bruins.

UCLA coach Ben Howland was also impressed. “It was more physical,” Howland said. “They outrebounded us by 8. Brockman alone had 9 offensive rebounds.”

The Huskies, now 13-11 overall and 4-7 in Pac-10 Conference play, must play 5 of their remaining 7 games on the road. Washington will still watch the NCAA and NIT playoffs on television, but they showed that Sunday by ranking Sagarin No. 82 and UCLA No. 5 in the Pac-10 and nationally. .

Despite its poor record, Washington jumped to No. 74 in Sagarin’s ratings after defeating such a high-ranked team. NBA ratings change daily during the basketball season because, unlike football, games are played during the week as well as on weekends.

As of Sunday (2-10-08), No. 2 Memphis remains the only undefeated team (23-0) among 341 Division 1 teams in the nation. There were only 3 teams left with a single loss—No. 1 Duke (21-1), No. 3 Kansas (22-1) and No. 13 Drake (20-1).

Heck, there are 3 more teams left with only 2 losses – nope. 4 North Carolina (22-2), No. 6 Tennessee (20-2) and No. 25 Butler (21-2).

Here’s another interesting fact to note: Three of these top 7 best-record teams have low strength of schedule standings—Memphis (124th), Drake (105th) and Butler (88th). They won’t go deep into the NCAA Tournament until they start playing tougher teams.

Compare the strength of schedule of Duke (21st toughest), Kansas (60th), North Carolina (18th) and Tennessee (10th).

To highlight the competitiveness of the Pac-10 this year, the Washington Huskies, ranked 9th in the Pac-10 with a 4-7 mark, have Sagarin ranked 25th on the schedule. And you have to ask, how could Washington upset a good team like UCLA? Be thankful your team isn’t playing in the Pac-10 Conference this year.

This all bodes well for networks televising March Madness and for any team making the cut to play in the NCAA Tournament. Because upsets happen when teams have even a little bit of parity, this year when there’s a lot of parity, we’re going to see some shocking things.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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