Blog Entry

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

Posted on: February 5, 2012 3:10 pm
If not for Truck Bryant, center, WVU would have lost its fourth straight game Sunday. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander

I always love Super Bowl Sunday for the obvious reasons -- the food and friends and bloated American nature of it all -- but also because we now get at least one or two decent hoops games before the pigskin takes over. This afternoon, a few tilts of weight took place. Let's do a quick rundown on what happened and what it means.

1) West Virginia went into Providence and needed 45 minutes to get a win (87-84). It was a stop-the-bleeding W for WVU. Truck Bryant hit a layup to send the game into OT, then hit the game-winning 3 with no timeouts left and 3.3 remaining. Providence's Vincent Council missed a game-tying 3 to send it another five. The Mountaineers should be a tournament team; it was just two weeks ago, when WVU beat Cincy, that people thought his team could possibly be the Big East's second best. I never bought into that, but I have come around on this team getting to the bracket that matters.

Beating Providence was paramount to that journey. The Friars are dangerous yet not that good. (What I mean by that: Provy is growing and getting better, will probably steal a game at the Big East tournament, but this team isn't formidable just yet.) Now WVU has home game it has to win against Notre Dame and Louisville ahead. It's not out of the woods yet in the Big East. At 6-5, it's still totally possible this team finished 9-9 in the Big East. I don't think WVU is as good as everyone wants to make it -- a lot of that is due to the fact Kevin Jones is ridiculously valuable and talented -- but I'm going to enjoy watching what this team does/does not do in February.

2) On CBS, Draymond Green showed no effects of his bum knee. Michigan State handled Michigan at the Breslin Center, winning 64-54, splitting the season series. Green out-rebounded U of M, 15-14. Tom Izzo's group shook off that horrifying 42-41 L at Illinois and will remain a top-five KenPom team. Now, here's what to target. On Saturday, MSU goes to Ohio State. That's going to be a lot of fun -- and I think Michigan State stands a good chance at winning.

As for the Wolverines, the team is still very good. I love Trey Burke's game more and more. Here's the issue: it's stop and go with them. The past seven games have alternated wins and losses, which is better than streaks of consecutive losses, but February's when teams need to know how to reel off four and five straight. Overall, it looks like Michigan's not as aggressive as it should be, but part of that is Beilein's slow-boil approach.

3) The other game of note also came from the Big Ten and was very big for Tubby Smith. Nebraska's not too good, but Minnesota improved to 17-7 by winning on the road against the Cornhuskers, 69-61. The Big Ten can possibly send eight teams to the NCAAs because Minnesota's incredibly getting by without Trevor Mbakwe, but boy does the road ahead look scary. Gotta steal at least two games, for sure.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 4:14 pm

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

WVU needs OT to beat Pomeroy's ranked #117 and that is a quality win that stops the bleeding?  MSU loses to Illinois, in the ugliest game of the season,who then loses to Northwestern- and beating UM at home keeps them #5 KPom?  OSU vs MSU is on let's keep them in the top five. I guess that's how that works.  Back to WVU..they better beat UL and ND. And then look to win at least three games in the BIG E Tourney..or they'll make the big dance as a 8 seed.

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 9:06 am

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

this is why we started our own BLOG

if the press won't cover the U, we'll do it ourselves  LOL       

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:45 am

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

What's up w/there being no love for the U in the blog?  Their one chance of the year and you were clearly too fixated on the M&M commercial (I bet you thought she was naked too).  I had a feeling the game would get lost in the Super Bowl's shadow, but from you too?  No wonder everyone thinks the meda gives Duke a free pass . . . (sarcasm implied)

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:21 am

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

Hey...the "loss" to UCONN was after a BS NO-CALL with 6 seconds left that wouldhave given the Mountaineers a shot at the win.  I don't remember the BS call versus Baylor.  I only remember the missed free throws down the stretch and the short shot by Hinds that would have sent it to yet another OT.  The Syracuse NON-CALL was how Boeheim has won 200 of his wins....homer calls.

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:09 pm

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

Pitt is 4 an 7 in The Big East.They better push somebody around.Woodall, their Great Guard came back he's been the Difference.But every year Pitt has a Great Team,and for whatever reason THEY CHOKE IN THE NCAA,AND LET SOME GOOFY TEAM BEAT THEM.Jamie gets some great talent,for sure.

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 8:23 pm

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

Hey CUTTY they don't play better defense than PITT.  If I recall Pitt pushed them around. That being said your right, Huggins is not afraid to play anybody anywhere and the media makes excuses for UNC or DUKE.

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 6:40 pm

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

HUGGS HAS 7 NEW PLAYERS ON HIS TEAM.Alot of Freshmen.If was Duke or North Car.Thats all you guys would talk about.Huggs playes anybody anywhere anytime.They play Better Team Defense than anybody in the country.They shut down The Friars down late in the Game.if it wasn't for Bull-Shit officals calls in The Cuse game,and we had Baylor Beat too.But got a Chicken -Shit call from another Offical.WVU will be there in the End.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:27 pm

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

West Virginia really needed this one, and so did Truck. He's been struggling a lot and has been hearing a lot of crap about it but was able to stay even-keeled and not let it get to him too much. It was really nice to see him come out and have a good game, but with that said, WVU has to find a way to continue this momentum now.

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