Holiday Break: December 22, 2011

There are plenty of ACC games on tap for today.

#1 Syracuse hosts Tulane.

Clemson hosts UTEP in an early game.

Florida State travels to Florida in a big game.

Georgia Tech hosts Mercer.

North Carolina State hosts Northwestern in a pretty big game.

Virginia Tech hosts Eastern Michigan.

Miami travels to Charlotte.

7 games on the slate… how about 7 wins???

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The Confidential’s Basketball Top 30 for December 21, 2011

With over 300 teams in college basketball, the top 25 is just not enough anymore.  Here is the Confidential’s Top 30 for December 13, 2011:

  1. Syracuse (12-0).  Survived North Carolina State and held off tourney perennial Bucknell.
  2. Ohio State (11-1).  Cruising along, even without Sullinger.  Conference play is here now though.  Indiana on Saturday.
  3. Kentucky (10-1).  So much talent.  Huge game versus Louisville in two Saturdays.
  4. North Carolina (10-2).  Really not too impressive to start the season.  If they lose to Texas tonight, going to have to drop them down to 10th place or so.  The benefit of the doubt is getting weaker.
  5. Duke (10-1).  A real tough schedule to begin the season, but December finishes without much of a test.  If Louisville beats Georgetown and Kentucky, they will be leapfrogged.
  6. Louisville (11-0).  The win over Memphis was nice, but not enough to jump over UNC or Duke.  Georgetown in 7 days though.  And then Kentucky.
  7. Missouri (11-0).  The Tigers are undefeated and have better wins than Baylor and Florida.
  8. Florida (9-2).  Big game against Florida State on Thursday.  Both teams need that win.
  9. Baylor (10-0).  Baylor needs a signature win to start leapfrogging teams ahead of it in the standings.  Not sure West Virginia is it.
  10. UConn (9-1).  That mystery loss to UCF remains perplexing.  The Big East schedule will sort things out.
  11. Georgetown (9-1).  The Hoyas need to take care of business against disappointing Memphis.
  12. Pittsburgh (11-1).  Conference play starts next week against Notre Dame.
  13. Kansas (7-3).  Brutal schedule and lots of good wins.  But need to beat Davidson to stay in the top 10.
  14. Xavier (8-1).  The suspensions hurt, but scoring 42 points against Oral Roberts?
  15. Marquette (10-1). Win over Wisconsin is nice, but losing to LSU is a red flag.
  16. Wisconsin (10-2).  Losses to UNC and Marquette hurt, but Wisconsin has rebounded with a win over UNLV.  And we now know that UNLV is very tough.
  17. Indiana (11-0).  Wins over Kentucky and Notre Dame now.  This team may be for real.
  18. Michigan State (10-2).  MSU may not be top 5, but they have only lost to the top 5.  10 in a row since then.
  19. UNLV (12-2).  Wins over North Carolina and at Illinois are very good signs.  Might be looking at the #3 or #4 seed in the West.
  20. Murray State (12-0).  May run the table.  Who is going to beat them?
  21. Harvard (9-1).  Like Murray State, hard to see where the next loss comes from.
  22. Illinois (11-1).  Once the Big 10 season kicks off, the real Illinois will reveal itself.  For better or for worse.
  23. Mississippi State (11-1).  The loss to Akron remains the only blip.  Some decent wins.
  24. Virginia (9-1).  Hard to tell on the Cavs, but the ACC schedule starting in January will tell the story.
  25. Michigan (9-2).  No shame in losing to Duke.  Still needs more good wins.
  26. Creighton (9-1).  Big game against Northwestern this week.
  27. Northwestern (10-1).  Big game against Creighton this week.
  28. San Diego State (10-2).  Only losses are to undefeated Baylor and 1-loss Creighton.
  29. Stanford (10-1).  Looking like the best of a down Pac-12.
  30. Minnesota (11-1).  Eleven wins is eleven wins.  We’ll see.

If the season ended today, all of these teams could be in the Big Dance.  Time will tell as to how it plays out though…

ACC Basketball Rankings: December 20, 2011

This is particularly complex with Pitt and Syracuse not yet in the ACC, but it can still be done.  Here is how we view the ACC basketball schools as of December 20, 2011:

1Syracuse (11-0)  The win over North Carolina State gives Syracuse that coveted win in a true road game.  Up this week?  Bucknell and surprising Tulane.

2. North Carolina (10-2) Win over Appalachian State does not move the dial.  Coasted in the second half too.

3. Duke (10-1) No games last week.  No reason to move them up or down.

4. Virginia (9-1) Other than Syracuse, Virginia had the best win of the week by taking down Oregon at Oregon.  Enough to crack the top 25.

5. Pittsburgh (10-1)  Not really tested this past week.  Only a game against South Carolina State.

6. Virginia Tech (9-3)  Two wins over overmatched foes is not nearly enough to break into the top 5.

7. Florida State (8-3)  As with most ACC teams, the Seminoles had an easy week with two rather easy opponents.

8North Carolina State (6-4) The Wolfpack held their own against Syracuse for most of the game.  Syracuse was just too much in the end.

9. Georgia Tech (7-4) No wins of significance in the past week.

10. Maryland (6-3) Maryland is starting to string some wins together.  As the difficulty level increases, so to will Maryland’s rank here.

11. Wake Forest (7-4)  The Demon Deacons climb a spot after beating George Washington.  This was one of the more impressive wins of the week.

12. Miami (6-4) But it took overtime for Miami to hold off Florida Atlantic.  Not a good sign.

13. Clemson (6-4)  Beat up a few creampuffs to get to 6-4.  Could be worse. 

14. Boston College (4-7)  Things are getting better for the Eagles.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let us know!