Coming off a disappointing loss to a struggling Washington State team on Saturday, the Ohio State women’s basketball team wrapped up their state of Washington road trip with a trip to Gonzaga. Things did not look positive for the Buckeyes heading into the is one as they had not won a road game since January 2011 while Gonzaga had only lost two games so far this season, to top ranked Stanford and to 7th ranked Louisville. Concern grew among Buckeye fans when Tayler Hill did not participate in pregame warm-ups due to a bruised heel, though she would still start.
Ohio State got off to a rough start, turning the ball over on three of their first six possessions and failing to hit a field goal for the first five minutes of the game but only trailed 6-4 at the first officials’ timeout with just under fifteen minutes remaining in the half. The officials timeout didn’t help OSU’s shooting and the Bulldogs took advantage, going on a 9 to 2 run to open up a 15-6 lead with nine minutes on the clock. A quick four points by the Buckeyes cut the lead to five but Gonzaga answered right back to push the lead back to nine, 19-10. Ohio State finally got something going on offense, getting out and running after pulling down some big defensive rebounds as they went on an 11 to 2 run to tie the game at 21 with three minutes remaining before the break. The Bulldogs quickly retook the lead but the Buckeyes scored the final four points of the half to take their first lead of the game and go into halftime leading 25-23.
Even though the week featured many blowouts and easy wins, this week’s Top 25 has many changes to it from the previous week. Two teams dropped out of the polls, including a Top 10 team disappearing from the nation’s top teams. This week’s action also only featured one loss to any of the current Top 25 teams (it would have been two if Colorado decided to get off the plane in Kansas). The upcoming week only features one Top 25 matchup when (6) Florida travels to (8) Arizona but does feature some possible upset alerts (We’re looking at you Purdue and West Virginia).
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.
1. Indiana (9-0) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 12/8 Central Connecticut State, W 100-69
Upcoming: 12/15 Butler
Indiana cruised to a victory over Central Connecticut State but this week’s Butler team will be a tougher challenge for the Hoosiers
2. Duke (9-0) Previous Rank: 2
Past Week: 12/8 Temple, W 90-67
Upcoming: No Games This Week
The Blue Devils didn’t have any let downs after an emotional win against Ohio State in walloping Temple. This week they look to rest a little bit with an off week
3. Michigan (9-0) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 12/4 Western Michigan, W 73-41 & 12/8 Arkansas, W 80-67
Upcoming: 12/11 Binghamton & 12/15 @West Virginia
The Wolverines were challenged from time by Arkansas but pulled away in the end to defeat the Razorbacks. They travel to Morgantown to meet upset-minded West Virginia.
4. Syracuse (8-0) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 12/3 Eastern Michigan, W 84-48 & 12/6 Long Beach State, W 84-53 & 12/8 Monmouth, W 108-56
Upcoming: 12/15 Canisius
Syracuse continues the cream puff part of their schedule as Jim Boeheim works toward becoming the third coach in history with 900 wins.
5. Louisville (8-1) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 12/4 @Charleston, W 80-38 & 12/8 Missouri-Kansas City, W 99-47
Upcoming: 12/15 @Memphis
Not much to speak of with Louisville either, as they breezed past their two opponents this past week and Memphis probably won’t be much different.
6. Florida (7-0) Previous Rank: 7 Read More
In Saturday’s round three match-up in the NCAA Tournamant against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, The Ohio State Buckeyes met their opponent at the corral with enough ammunition for an good old fashioned shootout.
In the first ten minutes, the game saw 6 ties and 8 lead changes. The Buckeyes turned over the ball six times. Yet they were able to keep the game within four early and weather the storm throughout in the 73-66 victory, advancing to the sweet sixteen, where they will take on the winner of Florida State and Cincinnati (who play at 9:40 on Sunday) next Thursday.
Ok, let’s take a look at the much maligned Southeast bracket…I also plead you don’t listen too much to what I have to say, because it may just confuse you more as you try to win tBBC Challenge. I’ve linked to some of our previous impressions as well, so you can make a better guess.
This maybe the most difficult region that I have ever tried to predict in recent memory. On the 1 line is a very solid Pitt Panthers team, but they are a team that can struggle offensively at times. If they face someone that gets hot from deep not sure they can keep up. Then you have a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 seeds that are so similar that it would be hard to call any win by them an upset. I’m not sure that any team is favored by 8 points or more, with most of them are probably toss up or 3-5 point spreads.
This region also has two teams hurting with lost players. BYU lost 3rd leading scorer, and main big man, Brandon Davies to team rules while St. John’s also lost their 3rd leading scorer in D.J. Kennedy. Both losses make these teams vulnerable to first round upsets to Wofford and Gonzaga respectively. I will speak about Belmont later, and also have Utah State as a team that could pull the 12-5 upset.
At the end of the day I am not sure who to pick. I am making the safe pick and advancing Pitt, but read along and you will see some stars to watch, under the radar players to watch as well as my sleeper pick and elite 8 picks.
Yesterday’s game between the Baylor Bears and the Gonzaga Bulldogs pitted the #9 team in the country (Baylor) against a Gonzaga team that has struggled to match the competition early in the season as they work their way through one of the more challenging pre-conference schedules you’ll see. Having lost to San Diego State (now a top-10 ranked team), Kansas State, Illinois, Washington State and Notre Dame already, the Bulldogs could only boast a 5-5 record coming into Saturday, and their best win was against unranked Marquette. In contrast, Baylor was rolling along in an undefeated season after their first seven games, although none of their prior opponents appeared in the top 25, and only one (Arizona State) even came from a major conference.
With this context, both teams had something to prove. For Gonzaga’s part, they needed to show that they could prevail in a significant matchup and help their flailing tournament resume with a quality win. With Xavier, Oklahoma State, and Wake Forest all to come on their pre-conference schedule, Gonzaga was in dire need of a reversal of fortune before things got out of hand. On Baylor’s side, the perspective was that they needed to prove their legitimacy as a top team in the country rather than continuing to ride on the success of last season’s Elite 8 squad.