Tag:Oral Roberts
Posted on: March 3, 2012 3:04 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 11:02 pm

Poppin' Bubbles: Statement time for bubblers

Iowa State answered all remaining questions about its at-large candidacy with a win over Baylor. (AP)

By Jeff Borzello

Saturday is not just for Duke vs. North Carolina and a trio of conference championship games. The final weekend of the regular season has bubble implications galore. There are intriguing bubble battles, chances for bubble teams to get big wins and other spots where bubble teams just simply can’t lose if they want an at-large bid. For some teams, losing might mean their hopes are dashed even before the conference tournament.

Note: This page will be updated throughout the day, with bubble discussion and analysis.

Locking things up

Memphis: The Tigers are all set after clinching the outright Conference-USA regular-season title with a win at Tulsa on Saturday. They finished the conference season with a 13-3 record, have a top-20 RPI and SOS, and own nine top-100 victories. They could wear home jerseys for the first round of the NCAA tournament at this point.

Saint Louis: The Billikens essentially clinched things with their win over Xavier earlier in the week, but avoiding a loss at Duquesne – without head coach Rick Majerus – on Saturday cements things even more. There aren’t any truly marquee wins, but an 8-4 record against the top 100 and a top-30 RPI will get the job done.

Iowa State: If there was any debate about whether the Cyclones would get an at-large bid, it ended on Saturday, when Iowa State knocked off Baylor to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 tournament. They now have four top-50 wins, including victories over Kansas and a sweep of Kansas State. The soft non-conference schedule was a question mark for a bit, but there's no keeping out Iowa State anymore.

Helped itself

West Virginia picked up a big bubble win by defeating South Florida. (AP)

West Virginia: The Mountaineers had the biggest bubble win in the first few hours of Saturday, going into South Florida and knocking off the Bulls in the final minutes. The win gets West Virginia to .500 in the Big East, and is their fourth top-50 win of the season. The bubble pecking order in the conference is completely up in the air, but two wins in the Big East tournament would likely get a bid for West Virginia.

Connecticut: The Huskies simply couldn’t lose to Pittsburgh on Saturday, unless they had plans to make a run to the Big East title game. It wasn’t pretty, but Connecticut pulled out a win in the final two minutes. 8-10 in the Big East doesn’t look great, but the Huskies have five top-50 wins, including victories over fellow bubblers South Florida, Seton Hall and West Virginia. The No. 2-ranked SOS is also a huge plus. They will need a couple of wins in the Big East tourney as well.

Dayton: Beating George Washington isn’t going to get the Flyers in the dance, but it keeps their hopes alive heading into the conference tournament. They have three top-30 RPI wins over Temple, Alabama and Saint Louis, as well as a win over bubbler Xavier. Nine top-100 wins are more than most bubble teams can say. On the negative side, the computer profile is mediocre and they have three sub-100 losses. They might need a marquee win in the A-10 tournament; could that mean a trip to the title game?

Cincinnati: For the first time in nearly a decade, the Bearcats went into Villanova and came out with a win. They improve to 12-6 in the Big East, including six top-50 wins. The Bearcats should feel pretty comfortable right now, but the three sub-100 losses and the horrendous non-conference SOS still make things shaky. The RPI is slowly getting better, and one win in the Big East tournament could be enough to get the job done for Mick Cronin's crew.

For a while on Saturday, it looked like the Musketeers were ready to see their bubble popped. They were down at home to Charlotte, before going on a huge run in the second half and pulling out the win. Xavier is currently third in the Atlantic-10 standings, which could be helpful for the profile. It looks like they will need a semifinal win to really improve the profile, though. There are good wins over Vanderbilt and Purdue, as well as victories against bubblers Cincinnati, Dayton and Saint Joseph's. They will be an interesting case.

The Wildcats escaped at Iowa, finishing at 8-10 in the Big Ten. A loss on Saturday would have ended their chances, but now they still have life heading into the Big Ten tournament. They are only 2-10 against the top 50, but suffered zero sub-100 losses and have a top-10 strength of schedule. The win over Michigan State back in January carries some weight, but there's not a ton of heft besides that victory. There is damage to be done in the tourney.

Miami (Fl.):
The Hurricanes were one of the last teams out of the field heading into the weekend, but they stayed alive with a dominant victory over Boston College. With Maryland sneaking into the top 100, Miami has four top-100 wins, including victories against Duke and Florida State. However, the 4-11 record against the top 100 is a huge eye sore and the computer profile isn't overly impressive. They need another big win for the ledger, meaning they have to win a couple games in the ACC tourney. 

Colorado State: The Rams took care of business at Air Force, avoiding a letdown after the huge win over UNLV earlier this week. Had Colorado State lost to the Falcons, most of the good vibes earned by the UNLV win would have been erased. That's irrelevant now, though. The Rams have a very solid resume, with wins over UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State, as well as a great computer profile. Moreover, Saturday's win gives them another road victory (they only have three). One in the MWC tourney should get it done. 

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs did what they needed to do to finish the season, winning their final two regular-season games and getting back to .500 in the SEC. They still have to do work in the SEC tournament, as the computer profile is mediocre. However, they do have eight top-100 wins, including victories over Vanderbilt, Alabama and fellow bubbler West Virginia. Mississippi State will need to get at least one win in the SEC tournament, and two wins would be more comforting. 

The Ducks continue to make a run toward at-large consideration, hammering Utah to finish 13-5 in the Pac-12. However, they are only 3-7 against the top 100 and 19 of their 22 wins are against teams ranked below 100. They are playing well at the right time, and the availability of Devoe Joseph is certainly something the committee will consider. They need to make a deep run in the Pac-12 tournament, though, as the profile is rather barren at this point.

Drexel: As the outright CAA champion, Drexel has a nice chip compared to some of the other bubble teams, but the Dragons need to get to the tournament title game to have a legitimate chance. They took the first step there by handling UNC-Wilmington in the quarterfinals. We’ll look again if they win in the semifinals.

VCU: Like Drexel, VCU needs to get to the title game to have a legitimate shot at an at-large bid. The Rams handled Northeastern on Saturday, meaning one more win would get them there. The Rams have a terrible SOS and two sub-100 losses, but they are very good away from home and did beat South Florida. The lack of meat on the resume could be a problem.

Tennessee: It seems there is another movement afoot to get the Volunteers some at-large consideration. I would still hold off on that talk, though. The computer profile is poor and they have four sub-100 losses. Even factoring in the arrival of Jarnell Stokes, the overall resume is still mediocre. With all that said, if the Vols get the No. 2 seed in the SEC tourney and make a run to the title game, things could get interesting.

Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles nearly lost to IPFW in their first game of the Summit tournament, but they pulled out a win late to keep things somewhat interesting. I still think they need to win the automatic bid to get to the NCAA tournament, but a close loss in the title game could raise some questions. Zero top-50 wins is a major problem. 

Could the Crimson have survived a loss to Cornell and a second-place finish in the Ivy? We came close to finding out on Saturday night, as Harvard barely pulled out a win in the season finale. Now, the Crimson will wait and see what Penn does at Princeton this week. If the Quakers win, Harvard has a one-game playoff with Penn for the automatic bid. As far as at-large consideration, the win over Florida State looks good, but the schedule is terrible. 

Hurt itself

Kevin Willard knows his Seton Hall Pirates are in trouble. (US Presswire)

Seton Hall: The biggest bubble loser of the day has to be the Pirates. Going into the week, Seton Hall was in good shape. It just had to beat Rutgers and DePaul and things would be pretty comfortable heading into the Big East tournament. Well, the Pirates lost both games, including an absolutely embarrassing performance on Saturday against the Blue Demons. Things are now very shaky for Seton Hall. The Pirates finished just 8-10 in the Big East and have three sub-100 losses. They now have to win at least two games in the conference tournament; falling short of the quarterfinals won't get it done. 

South Florida: The Bulls had a chance to get a double-bye in the Big East tournament with a home win over West Virginia, which would have looked fantastic on the resume. However, they couldn’t make plays late in the game and dropped an important one to the Mountaineers. South Florida is only 2-7 against teams ranked in the top 50, but they have a solid computer profile and 12-6 in the Big East is nothing to scoff at. They need at least one win in the conference tourney, and most likely two.

Washington: If the Huskies had won the outright Pac-12 title, it would be a heck of a chip heading into Selection Sunday. However, after their loss at UCLA on Saturday, it's likely they will need to share the championship with California. The resume on its own is far from impressive. The Huskies have yet to beat an NCAA tournament team and 18 of their 21 wins are from the sub-100 region. The computer profile isn't awful, but Saturday's loss gives them a sub-100 loss. They need to reach the title game, at the very least.

Southern Miss:
 The Golden Eagles continue to make things difficult for themselves, after losing at Marshall to drop to 11-5 in Conference-USA. The RPI is still in the top 20 and they have a 9-4 record against the top 100, but there are also three sub-100 losses. Moreover, by finishing at 11-5, there is little separation betwen Southern Miss and the rest of the league. They have work to do in the conference tournament if they want to feel comfortable come Selection Sunday.

Alabama: The Crimson Tide are still very likely to get a bid to the NCAA tournament, but they missed out on a chance to truly lock themselves in by losing at Ole Miss on Saturday. Alabama has a very solid computer profile and a 9-7 SEC record, with 10 wins against the top 100. The lack of truly good wins against the top 50 is something of a wart on the resume, but it would be tough to leave Alabama out at this point. Winning one game in the SEC tournament would solidify things, though.  

Texas: I'm not sure anyone actually thought the Longhorns were going to go into Lawrence on Senior Night and knock off Kansas, but the loss hurts nonetheless. Texas drops to 3-9 against the top 50 and 4-10 against the top 100, which doesn't compare favorably with most other bubblers. They also have two sub-100 losses. Getting the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament, Texas will have a quarterfinal matchup with Iowa State. The Longhorns need to win that one to have an at-large chance. Two wins would seal the deal. 

Long Beach State: A loss in the Big West championship game is one thing, but a loss in the season finale is quite another. The 49ers dropped Saturday night's game late to Cal State Fullerton, and now enter the conference tournament in some trouble. If they lose in the championship game, I'm not sure they can survive as an at-large team. They did beat Xavier and Pittsburgh in the non-conference, but neither win is all that impressive right now. They are 0-6 vs. the top 50 and now have a bad loss on the resume.

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:32 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 9:26 am

Oral Roberts wins on insane half-court shot

By Matt Norlander

Time to step your game up, Christian Watford.

The Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts won a game Monday night in a fashion that's unlikely to be repeated this year or even for years to come. Tramar Sutherland of Arkansas-Little Rock heaves the rock a few feet too far for his teammates on a game-winning set-up attempt for Little Rock. Oral Roberts' Damen Bell-Holter winds up with the ball and just snipes it back toward his rim.

Oral Roberts radio play-by-play man Geoff Haxton doesn't even think the game's ending then and there, and then ...

That thing just smacks violently off the backboard and scurries its way through. What a way to win for ORU, which needed a good W, because it gets Gonzaga and Xavier on the road in the next five days.

And No. 22? With the dancing? That's Steven Roundtree. Just get down with yourself, young man, and do no apologize.

Bell-Holter has done this before, by the way. The call here is almost as good as is how this game-tying play develops.

(H/T to Fran Fraschilla, who retweeted Oklahoma radio color guy Mike Houck's tweet to the video)
Posted on: March 9, 2011 12:18 am
Edited on: March 9, 2011 12:22 am

Welcome to the Dance, Oakland Golden Grizzlies

Oakland steamrolled through the Summit League this season, going 17-1, with 10 of the wins coming by double-figures. The Golden Grizzlies completed their dominance of the conference by blowing out Oral Roberts in the conference championship game Tuesday night, 90-76. Keith Benson led the way down low, finishing with 28 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Reggie Hamilton provided most of the outside production, scoring 26 points and dishing out six assists.

Located in Rochester, Mich., Oakland burst onto the scene in 2005, when it made a run to the NCAA tournament despite a 12-18 record. The Golden Grizzlies have only been in Division I since 1999, but they are headed for their third Big Dance appearance. Oakland also dominated the Summit a season ago, but it couldn’t capitalize and advance out of the first round of the NCAA tournament. Head coach Greg Kampe, who has been at the helm since 1984, said in mid-February that this team is different, though. Playing seven potential NCAA teams in the non-conference season prepared them well.

Player to know: Keith Benson. Benson is one of the most dominant big men in the country, ranking amongst the best defensive rebounders and shot-blockers around. He racked up 19 double-doubles this season and 15 separate games of at least 20 points. Benson has also proven himself against big-time competition, averaging 15.9 and 10.7 boards against major-conference teams this season.

The Vitals:

  • Record: 25-9, 17-1 Summit
  • Team colors: Gold and black
  • We’re thinking: 13-seed
  • KenPom ranking: 69
  • RPI: 64
  • Best win: Tennessee (18-13)
  • Worst loss: Wright State (19-14)
  • Notable stat: The Golden Grizzlies rank second in the country in scoring offense, averaging 84.7 points per game. They are also ninth in blocks, with 5.8 per game.
  • Most recent tournament history: 2010. As a No. 14 seed, lost to Pittsburgh in the first round.

Photo: Getty

Posted by Jeff Borzello

More College Basketball coverage
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 7, 2011 11:46 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 1:57 am

It's Oakland vs. Oral Roberts for Summit title

After two semifinal contests that only players’ family members could have enjoyed, the conferences’ two best teams will go at it Tuesday night for the Summit League tournament championship. Oakland (24-9, 17-1) has been a dominant force in the conference all season and it continued on Monday night as the Grizzlies overwhelmed South Dakota State to reach the finals. All five starters scored in double digits in the 110-90 victory and Oakland once again showcased that it is playing at its peak ability at the perfect time of the season. The Grizzlies have an athletic advantage over every team in the Summit and they have exploited it well all season, making them the prohibitive favorite on Tuesday night.

Their opponent will be Oral Roberts (18-14, 13-5), who defeated IUPUI 83-77 in the semifinals. The Golden Eagles led by a double digit margin for most of the game, before withstanding a late rally by the Jaguars to move to the championship game. Forward Dominique Morrison again continued his impressive play, scoring 26 points in the victory. As has been the case all season, when Morrison is able to be aggressive and get to the foul line (he had 13 free throws versus IUPUI), Oral Roberts creates matchup problems that make the team difficult to defend. Morrison was aided by the play of guard Warren Niles, who added 20 points, including two key baskets late to stop the IUPUI run.

Oakland and Oral Roberts have met two times this season and both games were battles until the end. The deciding factor in the meetings was the play of Grizzlies’ star Keith Benson, who averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds over the two games. Both of the first two matchups were decided within the final minute and in both games, Benson dominated play on both the offensive and defensive end. Benson is a future NBA player and the Grizzlies have not been able to find an answer for him throughout his career. 

Oakland believes this is the team's season to not only win the conference championship, but potentially pull a surprise in the NCAA tournament. But for that to happen, the Grizzlies must first win their third game of the season over Oral Roberts and not suffer the fate of the many other conference regular season winners who have been defeated in tournament finals thus far this postseason. 

Posted by MATT JONES

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com