Tag:Saint Mary's
Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 4:10 pm

The Poll Attacks

By Gary Parrish

The Missouri beat writer is voting Missouri fourth.

I don't like it because it's wrong.

But I kinda like it because it's ballsy.

Either way, I wrote about it (and other things) in the Poll Attacks.

(Don't believe me, keep reading.)

Associated Press poll: Jeff Goodman and I ranked Missouri second in the Top 25 (and one). I believe that's right where the Tigers belong based on their body of work, but I can understand somebody putting Kentucky, Ohio State and/or Syracuse ahead of them. It would be wrong, in my opinion. But a reasonable argument could be made. So I'm not gonna freak out about the five AP voters who have Missouri ranked fourth this week. I just think it's funny that one of them is Steve Walentik from the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Yes, Steve covers Missouri in Columbia.

And he's one of the few ranking the Tigers too low.

But I kinda dig it because I know Steve must be catching hell -- especially since he has Big 12 rival Kansas ranked one spot ahead of Missouri despite the fact that KU has three losses (including a loss to unranked Davidson) while Missouri has just one loss (at Kansas State) and is coming off a road win (at Baylor) that's better than any road win the Jayhawks possess. I mean, how strong-willed do you have to be to (incorrectly) rank the team you cover lower than 60 of the other 65 AP voters? That takes some balls.

So I hereby declare Steve Walentik an anti-homer.

He could make the CBSSports.com All Anti-Homer Beat Writer Team that'll be unveiled in March.

Anyway ...

Norm Wood screwed up pretty good this week.

He writes for a newspaper in Virginia.

He has Wisconsin ranked 10th and Marquette unranked, which is stupid for three reasons.
  1. Wisconsin shouldn't be ranked 10th anywhere.
  2. Marquette shouldn't unranked anywhere.
  3. Wisconsin shouldn't be ranked ahead of Marquette
Marquette is ahead of Wisconsin in the AP poll, the Coaches poll and the Top 25 (and one) because though Marquette and Wisconsin have similar bodies of work -- both have one win over a currently ranked team -- Marquette actually has a win at Wisconsin. That's got to count for something. But Norm has Wisconsin ranked 10th and Marquette unranked, and I bet that doesn't make sense to the folks in Milwaukee.

Or the folks in Moraga.

My guess is they're just as confused about Norm's decision to put Wisconsin so far ahead of Marquette as they are about his decision to put Gonzaga seven spots ahead of their Saint Mary's Gaels. In case you haven't been following the WCC, here's what you need to know: SMC and Gonzaga -- like Wisconsin and Marquette -- have similar bodies of work, but SMC owns an 83-62 win over Gonzaga.

Again, that's got to count for something.

I'm not saying Saint Mary's is clearly better than Gonzaga.

I'm just saying you can't have Gonzaga ranked seven spots ahead of Saint Mary's right now.

I mean, you can.

I guess.

But look at what happens when you do it.

Coaches poll: Last week was a prove-it week for New Mexico.

Some folks were already ranking the Lobos.

Others -- like us -- were not.

But what we all agreed on last Monday was that New Mexico would have a chance to prove or disprove it belongs because the Lobos had upcoming games against nationally ranked San Diego State (at home) and UNLV (on the road), and I had basically decided that a split would be enough to launch Steve Alford's team into the Top 25 (and one).

But the Lobos lost both games.

They lost 75-70 at home to San Diego State and 80-63 on the road at UNLV.

So why is New Mexico still getting votes in the coaches poll?

Answer: I don't kow.

New Mexico is 15-4 with zero wins over schools receiving votes in either major poll and two losses to teams (New Mexico State and Santa Clara) that aren't receiving votes. In other words, the Lobos are good ... but they're good with an extremely thin resume. They had two chances to record a notable win last week, but they couldn't do it. And that's why they shouldn't be on anybody's ballot until they show that they can.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:16 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Saint Mary's: contender or pretender?

The Gaels are good -- but how good? Gonzaga on Thursday night should help us find out. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Jeff Goodman

It's finally time to see if Saint Mary's is for real. 

Randy Bennett has played a soft non-conference slate for the most part. There was the tournament in November in Las Vegas where Saint Mary's split against Baylor and Missouri State, but it's been difficult to tell whether the Gaels are a legitimate NCAA tournament squad thus far. 

Tomorrow night Bennett welcomes Gonzaga to Moraga for its anticipated matchup with the Bulldogs. 

We know the 'Zags are a legit Top 25 team. Mark Few's team always plays a brutal non-conference slate and this season was no different. Sure, they lost at home to Michigan State and on the road against Illinois -- but Gonzaga has beaten a bunch of decent teams: Arizona, Notre Dame, Butler and Oral Roberts. 

Few has plugged the most noticeable hole from a year ago -- at the point guard spot -- with freshman Kevin Pangos. The 'Zags have Elias Harris and Robert Sacre up front and freshman Gary Bell has started to emerge on the wing. There's also depth with guys like Marquise Carter and David Stockton in the backcourt, Guy Landy on the wing and Sam Dower up front. 

No one quite knows what to make out of the Gaels. 

They have a 1-2 punch in Aussie guard Matthew Dellavedova and Rob Jones. 

But with a lackluster resume, Saint Mary's will likely need to finish in the top two in the WCC to have a shot to get to the NCAA tournament. 

Bennett's team beat BYU already in Moraga, but that doesn't mean all that much. Last I checked, Jimmer wasn't in Provo any longer -- and the Cougars and the Missouri State team that the Gaels beat in Vegas could both be NIT teams come March. 

One loss came against defeated Baylor, the other at Denver. 

I'm a huge Dellavedova guy -- and Jones has been performing like a first-team all-league guy. 

But that's really all we know about Saint Mary's. Until Thursday night when the 'Zags come to town. 

Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:39 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 2:12 pm

Tuesday polls: Not just for New Hampshire

By Matt Norlander

Today is quite the big day for you to cast your vote. No, I'm not talking about the New Hampshire primary (though the political geek in me is anxious to steal some viewing of that tonight while navigating a very nice Super Tuesday lineup). If you missed the debut last week, through the end of the season, we'll be letting you have your voice represented on TV. We've got this weekly poll with a spread of games.

So get to clicking and sharing the word.

You can see the results of this week's voting on "Courtside with Seth Davis" (Wednesday, 6 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network). This is the second installment. We thank you again for making the time to swing by our abode every day. Let's hear it.

Want more of us? Or more interaction with hoops fans? We suggest you like the Eye On College Basketball Facebook page. And if that's not enough, CBSSports.com has your roundball fix tended to thanks to our daily newsletter.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:07 am

Night Court: No BCS title game in these parts

Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Certainly not the BCS title game. Cincinnati bounced back from Saturday’s last-second loss to St. John’s with an impressive four-point win at Georgetown. The game was tied with 1:07 remaining, when Cashmere Wright hit two free throws. Cincinnati went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 67 seconds, holding off the Hoyas, which lost their second straight game. Sean Kilpatrick had 27 points for Cincinnati.

Win to brag about: Monday’s game against West Virginia was a game Connecticut should have won. And the Huskies did, 64-57. But the way they did it had to give them confidence going forward. Andre Drummond had his best game of the season, putting up 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while Jeremy Lamb scored 25. Connecticut also held the Mountaineers to 32.3 percent shooting.

Loss to hide from: There weren’t any terrible losses on Monday, but Oklahoma is reeling and needed a solid performance against Oklahoma State. The Sooners didn’t get it, trailing by as many as 17 points en route to a 72-65 loss. Le’Bryan Nash had 21 points for Oklahoma State, which has now won four of its last five against Oklahoma. Oklahoma is now 0-3 in the Big 12 after going 10-2 in non-conference play.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Matthew Dellavedova hit six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points, helping Saint Mary’s beat San Francisco, 87-72. Dellavedova also dished out four assists and grabbed six rebounds. His teammate Stephen Holt came one rebound short of a triple-double, getting 11 points and 10 assists.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: West Virginia’s Darryl Bryant had been rolling lately, scoring at least 25 points in three of his last four games. On Monday against Connecticut, however, the senior guard shot 2-for-13 from the field and finished with just eight points. Bryant was 1-for-7 from 3-point range. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 59.1. That’s the percentage Georgetown shot from the field, but turning the ball over 17 times did the Hoyas in against Cincinnati.
  • 24. Wyoming has now defeated Idaho State twice this season, with both victories coming by 24 points.
  • 17-3. That’s the run Connecticut went on after head coach Jim Calhoun picked up a technical foul in the second half.

Three other notable results:

  1. Norfolk State improved to 4-0 in the MEAC, the Spartans’ best start since 2004-05, with a 68-48 win over Howard.
  2. Mississippi Valley State beat Alabama A&M on the road, moving to 3-0 in the SWAC.
  3. Air Force overcame a slow start to beat Texas-Pan American, 67-50. 


  • In its first game without suspended head coach Todd Bozeman, Morgan State lost to Savannah State, 57-55.
  • Former Oklahoma transfer Ray Willis had 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals for North Carolina Central, as it beat Bethune-Cookman.
  • A couple of recent transfers made their announcements. Khem Birch (Pittsburgh) decided on UNLV as his next destination, while Jamal Branch (Texas A&M) opted for St. John’s.

Photo: AP

Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:52 pm

Source: St. Mary's Bennett inks new 10-year deal

By Jeff Goodman

Randy Bennett has inked a new 10-year deal.

According to a source close to the Saint Mary's program, the Gaels head coach - who has a 208-112 mark in his decade at the helm - signed the deal earlier this week.

The deal goes through the 2021-22 campaign.

Bennett has won at least 25 games each of the past four seasons and led the Gaels to the Sweet 16 two years ago.

Saint Mary's should have a chance to go to another NCAA tournament (Bennett has been three times in his tenure) this season despite losing point guard Mickey McConnell.

The Gaels return all of their other starters - including all-league guys Matthew Dellavedova and Rob Jones.
Posted on: March 8, 2011 7:07 am

Poppin' bubbles: Waiting begins for SMC, VCU

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Monday’s action was expected to clarify the bubble picture, but it might have made it more crowded at the cut line.

Neither Saint Mary’s nor VCU got the result it desired on Monday, with each team losing in its respective conference championship game. The Gaels floundered late against Gonzaga, falling 75-63 in a game that was closer than the score indicated. Meanwhile, VCU went down by as many as 18 points in the second half to Old Dominion, before making a 26-9 run to cut the lead to one. The Monarchs wouldn’t let the Rams get any closer, though, pulling away down the stretch.

Although VCU is finished with its games and Saint Mary’s has a meaningless game against Weber State, the sweating has just begun. Both will be sitting, waiting and watching while other bubble teams have chances to solidify their standing.

At this point, Saint Mary’s could be in trouble. The Gaels have lost four of six to end the season, including an awful loss at San Diego and a Bracket Busters defeat to Utah State. They do face Weber State on Friday in a game that will do nothing for their profile. With the recent swoon, the Gaels’ profile doesn’t look overly impressive. They have a win over St. John’s in the season opener and a road victory at Gonzaga – and that’s it. A neutral-court victory against Big West champ Long Beach State is the team’s third-best victory. Saint Mary’s struck out in its other top-50 opportunities.

Despite the loss, Virginia Commonwealth’s profile actually got better in my eyes. The Rams have three top-50 wins, including victories over UCLA, Old Dominion and George Mason. They have eight top-100 wins, with a road win at Wichita State added to the mix. VCU is also 12-7 away from home. On the downside, the Rams lost their final four CAA games of the regular season, including three home contests. They also have six losses in the Colonial and three sub-150 losses, which could stand out to the committee. When compared to other bubblers, the Rams' resume stands up pretty well.

Right now, VCU has a better profile than Saint Mary’s – which certainly doesn’t bode well for the Gaels. The Rams might be in at this point, but as BCS-conference bubble teams play their league tournaments, they stand a good chance of getting passed by other clubs.

Needless to say, the next five days will be torture for VCU and Saint Mary’s – and the light at the end of the tunnel could fade as the week progresses.

Photo: US Presswire 

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Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 6, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 1:30 am

Poppin' bubbles: Bid thief emerges

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Saturday was enormous for the bubble – of course, by “enormous,” I mean that it made things impossibly crowded at the bottom of the at-large pile. Certain teams played themselves into the picture, while others will inevitably be sweating come Selection Sunday (Seth Greenberg, we mean you). Sunday will be no different; there is no shortage of games with big-time bubble and at-large implications.

Gonzaga 71, San Francisco 67: The Bulldogs did what they needed to do in order to stay in the hunt, even if it wasn’t pretty. Gonzaga has won eight in a row and 10 of its last 11, forging a share of the conference title at 11-3. Can the Zags get into the NCAA Tournament even with a loss Monday in the title game? They have defeated Xavier, Marquette, Baylor and Oklahoma State in the non-conference season, but the RPI is in the 60s and the SOS is in the triple-digits.

Saint Mary’s 73, Santa Clara 64: The Gaels also took care of business in the West Coast semifinals, advancing to the title game. When compared to Gonzaga, they have fewer good wins, with the only top-50 victory coming over St. John’s back in the season opener. Outside of that, the best non-league win was over Long Beach State. On the plus side, they have better computer numbers – but that loss to San Diego is an eyesore.

Florida State 72, North Carolina State 62: If Chris Singleton was playing, the Seminoles would have locked up a bid by now. Without him, though, they needed to prove that they could win without him. Florida State won five of seven to end the season, finishing 11-5 in the ACC. The ‘Noles have a marquee win over Duke, which is carrying their profile right now. Victories over Boston College and Clemson help. They will likely face Virginia Tech in the ACC quarterfinals – can they survive a loss?

Indiana State 60, Missouri State 56: What a devastating loss for Missouri State. The Bears likely needed to win the automatic bid in order to get to the NCAA Tournament; third-seeded Indiana State made sure that didn’t happen. Missouri State simply doesn’t have the profile necessary to get an at-large bid. The Bears don’t have any top-50 wins, with just three coming against the top 100. The best non-league win came over Oral Roberts. It will be a stressful week on the bubble – and I don’t think Missouri State gets in

Kentucky 64, Tennessee 58: Tennessee is probably safely in the field due to its non-conference wins over Pittsburgh and Villanova, but the Volunteers are not doing themselves any favors. They lost six of their final nine games to drop to 8-8 in the SEC. With seven top-50 victories, a win in the SEC Tournament over Arkansas should lock up a bid. If the Vols lose to the Razorbacks, though, this will be an interesting case.

Penn State 66, Minnesota 63: A few weeks ago, this might have been a must-win for Minnesota, not Penn State. However, the Golden Gophers finished the season by losing five in a row and nine of their last 10. On the other hand, Penn State moves to 9-9 in the Big Ten and has a shot heading into the conference tournament. The Nittany Lions have some decent wins over Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State, but a loss in the conference tournament would be their 14th of the season. That could be tough to overcome.

VCU 79, George Mason 63: We have our first potential “bid thief” of Championship Week. With George Mason already locked into a bid, VCU now has a chance to take one of the few remaining at-large bids if it can win the CAA title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Moreover, the Rams might still hold an outside shot at getting an at-large bid should it lose in the championship game. The win over the Patriots was VCU’s third top-50 win of the season.

Boston College 84, Wake Forest 68: The win didn’t really do anything to enhance the Eagles’ profile, but at least they avoided a bad loss. A defeat here and BC would have likely been out of the field. With the victory, the Eagles get the five seed in the ACC Tournament, meaning a rematch with these Demon Deacons. If Boston College defeats Wake Forest in the opening round, we could be in store for a bubble play-in game between BC and Clemson. The Tigers have already defeated the Eagles once.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 10:05 am
Edited on: February 25, 2011 10:10 am

That Gonzaga-Saint Mary's game was pretty big

Posted by Matt Norlander

Though they've now traded wins in each other's gyms, it's hard to overstate how important last night's victory was for Gonzaga and how detrimental the loss was for Saint Mary's.

Huge game. Huge, huge game.

The Bulldogs got it to overtime, where they won, 89-85. If you happened to be up at 1:30 a.m. ET (like I was; sleep? Nah, I'm good), you caught a great fight that, truthfully, Saint Mary's should have won. But good on Gonzaga to grit out this W. We'll get to more on Mark Few's team in just a second.

I'd like to interrogate the Gaels, who've now lost three in a row and seen their once-likely at-large profile get set aflame. First it was the terrible loss to San Diego last Wednesday, then Utah State came in and tattooed SMC for the BracketBusters game last weekend. Though its record is 22-7, this is a 20-7 team in the eyes of the Selection Committee, as early-season wins over non-D-I opponents College of Idaho and Point Loma Nazarene (sounds like a place were lives were lost in a war) do not count toward the Gaels' postseason profile.

Crossing out its road win over Gonzaga on Jan. 27 with a home loss to the Bulldogs last night, you now have to search pretty hard on the Gaels' resume for quality wins. St. John's is one to keep in your pocket. After that, 18-10 Long Beach State or ... yeah, that's it. In recent years, Saint Mary's has been able to clutch on to a few nice wins and garner good standing with the Selection Committee. Last season it was San Diego State and Utah State, plus a good showing in the WCC tournament. In 2008, Drake, Oregon, Gonzaga and San Diego were enough.

Now, 2009, that's when SMC didn't get a bid, and it had some controversy because the team went 26-6. But three of those losses came to Gonzaga. We could have a repeat of that "snub" type of season this year, though don't expect as much consternation if the Gaels don't get in.

As for Gonzaga, it's on pace to win another West Coast Conference regular-season title. Remarkable this season, because Gonzaga's looked bad, inept and as out of sorts as I can ever remember a Mark Few team being. It's 9-3 in the conference, and I don't know how good this team is. A first-round loss as an 11-seed is all too possible. But barring another bad loss or two, Gonzaga's probably going to get in now.

The Zags can claim Marquette, Baylor, Xavier and Oklahoma State as victims. It's not incredible, but it's better than a number of teams still fighting. Avoiding the Saint Mary's sweep was so vital to this team. Now, win out the final two games of the season against San Diego and Cal State Bakersfield, and you'll get a ticket, Gonzaga.

Category: NCAAB
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