Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Curious events of Tuesday night impact UNLV

Illinois beats #5 Ohio State University -
Last night on a game televised on ESPN the Illini narrowly beat the 5th ranked Buckeyes. Yes, it took 43 points by Brandon Paul (UNLV held him to 7 points) for the Illini to up-end OSU, but this is a good thing for the Rebels.

Illinois, who UNLV beat on December 19, 2011 by a score of 64-48 in Chicago, was ranked #19 at the time and undefeated. But, since UNLV has knocked them off, they have dropped two additonal games, one at Purdue and one at Missouri. These losses, which were to very decent teams, pushed Illinois out of the top 25. The logic (and math) is that the better record and strength of the opponent that a team beats, the higher that teams own ranking and eventual placement in the NCAA tournament. So, the better that Illinois does, post the defeat at the hands of the Rebels, the better the Rebels look.

SDSU struggles to beat winless Chicago State

Chicago State, a team that is currently 0-16 came into San Diego and nearly beat the #22 Aztecs. San Diego was 'tested' by this pathetic opponent, and set themselves up for failure by playing a cream-puff schedule, especially recently (wins UC Riverside by 25 points, Elon by 26, Redlands by 51 and San Diego Christian by 31. ) The game was actually tied midway through the second half. Behind a scoring drought by Chicago State, as well as offensive wake-up-call by SDSU's Chace Tapley, San Diego State pulled out the win 73-65.

I believe that the slate of non-contending opponents they've lined up and beaten on their way to a #22 ranking, as well as last night's embarassment shows that SDSU is overrated, and may not be the tough opponenent UNLV fans feared they would be. That said, basketball is a game of matchups and streaks, if the Rebels dont matchup well with the Aztecs or shooters like Tapley get hot from distance, there could be trouble. Also, Saturday's game in San Diego is sold out - so their fans who are energetic and creative, will be there to push their team. It should be a good one, don't you dare schedule anything other than watching the Rebels @ 1pm on Saturday.

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