BB&T Classic - Here are some pictures from the BB&T Classic in downtown Washington last night. I had a difficult time getting good shots with the lighting in the Verizon Center, even though my position in the arena was quite good. I recommend that if you're a college basketball fan that you try to sit behind the Maryland bench at least once. Listening to Gary Williams is an experience that isn't for the faint-of-heart. However, as an intense person myself, I enjoyed the evening.
It wasn't the most compelling evening of basketball. Navy had a six-point lead at the interval, but couldn't really compete with Virginia Tech in the second half. Kaleo Kina fouling out late didn't help the Middies' cause. The Hokies lived up to expectations and were more than content to play to their opposition's level for much of the night. This is seldom a problem in the ACC, but doing this against Navy and Mount Saint Mary's is begging to be beaten (and to give the committee reason to leave you out in March).
Inconsistent Maryland is currently showing its upside. First, the Terps' win over Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge looks even better after the Wolverines got a split in their impromptu season series with Duke. Secondly, unlike the win over Michigan State at Disney, Maryland actually managed to build on their earlier victory, dominating a team they should dominate. Greivis Vasquez had a great night going for 17 and picking up 11 boards, but the contributions of Milbourne, Bowie, and Hayes can't be discounted. As for George Washington, it could be a very long season at the Foggy Bottom for the Colonials. I didn't see much improvement from their home opener against Binghamton, and against superior opposition, that was only going to lead to a loss.
Bowl Projections - All-in-all, not too bad for a first effort. I'm disappointed in myself for not sticking with Notre Dame going to Hawai'i and Ole Miss NOT going to the Capital One. The Ole Miss error led to many of my SEC picks being completely wrong.
Taking a look at my errors:
Western Michigan-Hawai'i in the Hawai'i Bowl and Notre Dame-Rice in the Texas Bowl - WMU and ND switch.
Ball State-NC State in the Motor City, Central Michigan-Tulsa in the GMAC - Ball State and Central switch places. NC State goes to the Papa John's.com Bowl to play Rutgers.
Rutgers-Buffalo in the International, UConn-Florida Atlantic in the Papa John's.com. Rutgers and UConn switch places. FAU goes to the Motor City to play CMU.
Louisiana-Lafayette-Louisiana Tech in the Independence - Looks like they didn't want that local of a matchup in Shreveport. Northern Illinois replaces the Cajuns, who don't go bowling.
My SEC bowl order - Ole Miss (Capital One), Georgia (Outback), South Carolina (Chick-fil-a), LSU (Cotton). Correct SEC bowl order - Georgia (Capital One), South Carolina (Outback), LSU (Chick-fil-a), Ole Miss (Cotton).
12/9 - One more I forgot to mention, Florida State-Vanderbilt in the Music City and Boston College-Wisconsin in the Champs Sports. Those two teams flipped places.