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What a difference a year makes


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Last year we were everyone's darling to crash the final 4 party. Experts from all over were saying watch out for the Billikens. Of course we were coming off the A10 tourney championship and appeared we were rolling. Got to the 3rd round. All of us somewhat disappointed, especially since we were shafted having to play an much under seeded Oregon team.

Now this year, we're every expert's favorite red headed step child. Lost 4 of 5, out in tourney's first game, defense has been sliding downhill, turnovers by the dozens, basically limping home like a horse that's thrown a shoe or two. I don't think there are many who are picking us to beat X or NCS. Dickie V all but put the nails in our coffin on Sunday night, and he was emphatic.

Darlings to 98lb weaklings in the space of 365 days. I sure hope these guys wake the eff up and realize what it took to win those 19 straight games, five of them coming against teams that made the dance. It's in them as long as they defend and rebound. Oh, yeah, and stop turning the ball over so much. Go Bills!

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Nineteen straight wins is nice but some perspective: Who'd we beat? Rockhurst (Division II). Valpo (#161 out of 351 in the KenPom). Wofford (#184). Indiana State (#104 at home). NC A&T (#341). Vandy (#120). Yale (#171). Rhode Island (#106). Dayton (#53). Bonaventure (#88). Fordham (#200). Duquesne (#144). Richmond (#92). Mason twice (#137 both in OT). St. Joe's (#49). La Salle (#107). VCU at home (#12). And finally, GeeDubya (#46).

On that list, the most impressive win, to me, outside the home win over VCU, is the total whooping laid on St. Joe's on the road. But this was done on February 5th and literally turned the Hawks right side up so they could win six straight, finish fifth in the league, and win out in Brooklyn. I'd be willing to bet they weren't #49 back then.

All I'm showing is two things ---- the strength of the opponents was not too great in that 19-game winning streak which overwhelmed me as well and that the pitfalls occurred once a) the length of the season was well upon us and teams figured us out, 2) the better teams came calling, 3) we had little if anything to play for and 4) our two key cogs started limping some.

I don't subscribe to the theory that the pros can turn it on and off at will. And if I don't believe that, I certainly don't believe college kids can do it either if at all. No, we need complete games. The biggest thing that gets me right now is how did our defense get so weak? How can we allow teams like Duquesne, Dayton and the Bonnies score at will on us -- or so it seems. The guys are not sleeping. There will be no waking up. Wer have to do the things we were doing that got us those 19 ---- albeit against much stronger competition: Xavier (#42). North Carolina State (#66). And Louisville (#2).

the Bills, by the way, are #34. Onlky VCU is higher out of the A10.

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The Billikens have only played 3 games this month. I think they will get their second wind, and we will see the team we saw in January and Fe

Last year we were everyone's darling to crash the final 4 party. Experts from all over were saying watch out for the Billikens. Of course we were coming off the A10 tourney championship and appeared we were rolling. Got to the 3rd round. All of us somewhat disappointed, especially since we were shafted having to play an much under seeded Oregon team.

Now this year, we're every expert's favorite red headed step child. Lost 4 of 5, out in tourney's first game, defense has been sliding downhill, turnovers by the dozens, basically limping home like a horse that's thrown a shoe or two. I don't think there are many who are picking us to beat X or NCS. Dickie V all but put the nails in our coffin on Sunday night, and he was emphatic.

Darlings to 98lb weaklings in the space of 365 days. I sure hope these guys wake the eff up and realize what it took to win those 19 straight games, five of them coming against teams that made the dance. It's in them as long as they defend and rebound. Oh, yeah, and stop turning the ball over so much. Go Bills!

You could amend the title to "What a difference a month makes" when you consider that about a month ago we had jumped to the top 10 and everyone was saying how great we were, how solid with 5 seniors, how fundamentally sound, how much we play defense with intensity, how we are a legit team with a chance to go deep in the NCAAs, etc. The pundits are fickle to say the least and many of our fans on this board sort of follow like lemmings--super high when things are going well--over optimistic in my view--and super low when we lose three games in a row and a buzzer beater in the A 10 tourney--over pessimistic in my view. We are still a good team but we got clobbered again by the match ups in the big dance. Our first round opponents are not really 12 seeds and Louisville should be a 1 or 2 seed. I agree that if we stop turning the ball over and we can get back to our defensive intensity of many games in the Streak that we can definitely win the first game if we shoot the ball decently from 3 point line and the foul line. To beat Louisville we will need to do all that and shoot very well from outside and control the ball on the press and get back to stop the runouts--not easy!

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Taj Mahal '79 makes his usual good points. But look at FL for some perspective. SEC is weak save for KY's kiddie ball. The A-10s tough. Lot of older teams w/ good coaching. Still no reason to lose to StBs, DU, and UD. Our only hope at this point is this team gets back to what put them on in that 19 game streak: D and ball strong. No more early shot clocks off of questionable shots, eg JJ taking 3s or trying to drive thru a traffic jammed lane. RL could be the difference maker for us, if he plays like he did in Feb. And, JC gives a lot of JBs minutes to TL, so we can get DE back at the three.

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Nineteen straight wins is nice but some perspective: Who'd we beat? Rockhurst (Division II). Valpo (#161 out of 351 in the KenPom). Wofford (#184). Indiana State (#104 at home). NC A&T (#341). Vandy (#120). Yale (#171). Rhode Island (#106). Dayton (#53). Bonaventure (#88). Fordham (#200). Duquesne (#144). Richmond (#92). Mason twice (#137 both in OT). St. Joe's (#49). La Salle (#107). VCU at home (#12). And finally, GeeDubya (#46).

On that list, the most impressive win, to me, outside the home win over VCU, is the total whooping laid on St. Joe's on the road. But this was done on February 5th and literally turned the Hawks right side up so they could win six straight, finish fifth in the league, and win out in Brooklyn. I'd be willing to bet they weren't #49 back then.

All I'm showing is two things ---- the strength of the opponents was not too great in that 19-game winning streak which overwhelmed me as well and that the pitfalls occurred once a) the length of the season was well upon us and teams figured us out, 2) the better teams came calling, 3) we had little if anything to play for and 4) our two key cogs started limping some.

I don't subscribe to the theory that the pros can turn it on and off at will. And if I don't believe that, I certainly don't believe college kids can do it either if at all. No, we need complete games. The biggest thing that gets me right now is how did our defense get so weak? How can we allow teams like Duquesne, Dayton and the Bonnies score at will on us -- or so it seems. The guys are not sleeping. There will be no waking up. Wer have to do the things we were doing that got us those 19 ---- albeit against much stronger competition: Xavier (#42). North Carolina State (#66). And Louisville (#2).

the Bills, by the way, are #34. Onlky VCU is higher out of the A10.

Taj, not be a nudge, you forgot the UMASS away game. They are 23.

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Last year we were everyone's darling to crash the final 4 party. Experts from all over were saying watch out for the Billikens. Of course we were coming off the A10 tourney championship and appeared we were rolling. Got to the 3rd round. All of us somewhat disappointed, especially since we were shafted having to play an much under seeded Oregon team.

Now this year, we're every expert's favorite red headed step child. Lost 4 of 5, out in tourney's first game, defense has been sliding downhill, turnovers by the dozens, basically limping home like a horse that's thrown a shoe or two. I don't think there are many who are picking us to beat X or NCS. Dickie V all but put the nails in our coffin on Sunday night, and he was emphatic.

Darlings to 98lb weaklings in the space of 365 days. I sure hope these guys wake the eff up and realize what it took to win those 19 straight games, five of them coming against teams that made the dance. It's in them as long as they defend and rebound. Oh, yeah, and stop turning the ball over so much. Go Bills!

Good post. For fans only (I'm not talking about the players of course) in Columbus the general mood was of a party and let's be honest most of us were satisfied with one win and a close game in the next round. Last year was more of a business trip and anything short of winning both would be a disappointment, which it was.

I expect this year to be more in the middle but I suspect most would admit that winning one and a close loss to Louisville would be a reasonable expectation. The idea that we should be horribly disappointed with anything less than a Sweet 16 went out the window the second Louisville popped up on the screen. At least this is how I feel.

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Nineteen straight wins is nice but some perspective: Who'd we beat? Rockhurst (Division II). Valpo (#161 out of 351 in the KenPom). Wofford (#184). Indiana State (#104 at home). NC A&T (#341). Vandy (#120). Yale (#171). Rhode Island (#106). Dayton (#53). Bonaventure (#88). Fordham (#200). Duquesne (#144). Richmond (#92). Mason twice (#137 both in OT). St. Joe's (#49). La Salle (#107). VCU at home (#12). And finally, GeeDubya (#46).

On that list, the most impressive win, to me, outside the home win over VCU, is the total whooping laid on St. Joe's on the road. But this was done on February 5th and literally turned the Hawks right side up so they could win six straight, finish fifth in the league, and win out in Brooklyn. I'd be willing to bet they weren't #49 back then.

All I'm showing is two things ---- the strength of the opponents was not too great in that 19-game winning streak which overwhelmed me as well and that the pitfalls occurred once a) the length of the season was well upon us and teams figured us out, 2) the better teams came calling, 3) we had little if anything to play for and 4) our two key cogs started limping some.

I don't subscribe to the theory that the pros can turn it on and off at will. And if I don't believe that, I certainly don't believe college kids can do it either if at all. No, we need complete games. The biggest thing that gets me right now is how did our defense get so weak? How can we allow teams like Duquesne, Dayton and the Bonnies score at will on us -- or so it seems. The guys are not sleeping. There will be no waking up. Wer have to do the things we were doing that got us those 19 ---- albeit against much stronger competition: Xavier (#42). North Carolina State (#66). And Louisville (#2).

the Bills, by the way, are #34. Onlky VCU is higher out of the A10.

Great post. Hoping for a win on Thursday but just don't feel good about this team at all right now. I'd say they overachieved to get the 19 game streak even including the general weakness of the opposition. Of course our problems aren't so severe that they wouldn't be fixed by a 40% or more showing from the arc.

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It all depends what Bills team shows up in the Tourney. If we play our game with stout D, rebounding, taking care of the ball (no stupid unforced errors), making our FT's and running an efficient offense. This is what we played for during the regular season, and now it is time to play our very best basketball. Screw the supposed experts. Let's Go Bills!!!

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It all depends what Bills team shows up in the Tourney. If we play our game with stout D, rebounding, taking care of the ball (no stupid unforced errors), making our FT's and running an efficient offense. This is what we played for during the regular season, and now it is time to play our very best basketball. Screw the supposed experts. Let's Go Bills!!!

That's all it takes, Shasz, but will we do it is the big question.

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Good post. For fans only (I'm not talking about the players of course) in Columbus the general mood was of a party and let's be honest most of us were satisfied with one win and a close game in the next round. Last year was more of a business trip and anything short of winning both would be a disappointment, which it was.

I expect this year to be more in the middle but I suspect most would admit that winning one and a close loss to Louisville would be a reasonable expectation. The idea that we should be horribly disappointed with anything less than a Sweet 16 went out the window the second Louisville popped up on the screen. At least this is how I feel.

Yea, I was firmly in the the Sweet 16 or bust camp, but LVille by all accounts is equivalent to playing a 1-seed in the second round. Hard to even blame our poor play down the stretch costing us too much on the seed line, as we still managed a 5, too. I'd take the 5 and the rest all day. Hope we get Montrezl into some foul trouble. A win would be unforgettable.

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@tarheel .... Umass was not an omission. We did not play them in the 19-game winning streak so they were not counted. Frankly, they are the only grey beam of light in our current five-game stretch of darkness.

Having said that, one can look to the Umass game and see exactly what we need to do to win any game ---- how to play, how to defend, how to rebound, where we want the score to be, ball in hand for final shot, etc.

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@Larry72 -- the SEC is weak, relatively speaking, but Arkansas was at #52, LSU #64, Georgia #74, Mizzou #75, Ole Miss #88, Alabama #98 and South Carolina #118, right ahead of Vandy. Side by side of the leagues top 8 teams:

VCU #12 ............. Florida # 3.

SLU # 34 ............. Tennessee #11.

GWU # 41 ............. Kentucky # 17.

SJU# 49 ................ Arkansas # 52.

Umass #50 ........... LSU # 64.

Dayton #51 ........... Georgia # 74.

St. Bona # 87 ....... Mizzou # 75.

Richmond # 92 ...... Ole Miss # 88.

Simple math in taking these totals and dividing by 8 teams gives the A10 a composite 52.13 and the SEC a 48.0. (By the way, these are the final numbers on KenPom today, so where tarheel got that Umass was a 23 I don't know.) So the leagues are comparable in these abstract numbers anyway. To nonchalantly throw out there that the A10 is tougher with nothign but anecdotal evidence is kind of tough to support in this comparison. All leagues are tough inasmuch as the fact that as the season grinds on, your tendencies and weaknesses are better known by the upcoming opponents as time goes on. Plus, Florida not only beat Kentucky in the SEC title game, but had to go into Lexington to win as well. And did so.

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