Traveling: The Weekend in Basketball (2.12)

If this is your first time seeing Traveling, the premise is 5-10 quick headlines from the NBA and college basketball that you can read during your commute to work or scroll through during that first bathroom trip of the day.

Today is Monday, February 12th. Let’s travel back and see what happened since Friday night.

bear ref

There will be upsets in March

I have never been more certain we will see chaos in this year’s tournament.

On Saturday, seven Top 25 teams lost to unranked opponents. The teams that lost: Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Miami.

Next Saturday? Probably more of the same.

If the Season Ended Today

The Selection Committee showed what the Top 16 teams would look like, how they would be seeded if the season ended today. Take a look:

16 Teams

The biggest head-scratcher: Michigan State… as a 3 seed??

Tune in this week for a podcast episode, Charles Ranspach on the line, he writes the Spartan Speculation blog and needless to say, he’s not thrilled about the news.

Especially after that shot

Miles Bridges, for the win!

If you’re wearing a Michigan State shirt today, make sure to click that link above. Otherwise, you may end up looking like this:

So who are the Cinderellas going to be?

We’ll keep you posted on which mid-major teams to keep track of from here till Selection Sunday, but right now a perfect storm is brewing. Teams on the No. 3 to No. 7 line are unusually soft and the top mid-major teams are really strong.

Here’s a look at all the mid-major teams who are undefeated in conference play.

  1. Vermont
  2. Florida Gulf Coast
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Montana
  5. East Tennessee State
  6. New Mexico State

Keep an eye on this. A lot of times these teams will lose in their conference tourney and miss out on the Field of 68. Rhode Island is the only team above who has a pretty certain at-large bid.

If these teams lose, the No. 11 – No. 13 seeds soften up. If they win, get ready for some upsets.

Let’s go to the NBA

Couple homecoming games after the trade deadline. Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson went back to Chicago, Blake Griffin played the Clippers (in Detroit though), and Dwyane Wade got a hero’s welcome at home. 

New Look Cavs

The Cavaliers debuted their new lineup against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics.

The verdict? They look really really good. More athletic. They care more on defense. LeBron looks much happier. Cavs win 121-99.

Can we talk about the Raptors?

Correction – the Celtics are not in first place. But I’m going to leave that mistake above as a way to show how far the Raptors are going under the radar.

Toronto: 39-16. First place in the Eastern Conference. If we choose to believe it…

Osman Auditions for Shaqtin’ a Fool

Osman has been playing really well, he’s a great role player on the Cavs.

BUT this week he will be known as this guy.

Worth noting – Look at LeBron clapping. He’s not saying, “Get this guy out of here.” Had that been Jae Crowder or Derrick Rose missing the wide-open dunk, Bron might have been saying, “Get me out of here.”

Ezra’s Streamable picks of the week

GIAAAAAANNNNNNNIIIIISSSSS!!!!

And that time Bobby Portis blocked someone so hard they ejected him for it

Best National Anthem ever?

It hurts that this was a Mizzou guy and not at KU, BUT this was pretty incredible.

Deeper dive?

40 Teams Could Make the Final Four (part 1)

How to Fix Professional Basketball (and college too) 

Don’t Hate the Warriors: How Golden State Gradually Built a Super Team

See you on Friday for another installment of Traveling!

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