Before Duke was beaten by Gonzaga the next night, Auburn made them look like they definitely weren’t unbeatable. Duke won 78-72 but Auburn definitely could have won. If I were an Auburn fan I would have been extremely frustrated. Auburn could have pulled off a memorable upset but didn’t because they didn’t box out, threw dumb alley-oops, and tried to match Duke’s style of play. Nobody has the athleticism to come close to beating Duke at their own game.
Despite these repeated mistakes, the Tigers still looked good. Jared Harper proved that he is among the best point guards in the country. He’s an excellent shooter and passer and finished with 22 points and 6 assists while shooting 6-10 from three-point range. Austin Wiley impressed me off the bench. The junior center played physical and put up 17 points and 9 rebounds in just 19 minutes. Continue Reading!
Over the last seven days the Big Ten has looked like they’re as good as any conference in the nation. They got a chance to prove this thanks to the Gavitt Tipoff Games and the 2K Empire Classic. Just in the last seven days, Wisconsin won at Xavier, Michigan dominated at Villanova, Indiana beat Marquette, Nebraska beat Seton Hall, Iowa beat Oregon and UConn, and Ohio State won at Creighton. There are currently twelve Big Ten teams in the KenPom top 50, the next closest conference is the ACC with nine. The Big Ten is making a very strong case as the best conference in college basketball, all they are missing is one really good team atop the conference. Michigan is currently the highest rated by KenPom with a +21.79 adjusted efficiency margin, which is good for ninth in the nation. The ACC has a clear lead in that department with three of the KenPom top four. This has been a huge week for the conference and they will look to build on it with some Holiday Tournament wins. Continue Reading!
Due to Duke’s dominating performance over Kentucky, Kansas’ win over MSU was largely forgotten. It was a very good game that showed a lot about two great teams. The Spartans did look sloppy and uncomfortable in the opening minutes and once they did settle in they went cold and couldn’t hit shots. Kansas took a 14-point lead into halftime, but Michigan State came out looking much better in the second half. Kansas ended up holding on for a 92-87 win, looking impressive in the process. Continue Reading!
Last year the Kansas Jayhawks won their 14th straight Big 12 regular season championship. This year they will very likely win their 15th. This is considering that there is a number of distractions around the program after the close of the FBI investigation, along with with the fact that that they will likely be without Silvio De Sousa as they are holding him out. It’s not that there aren’t any good teams in the Big 12 this year–Kansas State, West Virginia, TCU, and several others will all be good–but it frankly won’t matter. Kansas loses starters Devonte’ Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Malik Newman, but that shouldn’t matter either. Continue Reading Here!
The Big East was one of the best conferences in the country last year, if not the best. They produced two number one seeds, Xavier and Villanova, and Villanova went on to defeat Michigan in the National Championship game. Six Big East teams made the tournament. The problem is many of these teams lost a lot of talent. The Big East Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Freshman of the Year are all no longer in the conference. With the Big East slightly depleted, there are four main contenders for the conference championship this year. Continue Reading!