By David K.
Welcome to a weekly article at thesportsbank.net where I will give you the 101 on what has happened in the week of college basketball and what is to come in the days ahead.
-It’s becoming obvious that Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin will undoubtedly win Player of the Year honors. But the Sooners could actually complete the trifecta. Jeff Capel has to be one of the top names for Coach of the Year and after what Willie Warren did Saturday night against Texas, he has to be a top contender for Freshman of the Year. With Griffin out due to a concussion, Warren carried the Sooners on his back scoring 27 points in a five-point loss. If the tournament started today, I would probably pick Oklahoma to win it all.
-A 22 point, 23 rebound performance against Hasheem Thabeet has thurst DeJuan Blair into the National Player of the Year discussion. Blair absolutely owned the 7’3 Husky, as Thabeet fouled out in 23 minutes, finishing with just five points, four boards, and two blocks.
-ESPN’s Mike Patrick was off his game when calling Saturday’s Marquette-Georgetown game. He constantly misidentified players, gave credit to guys who weren’t even on the floor, and kept calling MU “the Warriors.” Seriously ESPN, hire me. I am sane and actually watch college basketball. (Yes, that shot could also be directed at Verne Lundquist and Brent Musburger, who I am convinced, takes naps during stretches of games that he is calling.)
-Penn State 38, Illinois 33. Yes, that was really a FINAL score. (I’ll be shocked if Paul M. Banks does not edit this portion out)
My AP Top Ten (if I actually voted in the poll)
1. Pitt (25-2)
2. Oklahoma (26-2)
3. UConn (25-2)
4. North Carolina (24-3)
5. Memphis (24-3)
6. Louisville (21-5)
7. Duke (22-5)
8. Marquette (23-4)
9. Clemson (22-4)
10. Wake Forest (20-5)
Oklahoma at Kansas (Monday, 8:00 ESPN)
Missouri at Kansas (Sunday, 1:00 CBS)
First place is on the line in the Big 12 as OU and KU enter this game at 11-1. Griffin is going to be a game-time decision due to the aforementioned concussion he suffered against the Horns. Mizzou is right behind them at 10-2, making Sunday’s match-up in Lawrence just as important for the Jayhawks.
Penn State at Ohio State (Tuesday, 6:00 ESPN)
Loser’s bubble is likely burst.
UConn at Marquette (Wednesday, 6:00 ESPN)
Marquette at Louisville (Sunday, 11:00 CBS)
All three of these teams and Pitt are in a logjam atop the Big East standings. Some sort of separation has to come after this week.
Memphis at UAB (Thursday, 8:00 ESPN2)
So much for a re-building year for Memphis… The Tigers have now won 18 straight, 53 consecutive Conference USA games, and could land a #1 seed on Selection Sunday. UAB is in second in C-USA and must win this game if they want to be dancing.
The Drive to 225
To update my goal of watching 225 college basketball games this season…
Games watched through 2/22: 200
Games watched this past week: 13
Pitt at UConn
Texas at Texas A&M
Michigan State at Purdue
Wisconsin at Indiana
Washington at UCLA
Butler at Davidson
Marquette at Georgetown
Utah State at St. Mary’s
Oklahoma at Texas
Illinois at Ohio State
Wisconsin at Michigan State
Wake Forest at Duke
Arizona at Arizona State