College Hoops 101

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Tom Crean

By: David Kay

If you don’t get a chance to watch a ton of college hoops during the week, have no fear.  College Hoops 101 is your stop for all you missed in the past week and what to look for in the next few days.  This week’s edition focuses on a rough weekend for the best conference in America and the resurrection of a historic program.

Rewind
-It was a bad weekend for the Big East.  On Saturday, Marquette lost at in-state rival Wisconsin.  Notre Dame and Louisville were upset at home by Loyola Marymount and Western Carolina respectively.  Then on Sunday, Villanova suffered their first defeat at the hands of city rival Temple.  Georgetown saved face for the conference with an impressive victory against Washington just a few days after knocking off Butler.  The Hoyas are unbeaten and really get after it on the defensive end.

-Seton Hall beat Virginia Military Institute, 134-107 on Saturday in a 40-game; no overtime.  I literally can’t imagine how terrible the defense was in that game for the two teams to combine for 241 points.  The Pirates’ Jamel Jackson who had 49 points in Seton Hall’s first seven games blew up for 40 points on 12-15 shooting from three.

-When Tom Crean took over at Indiana, the mess he had to re-build was going to take a few years to get the Hoosiers back to respectability on a national level.  That process has been sped up thanks to some fantastic play from IU’s freshman.  The Hoosiers picked up the biggest win of the Crean Era when they beat Pitt at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.  Yes, the Panthers aren’t the team they have been in recent years, but it’s still a huge win for a program that was an absolute embarrassment last season.  Plus, IU hung with Kentucky in the first half before just being out-performed by a more talented team after the break.

-Someday I will vote in the AP poll.  For now, here’s my top 10…
1. Kansas (Last Week Ranking: 1)
2. Syracuse (LWR: 2)
3. Kentucky (LWR: 6)
4. Texas (LWR: 3)
5. Purdue (LWR: 4)
6. West Virginia (LWR: 7)
7. Villanova (LWR: 5)
8. Tennessee (LWR: eight)
9. Duke (LWR: 9)
10. Georgetown (LWR: NR)

Fast Forward
With Finals taking place this week at most universities across the country, there are not a great deal of exciting games.  Here are two that stick out.

North Carolina vs. Texas, Saturday 1:00
This will be the ‘Horns first true test against a top-ten caliber team.  I’m interested to see how tiny the court is going to look with this game being played at the new Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.

Gonzaga at Duke, Saturday 3:00, CBS

The Zags have already played Michigan State, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, and now Duke.  They still have non-conference games against Oklahoma, Illinois, and Memphis this season.  Mid-major what?

john wall pumped

The Drive
Games watched through 12/14: 81

Games watched this past week (home teams in CAPS): 12

MARQUETTE 71, UW-Milwaukee 51
MU is now 37-0 all-time vs. UW-M.  Lazar Hayward is in a funk and I don’t like it one bit.

#13 Georgetown 72, #20 Butler 65

Hoyas’ Greg Monroe asserted himself with a career-high 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Indiana 74, Pitt 64
Read the rewind for more on this game.

ILLINOIS 79, #24 Vanderbilt 68
I am really impressed with Illini freshmen guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson.

#4 Kentucky 64, #12 UConn 61
I kind of felt like I was on speed while watching this game it was so transition-based and filled with too much out of control play.  Great college game though and John Wall is ridiculous.  Seriously, if you have not watched this kid, what are you waiting for?

ARIZONA 83, Louisiana Tech 67
As Nic Wise tweeted after the game, “Finally a double-digit win.  Thank God.”  It didn’t come easy though.

Mississippi State 76, DePaul 45
The Blue Demons are still without big man Mac Koshwal and looked like the DePaul team that didn’t win a single Big East game last year.

#6 Syracuse 85, #11 Florida 73
Both teams impressed me and showed a lot.  ‘Cuse is a legit NCAA title contender and the Gators will indeed be a major player in the SEC.

#4 Kentucky 90, INDIANA 73
After a very competitive first 20 minutes, the ‘Cats opened this one up with an 18-0 run early in the second half.

#20 BUTLER 74, #15 Ohio State 66
A tough game for the Buckeyes first test post-Evan Turner’s freakish injury.  This was a big win for the Bulldogs who have already lost to Minnesota, Clemson, and Georgetown this season.

#13 Georgetown 74, #16 Washington 66
The Huskies turned the ball over 25 times.  You are not going to win college basketball games when you do that.

#23 WISCONSIN 72, Marquette 63

I didn’t have a good feeling heading into this game and that premonition proved correct.  The Golden Eagles are still searching for an identity as Buzz Williams has mixed and matched line-ups more frequently than Mike from Jersey Shore refers to himself as “The Situation.”

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Comments

  1. So is Butler a mid-major by your definitiion? they can’t be, not with all the games they’ve played, are playing against “bcs” conference opponents

  2. I watched the WI vs. Marq game, as it is the one occasion per year that my Alma Mater commands loyalty over my hometown & best friend’s Alma Mater.

    We beat you and it was fun. Sorry, David Kay, sorry. And you just couldn’t resist putting a Crean photo in this week. Love it. Knew it would happen at some point soon.

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