College Hoops 101

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By: David Kay

College Hoops 101 is a weekly article centering around all things college basketball.  I  look back at the previous week, glance forward to what is ahead in the up-coming days, and keep track of how many games I have watched this season in hopes of topping my mark from a year ago (274.)

In this week’s edition ‘Cuse is the new #1, Purdue suffers a huge loss, it’s bubble watch week, and is Notre Dame better without Luke Harangody?

Rewind
-With the Winter Olympics just ending, here’s an Olympic related question that was posed to me this week.  If the U.S. men’s basketball team was made up of only college players, who would your 12-man team be (include starters) and who would be the coach (Coach K. cannot be an option.)  Leave your team in the comments at the bottom.

-Purdue may have just went from a #1 seed and strong Final Four candidate to a second round out due to Robbie Hummel’s season-ending ACL injury.  Read Paul M. Banks’ article about which team will benefit the most from the Boilermakers’ crushing blow.

-I have been saying this for a couple weeks now and I am going to say it again.  Wesley Johnson is Syracuse’s best player, but Andy Rautins is their Most Valuable Player.  Rautins would not only be on my Team USA (answering the question from above) but I think he should legitimately be considered not only for All-Big East, but All-American as well.  He does a little bit of everything and is the definition of an extension of the coach on the floor.  Seriously, he is entering hardcore man-crush territory for me.

-Notre Dame was seemingly left for dead in terms of their NCAA Tournament chances.  With Luke Harangody still sidelined, the Irish stole wins against Pitt and Georgetown this week to improve to five-hundred in conference play and smack dab in the middle of bubble conversations.  I ask this with a smile on my face; Are the Irish better without the Leprechaun Fu*$er……Patrick Ewing Theory-style?

-Someday I will vote in the AP poll.  For now, here’s my top 10…
1. Syracuse, 26-2 (Last Week Ranking: 3)
2. Kansas, 27-2 (Last Week Ranking: 1)
3. Kentucky, 27-2 (LWR: 2)
4. Duke, 24-4 (LWR: 5)
5. Kansas State, 24-4 (LWR: 7)
6. Purdue, 24-4 (LWR: 4)
7. Villanova, 23-5 (LWR: 6)
8. Ohio State, 23-7 (LWR: 10)
9. New Mexico, 27-3 (LWR: NR)
10. West Virginia, 22-6 (LWR: 8 )

Just because I have played this about one-hundred times in the past week, this should help get you ready for March:

Fast Forward
Kansas State at Kansas (Wed, 7:00 ESPN360)
They NEED to put this game on real TV somehow.  ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Portugal… pick one.

Duke at Maryland (Wed, 8:00 ESPN)

The Terps have very quietly put together a very solid season.  A win against the Dookies and they will be tied for first in the ACC.

West Virginia at Villanova (Sat, 11:00 CBS)

A must-win for both teams as they are each are in jeopardy of falling to a three-seed in the NCAA Tournament, possibly even lower.

Bubble Watch
Here is a list of games that have MAJOR NCAA Tournament implications.

Minnesota at Michigan (Tues, 6:00 BTN)

Gophers won at Illinois Saturday.  If they win at Michigan, they close at home with Iowa and would be 10-8 in conference, probably good enough to get into the tourney.

UConn at Notre Dame (Wed, 6:00 ESPN)
I’m making the call right now.  Winner is in the tournament.  Loser is out.

UAB at UTEP (Sat, 8:00 CBS College Sports)

The top two teams in the C-USA; both teams should be in the tourney.  But this win would be a nice fall back in case neither wins the conference tourney.

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Sat, 3:00 ESPN360)
Both teams have struggled down the stretch and this could be a “loser is out” bracket buster.

The Drive
Games watched through 2/28: 248
Teams I have seen play this season: 115
Games watched this past week (home teams in CAPS): 20


#12 PITT 70, # 7 Villanova 65

The top defensive team in the Big East gets the best of the top offensive team in the Big East.

UCONN 73, #7 West Virginia 62
Are they one of the 65-best teams in the country?  Yes.  UConn deserves to be in the tourney.  And no 5 or 6 seed should want to see them in the opening round.

#1 KANSAS 81, Oklahoma 68

Another painful game of listening to Brent Musberger calling Xavier Henry, “X.”

#4 Syracuse 99, PROVIDENCE 85
Saying Providence is bad at defense is like saying I like college basketball.  It’s a gross understatement.  In the first four-plus minutes, ‘Cuse scored 20 points; 16 on way too easy buckets in the paint, four at the free throw line.

#13 Georgetown 70, LOUISVILLE 60

Austin Freeman came to play in the second half.  Louisville did not.

Florida State 77, NORTH CAROLINA 67
The Heels were rocking all silver jerseys.  It didn’t stop them from once again sucking it up.

Marquette 63, ST. JOHN’S 61 OT
I’ll take it.  On to the next one…

BAYLOR 70, #23 Texas A&M 66

The color guy said he has never seen a transfer make as big an impact as Baylor’s Ekpe Udoh.  Um, Wesley Johnson?  Hello? (said in a Bruno voice)

#21 TEXAS 69, Oklahoma State 59

Damion James is a beast.  He is going to make whatever team drafts him in the middle of the first round very happy.

CALIFORNIA 95, Arizona 71
This is Cal team I expected we would see for most of the season.  Sean Miller needs to teach the ‘Cats to play defense on a night-in night-out basis.

#2 KENTUCKY 82, South Carolina 61

‘Cats get revenge from their only loss this season which came on the Gamecocks home floor.

Notre Dame 78, #11 GEORGETOWN 64

Irish back-up big man Jack Cooley was called a “Luke Harangody look-alike.”  If you ever want to truly insult me, use that exact phrase to describe me.  The color guy also said Tim Abromaitis used to be a “stand-still suburban jump shooter.”  Translation: he’s white.

#9 OHIO STATE 66, Michigan 55

Evan “His Royal Smoothness” Turner is the National Player of the Year.  Dallas Lauderdale is my favorite balding college basketball player.

#17 TENNESSEE 74, #2 Kentucky 65
With all that the Volunteer program went through this season, Bruce Pearl has to win SEC Coach of the Year, right?  Tennessee has now beat Kansas and Kentucky this season.  Don’t sleep on them come tourney team.

TEXAS A&M 74, #21 Texas 58
Once again the ‘Horns get stagnant on offense and it costs them.  A&M is sneaky good.  They have no superstars but a bunch of talented players who buy into the team philosophy.

OKLAHOMA STATE 85, #1 Kansas 77

Cowboys’ James Anderson is the Big 12 Player of the Year.  Big win for OSU to cement their status as a tourney team and an appropriate storming the court by their fan-base.

#11 New Mexico 83, #12 BYU 81 OT
The Lobos’ Darington Hobson is the “Evan Turner of the West.”  He and His Royal Smoothness are the only two players in the country to average at least 15 points, 8 boards, and 4 assists per game.   Good effort by the Cougars who without sharp-shooter Jimmer Fredette for most of the game due to a stomach virus.  By the way,  BYU’s Jonathan Tavernari almost got into a fight with New Mexico head coach Steve Alford after the game.

#3 SYRACUSE 95, # Villanova 77

When you fill out your brackets in two weeks, first thing you should do is plug Syracuse into the Final Four.  As for ‘Nova, I have been saying it the past two weeks, they are very beatable.

Marquette 84, SETON HALL 83 OT

Three straight overtime, road wins for Marquette.  They certainly aren’t making it easy for me but this win should clinch their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

#14 Michigan State 53, #3 PURDUE 44

People are going to look at this score and say, “Oh, the Boilermakers don’t have Hummel so they are screwed.”  Not necessarily, Purdue just had an off-night shooting the ball.

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Comments

  1. Peter Christian says

    Starters:
    PG- My Boy (if you don’t know, ask somebody)
    SG- Turner
    SF- W. Johnson
    PF- Cousins
    C- Aldrich

    Bench:
    Wall
    Scheyer
    Monroe
    James
    X
    Anderson
    JaJuan Johnson

    Coach: Jamie Dixon

  2. do u call him “X” just to spite me?

  3. paulmbanks says

    ESPN Portugal- I think I have that channel…the Harangody leprechuan pic is HILARIOUS!!!

    I was unimpressed by State’s win at Purdue…granted I’ll take it, and it brightened up my hangover filled day. but they only won because E’Twuan Moore couldn’t hot a shot to save his life. When he struggles, and Hummel is no longer there to pick him up- Pur is screwed. When Moore is on, they’ll be good though

  4. David K. says

    Here’s my Team USA for the record

    PG: Wall/Reynolds
    SG: Rautins/James Anderson/Scheyer
    SF: Turner/Wesley Johnson
    PF: Monroe/Damion James/Hayward
    C: Aldrich/Cousins

    Coach: Dixon

  5. What song is playing on Jimmy Butler’s headphones and leaking into the audio in that clip? Is it a non-Party in the USA Miley jam?

    Does Lazar have any chance of making it in the Lig? He’s everything you’d want in a player but is the lack of a position in the NBA too much to overcome?

  6. Peter Christian says

    I did… Glad you noticed. I’m also mad at myself for not simply leaving “Reynolds” as “My Boy” as I did in my email from last week… if only I had the capability to edit my comment…

  7. Peter Christian says

    And it’s done.

  8. David K. says

    I, of course, want to say Lazar is league… but his inability to drive other than than lower his shoulder, power drive right is killer and he can’t guard quicker guys on the perimeter… but his toughness, versatility, ability to stretch a defense with his jumper, and standing as the ultimate team player could land him a spot somewhere… hopefully? maybe?

    by the way Q, Jimmy is actually 6-7.5 I heard him say on Homer last week so he is taller than Lazar which is what we saw at the DePaul game so Lazar maybe is 6-6…

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