College Hoops 101

badgers hoops

By: David Kay

Since it is the Holiday season, college basketball continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.  And since I am in the Holiday spirit, I give you another edition of College Hoops 101; breaking down all you need to know about what is taking place in college basketball.  Check back every Monday for a new article.

-There are plenty of reasons I love my job.  I get the opportunity to do things that people would pay a lot of money to like sit on the baseline and cover a game as exciting as the Duke/Wisconsin this past week.  I was nearly trampled by hundreds of students storming the court as the Badgers pulled out the four point victory.  I myself rushed the court in 2002 when Marquette knocked off fourth-ranked Cincinnati.  The emotion and excitement is pretty crazy and is truly a once-in-a-lifetime sort of event.  The win also helped the Big Ten claim their first ever victory in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge  And once again, the lesson we all learned from this game; never underestimate a Bo Ryan-led team.

-Speaking of storming the court, a shout-out to the Texas Tech students who pulled an Iowa football fans move circa 2008 by pre-maturely rushing the court in the Red Raiders victory against Washington.  Whoops.

-Evan Turner’s injury is painful to watch let alone actually experience.  Read my complete thoughts on how costly this injury is.

-The Play of the Week goes to Kentucky freshman phenom John Wall who had several sick plays in the ‘Cats victory against UNC.  If you haven’t seen this kid play yet, get on it!’s Peter Christian asked me for my top 5 rankings so here’s my top 10…
1. Kansas
2. Syracuse
3. Texas
4. Purdue
5. Villanova
6. Kentucky
7. West Virginia
8. Tennessee
9. Duke
10. Florida

Fast Forward
Butler vs. Georgetown, Tuesday 6:00, ESPN
A chance for Butler to shake the mid-major label by knocking off an unbeaten Hoya team at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.

Kentucky at UConn, Wednesday 8:30, ESPN
Fresh off their win against UNC, the young Wildcats have a big road test at UConn.

Syracuse vs. Florida, Thursday 8:00, ESPN
Two of the surprising teams in college basketball meet head-to-head in Tampa for the Big East/SEC Invitational.

Ohio State at Butler, Saturday 11:00, ESPN
The Buckeyes first big test post-Evan Turner’s injury.

Marquette at Wisconsin, Saturday 4:00, ESPN2
Look for more on this in-state rivalry later in the week on The Sports Bank.

The Drive
Games watched through 12/7: 69

Games watched this past week (home teams in CAPS): 16

# 5 Kentucky 73, Cleveland State 49
This was a holdover from the previous week so I could get my first look at John Wall in Kentucky blue.  By the way, CBS College Sports hires the worst broadcasting teams ever.  My application is in the mail.

#9 NORTH CAROLINA 80, Nevada 73
I am having a hard time trying to figure out the Heels out.  The talent and depth can clearly be seen but so can their inexperience and youth.  It should be interesting to see how this team grows during the season.

Penn State 69, VIRGINIA 66
Talor Battle has adopted the curly flattop look this season and single-handedly took over this game in the second half where he scored 28 of his 32 points.

#9 NORTH CAROLINA 89, #11 Michigan State 82
Roy owns Izzo, clap, clap, clap clap clap… Why does Sparty try to run with the Heels?  Haven’t they learned better the past two times they played UNC?

#5 PURDUE 69, Wake Forest 58
The Boilermakers stiffened up their D’ and picked up the intensity in the second half

WISCONSIN 73, #6 Duke 69
See Rewind above for more on this coming.

#24 UNLV 74, ARIZONA 72 2OT
Poor DVR’ing on my part.  The recording ended in overtime which is disappointing.

Illinois 76, #19 CLEMSON 74
Read’s Paul Schmidt’s reaction on this crazy game.

#15 OHIO STATE 77, Florida State 64
Just when I started to hate on FSU big man Solomon Alabi, he plays a really good game (21 points, 10 boards).  Not as sick as Evan Turner (25 points, 13 boards, 6 assists) is of course.

#4 KENTUCKY 68, North Carolina 66
What looked like it was going to be a UK blowout turned into a tight game when the ‘Cats went cold in the second half.  John Wall had three “wow” plays in the first few minutes of the game.  If you haven’t seen him play yet, what are you waiting for?

N.C. State 77, MARQUETTE 73
MU deserved to lose this game.  Lazar played good as Tiger lies about getting beat up by his wife.  This was the Marquette team I expected to see this season, not the one that played in the Old Spice Classic.  I am terrified for the start of Big East play.

Wake Forest 77, #16 GONZAGA 75
Fun game to watch.  Some dude named Bol Kong came up huge for the Zags as their comeback attempt fell short.

#5 DUKE 80, St. John’s 71
I can’t wait for Duke to lose in the second round of the tournament… again.

#1 Kansas 73, UCLA 61
Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk just out-worked the Bruins in this one.

OKLAHOMA 79, Arizona 62
When Nic Wise doesn’t score his first points until the six-minute mark of the first half, ‘Zona is in trouble.  On a side note, OU’s Tony Crocker no longer wears a long-sleeve t-shirt under his jersey.

#3 Villanova 95, Maryland 86
When ‘Nova is feeling it from 3, watch out.  And they are still without ultimately two of their starters (Redding and Yarou.)