Thursday, December 23, 2010

Welcome to Bracketville---Merry Christmas Edition

A long-term set of negotiations finally hit reality today as ESPN announced a four-team series to open the college basketball season each year. Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State will begin the college season each year with a doubleheader in which all four teams play. In 2011, the doubleheader will be in New York and will have Kentucky playing Kansas. In 2012, it will be in Atlanta and will have Kentucky playing Duke. And in 2013, it will be in Chicago and UK will play Michigan State.

Mike Krzyzewski has coached 198 games as #1, second only to John Wooden’s 228.

Last week the Duke men beat Bradley 83-48 and the Duke women beat Albany by the identical score. What are the odds of that happening?

Michael Beasley scored 40 or more points three times as a freshman.

San Diego State, like Old Man River, just keeps rolling along.

I still can’t believe Oakland and Illinois played seven minutes with a women’s ball.

Xavier wins ugly…but a win is a win. They shot a dreadful 32.1% and managed to top Butler. Butler failed to distinguish themselves by shooting even worse at 31.3 %. Xavier’s’ starter were worse yet, shooting 23.1%.

In a 71-63 win over New Hampshire, Army used 11 bench players…they scored a grand total of two points. Army is now 3-1 in true road games…only three teams have more true road wins.

Kansas State shooting only 54 percent from the free throw line as a team (second-to-last in all of Division I).

Raise your hand if you had UCF at 10-0 with a sweep of Florida and Miami.

In Monday night’s game versus Duke, Elon went to the free-throw line 16 times (they hit 15 for 93.8% – not bad!).

Bobby Knight, Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski are the three college coaches with the most victories. I think it’s kind of neat that the three winningest coaches in NCAA history arrived at that destination without cheating, without bogus SAT scores, without hundred-dollar-handshakes, while coaching young men who by and large are/were successful in their post-college careers.

Texas and Michigan State appear to be two teams going in opposite directions. Could the Big 12 be tougher than the Big Ten this season?

So far Wake Forest has lost to a pair of team from the Colonial League, two from the Big South, and barely survived a winless UNC-Greensboro…Wake’s easily the weakest team in the ACC.

At 6-4, Fordham has more wins this season than the past two combined when they were 5-51.

The 14-0 San Diego State Aztecs have eight victories away from their friendly confines.

I sure wouldn’t want to play Missouri come March.

In his first dozen games, UNC’s much-hyped freshman, Harrison Barnes, took five more threes than foul shots. From the free-throw line he shoots 73%---27% from three-point territory.

Kentucky can be a terrific defensive team…who knew?

Free advice to basketball analysts---talk 15% less. No one will walk away from the telecast wishing you had said more.

Maryland sophomore forward Jordan Williams is All-ACC material. So far he has a limited supporting cast. I’m betting coach Williams gets the others better before March.

At Louisville, ten players are averaging at least 11 minutes a game…against UNLV (a win), the bench outscored the starters 42 to 36.

As a general rule, I think coaches are way too inclined to slow things down with a big lead, even a medium lead---playing “not to lose.” It robs the players of the aggressiveness that built up the lead in the first place. Regardless of score and situation, no team should consider working time off the clock prior to the two-minute mark.

In Syracuse’s first 13 games, Senior Forward Rick Jackson has nine double-doubles.

Go Duke!

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