Saturday, February 05, 2011

Welcome to Bracketville---Four Days Until UNC at Duke Edition

Ohio State shoots 69.8% from the foul line ranking 146th nationally. They are ranked 331st in the country in percentage of minutes that come from their bench.

Wisconsin is averaging only 7.8 turnovers per game. That’s easily the fewest in the nation, with Northern Iowa next at 10.1. The last team to average fewer turnovers in a season was Temple in 2006 (7.7).

During January, Texas held six of their opponents to their season-lows in points-per-possession. Texas has zero games remaining against ranked teams.

Kansas has just one February game versus a ranked opponent…then two in March (Texas A&M and Missouri).

San Diego State ranks 322nd in free-throw rate and 242nd in free-throw percentage.

In mid-January, Georgia Tech beat Wake Forest 74-39. Had Tech gone scoreless in the second half, they would still have won by five.

It has been three years since Duke lost back-to-back games to unranked opponents.

In the Big Ten, only Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin have fewer than seven losses. Penn State and Michigan State have identical conference records (5-5).

As young as he looks, it is difficult to believe that Florida’s Billy Donovan is the longest tenured coach in the SEC.

Like many fans, I bought in big time to Florida’s potential as they returned all five starters from last season. Now it looks to my eye like they are all role players without a take-charge star. I think Chandler Parsons could be that player, but he seems to turn down a great many wide-open looks.

Raise your hand and go to the head of the class if you had the Northwestern over Illinois and Oregon over Washington quiniela on Saturday.

I think Jordan Hamilton of Texas has to be in the discussion for Player of the Year.

UConn’s Kemba Walker is 17 of 56 (30%) from the field, and 6 of 21 (29%) from 3-point range in his last three games.

With Larry Drew II leaving UNC, it appears sophomore Dexter Strickland will become the backup point guard---41 assists and 30 turnovers in an average of 25 minutes per game.

The eyeball test is often as good a way to evaluate a team as a boatload of stats. Watching the games, there are a handful of teams whose play on the court looks as smooth, proficient and efficient as their pregame layup drills. UConn and Stanford on the women’s side have that quality---sometime the Notre Dame girls display it as well. Kansas is the closest to that standard to my eye on the men’s side…Pitt is close behind, and Ohio State often exhibits that talent. Not having seen them, I have a feeling BYU might demonstrate that same fluid game action.

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