Thursday, November 29, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---ACC/Big Ten Challenge Edition

Jeff Withey of Kansas has developed into one of the best two-way centers in college basketball. His triple-double against San Jose State was 16/12 and 12 blocks…and he can pass the ball extremely well.
The last player to reach a triple-double with blocks as a category was Kenny Gabriel, who did it for Auburn on 1/12/12.
Surprise: Illinois, Colorado! Maybe Oregon.
Dan Dakich may not the worst announcer on ESPN, but he is certainly the most tedious. He could wear the balls off a pool table.
When ESPN puts both Seth Greenberg and Bruce Pearl in the same half-time report, I have the move to an undisclosed location.
ACC/Big Ten Challenge Observations. The Challenge ended in a 6-6 tie.
UNC was in the game early, but Indiana outscored them 32-8 in the first four minutes of the second half---ouch!
NC State lacks depth and gets many too many fouls. Over rated.
FSU surprised me, but I should have expected it. They seem to always start slowly. Minnesota was impressive.
Nebraska! Nebraska scored on 19 of their first 23 second-half possessions against Wake Forest.
Cody Zeller is very, very good. Hope Indiana gets lotsa TV time this season---he’s fun to watch.
Undermanned UVA’s win in the Kohl Center Vs Wisconsin was a stunner. Wisconsin is nearly immaculate at home, but Virginia was stubborn and played relentless defense. UVA won the battle of the boards, 36-18. Wow! Wisconsin got to the line just four times. Double wow!
Miami’s eight-point victory over Michigan State was a joy to watch…especially the return of Durand Scott. The Canes outscored Sparty by ten points from the line. Miami is quick, and has the best looking cheerleaders in the ACC.
Georgia Tech’s 13-point loss to Illinois could have turned around were it not for their 17 turnovers.
Duke’s come-from-behind win over #4 Ohio State was a tale of two games. Duke, down eight at the half (and it could have been worse), was within shouting distance---but, was outplayed in every aspect of the game. Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon scored all of his 17 points in the second half. Mason Plumlee was 21/17, and Ryan Kelly’s and Quinn Cook’s defensive effort on the two OSU All-American candidates was amazing. Cook had eight assists, two steals and just three turnovers---and never left the floor. OSU’s Aaron Craft had one assist and three turnovers. While OSU’s Thomas totaled 16 points, it took him 14 shots to get them. Ohio State took 17 more shots than Duke. Duke’s bench contributed just four points. Ouch!
With Duke’s win over Ohio State, that makes back-to-back victories over Top-5 teams. It's been 11 years since a team won two straight games against teams ranked in the top five. That team was Ball State.
Not so fast: The Duke women won their game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge by 17 points. That margin includes a 15-1 run by Michigan. The ACC leads 5-3, with four games to play.
One more thing: All the elite teams, without exception, are beatable. Not just beatable — they will be beat. They will all lose games they shouldn't lose, and we'll go into March with no real idea about who might win. Wide open doesn't just mean we lack a prohibitive favorite; it means we're in for five months of uncertainty. How can you not love that?

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