Monday, January 07, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--Conference Play Is Underway Edition

Duke is the final unbeaten team in D1 Women’s Basketball.
I believe Kansas is best team in D1.

There were tons of exciting games this past week…none better than Notre Dame’s women edging UConn. That was electrifying from the opening tip.
By the way the best looking women in college basketball are Geno Auriema’s assistant coaches.
And, it’s a tie for best-looking cheerleaders between Florida and University of Miami.
Conventional wisdom would tell you that Duke’s series with UNC would show the most meeting in the ACC. Turns out Carolina comes in third with 234 encounters. NC State (290 games) is first, with Wake Forest second with 237.
Wisconsin has made the NCAA tournament in each of Bo Ryan's 11 seasons thus far in Madison.
Gonzaga made 25 of 29 free throw attempts and shot 56 percent in the second half in their Thursday victory at Pepperdine.
Virginia’s opponents have made just 39% of their shots inside the arc. Amazing!  
UVA outscored Carolina 33-16 in the final 16 minutes last night…erased an eight-point deficit and went on to win.
UNC is a collection of role players…skilled role players, but role players, nonetheless.
Kansas State is pretty much all role players as well, but Bruce Weber has done a nifty job of putting the pieces together.
Duke really plays just seven players. Many say that’s all they need. I am not among them.
Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos has that special shooting touch that can carry a team into and in the NCAA Tournament.
With super-post-man, Mike Muscala, no team can afford to nap on Bucknell. He had 25 points and 14 boards in a two-point loss at Missouri.
Notre Dame just may be the best-kept secret in D1 basketball. The Irish lead the universe in returning minutes (88.6%)...returning scoring (88.7%)…returning rebounding (92.8%).
On the flip side, Kentucky returns the least in minutes (7.0%), scoring (6.6%) and rebounds (5.9%).
I am still mystified at Pittsburgh’s loss to Rutgers.
In their 18 point victory over Wake Forest, Duke’s first seven baskets were three-pointers…their initial two came at 9:06. All 12 of Duke’s first half baskets were assisted. Quinn Cook had seven assists in each half.
Clemson was down three points late, and had to burn three timeouts on one inbounds play…FSU still stole the ball. Ouch!
Ohio’s point guard, D.J. Cooper scored 12 and dealt out 17 assists Saturday. Oh yeah, he grabbed six rebounds as well.
NC State escaped an upset at Boston College, winning by a deuce…six NCSU players were in double figures.
Creighton’s Doug McDermott & Company scored 52 points in the second half against Indiana State. Sure do wish Creighton were on TV more.
Delaware’s Jarvis Threatt scored 19 points in a 12-point win over Old Dominion…all from the free throw line.
Gonzaga is 5-0 versus the Big 12…total margin of victory is plus-73 points. The Zags outrebounded Oklahoma State33-18.
Just three teams reside in both the RPI and KenPom Top-10…Duke, Louisville and Kansas.
Last Thursday Belmont made all 17 of their foul shots…same day Southeastern Louisiana was 15 of 15 from the line. Seventh time this season a team has been perfect from the line (minimum 15 attempts).
Watching UConn play hard for 40 minutes every time, you would never know they were not eligible for post-season play. Credit Kevin Ollie.
TV Timeout: Pitt at Georgetown and Ohio State at Purdue on Tuesday. Butler at St. Joe, Minnesota at Illinois and UNLV at New Mexico on Wednesday.
I am even more convinced that Kansas is the best team in college basketball.
Unbeatens remaining: 4.
Winless remaining: 2.
Not so fast: Notoriously slow-paced Virginia out-scored UNC 5-4 on fast break points on Sunday night.
One more thing: Through 13 games last season; Anthony Davis had 58 blocks and 29 fouls. Through 13 games this season, Kansas center Jeff Withey has 68 blocks and only 16 fouls.

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