College Basketball on Sling: Kentucky Still on Top, Indiana Tumbles, UNC Keeps Pace

Nov 28, 2016 by Sling Staff


#1 Kentucky (6-0) vs Arizona State
7pm ET on ESPN2

The Kentucky Wildcats continued to roll last week with two more victories, 101-70 over Cleveland State, and 111-76 over Tennessee-Martin, as they have yet to win a game by fewer than 21 points thus far. Freshman Malik Monk is leading the team in scoring with 18.7 ppg, along with 2.8 rpg and 2.5 apg, while fellow frosh De’Aaron Fox leads the team in assists with 7.2 apg, while scoring 15.5 ppg, and pulling down 4.8 rpg. Catch these ‘Cats while you can, ‘cuz they won’t be around long.

Second-year head coach Bobby Hurley has the Arizona State Sun Devils off to a 4-2 start following Wednesday’s 127-110 win over Citadel, in which ASU had four guys score 20+, led by freshman Sam Cunliffe’s 23-10-5, while 6-foot-8 senior forward Obinna Oleka kicked in 20-15. But it’s junior Tra Holder who leads the team in scoring thus far, with 18 ppg.

Minnesota (6-0) vs Florida State (5-1)
7pm ET on ESPNU

Boise State (3-2) vs #23 Oregon (4-2)
11pm ET on Pac-12 Network


North Dakota State (5-2) vs #7 Xavier (6-0)
6:30pm ET on FS1

#22 Syracuse (4-1) vs #17 Wisconsin (5-2)
7:30pm ET on ESPN

Long Beach State (1-7) vs #4 Kansas (5-1)
8pm ET on ESPN3

#21 Rhode Island (5-1) vs Valparaiso (6-1)
8pm ET on ESPN3

Buffalo (4-2) vs #10 Creighton (6-0)
8:30pm ET on FS1

Michigan State (4-3) vs #5 Duke (6-1)
9:30pm ET on ESPN

After opening the season with losses to then #10 Arizona and then #2 Kentucky, the Michigan State Spartans have gotten it together, winning 4 of 5, including Friday’s 77-72 defeat of Wichita State behind Miles Bridges’ 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting, and Lourawls Nairn Jr’s 12 assists and 5 rebounds (and zero points on 0-of-2 shooting). When your first name is “Lourawls,” one wonders why you even need a name like “Tum Tum.”

The Duke Blue Devils started out as the pre-season #1, but fell to then #7 Kansas on November 15. Since then, however, they’ve won 4 in a row, most recently trouncing Appalachian State 93-58, with all five starters scoring in double figures. Duke’s start has been impressive considering all the injuries they’ve suffered, and Tuesday will be no different, as they’ll take the court without freshmen Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, and Harry Giles, none of whom have been able to play a single minute so far. Luckily, sophomore Luke Kennard has been healthy enough to lead the team in scoring at 17.1 ppg, while also grabbing 6.7 rpg and dishing 3.7 apg.


#15 Purdue (5-1) vs #14 Louisville (5-1)
7:15pm ET on ESPN

Virginia Tech (5-1) vs Michigan (5-1)
7:15pm ET on ESPN2

Texas Southern (4-2) vs #16 Arizona (5-1)
9pm ET on Pac-12 Network

#3 North Carolina (7-0) vs #13 Indiana (4-1)
9:15pm ET on ESPN

While not as flashy as Kentucky, the North Carolina Tar Heels have been just as devastating, defeating opponents by 27.3 ppg this season, beating everyone by at least 15. Last Wednesday was then #16 Wisconsin’s turn, as the Badgers fell 71-56, with UNC holding them to 38.2% from the floor. Joel Berry II led the Heels with 22 points, and Kennedy Meeks chipped in with 15 points and 16 rebounds – Berry leads the team in scoring at 17.1 ppg, while Meeks leads in rebounds with 10.7. On the year, North Carolina is outshooting opponents 52% to 37% while also out-rebounding them by 17 a game.

Indiana leapt to #3 in the polls after kicking off the season with a 103-99 OT win against then #3 Kansas, but the Hoosiers came crashing back to Earth last week with a 71-68 los against the IPFW Mastodons, a school that’s only been D-I for 15 years and last season fell in the first round of the NIT. Both teams shot poorly, but IPFW controlled the boards 38-28, and made just 8 turnovers to Indiana’s 15. The Hoosiers bounced back against Mississippi Valley State, 85-52, but one has to wonder what their true talent level is.

Ohio State (6-0) vs #6 Virginia (6-0) 9:15pm ET on ESPN2

UC Riverside (1-3) vs #11 UCLA (7-0)
11pm ET on Pac-12 Network


Mississippi Valley State (0-8) vs #8 Gonzaga (6-0)
9pm ET on ESPN3

Cincinnati (5-1) vs #19 Iowa State (5-1)
9pm ET on ESPN


SIU Edwardsville (3-3) vs #13 Indiana (4-1)
7pm ET on ESPN3

Alabama (3-2) vs Texas (3-2)
9:30pm ET on ESPNU


#25 West Virginia (4-1) vs #6 Virginia (6-0)

Morehead State (2-3) vs #15 Purdue (5-1)
2pm ET on ESPN3

Stanford (6-1) vs #4 Kansas (5-1)
3:30pm ET on ESPN

#7 Xavier (6-0) vs #9 Baylor (6-0)
3:30pm ET on ESPN2

#8 Gonzaga (6-0) vs #16 Arizona (5-1)
5:30pm ET on ESPN

The Gonzaga Bulldogs won their first 4 games by an average of 25.75, but have won their last 2 by a grand total of 7, edging past Florida 77-72, and then just holding off then #21 Iowa State on Sunday, 73-71. The ‘Zags led by 18 early in the second half, but nearly let it slip away when Iowa State went on a 15-0 run, and got to within one point before missing their last 5 shots in a row. Gonzaga rained 3’s all day, hitting 13 of 25, led by Nigel Williams-Goss’ 18 points scored on 6-of-8 shooting from downtown. Williams-Goss leads the team with 12.8 ppg, and is one of five starters scoring in double digits.

The Arizona Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season last Friday, falling 69-65 to Butler on a night when they were ice cold from 3, hitting just 3 of 11. The ‘Cats suffered a big blow when Lauri Markkanen fouled out with 3:10 to play, though they led by 2 with 1:38 to play, but went 0-for-2 from the floor and 0-for-2 from the line the rest of the way, as Butler slowly pulled away. Markkanen, a seven-foot Finnish freshman, has been a beast so far, leading the ‘Cats in points, 18.2 ppg, and rebounds, 7.8 rpg, and he’ the team’s best shooter, both from the floor and the line.

Maine (2-4) vs #5 Duke (6-1)
5:30pm ET on ESPN2

Savannah State (2-5) vs #23 Oregon (4-2)
6pm ET on Pac-12 Network

Akron (5-1) vs #10 Creighton (6-0)
8pm ET on FS2


Southeast Missouri State (3-2) vs #13 Indiana (4-1)
4pm ET on ESPN2

Watch college basketball on ESPN and ESPN2 by to Sling Orange, on ESPNU and ESPN3 by subscribing to Sling Orange + Sports Extra, on Pac-12 Network by subscribing to Sling + Sports Extra, and on FS1 or FS2 by subscribing to Sling Blue.

All stats courtesy ESPN and Basketball Reference.

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