#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... Read More
#4 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #14 Iowa State Cyclones (9pm ET Monday, ESPN) Despite losing two of their last four games, the Kansas Jayhawks find themselves in a four-way tie for first place in the rough and tumble Big 12 at 5-2 in conference play. They’re 16-3 overall, and currently ranked fourth in the country. Kansas beat Texas 76-67 on Saturday despite getting just 4 points from their bench, as senior forward Perry Ellis (no relation) scored 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
Iowa State is coming off a big week in which they beat lowly Texas Christian 73-60 after beating #1 Oklahoma 82-77 as Georges Niang, Monte Morris and Abdel Nader all scored at least 20. Now 15-4 overall, the Cyclones have jumped in... Read More
#1 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #13 Baylor Bears (Noon ET Saturday, ESPN) On Monday Oklahoma became the fifth #1 team to lose this season, falling 82-77 to #19 Iowa State. The teams were tied at 75 with 46 seconds to play following a 3 by Oklahoma’s Isaiah Cousins, but Iowa State pulled away, thanks to 5-for-5 shooting from the free throw line. The Sooners (15-2, 4-2 in Big 12 conference play) are led by senior guard Buddy Hield, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, who’s averaging 26.1 points per game and is among the leading candidates for this year’s Wooden Award.
Syracuse vs. #20 Duke (7pm ET Monday, ESPN) Syracuse started the season 6-1 before Jim Boeheim excused himself from head coaching duties to serve a 32-day suspension for a number of violations. In his absence, the Orangemen went 4-5; since his return on January 6, they’ve gone 2-1 to bring their record to 12-7, with Michael Gnibije leading the team with 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Tonight is a homecoming of sorts for Gnibije, who started his college career at Duke as a freshman in 2011, before transferring to Syracuse.
The reigning NCAA champion Duke Blue Devils are coming off of back-to-back losses to Clemson and Notre Dame that have dropped them to 14-4, 3-2 in the ACC, and 11 spots in the AP poll. Coach... Read More
Kentucky’s record-setting destruction of West Virginia makes it easy to forget there are other teams in the Sweet 16.
Oh, but there are other teams. Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Arizona made that clear last night, and tonight Duke—hey, remember them?—will have a chance against Utah to put its stamp on things. As will a few other talents squads.
But does even mentioning teams other than Kentucky feel like whistling past a graveyard? Here’s a warning from the Wildcats’ latest victim:
“They were what I thought they were,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said after the 78-39 blowout. “That’s the best defensive team I think that I’ve ever coached against. And when they’re making shots, there’s nobody going to beat them.”
Kentucky’s quest to go undefeated continues tonight against West Virginia, which also knocked out the Wildcats five years ago, almost to the day. Bob Huggins remembers it well.
Still, with so many people certain that Kentucky will steamroll everyone in their way, there is a lot of focus on Coach John Calipari’s future in the NBA. One report even calls him “desperate” to try again at the professional level.
There’s always a lot of talk about a lot of things and here’s a little more smack from West Virginia freshman guard Daxter Miles, Jr.: “I give them their props, salute them for getting to 36-0. But tomorrow, they’re going to be 36-1.”
To do that, the Mountaineers will rely, as usual, on the press. That’s... Read More
If only we could predict the future. That’s what creates the madness in March: we can’t. Not even a little bit, and it reminds us that we don’t really know anything for certain. (That goes for you, too, Kentucky fans – and you, too, IRS!)
Because of this, it emboldens people to make even wilder predictions. Since there’s no prediciting this stuff, anything we say could be correct.
But here are some pretty solid preditions. At least more solid than Jell-o:
• This year’s tournament isn’t over but this story makes predicitions about which eliminated teams will make the tournament again next year.
If you didn’t get them all right (and you didn’t!) there’s no reason to cry about it. Roxanne Chalifoux has cried enough for all of us, and she cried while playing the piccolo for the Villanova band as she watched her team fall to N.C. State. Those tears earned her a gig with The Roots.
There has been so much talk about Kentucky it might get a little tiresome but there is just so much to talk about. But … let’s remember that today’s games tip off with another team worth paying attention to: Notre Dame.
Maybe the Pirates—that’s Hampton, btw—will pull off the greatest upset in tournament history. That sounds crazy, but it’s not impossible. It’s just nearly impossible. Plus, Hampton coach Edward Joyner has Jesus’s phone number on speed-dial.
In addition to three games that pit Top 25 teams against each other, Sling TV has eight other games with squads on the bubble. Of the bubble teams, it’s hard not to have some sympathy for Texas.
The Longhorns end an extremely tough regular season Saturday at home against Kansas State. Nothing against the Wildcats, but after the run of talented teams Texas has faced—Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia, Kansas and Baylor—it would be hard to imagine that the Longhorns won’t be salivating at the prospect of battling a team that is far removed from the Top 25.
After four consecutive losses to teams in the top 20, Texas won in overtime Monday against No. 14 Baylor, 61-59, giving them hope that a win against Kansas State might be enough... Read More
The rivalry between Duke and UNC’s men’s basketball teams never needs an emotional boost.
However, Wednesday’s contest at Cameron Indoor Stadium between the No. 4 Blue Devils and No. 15 Carolina is shadowed by the loss of legendary Tar Heel coach Dean Smith, who passed Feb. 7.
“We have lost a man who cannot be replaced,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who wore a Carolina blue tie to Smith’s funeral. “He was one of a kind and the sport of basketball lost one of its true pillars. Dean possessed one of the greatest basketball minds, and was a magnificent teacher and tactician. While building an elite program at North Carolina, he was clearly ahead of his time in dealing with social issues. However, his greatest gift was his... Read More