I guess I need to start with the obligatory congratulations to Bob Knight for breaking the all-time wins record. ESPN has beat this story to death so I really don't have anything interesting to add. My only hope is that they won't keep televising Texas Tech games. This is a slightly above average team that has proven this week that they'd be middle of the pack in the Mountain West Conference. New Mexico was a few missed open lay ups and one or two bad JR Giddens shots away from winning today. Still, 880 wins is 880 wins so the man deserves respect.. at least for a day or so until he obnoxiously goes off on his team or the media or the refs and he loses my respect again..
Just about every conference had one team in action yesterday.. so I thought for a change that I'd run down the results conference by conference.. a little bit of fun for everyone.
America East.. Last year's tournament representative, Albany, had their 5-game winning streak snapped at Utah Valley State (discussed in yesterday's independents review). The Great Danes head into conference play with a 7-5 record, presumably the favorites along with 8-5 Vermont.
Atlantic 10.. Saint Louis picked up their 8th win in 9 home games, beating Ole Miss (the Billikens first win over a BCS team in almost 3 years.. Kansas State in January of 2004). The Bills face a poor Saint Bonaventure squad to start conference play, where they should improve to 11-3.
Today's Dribble is all about random thoughts..
Colorado and Minnesota are the lone BCS teams under .500 at this point. The Buffs are 3-6 and have even lost 4 home games already. Richard Roby (even if he was never going to be a 1st round pick) probably wishes he went pro last summer. The Gophers are 5-8, but at least have been playing decent ball of late, having won 3 of 6.
The SWAC and the MEAC don't even have one .500 team amongst their 21 members. Alabama A&M and Florida A&M are officially 5-5 and 6-6 respectively, but each of those records include 3 wins over non-D1 teams. So basically no one is close to being .500 against D1 teams in those leagues..
Saturday signaled the beginning of the Christmas break for college basketball, with everyone pretty much taking off the following three days for time with family and friends. One result from Saturday that surprised me was Kansas 84, Boston College 66. The result wasn't a surprise, but the margin was, as the Jayhawks took over from the start. But the biggest loss for the Eagles may have been the services of star forward Jared Dudley, who aggravated a lingering left foot injury in the loss. Dudley may sit out BC's next two games, Duquesne and Northeastern, in order to regain his health in time for then ACC schedule. Add this injury to those of John Oates and Akida McLain, and you have a frontcourt that's paper-thin behind Sean Williams and Shomari Spears. Also, the injury bug puts even more emphasis what I think is the key to the Eagles' success this season: the shot selection of guard Tyrese Rice.
Taking a bit of a breather during the holiday weekend.. an unfortunate time considering all the college basketball action the past few days. Too many games too write about.. so instead I decided that I'll simply make a short comment about the state of the Top 25 teams in our Top 50 Power Ranking.
1.UCLA - Deserves #1 record based on peformance.. but do they have the best chance to win it all? Probably not.. 2. UNC - Haven't played a meaningful minute of basketball in two weeks since UK.. 3. Florida - Made Ohio State look like a JV team.. 4. Arizona - Enter Pac-10 play having won 9 straight and improving by the day.. 5. Wisconsin - If they voted today, Alando Tucker would be Player of the Year..
This is a rare Saturday evening edition of the Dribble.. including all the results from a jam packed Saturday afternoon.
The big "upset" was #2 Pittsburgh falling to #7 Wisconsin. But this isn't really a big deal.. Wisconsin is supposed to beat a Pitt team playing a Top 50 team all season. Yes, Aaron Gray wasn't feeling 100% with stre throat, but I don't think that really altered the outcome of the game. Brian Butch went off for 27 points and 12 boards, the type of numbers Wisconsin fans have been waiting for since the heralded Butch signed there. Perhaps a 100% Gray could have done a better job on Butch, but Butch's numbers have more to do with a hot shooting touch and a difference of style. Alando Tucker was rock solid as always with 32 and 10.