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With the exception of Connecticut vs. No. 4 Duke (Thursday) and No. 2 Arizona at UTEP (Friday), it’s a fairly slow week for clashes involving the Power 16 squads.
Things will accelerate on Saturday, though, when top-ranked Kentucky faces UCLA and No. 11 Ohio State takes on North Carolina in a double-dip – televised by CBS – in Chicago.
And, in another Saturday doubleheader (this one in Las Vegas), No. 13 Washington takes on Oklahoma and Utah – with only narrow losses at Kansas and San Diego State – faces UNLV.
The most successful franchises in the NBA usually share quite a few similarities, great coaching, a focused direction, a superstar or a two, and a great fan base. But perhaps the defining characteristics that separates success from dominance, is the rare franchise that can maintain success by optimizing their draft selections despite consistently low draft picks.
Since 1977 Leo Papile has coached some of Boston’s best amateur talent; including the likes of Patrick Ewing, Rumeal Robinson, Michael Carter Williams and Nerlens Noel. Papile’s legendary BABC (Boston Area Basketball Club) program has won 17 National Championships, becoming a consistent winner on the Nike EYBL circuit and over the summer claimed runner up at the AAU Super Showcase.
Last week’s action solidified the top four in this week’s Power 16, even as the Wildcats from Kentucky and Arizona almost proverbially bit off more than they could chew by way of visiting from Texas and Gonzaga.
Atlantic Coast Conference teams Duke (then-No. 2 Wisconsin) and Virginia (Maryland VCU) filled out the top four by moving up a couple of slots apiece with matter-of-fact victories on the road.
The rookie class of 2014 has just about hit the quarter mark in their inaugural campaign, and for most of these nubile NBAers a semblance of what the rest of their season and beyond has started to become foreseeable. While many rookies have begun to author the story of their NBA careers, here's a look at what the seasons have started to look like for this heralded rookie class' lottery selections; and a few other notes about this impressive group of rookies.
The Thanksgiving tournaments are over, but we're just getting into the meat of the college season. The always exciting ACC-Big Ten Challenge takes place this week, featuring a number of savory tilts. With December upon us, and three weeks of games in the books, here are some players who are showing out, and some that would probably like to start the season over.
DAngelo Russell 6-5 180 PG Ohio St. Fr.
This week’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge should do a lot to shake up the next Power 16 ratings.
Try these matchups on for size:
Tuesday: No. 10 Ohio State at No. 8 Louisville; Unbeaten (and “on the cusp”) Illinois at No. 12 Miami.
Wednesday: No. 6 Duke at No. 2 Wisconsin; and No. 7 Virginia at No. 14 Maryland.
Another couple of whoppers this week: No. 4 Texas at No. 1 Kentucky on Friday, and No. 5 Gonzaga at No 3 Arizona on Saturday.
The top of this year's draft is beginning to shape up similar to last year's, with a big three having emerged on our Top 100 Big Board and then a major drop off. Many in the media have anointed Jahlil Okafor as the certain top overall pick. He's obviously a very polished and safe pick who will excel as a low post scorer, and if the draft were held today that might be the case.
Does the Atlantic Coast Conference possess the strongest collective group of teams in college basketball this season?
That can’t be answered, definitively, until March.
But, after the first 10 days of the 2014-15 season, there are five teams from the conference – North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, Louisville and Miami – in the first Power 16 ratings.
We all know how dominant the SEC is in football. Just turn on ESPN at any point during the college football season and every analyst on every show just gushes about the "dominance" that the conference has on the rest of the world. But, what most people miss is how consistent the SEC is in terms of basketball, at least when it comes to the teams at the top. The SEC has had a Final Four participant in 5 of the last 9 seasons, including 2 last year. They have won three National Championships during that same span, something that no other conference has done.