Thursday, November 30, 2006

UNC beats Ohio State:
Who's College Hoops' No. 1?

Who's No. 1 in college hoops?

Ohio State lost at UNC last night in the most high-profile game of the new season. And after watching it, I'm convinced that the No. 1 team in the country is...

Ohio State. (Yes, even though they lost.)

Consider this one factor: Ohio State was playing without Greg Oden, who is not only their best player but who is also the most talented player in the country (if you believe players who are a lock to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft -- for three straight years -- qualifies one as "most talented.") Presumably, Oden, who was sitting on the bench, just got hungrier.

If the Buckeyes can keep up with full-strength UNC -- in Chapel Hill and without their own best player who doubles as potentially the most dominating player in the country -- I'd say that if the Top 25 is supposed to reflect previous performance plus future potential, the Buckeyes have a serious claim as the team to beat.

(Combine this game with the one that OSU will play in late December at Florida -- again without Oden -- and we'll have a great idea of the baseline that OSU is at compared to the elite teams before they add Oden into the mix.)

The game last night said more about the jaw-dropping potential for this Ohio State team next March than it did about UNC. In a rematch in the Final Four next spring on a neutral court with Oden at full strength, would anyone really want to pick against OSU?

More Quickie-style stuff coming later this morning...

-- D.S.

20 comments:

CMFost said...

Speaking of College Basketball let give some props to Jared Dudley of BC who 30 points and 10 Rebound pretty much carried BC to the win over Michigan State

Gary said...

Ok, thinking about that game I realize that Tyler Hansborogh(sp?) is one of my favorite players in college hoops. He reminds me of Kenyon Martin with his violent dunks and the way he plays with emotion on his sleeve.

I did the opposite cop-out on that. I could have easily comapred Hansborogh(sp?) to a random white power forward in the league (Troy Murphy?) but I really belive he most compares to Martin (sans the broken legs).

On that note however, is what Michael Irvin said the other day about an athletic white player having some black ancestry any worse than almost EVERY sports media member saying that white players are "scrappy, gritty, smart, tough, hard-working, etc" ?

I say no, at least with Irvin he was obviously joking and making (a poor attempt) at a compliment.

What the writers are saying is inherently racist in the fact that if only white players are considred scrappy and hard working it conversely means black players are lazy, don't have to work as hard and aren't as smart.

I think that's more damaging to the American sports scene than any (poor) joke about an athletic white player.

rafael said...

I was very surprised by how well Ohio State played. The score ended up reflecting the double-digit loss I expected, but it was a much closer game than the score indicated. Heck, OSU did dominate the first half.

I think the downfall for OSU last night came down to two things (1) Hansborough finally getting some room inside (as did #34..I dont know his name) and (2) OSU's younger players kept going for the flashier, far more difficult shot as opposed to a jump shot or passing to an open teammate. That did a lot to slow down their offense in the 2nd half.

Still, great game. Will Oden make a huge difference? I think so. Either way, it'll be fun to watch.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Live the by the 3...die by the 3...(please see OSU's 18 point loss to G'Town in last year's NCAA)

Also...Oden looks like he is 40 years old. Him, Lebron, and Freddy Adu...I want to meet all 3 of them and ask them what the 70's were like.

Anonymous said...

Wow the Shanoff jinx is in full force for Florida this year. Shanoff is convinced that Florida can repeat as champs, because they return all the starters and role players.

NOW players are coming down with mononucleosis. I've had mono before and you can't have any physical contact for 3 months because of the potential damage to your liver and spleen, and you're severely fatigued in the following months afterward.

Anyone on Florida getting mono now will be medically cleared to come back in March, however they won't have the energy to fully compete.

brett said...

I think Dicky V forgot to remind us that OSU was without Greg Oden...

rafael said...

Thankfully, I watched the game at a bar with the volume turned off. That made it tons of fun.

Boyaca said...

Oden is unquestionably a great player. But you can't just drop him in and expect it to work right away. He could turn out to be CBB's equivalent of T.O. He could tear an ACL the first game. He could cause his teammates to try to give him the ball too often or stand around watching.

I want to see him play, and want to see Ohio State make a great run with him. But ranking Ohio State first based on the potential of the team with Oden is the same problem we see with CFB preseason rankings.

Anonymous said...

"On that note however, is what Michael Irvin said the other day about an athletic white player having some black ancestry any worse than almost EVERY sports media member saying that white players are "scrappy, gritty, smart, tough, hard-working, etc" ? "

That's the same thing! They're saying black players are gifted and white players have to work harder to have the same success!!!

Everyone conveniently forgets that ESPN crucifies people like John Rocker and Kerry Collins, who don't get paid to talk, and lets millionaire co-host Michael Irvin off the hook completely, going so far as to use their liberal mouthpieces (Dan and Keith) to absolve him of blame.

How can ESPN say they have an ombudsman if they're actively covering things up, instead of reporting them? Isn't it obvious that the ombudsman must be crooked, too?

If Irvin had been white, Dan and Keith would have grilled him for 20 minutes about his racist views and it would be splattered all over the front page of ESPN like the world was ending, and roughly 1,200 black athletes would have commented about how racism still exists.

So where's Dungy's outrage? How is one form of racist comments ok, but not another?

This proves how hypocritical ESPN really is. They're all about the $. If black racism is ok, and white racism isn't, that's racism. They have lost all credibility in my eyes.

Drunken Loo said...

I think that Butler should be #1 since they beat the Zags who beat UNC who beat Ohio State. If you add up all the winning margins (around 25-30 points), Butler would ruin OSU since even Greg Oden can't make up that much of a difference.

rafael said...

@ solomonrex

liberal mouthpieces?


lol Isn't it the conservative mouthpieces who don't believe racism exists?

Just messin'.

Since Pete Rose, Charlie Hustle, and probably earlier...the image of the white athlete as being the scrappy, hard-worker has been ingrained in folk. It is stereotyping..is it racism? Dunno. Tehre are scrappy, hard working black players and there are fluid, talented white players. But those guys don't bring headlines.

Is it racism that you focus your anger and vitriol against Irvin...not against the Dickie V's that comment on 'scrappy white players' like Dan mentioned? :)

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Man, it would have been pretty clever if anybody had thought to put OSU at #1 preseason. Too bad nobody had the foresight.

Darth Bubbster said...

Of COURSE OSU should be #1!! Because you choose teams on how good you think they're going to be... good grief.

Of course, UNC won't improve over the course of the year either, I'm sure.

GuyInTheCorner said...

I have to say I was very excited for the possibility that Greg Oden would be the first freshman in history to be a pre-season All-American, but clearly after the wrist injury that wasn't going to happen.

I watched Oden in High School and anyone who thinks that he won't be as good as they say is a moron (read: one of those people who said LeBron wouldn't live up to the hype).

OSU showed me that they are a real team without Oden which, to be honest, scares the livin' crap out of me. I thought they wouldn't be good till Oden showed up. The prospect of the outside shooting we saw last night from OSU combining with the dominating presence of Oden on the inside is staggering.

On a very important note: Dicky V said at one point during this game "I haven't seen This much talent on a college basketball court in a long time!" He might have said "baby", but I'm not sure. He didn't bother to explain why.

The answer is simple: They should be in the NBA. Seriously, I've seen a bunch of college games so far and there are so many guys that would have been drafted. But because of the NBA's stupid rule, we have to watch them play against inferior competition for at least a year.

People who say that LeBron would have been a great college player, but not the best ever, should watch this season. Imagine if the other High Schoolers had gone NBA that season but LeBron went to college (even scarier he was commited to AKRON). You remember LeBron's rookie year? Apply that to college competition.

Sean (Pittsburgh) said...

How did I know I'd wake up this morning after an impressive Carolina comeback only to hear Shanny find issue with the win. Get off Carolina's back. They won against the team that was put on the court. Don't tell me about potential. Every team has potential. I would have expected this if Florida had lost to Caroline (due to his affiliation)...but OSU? C'mon man! Give credit where credit is due!!!

Jon said...

UCLA should be #1 and will probably win it all since they no longer have Dan's favorite player (Farmar). Ohio State did look really good last night and with Oden in the line up they probably would have won that game. I thought they were a little overrated, but they proved that was untrue.

Side note on Dudley. The guy needs to come down with all of the anger on the court. It's old. Everyone knows you're good, so calm down a little.

Anonymous said...

I'm a UNC grad and huge fan. So, I admit I am a bit biased. Greg Oden should have a significant impact on Ohio State's future success. However, to assume that Carolina will be the same team come March is absurd. Right now, UNC has a lot of work to do on defense. Also, yesterday was the first time they've had much perimeter shooting whatsoever. Roy will get all the kinks worked out by tourney time.

Ohio State's downfall last night was having a very shallow bench and a few too many early fouls. UNC ate up the zone defense in the second half. Even with Oden, Ohio State, or anyone for that matter, will not be as deep talent-wise as Carolina. But, as we all know, pure talent doesn't win national championships.

Irvin's comments are not comparable to an announcer calling white players "scrappy." If the announcer called a black player "scrappy" and continued to joke around about his having white ancestry. Then, it would be comparable and much, much worse. I'm very disappointed with the direction ESPN has taken. There's just too much of a monopoly situation in the media.

Kevin said...

Using potential as a basis for the rankings is exactly what gets this system screwed up. Not so much in college hoops, but in football.

Writers use the rankings to partly measure potential (or, in the case of the preseason, to completely measure potential). Then, the writers base each week's rankings off the last week's - meaning that the potential is still a factor. Then, at the end of the year, the rankings determine - not reflect, determine - how well a team fared over the season.

To summarize, a pretty important factor in a team's end-of-season ranking (which determines how well their season went) is what the voters thought their potential was during the preseason...which the team can't control. Summarized that way, it seems ludicrous, but it's the system we have.

Stooncer said...

UCLA has managed to soundly beat ranked opponents Kentucky and GT, while Florida and OSU, each facing a ranked opponent only ONCE so far this season, have failed to win that one opportunity.

Result: Without question, UCLA is number one until the other programs can get their act together before March. I'd even rank Butler ahead of OSU and Florida, for now.

Anonymous said...

Come on Shanoff, I thought you were a Gator? And if you are, what makes you think they won't repeat??

They played like crap against Kansas throughout the first half.. and still almost won, in what was essentially a home game for Kansas.

Gators are still the champs until someone unseats them..

GO GATORS