Sunday, March 03, 2013

3/3 (Ryan Kelly) Quickie

I'm not a Duke fan (to say the least), but Ryan Kelly wins the weekend.

Coming off a 7-week layoff, his 36-point outburst in front of a frenzied home crowd (and floor-slapping teammates) against a Top 5 team that had previously thrashed the Blue Devils in a win that pole-positions (or "poll-positions") Duke for a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament was THE signature individual performance of the year in college basketball.

The five other college hoops stories I'm paying attention to:

*VCU. Holy moley. What the Rams did to Butler was something I never thought any team would be able to do to Butler. If you weren't at least noodling on the idea of VCU being talented enough to make a Final Four run, this is your moment to start.

*Louisville tops Syracuse at the Dome: The Orange aren't necessarily a team you consider an offensive juggernaut, but they are Top 20 in offensive efficiency. However, Louisville is No. 1 in the country in defensive efficiency, and it showed. The Cardinals have got to be on anyone's short list of bonafide Final Four contenders -- their defense is just too good, and combined with a more than "good enough" offense.

*Shabazz Muhammad didn't exactly dominate college basketball in his one-and-done year (as you might expect a No. 1 national recruit would), but 18 points in a home finale upset of a ranked conference foe isn't a bad finish.

*Otto Porter Watch: 28 and 8 in a G'town win over Rutgers for the should-be/could-be/would-be national player of the year.

*Gonzaga will probably be No. 1, but Saturday's 29-point thrashing of lowly Portland is a good reminder that the Zags play a creampuff schedule. Don't get me wrong: Gonzaga is a very very good team -- I will have no problem penciling them through to the Final Four. But there are a dozen teams that could go 16-0 in the WCC in any given year and many multiples that could put up gaudy win totals playing in that conference.

Watching today: Michigan St-Michigan at 4 on CBS, plus ducking in on the NBA afternoon double-header (Heat-Knicks, Thunder-Clippers) on ABC.

-- D.S.

No comments: