Well you are probably on day six of refurbished turkey dishes at this point which means only one thing… College basketball games are finally reaching the point where wins and losses really matter.
Yes, the days of tryptophan laced hoops are giving way to the gift wrapped surprises for us to enjoy come January. The tune ups are done and the next few weeks will begin to reveal teams’ true nature and determine who the real leaders of the pack will be heading into March.
But before we jump into all of that excitement, let’s take a few minutes to recap all that was The Good, Bad and Ugly from Week Three of College Basketball.
Are the Butler Bulldogs back?
Maybe… Big wins against the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Georgetown Hoyas did a lot to get them back on track for sure. But the loss to the Oklahoma Sooners sandwiched in between still leaves a few questions on whether or not the program has returned to its Final Four form Brad Stevens built.
The reason why this guy believes Butler is back, has to do with the defense the Bulldogs are playing through just six games. Currently Butler is 14th in the nation in points allowed, giving up a strong average of 54.5 points per game so far. Case in point with UNC. The Heels are averaging 81.3 points per game and 18.2 assists per game. The Bulldogs held Carolina to 66 points on the game and 14 assists.
Head coach Brandon Miller has definitely put his stamp on this team and HIS program after just one season.
And if he can keep us this defensive minded approach, it is going to continue to be a very good season for his Bulldogs.
There was a lot of hype around the Florida State Seminoles to start the season. A lot. Even this old sports writer bought into to a line up that featured three athletic seven-footers. Yes! THREE SEVEN FOOTERS! No one in college hoops have that any more? They have to be the perfect selection as a sleeper team in the ACC! Right?
Well at 3-4 so far on the season the Noles are one of the more disappointing groups early on. Florida State has lost to the Northeastern Huskies, Providence Friars, UMass Minutemen and most recently to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Monday. Not exactly a hot bed of top-five basketball power on that list.
But what makes the Seminoles’ situation even more frustrating is the fact that with those seven-footers and all of their speed and height, they are 248th in offensive rebounds per game, 222nd in defensive rebounds per game, 241st in blocks per game and 308th in assists per game. Paltry numbers for a team whose athletic dimensions are off the charts.
Head coach Leonard Hamilton has a ton of work to do over the next few weeks with this team if he wants to keep them out of the cellar in the ACC.
Usually Thanksgiving is the red carpet time for college hoops thanks to all of the great tournaments and invitationals that are played during this week.
But that was not the case this year at all. In fact beyond the Arizona Wildcats and San Diego State Aztecs battle in Maui, they rest of the games out there offered nothing to even the most die hard of fans.
Sure, there were some cute stories and this guy got to watch his Mercer Bears a couple of late nights. But where was Kentucky? How about a better list of teams in Maui than what we had? The Michigan State Spartans played the Kansas Jayhawks when and where? Were the Duke Blue Devils in witness protection?
So have we reached the point where North Carolina and the UCLA Bruins play and no one cares? Evidently so because both played in a consolation game at like 2 p.m. (insert your if a tree fell in the woods and no one is around joke here…)
In a time where there were only a hand full of compelling rivalry college football games worth the watch, college hoops missed the chance to get some pub with the list of teams offered up to fill us during Feast Week.
On Tap This Week
The flavors of college hoops will spice up a lot this week with Kentucky getting a real test against the Texas Longhorns while the ACC/Big Ten Challenge should have some epic match ups.
Who knows. After this week’s games, the Top-25 rankings might actually have some significance!
*Section Photo credit to Grant Halverson, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Melina Vastola, USA Today Sports