The usual suspects continue to roll. #1 UNC is 3-0 and #2 Kentucky remains perfect at 4-0. I look forward to broadcasting a great matchup between these two teams on December 3rd in Lexington for Dial Global Sports. Also, UConn, Syracuse, Duke and Louisville are rolling up victories. What else is new?
But what about the surprises? This year’s San Diego State just might be ….. San Diego State (5-1). Kawhi Leonard is gone but coach Steve Fisher continues to overachieve as his young team outhustled, outfought and outplayed a veteran Long Beach State bunch who had just come off a huge win at #9 Pittsburgh.
Speaking of Long Beach, give coach Dan Monson lots of credit for playing the Big Boys — Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina coming up soon.
Player to Watch
One of the most underrated and unknown players in the country is Jared Cunningham at Oregon State (4-1). The 6’4″ junior guard averages almost 23 points a game and is long, makes things happen and gets to the free-throw line. Trust me, he could be the Pac-12 MVP this year. As for the Beavers as a whole, they beat Texas in overtime and lost a tough one to Vandy. They are much improved, and if nothing else, they’ll be tough to beat in Corvallis.
Could it Finally Happen for the ‘Cats?
The only major conference team never to make the NCAA Tournament is Northwestern, but the Wildcats are off to a great start (4-0). They’re led by John Shurna and Drew Crawford, both of whom are averaging over 20 points per game. The ‘Cats are a veteran team who will hold their own in the Big 10 this year.
Wolverines on the Rise
Another Big Ten team on the rise is Michigan, led by Tim Hardaway, Jr.. But the Wolverines still showed they have a ways to go after losing to undefeated Duke. It was the Blue Devils 8th win in the last nine meetings between the two schools. Duke’s balance was just too much for the improving Wolverines in an 82-75 win in Maui.
- Bill Frieder
Bill Frieder is an analyst for Dial Global’s coverage of NCAA Basketball. In his weekly blog Boxed Out, Bill scours the box scores to bring you interesting stories from the world of college basketball.