A Review of the First Big Night in College Basketball
College basketball’s opening 24 hour marathon was nothing short of amazing, as expected. You had four national powerhouses battling it out in Madison Square Garden, Oregon upset on the road and plenty of other thrillers. Here’s what we learned:
Oregon is still good… and is my early pick to win the national championship.
I’m crazy right? How can I even say that a team that scored below 50 points and lost to an unranked Baylor team, looking disgusting in the process. But, they are without their best player and scorer Dillon Brooks, so that will result in the Ducks losing some questionable games early on. But, I believe it will help them tremendously for the future, because guys like Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis will be forced to take on a bigger role. So when Brooks comes back he won’t have to entirely carry the team.
When Duke gets healthy, it won’t be fair…
Kansas is one of the best teams in the country, and a Duke team, who is missing three of their starters, took them literally into the final seconds. The Blue Devils only ran six guys last night, and still had the game tied up in the final seconds. When Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden and Harry Giles come back from their respective injuries, Duke will not just be gaining depth, they will be gaining star power. When all the Blue Devils are healthy, on the court together, I have a hard time picturing someone beating them, not even Coach Cal’s Wildcats.
Talent wise, Duke and Kentucky are on a different level…
I can already picture the question “so how is Oregon your prediction to win the national championship?” The answer to that is simple, I like that all the roles on their team are filled and they have experience to go along with talent, not nearly as much talent as these two blue bloods, but they are more experienced as a team playing with each other and that is important in March. They each have their own freshmen studs (yes, with an “s” at the end), to go along with their respective experienced guards in Grayson Allen and Isaiah Briscoe. Too bad the champions classic didn’t have these two teams playing this year, or that would have been must-see TV. Hopefully we eventually see these two teams meet during the season.
This is Coach Cal’s best team in Lexington yet.
Yes, they are better than the 2012 national championship team full of lottery picks (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and others), their better than the almost undefeated “Platoon” team. And the reason why is because this team actually feels like a basketball team. De’Aaron Fox runs the show at point, Bam Adebayo and Derrick Willis hold it down in the post, Isaiah Briscoe brings leadership and his slashing ability, Malik Monk handles the outside shooting and they have even more contributors coming off the bench. This team is a real team, they aren’t just five different McDonalds All Americans with no specific position, thrown on the court together because they were all highly recruited. This is a basketball team, with different roles, and they are scary together.
The first week of college basketball has been absolutely spectacular and I don’t think we should expect anything less for the rest of the season!