Daily Dribble: 1/10
Obviously a huge win for Wisconsin last night. Especially doing it on a night when Alando Tucker wasn't dominating on offense. Sure, he had 18 points and some big plays, but he was 1-6 from the line and often deferred to his teammates. But.. lets not get ahead of ourselves here and simply anoint Wisconsin as the Big Ten champs (though I do think they will win the conference), and claim that Ohio State is simply done..
As good as Wisconsin has been, and I think if the season ended today Tucker would be the Player of the Year, they've only won 2 road games all year.. Yes, they've beaten two top 10's in Ohio State and Pitt, but again, they're just 3-1 on the road. If Wisconsin played at Florida and UNC like OSU has.. then there's a very good chance they'd have 3 losses as well. When Missouri State beat Wisconsin on a neutral court.. no one suddenly anointed the Bears as the favorite to win the MVC, let alone deserve to be in the Top 10. I say this often, good teams are supposed to win at home. If Wisconsin went into Columbus and smacked around OSU then I'd be singing the Badgers praises all week long. But, at CHN anyways, we had Wisconsin #4 in the preseason and the favorites to win the Big Ten.. so this is a game they are supposed to win. On the flip side, lets not discount OSU as simply being an overrated bunch of jokers. I can safely say that out of all 336 teams in college basketball, at least 320 of them would come away 0-3 in games at Florida, UNC, and Wisconsin. Maybe 15 more would win 1 of those 3 on a good day, and maybe 1 lone team would win 2 of those 3. The Buckeyes have a lot of work simply figuring out how to utilize all their tools.. but this team will be fine..
Arkansas did a nice job keeping it close against #2 Florida. Gary Ervin had a nice game dishing out 9 assists and pulling in 5 boards. He's been pretty money in their two conference games, averaging 14.5 ppg, 10 apg, and 5.5 rpg against UF and Alabama. The highlight of the game though was Al Horford's monster jam over Steven Hill. Horford's a better NBA talent than most give him credit for. I think one problem for the Florida guys is that a) Billy does a great job keeping those guys fresh by limiting their minutes, and b) they have so much talent that the ball gets spread around. Thus you look at Horford and he's averaging just 12 and 8, Noah's at 12 and 8, and Brewer's at 13 and 5. But all 3 of these guys only play 25 mpg a game. If these guys were on lesser teams where they played 30+ minutes a game and more consistently were the focal point of the offense, each could averaged around 20 ppg.
Good win for Notre Dame over a hot West Virginia team. The Mountaineers were down just about the entire 40 minutes, but made it close at the end and had a chance to tie at the buzzer. Frank Young pulled down a board off a missed ft with 5 seconds to go and pushed the ball up, but never got a shot off. Still, despite the fact the #22 team in the country lost this game, I think they did better than I expected. WVU's just one of many Big East teams thats padded their record with weak home wins. With the huge disparity in how teams schedule these days, overall records are almost meaningless. WVU's 13-2 record looks sweet.. but they're just 2-2 against teams in the Top 100. This is mediocrity folks.. they had no business being ranked in the Top 25 this week. Other teams at 2-2 against the Top 100: UCSB, SMU, Fresno St. Fresno is 13-2 overall as well, and 3-1 away from home.. very similar to WVU's records.. but where is the big push to put the Bulldogs in the top 25?