Various College Hoops Thoughts 12/17

Okay, last night was a snoozer in the college basketball world. In fact, the most interesting game was probably the one played between Holy Cross and Canisius. Looking at things on the bright side, it’s mid-December! Not only is Christmas approaching, so is conference play. And there are also some games worth your attention coming up this week! Here are some scattered thoughts both on those games and whatever else college basketbally is on my mind:

Tom Izzo's Spartans did not play well on Saturday against Oakland.

Tom Izzo’s Spartans did not play well on Saturday against Oakland.

  • Florida-Memphis is the most eye popping matchup on the slate tonight, as it pits a couple of top 20 teams. I’m also excited about the game between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Pitt has been downright dominant this year, soaring to a 10-o record…but, with apologies to Penn State and Stanford, the Panthers have yet to play any teams that are all that good. The Bearcats aren’t great either (they’ve been held to just 101 points in their last two games), but a win over Cincinnati would help to validate Pitt’s outstanding record.
  • Another game to keep an eye on tonight is the one between Michigan State and North Florida. The fifth-ranked Spartans should blow the Ospreys (what on earth is an osprey??) out. Then again, they should have blown out Oakland and this happened. MSU hasn’t played well in either of their last two games, so a big win would be a positive sign. (On another note, check out Oakland’s non-conference schedule!)
  • Wednesday will also feature some pretty good games, including a matchup of UMass and Ohio and what should be a slug fest between UNC and a much-improved Texas team.
  • Now for an admission: it seems that here at College Sports Town we might have underrated Princeton coming into the season. Yup, we expected a slight down year from the super-consistent Tigers. But apparently the loss of Ian Hummer wasn’t as big we thought, because Mitch Henderson’s team has come out of the gate playing better ball than they were at the end of last year. The Tigers are 8-1 with the one loss coming in narrow fashion against Butler. Princeton looks poised to be a serious player in the Ivy League race.
  • Another group of Tigers–the 10-0 Missouri Tigers–are also off to a great start to the season. Frank Haith deserves a ton of credit; after an up-and-down tenure at Miami, he’s done a simply fantastic job in Columbia. The Tigers are 63-16 under Haith. They’ve been uber-efficient offensively this year and should continue to win.
  • For my last thought, I propose a question: with wins over New Mexico (in blowout fashion) and Duke, shouldn’t Kansas be ranked higher than 18th?
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