It could be said that it isn’t really college basketball season until Harvard has blown out Boston College. The Crimson took down BC at Lavietes Pavilion yesterday evening (a game that included this little gem of a moment). The beat down, which has become somewhat of an annual tradition (the Eagles have now dropped six straight to the Crimson) was as good a way as any to start off the 2014 portion of the current college basketball season. It is at this point that conference play commences across the country. What that means: a consistent stream of hella fun matchups every night should be the norm going forward. Illinois and Indiana kicked off their Big Ten slates with an incredibly entertaining overtime battle in Champaign on New Year’s Eve and things should only get better going forward. With that, I present to you my first disorganized mess of college basketball thoughts for 2014:
- Northwestern will host the fourth ranked Wisconsin Badgers tonight in Evanston. I’m calling for an upset!! (Not really.) Road games in the Big Ten are tough. And there’s no reason Northwestern can’t win. (Aside from the fact that Northwestern is bad. And terrible offensively.) In all seriousness, the game should at the very least be low scoring–Chris Collins has dramatically improved the Wildcats’ defense in his first year at NU and Bo Ryan’s undefeated Badgers still play at a sluggish pace. Wisconsin should control the game, but don’t expect a blowout.
- Another thought on the game: according to Northwestern’s website, the game is not yet sold out. Even with the students on break, that’s still less than impressive. (Chris Collins has some work to do in turning Northwestern into Duke. Hey...it could happen.)
- Tonight’s game between Oregon and Utah is sold out and should be quite a game. The tenth ranked Ducks enter the game unscathed, but the host Utes could put an end to all the perfection around Eugene. Utah is the most efficient offensive team in the nation. The Utes shoot an outlandish 54% from the field and score 88 points per game! Sure, those numbers are boosted by a pair of games against non-Division One programs. But still! They can score, and the Ducks (who somehow score even more points per game) are not defensively dominant. That fact, coupled with Utah’s homecourt advantage have me calling for an upset here. (I’m serious this time.) Regardless of whether Oregon goes down, there should be many points scored.
- Michigan’s date with Minnesota should also be a pretty great tilt tonight. Michigan might be the best four loss team you’ll find, while Richard Pitino’s Golden Gophers have been formidable at home this year.
- At 8-6, Marquette is in a real bad place when it comes to NCAA Tournament chances. Pretty crazy when you consider the fact that the Golden Eagles have not missed the NCAAs since 2005.
- Final thought: ESPN’s College GameDay doesn’t start until January 18th. That’s a bit late right? RIGHT!?!?