Love sports but haven’t really gotten into college basketball this year? Well, you should. This season, in the words of legendary broadcaster Dick Vitale, is “Awesome Baby!”
Why? Parody. In a sport where the blue bloods reign supreme (Duke, Kansas, UNC, Kentucky), schools with lower-recruited talent are dominating against the perennial powers. Heart is winning over talent this year. This article will briefly spotlight the top teams to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks.
Watching Virginia play defense is like watching a boa constrictor slowly suffocate its prey, and ACC teams are lucky to leave Charlottesville scoring 45 points. In fact, the Hoos rank first among major conference teams in scoring defense, defensive efficiency and second-chance points allowed. Tony Bennett can coach.
Oklahoma has a Stephen Curry-esque point guard in Trae Young who is proving an exception to the adage of there being no “I” in team. Young leads the nation in both points (29.9) and assists per game (9.3) and the Sooners are led by a coach that has taken two different programs to the Final Four. Oklahoma has the offensive ability to compete with anyone.
If Jekyll and Hyde were able to play college basketball, they would likely be playing down in Gainesville. Florida is one of the most talented and dangerous teams in the field with the proven ingredients for postseason success: savvy, upper-classmen guards and bigs that can make it rain from deep. Florida leads the nation in games with 15 or more made 3-point field goals. However, when the deep-ball is not failing, the Gators struggle to put up 50.
Purdue, Xavier, and Cincinnati look like some of the most complete squads in the field, with incredible length and size that will be hard to stop come tournament time. Schools that are known more for their football programs (Tennessee, Texas Tech, Clemson) feature NBA-lottery talent that are set to contend for conference championships next month.
Look, there is still plenty of time to get into this year’s action. Conference tournaments are still a month away. Start watching so you can dominate your bracket in March.