Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

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To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'
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Mid-Season College BBall Recap Part Deux

January 30, 2009

Picking up where I left off, we start with:

14.Davidson: I'm not sure whether or not this Davidson team will do the same damage they did last March. It's probably a combination of not being able to sneak up on people anymore, playing a tough schedule, and not having Jason Richards playing point guard, leaving the team out of the Top 25. That being said, they're still 17-3, but does Stephen Curry have anymore magic for another March run? My guess would be no. He doesn't have as good of a cast around him and has to do too much in being the primary distributor and scorer. Teams know that if they shut him down or hold him in check, they'll win.

13.Gonzaga: The Zags had a big win last night against conference foe St.Mary's. They hit a little bit of a slump, but Josh Heytvelt has been great inside. They have really good offensive balance, and are once again on the rise.

12.Tennesee: Another team that started off well, and has cooled off a bit. They still can win the SEC, but they really miss Chris Lofton's outside ability. Cameron Tatum and Scotty Hopson being able to shoot outside will be a big key for the Vols in March. They're still really athletic and could give teams fits in the Dance.

11.Purdue: Another boring Big Ten team that, even though it doesn't always look pretty, they're sitting at 16-4. I'm not sold on them for later on however. The lack of a true go-to guy will hurt them.

10.Notre Dame: Luke Harangody is a player of the year candidate, but the Irish have fallen off and them some. Georgetown and Notre Dame look to be the first casualities of the brutal Big East. They seemingly play a ranked team every game. If they continue to slide, they might slide right into the NIT. Kyle McAlarney and others need to hit from outside, easing the load on the big white boy in the paint.

9.Pitt: Despite losing to Villanova Wednesday, Pitt has been great so far. They've followed the Panther template of tough grind it out D, with timely scoring to go 18-2. Keep an eye on Jermaine Dixon in the second half. He's an athletic wing who's can lock down the other teams scorers, and has been hitting some 3's. Sam Young and Dejuan Blair need one other consistent scorer to help them, so if he emerges, they could be in the Final Four.

8. Memphis: I think I had these guys a little high in the beginning. They will clean up on the weak ass CUSA schedule, so we might not know much until the tourney. They're athletic as they usually are, and Tyreke Evans has been as good as advertised. Beating Tennessee proves they might be a factor.

7. Duke: Gerald Henderson has been making the leap and then some. Coupled with Kyle Singler's work on the glass, the Blue Devils have been slightly suprising. They need to get more consistency out of Nolan Smith and Greg Paulus to avoid another early-round upset.

6.UCONN: These guys just kill people on the boards, with Jeff Adrien and Hasheen Thabeet averaging double figure boards. Getting Stanley Robinson back added another force inside. They get a big test in Louisville on Monday. I'm still a little concerned about their guard play.

5.Michigan St.: I think the Spartans are the class of the Big Ten. Kalin Lucas has become the team's best player, while they come at people with a lot of depth, as they go about 10 deep. They traditionally rebound and play D, but they can light it up outside with Lucas, and Durell Summers. They should at least make the Elite 8.

4. Texas: The Longhorns have underachieved a little bit. A.J.Abrams started out hot, but has cooled off. Daimon James seemingly takes about 5-6 bad shots a game. That being said, outside of Oklahoma, they are the next best team in the Big 12. They are athletic and can run, plus they can shoot from the outside. They have an outside shot of winning the league and getting about a 3 seed.

3.UCLA: It's looking like the Bruins run of Final Four appearances will end this year. They've underachieved and it can mostly be attributed to a lack of offensive firepower. Darren Collison hasn't played as well as was thought at the beginning of the year, and no one else has really stepped up. I look for UCLA to go out of the tourney early.

2.Louisville: I really love these guys in the frontcourt. Terrence Williams,Earl Clark,and Sanardo Samuels are probably the best frontline in the game. I really hate their guards. Edgar Sosa is not the point guard you want if you have serious title aspriations. They've been on fire, and Sosa has been playing better, but I really think this will hold them back later on.

1. UNC: The Heels started off on fire, then cooled off a little, but look to have gotten their swagger back a little. Hansborough has regressed a little, but they're still loaded and I still feel ( I might be biased) that they're still the favorite to win it all. Wayne Ellington has been playing a lot better, and they'll need him and Ty Lawson to be the best guard tandem in the country to cut the nets down.

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