If you love college basketball and you love the Patriots, there’s a great road trip waiting this weekend. If you get out to Denver early enough, Colorado, Colorado State and Denver are all playing home games. Colorado has a noon start vs. Southern Cal and Colorado State has a 4 p.m. game vs. Air Force. Less appealing but also available is Denver’s 4 p.m. tip-off vs. IUPUI.
Havoc is still alive and well at Virginia Commonwealth. Check out this steal by VCU’s Briante Weber.
Cal: Gary Washburn’s heart is warmed by his Cal Bears, who took the trip to Oregon and beat the Ducks and the Beavers. Cal fans never get too optimistic because it can turn badly quickly, but right now the Bears are 3-0 in the Pac 12.
Georgia State: The Panthers are only 10-6 overall, but they’ve won seven in a row and are 3-0 in the Sun Belt. They have two really interesting players. Ryan Harrow, who was the Georgia high school player of the year and went to NC State, then he transferred to Kentucky, where he was in the rotation. However, in the one-and-done world of Coach Cal, he was basically run off and he landed at GaState, where he’s averaging 18.6 ppg and 4.5 apg. He’s got a great running mate in R.J. Hunter, the son of the coach, who’s averaging 18.4 and is capable of some big offensive explosions. Coach Ron Hunter is a Sully’s Court favorite and he has a team that could win the Sun Belt.
UMass Lowell: The River Hawks are playing their first season in Division 1 and they lost 11 of their first 12 games (the victory was over Division 3 Mount Ida), but suddenly there is light as they’ve won two straight America East games, beating Maryland Baltimore County and Binghamton.
Northern Colorado: The Bears are alone atop the Big Sky Conference at 4-0 after beating Weber State 70-51 and Idaho State 82-75. They hold a victory over Kansas State too.
Virginia: Since losing badly at Tennessee, the Cavs have rebounded to win at Florida State and North Carolina State sandwiched around a home win over Wake to advance to 12-4 overall and 3-0 in the ACC.
New Hampshire: The Wildcats actually started the season 2-0 with a win at Duquesne (a really nice win for UNH), but it’s been all downhill since with 13 consecutive losses, including a loss to dreadful Binghamton in a game in which they shot 11 of 45 (24.4 percent).
Hawaii: Typical Rainbows. Just when I gave them some credibility, put them in the rising category, and declare them a Big West contender, they come to the Mainland and promptly lose to Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge. Mahalo
North Carolina: Coach Roy Williams has so many talented players it’s hard to envision his team playing as badly as it is. The Tar Heels have four McDonald’s All-Americans and three others players who were named the best high school player in their state. Despite that, the Tar Heels couldn’t really compete with Syracuse Saturday. The Orange are a Final Four contender, but how do you explain losses to Wake Forest and Miami. You can’t, and that’s the Heels’ three-game losing streak.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes were putting together another stellar season when they hit a speed bump this week with two losses. The first one, an overtime loss to Michigan State on the road, was understandable, but then the Bucks were out-toughed by Iowa on their home court Sunday. When the game was up for grabs, the Hawkeyes played better.
Oregon: The Ducks won their first 13 games and expectations were rising quickly. Then came a loss at Colorado (excusable) but that was followed by a lost weekend at home as they lost to Cal and Stanford on their wacky home court.
This week’s George Mason (best mid-major): Wichita State. The Wheat Shockers are 17-0 after surviving in overtime at Missouri State. An undefeated regular season is a possibility.
This week’s Final Four: Michigan State, Arizona, Oklahoma State, San Diego State. The Aztecs replace Louisville because the Cardinals have slipped. I’ve been convinced all season that Michigan State is the best team, but Arizona had an impressive win at UCLA and they’ve now won 17 straight, the best start in school history. That's making me have second thoughts.
This week’s national champion: Michigan State. For now, I’ll stick by Sparty.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell