Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Three Observations from Tuesday 2/19

Ben Fishman

  1. Indiana is the best team in America. The Hoosiers went to Michigan State, a place where they hadn’t won since 1991, and grabbed a huge victory. The Hoosiers now control their own destiny in the Big Ten title race, with four games remaining. Indiana controlled the tempo in this one from start to finish and when Michigan State got the fans into it and looked like they would come back and win by five or more, the Hoosiers remained calm. Michigan State hadn’t lost at home this year and Indiana is proving that they’re just as good on the road, as they are in Bloomington. They’ve dropped just one road game to Illinois and have remaining contests at Minnesota and Michigan. The Hoosiers bench might be of concern scoring wise, but the second rotation more than held its own on defense. Don’t be surprised if these two teams meet again in Chicago on March 17th.
  2. Miami is letting national pundits begin to doubt their rise to the #2 ranking in the country. In their last two games, both scary wins, the Hurricanes are averaging a dismal 49.5 points per game. They’ve won their last three games by an average of 4 points. The question now becomes, “Did we think too highly of Miami?” They beat Duke by 27 without Ryan Kelly and then hung on for wins against N.C. State, FSU, Clemson and Virginia. They’ve still got Duke on their schedule one more time and then likely again in the ACC Tournament, so we’ll see if the luck has run out on Miami. But after seeing IU-MSU II then Miami-Virginia right after it, it’s clear that Miami is not close to being in the league of a team like Indiana or Michigan State.
  3. How crazy is college basketball? Forget the classic in East Lansing, what about Missouri upsetting Florida? The Tigers came back from 13 down to upset the 5th ranked Gators. The knock on Missouri? When will the Missouri team we see in Columbia, be the Missouri team we see everywhere? They’re 1-5 on the road in the SEC, but haven’t lost at home. Something’s gotta give eventually. St. Louis picked up a huge win over VCU and suddenly the Billiken’s are 20-5. The late great Rick Majerus has gotta be loving it. And UNC is finally looking like a team that is putting it together. They won’t be a great threat in the tournament, but they’ll be in it. That’s something defending national champion Kentucky might not be able to say in three weeks.

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