Monday, November 13, 2006

First Weekend Thoughts

Most of the top teams opened up this weekend. Finally we get to see some of the new freshmen and some of the new tournament-level teams. So, some thoughts:

Virginia 93, #10 Arizona 90
You had to know I was going to brag about the opening night performance of my cinderella team. This was clearly a game that Virginia won - not a game that Arizona lost. This good Cavaliers team will be tough for anyone in the ACC this year. Meanwhile, no reason for Arizona to panic. They put up a ton of points, which is what you'd expect from that high-flying, athletic team. They got beat by a good team on the opening night of a new arena. Not the end of the world. Expect for the Wildcats to drop out of the top 15 in the next polls, but I still see them as a 2/3 seed by the time March comes around.

#11 Duke 86, Columbia 43

Yes, the Dukies didn't exactly beat the Tar Heels on opening night. But it wasn't that they won by 43, but how they did it. They got large contributions from their new freshmen. It's not a shock to anyone that Duke brought in some excellent freshmen, but it's one thing to expect it and another to see it. The majority of Duke's points came from freshmen, including 18 from 7-footer Brian Zoubek. Oh, and they still have Nelson, Paulus & McRoberts. Duke isn't giving up the ACC without a fight.

#18 UConn 53, Quinnipiac 46
Yep. Not much else you can say about the bland opening-night performance of the Huskies. They have a lot of talent to replace, and leading the Bobcats by 1 with less than 2:30 to go in the game isn't going to instill much confidence in the Huskies faithful. Of course, you should never take too much out of an early-November game.

#19 Texas 92, Chicago St 56

The score isn't as important as the performance by Kevin Durant. Yes, it was Chicago St, but 21 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks is a heck of a 2nd game for any freshman against anyone. He's already a solid candidate for freshman of the year. He's a serious talent.

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