Throughout Feast Week, faculty basketball will give followers a bountiful showcase of marquee video games and particular person highlights. The tournaments and key matchups comprise a powerful providing for the game.
We have already entered the fourth week of the season and gained a greater perspective on the present hierarchy. There may be nothing definitive at this level within the yr. However this week’s video games will assist us reply some questions concerning the prime groups and gamers in America as we enter December.
Questions for Feast Week
Will Cole Anthony shake his early stoop and lead North Carolina to the Battle Four Atlantis title?
It is not tough to discover a stat that solidifies the North Carolina freshman’s standing as one in every of America’s prime gamers. Proper now, he is averaging 22.Eight PPG, 8.zero RPG and 4.5 APG by 4 video games. The five-star recruit introduced his arrival with a 34-point effort in his staff’s season-opening win over Notre Dame.
Since then, nonetheless, Anthony has struggled to take care of the effectivity he demonstrated that evening, connecting on simply 34 % of his pictures contained in the arc and 30.Four % of his 3-point makes an attempt, whereas additionally committing 10 turnovers in his final three video games.
Everyone knows what the projected lottery choose can do. And his talent set is simple. However he’ll should be an efficient and constant chief to assist North Carolina depart the stacked Battle Four Atlantis subject with a championship.
To achieve the title sport, the Tar Heels will want wins over Alabama and the Michigan/Iowa State winner. Within the championship sport, Gonzaga, Oregon or Seton Corridor may await Roy Williams’ squad. It is not a straightforward path. And it is also a big check for Anthony, an amazing younger participant who can get again heading in the right direction with a string of wonderful performances on this match.
Might an underdog spoil the Maui Invitational?
A seasoned gambler would seemingly facet with Vegas and put cash on Kansas and Michigan State assembly within the finale of this yr’s Maui Jim Maui Invitational. That is the more than likely end result within the occasion. Final yr, Duke and Gonzaga met for the championship in a traditional sport. Kansas and Michigan State, which each misplaced within the Champions Traditional in New York this season, may stage a equally thrilling and significant matchup.
However the subject has a couple of sleepers who may spoil that risk. Georgia’s Anthony Edwards (19.Three PPG) may have a breakout efficiency and assist the Bulldogs pull off an upset or two. The Dayton staff they will face of their opening matchup, nonetheless, has made a ridiculous 72 % of its pictures contained in the arc, the highest mark in America proper now.
Jake Toolson is averaging 16.zero PPG for BYU, which has a win over a strong Houston staff. And Mick Cronin’s roster nonetheless has among the prime recruits that anchored Steve Alford’s closing lessons at UCLA. Might a Bruins staff that simply misplaced to Hofstra make strides in Maui? We’ll see.
The timing of this occasion means lots, too. Groups are evolving and maturing every week. A yr in the past, Auburn tussled with Duke within the semifinals of the Maui Invitational. The postgame evaluation centered on Duke’s youth and its resilience. However that wasn’t a fluke for the Tigers, as we realized when Auburn made its run to the Closing 4.
How good is Maryland?
The Terps enter this week’s Orlando Invitational as probably the most imposing assortment of expertise within the subject. They’ve grabbed practically 40 % of their missed pictures. Jalen Smith (14.Four PPG) leads a gaggle of 4 Maryland gamers who’re averaging double figures. Plus, the Terps have compelled turnovers on greater than 22 % of their opponents’ possessions.
They need to battle for the Large Ten title. However the Orlando Invitational is full of top-100 applications (USC, Temple, Davidson, Marquette) which might be nonetheless discovering their manner within the first month of the season. Maryland may run by the sector with a robust efficiency for the Large Ten. Or it may do this Maryland factor and lose a sport to an bold underdog and fall within the Prime 25 rankings. Let’s have a look at what the Terps are fabricated from.
What’s Tennessee’s ceiling?
Rick Barnes misplaced Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams, Jordan Bone and Kyle Alexander from a Tennessee squad that earned a No. 1 rating in 2018-19 and misplaced to Purdue within the Candy 16, a memorable thriller. Any staff that loses 4 gamers of that caliber (they’re all within the NBA or G League proper now) ought to take a step again. However the Vols have excelled of their first 4 video games, connecting on 41 % of their 3-pointers whereas holding opponents to a sub-42 % clip contained in the arc.
The Emerald Coast Traditional may possess probably the most top-to-bottom high quality, pound-for-pound, in Feast Week with Tennessee, Florida State, Purdue and VCU all battling in Niceville, Florida. We’ll most likely see these 4 groups within the NCAA match. Florida State has a win over Florida. Purdue has held its opponents beneath 50 factors in two straight video games, whereas VCU’s Marcus Evans has averaged 13.2 PPG and made 45.5 % of his 3-point makes an attempt for a Rams squad that beat LSU two weeks in the past.
If Tennessee emerges with the title in that subject, the Vols must be thought of as severe contenders to win the SEC title whereas Barnes, once more, would lead the early race for nationwide coach of the yr.
Is Arizona probably the most thrilling staff in America?
Arizona hasn’t had a nationwide showcase but after wins over Northern Arizona, Illinois, San Jose State, New Mexico State, South Dakota State and Lengthy Seashore State. The Wildcats’ participation on this week’s Wood Legacy may change that, regardless of the occasion’s lukewarm subject.
Nico Mannion (14.Eight PPG, 5.zero APG), Zeke Nnaji (19.5 PPG, 5.Eight RPG) and Josh Inexperienced (11.Eight PPG) have placed on a present in Tucson by six video games. However the Wood Legacy in Anaheim, California, would be the staff’s first set of video games exterior its residence flooring.
They will not face any premier competitors, however the Wildcats will flood SportsCenter with highlights. They seem to be a good staff and enjoyable to observe. Extra individuals across the nation will agree as soon as they see them play and, seemingly, dominate this week.
Video games we hope to see this week
Gonzaga-North Carolina within the Battle Four Atlantis title sport, Friday
In a rematch of the 2017 nationwide title sport, Gonzaga and North Carolina may show they’re each able to making a run to Atlanta. Cole Anthony will face his finest opponent to this point whereas Gonzaga, after the return of Killian Tillie, should deal with its most athletic foe. Two of America’s finest in one of many season’s prime early matchups? We’ll take it.
Oregon-North Carolina within the Battle Four Atlantis title sport, Friday
To make this 2017 Closing 4 rematch occur, Oregon must beat Seton Corridor and doubtless Gonzaga. With a win over North Carolina within the championship sport, Oregon would have a case for the highest spot in subsequent week’s rankings. With wins over Houston and Memphis, no staff within the nation would have a greater résumé.
Kansas-Michigan State within the Maui Jim Maui Invitational title sport, Wednesday
That is simple, proper? Cassius Winston and Michigan State in opposition to Udoka Azubuike and Kansas in Hawai’i? That is an amazing matchup between a pair of groups that suffered losses within the Champions Traditional. This seems like a possible Closing 4 conflict.
Tennessee-VCU within the Emerald Coast Traditional title sport, Saturday
Each Tennessee and VCU have commenced the season with stunning begins. A title matchup between a pair of nationally ranked groups could be check for each golf equipment. This, nonetheless, is just not assured. With Purdue and Florida State within the subject, something may occur, together with a Candy 16 rematch between Tennessee and Purdue. We might be effective with that, too.
Maryland-Marquette within the Orlando Invitational title sport, Sunday
Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan lead a Maryland staff that has cracked the highest 15 of each respected set of rankings whereas nonetheless looking for a signature win. Marquette has a double-digit win over Purdue and a double-digit loss to rival Wisconsin. Markus Howard has made 46 % of his 3-point makes an attempt up to now. Marquette is a thriller. Let’s have a look at how the Golden Eagles carry out within the Sunshine State.
Texas Tech-Creighton within the Las Vegas Invitational title sport, Friday
Texas Tech is taking part in nice protection once more. Stunned? We’re not both. Verify this: With Jahmius Ramsey on the ground, Texas Tech has held opponents to simply 73 factors per 100 possessions, in accordance with hooplens.com. We’ll see if the Crimson Raiders can preserve that defensive success in the event that they face a Creighton staff that has made 42 % of its 3-point makes an attempt to this point.
Wisconsin-Auburn within the Legends Traditional title sport, Tuesday
In a post-Ethan Happ world, the Badgers have been an environment friendly staff, and their solely blemish, an extra time loss to Saint Mary’s at a impartial web site, will not damage their résumé. Getting a win over Auburn, staff that has made 61.5 % of its pictures contained in the arc, would change the narrative a few Wisconsin staff that is alleged to be rebuilding after shedding one of many prime gamers in this system’s historical past. One other key win for Auburn would counsel the SEC may current probably the most contentious title hunt within the nation.
Windfall-Arizona within the Wood Legacy title sport, Sunday
Arizona, as talked about, is a younger staff that continues to blossom beneath Sean Miller. The Wildcats should not have any hassle with the sector within the Wood Legacy. However Ed Cooley has veterans who’re determined for some excellent news after struggling losses to Penn and Northwestern.