Men’s Basketball: The Rout Is On!

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Everyone knows that the college basketball season really does not get under way until the teams begin conference play. The first conference games usually start immediately after the basketballfirst of the year and end in early March when the annual “March Madness” plague descends. In the meantime, schools fill their schedules with 10 to 12 games against non-conference opponents including lesser programs for almost guaranteed wins.

Beating Cupcake U.

Although Duke, Pittsburgh, UCLA and other top programs like to do battle with other top flight non-conference programs before the “real” season begins, each one will schedule several weaker opponents too. A battle against Cupcake University is anything but that, as evidenced by some of the blow outs so far this season:

  • On December 9, the Big East powerhouse Georgetown Hoyas was visited by the University of Jacksonville Dolphins, a team not known to strike fear in the hearts of many of their opponents. Georgetown romped, 87-55.
  • Kansas led Eastern Washington by just 14 points when they met on December 6th before the Jayhawks took the game to the next level to win by 38 points.
  • On November 30, Marquette entertained in-state rival Wisconsin-Milwaukee and routed the Panthers 100-65, scoring 50 points in each half.
  • Longwood University had the misfortune to schedule the Indiana Hoosiers and learned early and often that they did not belong on the same court on November 19. Indiana’s 100-49 pasting was one of the most lopsided contests so far this season.

Not every planned cakewalk goes as planned however. Just ask NC State coach Sidney Lowe following his Wolfpack’s stunning two-point home loss to New Orleans in November. With the tough ACC season still ahead of them, the Pack isn’t living up to its pre-season hype.

Let The Real Competition Begin!

Although I like early season non-conference battles between the elites (e.g., Duke v. Michigan; UConn v. UCLA; or Kansas v. Alabama) I have little interest in the games where the competition is, well, uncompetitive. Give me conference play and let’s see who is standing once the conference championships have been determined. Then, it is time for Bracketology and a full case of March madness leading up to the Final Four is what Men’s College Basketball is all about!

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Categories: NCAA Basketball