If you haven’t been paying attention to the basketball season yet, it’s about time to start. Things are getting good.
In college, two undefeated teams fell this week. The first was West Virginia, who lost to Purdue. Purdue really extended its defense, and the Mountaineers were having trouble getting anything going towards the basket. Look out for the Boilermakers. Then Syracuse fell to Pitt. As an Orange fan, that was a tough one to hear about. But some perspective is important: last year there was chatter about North Carolina possibly going undefeated. Then the Tar Heels lost to Boston College, but wound up winning the whole thing. Plus, this Syracuse team was not highly touted before the season, and probably needs time to reach its potential anyway. And Pitt is now 12-2.
Bottom line is that teams don’t go undefeated in college hoops, and a loss to a conference rival is nothing to panic about. What’s important is that you peak in March. (This year, if you aren’t Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, or Purdue, there might not be much you can do that matters anyway, because those teams are very strong.)
For those interested in the teams on the other end of the college basketball hierarchy, the Quakers are now 0-10.
In the NBA, the Spurs continue to climb in the standings, going 8-2 in their last 10. They have been aided by plays like this one, one of the most amazing plays you’ll ever see. Portland continues to stay afloat despite a rash of injuries, and Houston continues to stay afloat despite a roster that, on paper, is not very good. I still expect the Hornets to make a run because, well, they have Chris Paul, and he can do stuff like this. Don’t forget about the Clippers, either, who have stayed within striking distance without Blake Griffin.
The East is simply a mess after the top 5 teams. Let’s just say that the Knicks might make the playoffs. The Wizards are falling apart and might just be ready to start killing each other. (Sorry, I had to.)
Power rankings: ESPN here, Sportsline here.