Somehow, the country’sNo 1 group is flying under the radar. Alabama is 12-0 in SEC play. The Crimson Tide have actually shed as soon as because Christmas– to Oklahoma in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge– yet complied with that up by battering Vanderbilt by 57.
Alabama’s typical racking up margin of +14.7 is 7th in the nation. Only one major-conference group is much better. That group so occurs to remain in the SEC … and also so occurs to be playing Alabama today. Tennessee has actually experienced successive buzzer-beating losses– initial to Vanderbilt onFeb 8 and afterwards to Missouri over the weekend break The Volunteers have actually shed 3 of 4 yet still have a far better typical racking up margin (+16.2 ). They likewise stand for the largest challenge in between Alabama and also the initial best SEC project because 2014-15 Kentucky when the Crimson Tide rolls right into Rocky Top on Wednesday.
Of training course, the SEC is a lot more than 2 of its finest groups. In reality, it’s quite had to do with the battles of some groups anticipated to contend for seminar superiority. Those groups, also, have big chances today. All times listed belowEastern
This week’s topgames
No 15 Miami at North Carolina (Monday, 7 p.m. on ESPN)– Welcome to the ACC, where a down year generally has actually developed a happily crowded standings. Four groups are within a video game of initial while 9 are within 3 games of the leading area, consisting of Miami ( 1/2 GB) and also North Carolina (3 GB). Can the Tar Heels stay on top of a Hurricanes violation that rates initially in effectiveness and also 2nd in 3-point portion in ACC play? UNC rates 8th and also 15th in those groups, specifically, so the anticipated response would certainly be no. But the Dean Dome is not a very easy area to play: Miami is simply 4-10 there because 2000, and also the Hurricanes have actually misbehaved when traveling generally this year at simply 5-4 (contrasted to 14-0 in your home). The Isaiah Wong/Nijel Pack/Wooga Poplar vs. Caleb Love/ R.J. Davis backcourt fight will certainly go a lengthy means in identifying this.
No 18 Creighton atNo 24 Providence (Tuesday, 7 p.m. on FS1)– The Big East isn’t fairly as crowded as the ACC, yet there are 4 groups within 1 1/2 games of Marquette for the seminar lead, and also Providence can climb up to within a video game when it holds Creighton.
Among the lots of facets that make this specifically appealing is fouls. As David Cobb created recently, the Bluejays are consumed with not fouling Their 12.7 fouls devoted per video game are least in Division I. Providence, at the same time, is 24th in D-I at 22.3 efforts per video game, and also Bryce Hopkins alone has actually taken 150 cost-free tosses this period, a lot of any type of Big East gamer. Another story? The Bluejays are shooting 36.2% from 3 in Big East play, which rates 3rd, while Providence has the seminar’s finest 3-point protection at 27.5%.
No 5 Kansas at Oklahoma State (Tuesday, 9 p.m. on ESPN)– After a season-worst 15-point loss to Iowa State onFeb 4, Kansas has actually reacted in remarkable style by holding offer in your home versus Texas and afterwards blowing up Oklahoma when traveling. The ruling nationwide champs remain in the Sooner State for a face-off with rising Oklahoma State onTuesday The Cowboys have actually won 5 directly, the lengthiest energetic win touch in the Big 12.
The Pokes’ violation reoccurs, though Bryce Thompson might be a nameto watch He began his occupation at Kansas, and also when these 2 satisfied in Lawrence, he had a career-high 23 factors in a slim, debatable loss in which Oklahoma State led by as long as 15. Oklahoma State’s protection, however, is constantly there: 6th country wide and also initially in the Big 12 in effectiveness.
The Cowboys’ very energetic guards and also long, mobile bigs make them a problem to rating versus, and also they are the sixth-best group country wide in protecting pick-and-roll sphere trainers at 0.592 factors per belongings enabled. Mike Boynton’s team does a wonderful work of placing guards in uneasy places on the standard.
Dajuan Harris Jr will certainly be a big consider this. The Jayhawks’ flooring basic racked up simply 6 factors in the initial conference yet had 9 aids and also just one turn over in the win.
No 1 Alabama atNo 10 Tennessee (Wednesday, 7 p.m. on ESPN2)– When it comes to mid-February regular-season college basketball, it does not obtain better than this, for factors I laid out above.
Tennessee possesses the country’s finest 3-point protection (24.2%). Alabama has the most effective 3-point portion (36.6%) in SEC play and also fires the fourth-most 3-pointers per video game in the nation. Alabama is likewise excellent on protection– just Houston and also Tennessee enable a reduced basket portion. For all the resemblances, however, the big distinction is speed: Alabama dips into the second-fastest in the country; Tennessee is 246th because classification.
Keep an eye on Brandon Miller, the superior Alabama fresher that stands 6-foot-9 and also is shooting virtually 43% from deep. The Volunteers have a variety of alternatives defensively, yet Josiah-Jordan James could be the most effective– if he can play. If not, anticipate a great deal of fights in between Miller and also fellow standout fresher Julian Phillips.
No 16 Xavier atNo 11 Marquette (Wednesday, 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)– One day after Creighton-Providence, this is the various other video game including 2 of the Big East’s leading 4. Marquette has a 1/2- video game lead over both Xavier and also Creighton, and also this ought to be a lots of enjoyable. Xavier won the initial conference in your home simply over a month earlier in spite of capturing under 28% from 3 (the Musketeers are 2nd in D-I at 40.1% on the period) yet offseted it with 40 factors in the paint.
Marquette, at the same time, in fact had a lot more factors in the paint (42) because competition and also leads the nation with 41.3 factors per video game off chance ats the edge. Zach Freemantle and also Jack Nunge versus Oso Ighodaro establishes to be an excellent match.
No 3 Purdue at Maryland (Thursday, 6:30 p.m. on BTN)– Purdue simply experienced its 2nd loss in 3 games by dropping at Northwestern, and also the Boilermakers have their job suited them staying clear of 3 losses in 4games Maryland has actually won 5 of its last 6, and also the Terrapins’ virtually rallied previous the Boilermakers onJan 22.
Purdue’s largest problem– which they made it through because initial video game– was excessive versusNorthwestern Long tale short, Zach Edey requires aid. He was the only double-digit marker versus Maryland and also once again versusNorthwestern Since Jan. 22, the Boilermakers ranking 294th in turn over price, 341st in turn over price required and also 169th in 3-point portion. Turning the sphere over and also missing out on sixes is a surefire means to make points demanding, despite the shoo-in nationwide gamer of the year
Maryland can capitalize if Jahmir Young is the most effective guard on the flooring. He’s been simply that over the last 6 games, balancing over 18 factors on virtually 42% 3-point capturing, yet he racked up simply 10 factors while going 4 of 18 from the flooring in the initial conference with Purdue.
No 10 Tennessee at Kentucky (Saturday, 1 p.m. on CBS)– Things are bad forKentucky Last week, the Wildcats complied with up an unpleasant 15-point residence loss to Arkansas with an additional horrible lossto Georgia If that had not been make-or-break in regards to their NCAA Tournament wishes– they left of Jerry Palm’s forecasted area — today is. The Wildcats will certainly have a hard adequate time with Mississippi State on Wednesday, yet if they can in some way win there, a residence video game with Tennessee waits for.
Kentucky went to Tennessee and also won in mid-January by destroying the Volunteers on the glass (43-23 recoiling margin) and also 18 factors fromAntonio Reeves A repeat end result would certainly be a shock, yet it could be essential to obtain the Wildcats dance.
No 9 Baylor atNo 5 Kansas (Saturday, 4 p.m. on ESPN)– Ah, the Big 12. If Kansas can arise from its Sooner State journey unharmed, the Jayhawks’ benefit is a Baylor group that leads the nation in offending effectiveness. The Bears have actually won 8 of 9, consisting of a sway Kansas in lateJanuary In that win, Baylor made its reasoning extremely clear: We assume our guards can defeat your bigs alone off of buttons. The Bears racked up a season-high 17 factors on seclusion plays; for viewpoint, their second-most in a video game this period is just 12.
Could Ernest Udeh aid the Jayhawks? He played simply 5 mins in the initial video game, and also it might be an obstacle to obtain him a lot more versus the guard-oriented Bears this time around about, yet he a minimum of gives some degree of edge security. He played 17 mins versus Oklahoma on Saturday, signing up 8 factors, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and also 2 swipes.
Three NBA leads to watch
Check out the 2023 CBS Sports NBA Draft Prospect Rankings.
- Nick Smith Jr ultimately made his return with 5 factors in Arkansas’ loss to Mississippi State, his initial video game because mid-December due to “knee management.” Smith and also the Razorbacks can significantly boost their NCAA Tournament by looking after Texas A&M on Wednesday and also Florida onSaturday Smith is 7th in our positions.
- Also making his return, albeit after a much shorter lack (and also with a lot more success), was Duke’s Dariq Whitehead, that racked up 10 factors in a debatable loss to No 8Virginia Duke tackles Notre Dame (the ACC’s worst protection) on Tuesday and also Syracuse onSaturday Whitehead is 11th in our positions.
- As UCLA silently proceeds its run atop the Pac -12, Amari Bailey appears to have actually located his ground with 4 double-digit initiatives in his last 5 games, consisting of a career-high 24 factors recently versusOregon State This week, the Bruins tackle Stanford and alsoCal Bailey is 37th in our possibility positions.
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