January is a cold month, but Villanova was hot hot hot! (Do you see what I did there? Weather jokes!) But really, Scottie Reynolds and company have been amazing in Big East play; the Wildcats scored 1.21 points per possession over eight games -- all conference wins -- in 2010. John Gasaway has this truth and many more in his conference tempo-free breakdowns, which, as more games are played, become less and less hampered by small sample size and more and more revealing about which teams you can expect to make deep runs in March and April.
What's the secret to Siena's success? Is it some sort of below-the-Red-Line potion only available to direct basketball descendants of Kenny Hansbrouck? Is it something cool we don't even know about? No, not really. It's just ... recruiting. Recruit well, play well -- as true for Siena as it is for Kentucky.
Speaking of Kentucky, here's the obligatory midseason feature on DeMarcus Cousins' improving maturity. One thing is certainly improving: Cousins' low-post versatility. If Cousins can develop one or two go-to moves in the post -- he showed signs of this with a pair of monster baseline spins against South Carolina -- and combine those abilities with his already-prodigious rebounding talent, he could be the best player on Kentucky's team down the stretch. Not kidding.
Tom Crean wants his Indiana Hoosiers to run more. But first, he needs more guards.
Rush The Court checks in on the Colonial, where George Mason, Old Dominion, and Northeastern have all crowded the top of the standings.
Seth Davis spent his Monday column assessing struggling teams like Texas, Pitt, and UConn. Miami gets a nod, too, but it's hard to say the Canes were ever really not struggling. They were just beating really, really bad teams in their nonconference. Does that count?
Our own Andy Katz checked in on Charlotte Monday. After four years of mediocre basketball and calls for Bobby Lutz's head, the 49ers are finally hitting their stride in the A-10.
Michigan State's Darrell Summers is really good, sometimes. Other times he's sporadic and off-kilter, like there's all this talent bursting from him, but with no coherent outlet for it. (Picture Cyclops when he loses his glasses, and you'll see what I mean.) Both Summers and his coach, Tom Izzo, are trying to figure why.