Friday, February 15, 2013
3-point shot: Kentucky's seeding slides
By Andy Katz
1. Kentucky's NCAA tournament fate is probably closely related to what happened to Purdue in 2010, when the Boilermakers were headed toward a No. 1 seed before Robbie Hummel tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a late-February game at Minnesota. The Boilermakers ended up dropping to a No. 4 seed. Kentucky isn't that high, but the seeding, more than an actual selection, is probably going to take the biggest hit following Nerlens Noel's season-ending knee injury. Selection committee chair Mike Bobinski said earlier in the week that there was still plenty of time to evaluate the Wildcats. He also said you can't eliminate what Kentucky has done, either, since the committee looks at the body of work. The Wildcats still have a victory at Ole Miss that isn't going to go away. They can make this all moot with a strong finish in their remaining seven regular-season games, including visits from Missouri and Florida. This has been John Calipari's most challenging season at Kentucky and now it will test him even more.
2. Connecticut's Kevin Ollie should be the Big East coach of the year. But the national honor is likely going to Miami's Jim Larranaga, barring a late-season collapse. The Hurricanes started unranked and are headed for a No. 1 seed-type season -- the hoops version of what Notre Dame did in college football in going from unranked to the national title game. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan would have to be in the conversation as well, as should Indiana's Tom Crean. The freshman-of-the-year chase has to be one of the most competitive, featuring Kansas' Ben McLemore, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, UNLV's Anthony Bennett and Arizona State's Jahii Carson, among others.
3. Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon made a great point Thursday about low scoring in college basketball. Dixon said that teams attempting more 3-pointers has led to more zone defenses and using up more of the shot clock. Of course, he added that teams are defending better and more fouls aren't being called. There are a lot of theories out there about low scoring, but perhaps the most important might be the lack of some fundamental shooting.