College Basketball Nation: Armed Forces Classic

Video: UConn 66, Michigan State 62

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
9:32
PM ET
Shabazz Napier scored 25 points as Connecticut upset No. 14 Michigan State 66-62 in the Armed Forces Classic at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, giving Kevin Ollie his first victory as coach.

3-point shot: Problems at the point

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
5:00
AM ET
1. Leadership at point guard will determine a likely champion of a league and/or the nation. That’s why it is disturbing that three schools are dealing with issues at the position. Michigan had to suspend Trey Burke. Texas isn’t playing Myck Kabongo in Friday's opener against Fresno State while the NCAA continues to investigate if he received an extra benefit during a workout last spring in Cleveland. Missouri has suspended guard Michael Dixon Jr. (who was supposed to start next to SEC preseason player of the year Phil Pressey). Now Florida coach Billy Donovan has suspended starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin for Friday’s opener against Georgetown in Jacksonville, Fla. I had Florida as a Final Four team, but not having Wilbekin on board diminishes the Gators’ chances. They need a steady hand next to Kenny Boynton. The question on this team was at the point -- and now Wilbekin has raised more concern.

2. One of the things that coach John Calipari has maximized more than any predecessor at Kentucky is how to get as much out of the Big Blue Nation as possible. If the Wildcats are winning at a high level and not having issues, the passionate fan base seems to do whatever is needed for the program. Calipari has also been able to tap that resource with million-dollar relief efforts, first for Haiti and now for the storm-ravaged New York-New Jersey area. Calipari can be a lightning rod, but he has learned how to capitalize on all things Kentucky during his three-plus seasons in Lexington -- including finding ways to raise money for causes.

3. The floor being used in the Armed Forces Classic on Friday night at Ramstein Air Base in Germany was made by the same company that does the floors for the NCAA tournament and Final Four. Connor Sports Flooring, a US-based company, flew the floor in multiple pieces to Germany, where it was assembled Thursday. The color scheme is the same as the NCAA tournament floors, with black end lines and blue lettering spelling out Ramstein. The Armed Forces Classic decal was put down on the floor at center court -- something officials will be watching closely this season. The decals or logos must have a consistent finish with the rest of the floor.

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