- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Indiana coach Tom Crean asked late Tuesday night if Indiana's Assembly Hall is better than Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium and where it ranks among the other college basketball venues. I've been fortunate to cover all of the top schools and spots -- save Louisville's new KFC Yum! Center and Arkansas' Bud Walton Arena -- and I can safely say that this new fervor in Assembly puts it in the top tier. Kansas' Phog Allen Fieldhouse still is my favorite, with the sound deafening at times. But the atmosphere in Bloomington on Tuesday night was phenomenal, turning the venue into what I dubbed it during the broadcast -- the Heartland of Hoops. There are a slew of other candidates like Cameron, Rupp and, at times, others like the Breslin, Kohl, Petersen, Gallagher-Iba, McKale, the Palestra, Hinkle and the Kennel. But IU's Assembly Hall is back and now ranks as one of the best. Meanwhile, Crean is considering taking the Hoosiers back to New York next season after such a successful run last week in Brooklyn. The Hoosiers faithful came out in droves to Brooklyn and would do again at Madison Square Garden in November 2013 if Crean chooses to put it on the schedule.
2. North Carolina coach Roy Williams looked great after his scare with two benign tumors in September and October. Williams had one removed from his right side but the left one remains. He said it will be looked at again in four to six months, adding that his doctors had given him an eight-week exercise ban. But he looked good and healthy, and said he feels much better after the frightening episode. Our former ESPN colleague, Hubert Davis, now an assistant at UNC, is loving his new gig. He said he absolutely enjoys being in the gym with the players and, of course, having a more regular schedule where he can be at home. I'm still convinced that Davis will be in play for the head-coaching job -- if he wants it -- whenever Williams retires.
3. Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said the Bearcats can still improve their offensive efficiency and that turnovers were too high in the victories in Las Vegas over the weekend against Iowa State and Oregon. But he said the Bearcats are playing at a faster pace. UC continues to be a good watch and is a legit Big East title contender.