Originally Published: November 26, 2013

Daily Word: Trouble for Kentucky, Duke?

By ESPN.com

Every weekday, Andy Katz leads a panel of our college hoops experts in a discussion of the biggest issues, trends and themes happening in and around college basketball.

1. What has been exposed by Duke and Kentucky being taken to the wire by Vermont and Cleveland State?

Andy Katz: Defense. Duke's interior defense was suspect against Vermont. The Blue Devils made poor decisions in late-game situations against a Catamounts team that was missing its two best big men. Kentucky finally locked in during the final five minutes, but Cleveland State was the more refined team early in the game. Kentucky needs to find that defensive purpose for the full 40. The Wildcats, with their personnel, stand a better chance of finding that defensive lockdown position than Duke does.

Dana O'Neil: I'm not sure it's what's been exposed but what these teams need to learn -- namely that easing up on the throttle against anyone won't work. It's understandable how good teams get lulled to sleep by what may appear to be lesser opponents, but we all know that the gap between teams, especially when there are freshmen involved, is small. That's what both Duke and Kentucky ought to learn.

C.L. Brown: For Duke, its been poor defense. East Carolina laid out the blueprint for how to attack the Blue Devils: spread the floor and drive to the basket. For Kentucky, it hasnt yet maximized its offensive potential. When Julius Randle isnt scoring, the Cats have trouble executing in the half court.

2. Which team had Monday's most impressive win?

Katz: Arizona State. The Sun Devils held on to beat Marquette with key buckets late and a few stops, notably on the last shot by the Golden Eagles. ASU has been playing traditional home-and-home series and won late-possession games at UNLV and now at home against Marquette. The Sun Devils may meet the Golden Eagles again in Anaheim later in the week if the two can get out of their respective sides of the Wooden Legacy bracket.

Dana O'Neil: Dayton. The Flyers' win against Gonzaga is exactly what both Dayton and the Atlantic 10 needed, a notice-me decision against a name-brand opponent. If the Flyers can follow this by knocking off Baylor, they may emerge as the "winner" of these November tourneys.

C.L. Brown: East Coasters probably didnt stay up to watch Dayton top No. 11 Gonzaga in the late game from Maui -- especially after it trailed by 16 in the first half. But Jordan Siberts 23 points scored a huge win for the Flyers in what could also technically qualify as Tuesday's best win given the time the game ended.

3. Which team isn't receiving enough attention?

Katz: Cal. The Bears were a bit of an afterthought in the Pac-12 behind Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State and even Stanford in preseason buzz. But if you watched any of the Bears's win over Arkansas, you saw a team that has the athleticism and offensive ability to keep them in the thick of the race throughout the conference season.

O'Neil: I'd say Arizona State. The Sun Devils beat a very good Marquette team on Monday night. With Jahii Carson, they have a bona fide star who will give them a chance in every game.

Brown: For the moment its Arizona State, but thats likely to change if it continues its hot start Thursday against No. 20 Creighton. If the Sun Devils win that, they will get their due recognition in the polls.


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