Hoya Heartbreak -- Let's start with the team nearest and dearest to my heart. Georgetown Hoyas were playing a ranked team in #23 Syracuse, so I can justify starting with them. Georgetown may be the most dissapointing team in the Big East; Syracuse is a team in a desperate need to show that they are as good as they looked 2 weeks ago. Syracuse jumped all over Georgetown early, and again early in the 2nd half. But Georgetown stormed back in the 2nd Half, coming back from a 15 point deficit to send the game into overtime. Because he wears Orange, I hate Johnny Flynn, but would I love that guy if he were on my team. In a four point game, Flynn was the difference (even though commentators who dig guys who punch women may single out Eric Devendorf). Flynn wasn't magical shooting the rock, but he did have 13 assists, and was handling the ball when Georgetown was trying to foul their way back into the game, and went 15-16 from the charity stripe. He attempted one less, and made more free throws than Georgetown did as a team. That's a killer.
You See a Loser -- UCLA dropped a second game to an Arizona team--after losing to Arizona State earlier in the week, they got worked by a resurgent Arizona Wildcat team. UCLA is possibly the worst team in the Top 10, but they are still (I think) the class of a pretty shitty PAC-10. Read that another way--the PAC-10, whilst beating up on each other, isn't a very good conference. Read it another way by looking at UCLA's impressive 10-Game winning streak from earlier this year, and you'll see a bunch of scrubs. They have yet to beat a team that was ranked when they played them, and yet they were, as of today, in the Top 10. Curious. (Makes their beatdown of Notre Dame all the more damning for the Jason Kings of the world).
Go Squeeze Some Oranges -- Wake Forest effectively escorted Florida State out of the Top 25 (a place that Florida State didn't really deserve to have--truth is, the difference between number 15 and number 45 is paper-thin) with an absolute ass-kicking. Wake Forest is still an awfully young team, who I can see running into trouble in the NCAA Tournament, if faced with a senior-laden mid-major conference team. I also seem them being in the Final Four. It is a tricky year, yeah?
Rock Thabeet; Thabeet Goes On, Etc -- UConn so far is handling the loss of Jerome Dyson. They should garner a #1 seed, but losing their second leading scorer will bite them in the ass, eventually, right? Or will Hasheem Thabeet just be a motherfucking badass the rest of the year? If any coach can handle a complete overhaul of his offense in February, it is classy Irish Drunk Jim Calhoun. If you haven't seen Thabeet play, you really should--he's all of 19 or 20 years old, 7' 3", and has a build that isn't what you normally seen from big men--he's not funny-skinny, he's not funny-fat; he's proportionally badass at over 7 feet tall. He's a top 3 pick in the next NBA draft.
Run, Run, Run LIKE HELL-- Just two weeks ago, occasional IDYFT contributor Barnyard was telling me that I needed to see Missouri play their version of the classic 40 minutes of hell as perfected by Nolan Richardson at Arkansas back in the Clinton Era. For those who don't remember, the Razorbacks would play 40 minutes of full-court pressure, swapping players like a hockey game, running a 10 or 11 man rotation, and counting on a few guys to generate half-court offense. Since then, Missouri came back on Kansas, and made people notice them. They've had as quick of a climb in the rankings--from unranked to #17, and with their dismantling of Nebraska, they will sneak into the top 15. Look out for this team. 13 players played; no one played more than 30 minutes; 8 players had 14 minutes or more. Compare that to Notre Dame, who even in a blowout win had 4 players play over 30 minutes--those four players scored 86 of their 90 points against Louisville. When in doubt, take depth over fat white boys.
Oh yeah--Blake Griffin and Oklahoma are good (still the most neglected Top 3 team in recent memory). Blake got a lot of press tonight because he did something that hadn't been seen in a decade and change--40 points and 20 boards. Pittsburgh continues to cruise, too. I still don't trust Pitt, though. I don't trust them, but I won't blame you if they are in your Final Four come March.