The Worldwide Leader is drumming up the hype machine again: it’s Feast Week for college basketball.
Call me a sucker for the gimmick marketing, but I’m eating it up. There’s simply nothing like the early season college basketball games to get the juices flowing again (especially after the long months of hibernation – er – UNC football).
Last night I feasted upon a good portion of the Georgia Tech – Memphis game while doing some household chores. As lethargic as Georgia Tech looked in the first half, they looked equally athletic and intense in the 2nd. Overcoming a 19 point deficit is not easy, and the Jackets made it look surprisingly simple.
I only got a taste for the UCLA-Kentucky game. The Bruins will be solid again this year, while Kentucky looks to be a team without an identity thus far. The positive for Tubby’s team is that they look like they’ve shed any semblance of arrogance and will be a hard-working squad that could cause problems if they can conjure up the right chemistry. December 2nd at the Dean Dome should be a good game.
Dessert was grand indeed, as I watched Tom Crean’s Marquette team pick apart Duke. Marquette’s guards are fast. Really fast. They were able to blow by Paulus and Scheyer (and surprisingly, Nelson) at will. Duke couldn’t get anything going through McRoberts and the lack of JJ and Shelden was incredibly evident late in the game when there was simply nobody to take the big shots for Coach K.
One thing I will say about both Duke and Marquette is that the intensity in the building was more reminiscent of March than mid-November. Both teams threw the ball around a bit, but there was more diving for loose balls, hustling for rebounds, and pressure D than you normally will see at this time of year. All in all, the game was thoroughly enjoyable to feast upon.
Alas, the feasting has only begun. The main course is tonight when the Heels take on the Zags at the Garden. This will be a true test for Roy’s boys, and I expect them to handle the exam with aplomb. Prediction: UNC 93, Gonzaga 81