Are we disrespecting the great teams in college basketball? All season, there has been talk that there are no great teams. While there has been a revolving door of number one teams, it seems disrespectful to ignore teams that have had great seasons. Undoubtedly, every team in college basketball can lose on every given night. However, that can happen every season. Basketball is an interesting sport where a few bounces can go in one direction and a team loses a game they should never lose.
The Bulldogs are the number one team in the nation and they do not appear to be relinquishing that any time soon. They have secured a record of 16-1 with great wins at Arizona, at Washington, and against Oregon and North Carolina with Cole Anthony.
The only loss Gonzaga suffered was to Michigan in the Bahamas. This happened when Michigan was red hot and rolled through all competition. Regardless, that is not a bad loss.
Gonzaga is led by Filip Petrusev and Corey Kispert. Both of these players have been playing at a very high level and have drastically improved from last season. Kispert looks like one of the best scorers in the nation right now and is shooting nearly 42 percent from the three-point line.
Yet again, Gonzaga boasts the number one offense in the country. They have numerous scorers and can play both inside and out. This makes them incredibly hard to guard. They lead the nation in assists, shoot 38 percent from three as a team, are a top-five rebounding team and take a ton of free throws.
Recently, the Bulldogs have struggled against conference foes and been trailing at halftime. There is no cause for concern. Everyone knows it is difficult for good teams to consistently be ready to play teams they do not take seriously. The whole country thinks Gonzaga will run the table in their conference, so the expectation is to roll the ball out and just win, but sometimes there are tough wake up calls.
The Jayhawks have had plenty of success this season. They sit at 11-2 with significant wins over Dayton, Colorado, and West Virginia. Additionally, they have beaten great mid-majors like UNC Greensboro, BYU, and East Tennessee State. When looking through Kansas’ schedule, the word “cupcake” does not come up often.
When discussing teams, the first thing people do is look at losses. Kansas has some great losses. They lost on opening night in the Champions Classic to Duke by two points. Kansas turned the ball over a staggering 26 times. To care for the ball that poorly and still have a chance to win at the end is impressive.
Kansas’ only other loss was at Villanova by one and it was their first true road game. They played a poor game and once again still had a chance to win it at the end.
Kansas has been excellent by all measures. They suffered some close losses, but also racked up great wins. Devon Dotson is one of the best point guards in the nation. They have a ton of experience and extremely physical bigs.
The biggest change in Kansas from game one to now is the addition of Isaiah Moss. Kansas drastically lacked a sharpshooter and they now have one. Kansas has as good a shot as anyone to win a National Championship, making them one of the great college basketball teams.
The Blue Devils are the best college basketball team in the country. They have two of the best wins of any team. Duke currently sits at 13-1 with a win over Kansas and a drubbing of Michigan State on the road. Kansas and Michigan State are extremely highly regarded throughout the country and Duke handled their business in each game.
Of course, the only thing people will talk about is Duke losing at home to Stephen F Austin by two in overtime. That loss should never happen, especially at home. The Blue Devils were embarrassed, but sometimes that is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Vernon Carey Jr. is currently the favorite to win the National Player of the Year. He has been one of the most dominant players in the country and seems to improve every minute he is on the floor.
Additionally, Tre Jones is one of the best point guards in the nation and controls every aspect of the game when he is on the court. The duo of Jones and Carey make them as good a team as there is.
Overall, Duke boasts the fifth-best offense and the third-best defense. They are the only team in the nation to be in the top ten in both categories, or even close for that matter. According to KenPom, Duke is miles ahead as the best team in the nation.
As time continues, the other Blue Devil freshmen will improve and this team will continue to make strides. Unfortunately, Wendell Moore Jr. will be out indefinitely after having hand surgery. In his absence, Cassius Stanley will need to play great.
While there may not be a truly dominant team in the nation, that does not mean there are not great teams. Kansas, Gonzaga, and especially Duke have demonstrated true greatness this season and are great college basketball teams. Yes, each team has slipped up, but they also have outstanding wins over some extremely talented teams. College basketball as a whole lacks some talent this season, but that does not mean some great teams need to be disrespected.
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