The weekly college basketball update, evaluating things on a Monday morning.
Arizona: In the Lute Olson era the Wildcats would hardly ever leave Tucson for a non-conference game. In the Sean Miller era, the Wildcats went to Clemson and won their seventh straight without a loss.
Charlotte: The Fightin’ Cornbreads are 9-0 and had a big victory at Davidson to win the City Championship. Maybe they'll be a surprise Atlantic 10 contender in the their final season in the league.
Illinois: The Illini are 10-0 after going to Spokane and winning a tough game at Gonzaga. The Illini look battle-tested already after winning the Maui Classic too. Point guard Brandon Paul played like an All-American.
Illinois Chicago: The Flames have come out of nowhere to be 7-1 after beating Colorado State at home Saturday. They also have road victories over Northern Illinois and Northwestern.
Kansas: Since losing to Michigan State way back on Nov. 13, the Jayhawks have been steamrolling everyone including three Pac 12 teams, Washington State, Oregon State and Colorado. Colorado, an improved unit, got a real dose of reality when they were vaporized 90-54 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Delaware: Following a really interesting victory at Virginia in November, the Blue Hens have lost six of seven including an inexcusable disaster to Delaware State Saturday.
Fordham: The Rams had a real good chance of upsetting St. John’s at MSG Saturday but just couldn’t finish. They’re now 1-8 with the only win a two-pointer over Penn. Life’s always tough in the Bronx.
Northeastern: Since beating Belmont in the Great Alaska Shootout, the Huskies have lost four straight including three homes games (all tough ones). Jonathan Lee can’t get back soon enough.
St. Francis of Pennsylvania: The Fightin’ Porters are 0-8 and things are not looking up. Hard to tell when the first one will come.
Texas: The Longhorns had a chance to get there season moving in a positive direction with two big intersectional matchups and lost to both Georgetown and UCLA (in particularly ugly fashion).
This week’s George Mason (best mid-major): Murray State. Watching the Racers against Evansville Saturday, I saw a team that’s rapidly improving defensively with a surprising developing big man in Brandon Garrett. Plus there’s All-American guard Isaiah Canaan and all-hair first-teamer Ed Daniel. There's a lot to like about the Racers who will be hard to dislodge from this spot.
This week’s Final Four: Indiana, Michigan, Duke, Creighton
This week’s National Champion: Indiana
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell