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Shake-Up at the Top of College Hoops

Peyton Siva

Siva and the Cards could be number 1 heading into UConn tonight.

The loss of senior Ryan Kelly and a crazy crowd in Raleigh was too much for #1 Duke to overcome as they dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten to North Carolina State this weekend 84-76. The WolfPack got 26 points from C.J. Leslie including several huge buckets down the stretch. The Blue Devils played the final few minutes without Seth Curry who tweaked an ankle and was unable to return. He had 22 points for Duke.

Richard Howell had a monster day for NC State grabbing 18 boards to go with 16 points. He clearly took advantage of Kelly’s absence but doesn’t deter from Howell’s great day in front of the home folks. Howell and Leslie give NC State an incredible 1-2 combination of athleticism and ability. Along with the WolfPack, Miami,Fl is the only other ACC-unbeaten right now, but there will still be tough games ahead as the conference season is really just underway.

Trey Burke

Burke's Wolverines suffered their first defeat yesterday.

#2 Michigan entered play Sunday with #16 Ohio State fully expecting a challenge and they got exactly that and more as they also suffered their first defeat of the season 56-53 in Columbus. The Wolverines trailed by more than 20 at one point in the first half and then actually tied the game late before falling. OSU was led by Deshaun Thomas, their only player in double figures, with 20 points. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr had 15 and 12 points respectively for Michigan.

Going through any conference schedule unblemished is difficult but this year the Big Ten appears to be one where a team could very well suffer three to four defeats and still win the regular season title. Michigan went into its’ first true conference road test yesterday and failed it. They still have games with Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan State to prove their mettle.

Syracuse has decided to sit their second-leading scorer James Southerland for an indefinite amount of time. He averages 13 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Orange. A University spokesperson would not release details of the benching but said “it was an eligibility matter.” Syracuse was able to defeat Villanova 72-61 with Southerland on the bench and out of uniform yesterday. The Orange can still win and be productive, but his absence will an affect going forward in big games.

Games I’m Watching this Week

#3 Louisville at UConn - The Cardinals will more than likely enter the game tonight as the number team in the country with Duke and Michigan both going down over the weekend. Being number one is always a tough cross to bear so it now it’s Louisville’s turn. Russ Smith leads the Cards with almost 19 points per game. At 12-3, the Huskies will not be easy to beat especially on their home court. Shabazz Napier leads the team with 17 points and 4 rebounds per game. I’m going with UConn to pull the upset.

Georgia Tech at Duke – In their first game after losing to NC State, Duke will host Georgia Tech who is struggling at 0-3 as of today in the ACC. This should be a good ‘get healthy’ game for the Blue Devils and I expect a double-digit win over the Yellow Jackets.

#7 Syracuse at #3 Louisville – Should both teams survive the week, we could have a top five matchup on our hands. The Orange will presumably be without James Southerland again and Louisville will have survived a trip to UConn. Syracuse has played only a handful of games on the road but they’ve won those, but this will be a different animal altogether in Louisville. I love the way Peyton Siva plays and runs the show for the Cards and I like them to win at home.



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