Tuesday Night Tip-Off

The Thunderblog’s basketball corner gives three quick hits about both the Association and the Road to March, aka NBA & NCAAB. Just enough to get you through your next basketball-related conversation this week.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball

We all know the big contenders out there in college basketball as the tournament fast approaches such as Kansas, Nova, the Sooners, UNC, Michigan State, Iowa, ect… But how about a team or two that could win the whole thing that isn’t on your radar? I got two for you, one you should know and one that’s being overlooked.

Team #1 just had a great month to propel them back into the Top 25. That would be the much hated Duke Blue Devils. But after back-to-back-to-back victories over #13 Louisville, #7 Virginia, and hated rival #5 North Carolina, Coach K’s squad is once again looking tourney ready. Yes they are very shallow in terms of bench depth but with freshman sensation Brandon Ingram and somehow still-underrated Grayson Allen, this team can beat anyone. Seriously, how is Grayson Allen still underrated? The kid plays some of the toughest basketball around and has freakish athleticism. He leads the team with 21 points per game at almost a 50% clip. This is a team that no one will want to play come March and they are my pick to run the table as the darkhorse team. Weird saying Duke is a darkhorse.

Team #2 was last year’s story. The Wichita State Shockers came into this season with some lofty expectations but an injury to star guard Fred VanVleet derailed them early. Since starting out 2-4, the Shockers have dominated the Missouri Valley Conference to a tune of 14-2. With senior guards VanVleet and Ron Baker, I expect this club to be a complete nightmare for whichever 2 or 3 seed has to play them first. They have tournament experience that will lead them to be not just bracket busters but Final Four contenders as well.

National Basketball Association

This will be a quick note from the Association. As we all know this year, Steph Curry is not only a shoe-in for MVP, but also quickly rising to be the best player in the NBA. And that is saying a lot because we are witnessing LeBron doing LeBron things and Russell Westbrook ascending beyond Kevin Durant (we can argue this at another time). But here is the most recent Curry statistic that blows me away; Steph Curry leads the league in points per game AND has sat out 15 fourth quarters this season!!!!! He has basically sat out 4 entires games this year. That is simply unreal and also kinda a shame because I would love to see just where his numbers would be with that playing time back. I mean if he didn’t play another game this season, he would finish with the 6th most 3-pointers in a single season! Dare I say it but we are watching the GOAT play the game right now. All hail Super Splashbrother Curry!

 

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