By Joe Clinton
College basketball has proven to be the sport to watch so far this winter. Whether it’s due to the crazy hype surrounding the new top recruits or the high-paced and high-scoring style of play, the NCAA has granted us the privilege of watching what amounts to a prime time game every night.
The talk of the season has been the phenom freshmen at Duke – Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish – who are projected to be the top picks in the next NBA draft. Duke has generated an enormous amount of hype, with Barrett averaging 22.7 PPG, Williamson with 21.3 PPG and 9 RPG, and Reddish with 15.3 PPG. This team seemed unstoppable, until they lost to Gonzaga 89-87.
What I think has made this season so fun to watch is that every night there seem to be at least two or three top-25 ranked matchups going on. We already have had a 1 vs 3 matchup in Gonzaga vs Duke, a 2 vs 4 contest when Duke destroyed Kentucky on opening night, and a 2 vs 5 pairing as Kansas topped Tennessee in overtime. Plenty of other must watch-games have been decided in the final seconds.
I was sitting on my couch on Wednesday night and just clicked on the TV to see what was on and there they were: four must-watch games . . . on a random Wednesday night. There is no other sport like this that gives the fans these kind of games on an everyday basis. The early games featured an unranked but very strong Syracuse team defeating 16th-ranked Ohio State, 72-62, and a no. 4 Virginia team who withstood 24th-ranked Maryland in a back and forth game that ended 76-71. During the late games, no. 15 Florida State beat 19th-ranked Purdue, 73-72, on a final second shot, and 7th-ranked Michigan completely stomped over no. 11 UNC, 84-67. All of these games occurred on just your typical Wednesday night and this continues to happen every night. The competition amongst college teams every night is what makes this sport so special, and why everyone should look forward to the rest of the season.