Here are my takeaways from Week 13.
As the season progresses, the cream of the crop in college basketball is revealing itself more and more to be a 7-foot-4 lumbering Canadian post-scoring machine by the name of Zach Edey.
I’m not shy about espousing my affection for Zach Edey. I could honestly stand to be a little coyer about it. But it’s impossible for me, he’s so undeniably good more people need to be watching Purdue basketball.
Earlier this year, I half-joked that Zach Edey was the Canadian Zion. That seemed excessive given that Zion had the best PER of any player from the past 15 years at 40.84. But several months into this season, Edey’s PER sits at 40.25. And it’s probably only going to improve as the season progresses. Edey ranks third in the nation in points and rebounds and he’s coming off a monster 38 and 13 performance against Michigan State.
Purdue now sits at #1 in the nation, receiving all 62 votes in the latest AP poll.
Despite a glaring lack of Zach Edey’s, the Big 12 still remains the toughest conference in college basketball, with 8 of its 10 teams appearing in Lunardi’s latest bracketology. It’s a league that has produced the past two national champions and everybody beats everybody. That was perhaps best evidenced Monday night when Texas Tech secured its first conference win of the season against Iowa State—making an improbable 23-point comeback (cue comical win percentage graph).
Perhaps the most notable moment of the game however was Iowa State’s truly horrific final possession, comprised of enough bricks to build the pyramid of Giza:
Our hearts go out to Iowa State wagerers. But also, betting on a Big 12 away team? In this economy?! Be better.
Oh yeah, they’re back, and more Max Abmas than ever.
Two years after making an impressive Sweet Sixteen run, the Golden Eagles are looking sharp again—led once again by scoring machine Abmas, who is now a senior averaging 22 points per game.
Oral Roberts sits at the top of the Summit League with a 20-4 record and they’re averaging 85.3 points per game, which is third in the nation. The Golden Eagles have multiple players who shoot above 40% from beyond the arc and should be a headache for any team to guard. In addition, their four losses on the season were on the road to Houston, St. Mary’s, New Mexico, and Utah State, which are all projected tournament teams.
If you’re looking to buy stock in a 14-seed plus that is looking primed to pull an upset come March, look no further.
Casual dream shake to devastate a conference rival. Doesn’t suck.
Okay, don’t roll your eyes.
Yes, the Tar Heels are unranked. Yes, they’ve been largely irrelevant for most of the season.
If you want to pull the trigger on a UNC future, this is probably the best value you’re going to get. They came into the season as the projected favorite to win the championship for a reason. And while they do have an unimpressive 15-6 record, four of those losses came during a losing streak back in late November—basically a lifetime ago.
It’s never been a question of whether UNC has the talent to win a championship. They returned most of the players that helped fueled their national championship game run last year. But it’s probably worth remembering that team also underperformed during the regular season. They came into the tournament as an 8-seed and then proceeded to ball out.
The Tar Heels have won six of their past seven and have a crucial road game against Duke coming up. If they win that one, expect their odds (and the amount of money you can make betting on them to win the natty) to decrease.