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So Feast Week is now done, which means all of the preseason tournaments are now done. Here is a quick summary of them:
Coaches vs. Cancer: Duke knocked off Michigan in the finals (BIAH's Prediction: The Blue Devils knock off UCLA in the finals, as the Bruin's freshmen wilt under the national spotlight).
76 Classic: Wake Forest steam rolled Baylor in the finals (BIAH's Prediction: Patty Mills averages 25 ppg and St. Mary's knocks off Wake Forest and Arizona State en route to the title).
CBE Classic: Syracuse beat both Florida and Kansas on their way to the title (BIAH's Prediction: Syracuse knocks off Florida and Kansas to bring home the title).
Great Alaska Shootout: San Diego State rolled (BIAH's Prediction: San Diego State wins it. They just have too much talent).
Las Vegas Invitational: Kentucky rallied to beat West Virginia (BIAH's Prediction: Huggy Bear's Mountaineers take down Gillispie's Wildcats in the battle of the DUI's).
Legends Classic: Pitt beat Washington State in Friday's final, despite not having DeJuan Blair (BIAH's Prediction: Pitt rolls right through the Prudential Center, winning both games handily).
Maui Invitational: Not sure what I was thinking with this pick (BIAH's Prediction: Hansbrough and Ginyard both miss the Maui Invitational, but UNC still reaches the finals where they take their only loss on the year to the Irish).
Preseason NIT: Oklahoma held on to beat a scrappy Purdue team (BIAH's Prediction: Cornell knocks off St. John's before losing to BC, UAB makes a run to MSG, and Purdue beats Oklahoma in the final).
Old Spice: Gonzaga was a smart pick. Siena wasn't (BIAH's Prediction: Gonzaga beats Siena in the finals).
Puerto Rico Tip-off: I picked USC to win?!?! (BIAH's Prediction: USC takes down Memphis and Xavier to win the title).
Virgin Islands Paradise Jam: UConn rolled to a win out in the Virgin Islands (BIAH's Prediction: Call me a homer, but I think UConn takes down Wisconsin to win it).
GAME OF THE WEEK
Michigan 66, Savannah State 64
The Wolverines were down 20 at halftime, but made a huge push in the second half to come all the way back. There was a great finish to both regulation and overtime. Check the video:
DeShawn Sims led UM with 23 point and 12 boards. Manny Harris had 22 and nine, but also turned the ball over eight times.
Not really sure what to make of this game. True, Michigan was the runner-up in the preseason NIT. But the Wolverines got down by 20 at halftime in their own building to a team that doesn't play in a conference and went winless in 2005.
I'll give them the benefit of the doubt—they looked past a bad team at home on the Saturday after Thanksgiving because of their NIT performance. Hey, at least they came back to win, right?
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
I finally got to see Jeff Teague in action for an extended period of time, and I was not disappointed. Teague averaged 22.3 ppg during the three games out in Anaheim to go along with 4.7 rpg and 5.3 apg.
Teague is going to be the difference maker for WFU this year. Their front line is stacked and goes about six guys deep, but they don't have much scoring in their backcourt.
If Teague plays all year like he did out in Anaheim, Wake is going to have a very good season. I didn't realize how good an athlete Teague was. By now you've seen this dunk, but last night Teague again made a sensational play. He was trailing a break away, but managed to catch Baylor forward Quincy Acy (6'9") and go up and block him at the rim.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
The 'Zags went to Orlando and beat Oklahoma State, Maryland, and Tennessee en route to the title in the Old Spice Classic. Gonzaga is so balanced this year.
In the three games in the Old Spice, there were three different leading scorers. They have five guys averaging double figures, and Jeremy Pargo, arguably their best player, is averaging 9.6 ppg and 7.0 apg.
I really like this Gonzaga team—they remind me a lot of Xavier last year. They have a ton of talent. They are big and long at every position. They are well-coached, disciplined, and good defensively.
But the biggest thing about Gonzaga is they have a certain toughness about them. Guys like Pargo, Josh Heytvelt, and Ira Brown are not going to be backing down from anybody.
It really came out during half time of the Tennessee game. As the teams were heading to the locker room, a bunch of players started jawing at each other and had to be separated by the coaching staffs.
Gonzaga then came out in the second half, and gave it to Tennessee, building their lead up to 18 points. It also helps when you have three guys (Pargo, Heytvelt, Austin Daye) that are probably going to be drafted this year, possibly even in the first round (or lottery for Daye).
MATCH-UPS OF THE WEEK
The ACC-Big 10 challenge is starting up. The full schedule can be found here, but these are the two games you want to know about. FYI, the Big Ten has never won the challenge, going 0-9.
- 12/2 - Duke @ Purdue: Undefeated Duke gets their first real test of the season. Robbie Hummel and Kyle Singler should be an interesting match-up to watch.
- 12/3 - UNC vs. Michigan State: Being played at Ford Field. The Spartans are doomed if Goran Suton doesn't suit up. Hansbrough is a game time decision.
12/4 - USC @ Oklahoma: This game lost some of its luster with USC's collapse in Puerto Rico.
12/4 - UCLA @ Texas: Texas is huge on the inside this year, and UCLA is not and may be without Alfred Aboya.
12/4 - St. Mary's @ Kent State: Two of the best mid-major programs in the country. Make sure you have the chance to watch two point guards as good as Patty Mills and Al Fisher are play.
12/6 - Wisconsin @ Marquette: Neither team is as good as they have been in recent years, but this is still one of the best rivalries in college hoops.
12/7 - Nebraska @ Arizona State: Nebraska is 5-0 and just beat Creighton.
12/7 - Florida @ Florida State: Florida State is going to be better than people think this year. They are already 7-0.