—NET Rankings Update: No. 7.
—ACCSports.com has Louisville atop its new power rankings.
—NC State and Virginia are the ACC’s bubble watch (Athletic link) representatives.
Welcome, Florida State, to glorious lock territory. Two nights after tearing Miami apart in Tallahassee, the Seminoles gave another excellent account of themselves Monday night in Durham, nearly taking down Duke, which, it should be mentioned, fended off an extremely good Florida State team two nights after one of the more insane overtime comebacks against North Carolina in the long and totally nutty history of that rivalry. (Because of that proximity, Florida State-Duke, a massive battle between two top-10 ACC title contenders, almost felt like an afterthought. This was maybe not the most intelligently scheduled basketball game of all time.) Anyway, where were we? Oh, right: Florida State. Lost to Duke. Still totally a lock. Got it.
As for the rest of the ACC, there’s a decent chance we’ll be down to one remaining bubble team (Virginia) come Wednesday morning, depending on how N.C. State does at Syracuse. A vintage ACC basketball season this is not.
Locks: Duke, Louisville, Florida State
Work to do: Virginia, N.C. State
Virginia (15-7, 7-5; NET: 52, SOS: 54): You do feel for Virginia a little bit. For most of the season, the Hoos have been a mess on offense, unable to score, redeemed only by their own lockdown D. On Saturday at Louisville, they experienced something bordering on a psychological offensive awakening: 73 points in 59 trips against a top defense, by far UVa’s best offensive showing of the season. The only problem? The Cavaliers couldn’t get a stop. It was a frustrating dynamic, but Tony Bennett took solace in the quality of the performance anyway, and there’s reason to think (as we’ve been saying for most of the season) that if UVa can get to average, or just below it offensively, it’ll eventually be fine. Now smack on the bubble with just seven games left on the schedule (including two at home against Duke and Louisville), “eventually” needs to come sooner rather than later.
N.C. State (15-8, 6-6; NET: 62, SOS: 84): Had the Wolfpack lost at Miami on Feb. 5, they would have made this a four-team ACC section. Which, yikes. Instead, they’re barely hanging on, and we really do mean that. There’s still just not a ton here, and teams elsewhere on the bubble have been making real moves. We’ll see if Tuesday night’s trip to Syracuse changes this read.
I’ll throw in another name that was presumed dead just a few weeks ago: Notre Dame.
The Irish have won four in a row, are up to No. 51 in the NET (fourth best in the ACC), and have massive road opportunities this week against Virginia (tonight) and Duke (Saturday).
—Louisville’s Dana Evans is one of 30 players on the Naismith Player of the Year Award midseason watch list. The 10 semifinalists will be announced on March 3, and the finalists will be revealed on March 20.
—For the sixth time, U of L is included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2019-20 Fulbright students.
—Duke topped Florida State Monday night thanks in part to this late whistle that went against the Seminoles.
This was a foul on Florida State? Seems like 2 fouls on Duke. pic.twitter.com/KI8i5QNlJd— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) February 11, 2020
Keith Kimble (the guy who T’d Chris Mack up on Saturday) and Teddy Valentine were both on the call.
Duke now sits one game behind Louisville in the race for the ACC regular season title, while FSU drops to two games back.
Out of the tree teams in the race, the Blue Devils have easily the most manageable final stretch of games:
There’s no margin for error for Louisville in games like the two they have this week.
—Coach K also took some time after Monday’s game to rip into the Cameron Crazies again, this time for not being loud enough.
It’s been a big college basketball season for aging coaches publicly criticizing their fan bases. I’m glad that isn’t an issue here.
—Gunter Brewer talks about the five new Cardinal wide receivers he’ll be working with this season.
—Jazmine Jones sits down with WDRB’s Annice McEwan for the latest installment of “Inked.”
I wouldn't worry about any slumps for UofL women with veteran leadership like @23_JJones. The senior sits down with me for my latest addition of Inked. Watch the whole interview here:https://t.co/4LvWJ7gesY pic.twitter.com/ER0bYrKhSs— Annice McEwan (@AnniceMcEwan) February 11, 2020
—Louisville is a 2-seed in the South in the latest Bracketology from Joe Lunardi.
—Louisville is No. 5 in Gary Parrish’s daily rankings for CBS.
—This is such a mind-numbingly stupid statement that I can’t believe I’m seeing it. A 17-year-old kid picking a college because it provides them with the best opportunities possible is supposed to be the entire point of higher education.
Former NCAA college athlete group chair Kendall Spencer tells senators he opposes prospect of athletes choosing schools "based on which state offers the most opportunities" to leverage NIL— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) February 11, 2020
—Rick Bozich shares what he likes and what he didn’t like about Saturday’s top 16 seed reveal.
—Luke Smith wants to be known as more than just the pitcher who dropped the F bomb on national TV (a bunch).
Having said that, I have it on high authority that if you ask Luke to sign an autograph with the two word phrase he’s now most closely associated with, he will happily oblige.
—If I partook in such endeavors, I would be eager to lay some coin on Louisville at that 14/1 number.
Updated odds to win the 2020 men's NCAA title:— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) February 11, 2020
• Gonzaga (7-1)
• Kansas (7-1)
• Duke (8-1)
• Baylor (12-1)
• Dayton (12-1)
• Seton Hall (12-1)
• Louisville (14-1)
• Auburn (16-1)
• Mich. St. (16-1)
• Maryland (20-1)
• SDSU (20-1)
• West Va. (20-1)
• Kentucky (25-1)
—The solution to the foul up three/don’t foul up three debate? Foul up three and then commit lane violations on the second free-throw until the opposing player finally makes the shot and you get the ball back. It gets results.
—This is so great:
Chris Mack on that Denny Crum photo making the rounds: Crum has told me several times he wanted to talk about Syracuse’s zone. They talked for 10 minutes about how to attack it, Mack says.— Lucas Aulbach (@LucasAulbach) February 11, 2020
And for anyone who missed, here’s the picture in question, which was originally posted on Facebook by Susan Sweeney Crum:
—The Sporting News does not have Jordan Nwora or Jay Scrubb in the first round of its latest NBA mock draft.
—Louisville remains a 2-seed in Chris Dobbertean’s new mock bracket for SB Nation.
—Campus culture is reportedly part of the reason Luke Fickell turned down Michigan State in favor of staying at Cincinnati.
—34.5 points per game seems good.
Louisville commit 2020 5 Hailey Van Lith is one of the top female hoopers in the country pic.twitter.com/eTw8KbnF4d— Recruits News (@recruitsnews) February 6, 2020
—D’Andre Davis is No. 96 and JJ Traynor is No. 112 in the updated class of 2020 rankings from 247 Sports.
—The Georgia Tech official site previews tomorrow night’s game in Atlanta.
—The road to Omaha begins Friday.
—Could Georgia Tech be a trap game for a Louisville team that has now won 10 straight?
—Four-star tight end Louis Hansen (2021) has received a scholarship offer from U of L.
—I’m back on The Fudamentally Sound podcast talking about the weekend that was in college hoops.
—Credit to Matt Norlander of CBS for the greatest podcast intro of all-time.
Shouts to @MattNorlander for creating what I believe is the single greatest Eye on College Basketball podcast intro in the history of Eye on College Basketball podcast intros. pic.twitter.com/t2C4OhNfGI— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) February 10, 2020
—Louisville-NC State on Thursday is the game of the week in women’s basketball.
—And finally, arch-rivals Louisville and Vandy are everyone’s two favorites to win the College World Series in 2020.