College Basketball Power Poll and Player of the WeekBy Pete Medhurst

College Basketball has been my favorite sport to broadcast for a long time. If you saw Saturday’s Butler-Indiana matchup in an electric atmosphere in Indianapolis, you now know why.
A tremendous game with in-state ramifications to an extent, but, the big in-state power giving the smaller program a shot in it’s backyard, albeit a neutral court.

Alex Barlow, a walk-on, driving the lane and knocking in the game winner, is as Hoosier as it gets! It also shows us Brad Stevens is just an amazing coach. Guard Roosevelt Jones and big man Andrew Smith fouled out in regulation. Like Gonzaga, Butler has shown it has staying power, not, just a flash in the pan.

Georgetown and the other non FCS football schools have announced they are breaking away from what remains of the BIG East.

It’s likely they will get an eighth school to qualify for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The question for this league is how much is a stand alone basketball league worth to a TV Network?

The Atlantic 10 is currently splitting roughly 5-million a year among 16 teams! That’s not a lot in today’s market place. Granted, the 7 schools leaving the BIG East, have markets in DC, New York, Philadelphia, and northern Jersey. Yes, I know, the A-10 does too, but Georgetown holds a little more water than George Washington, and St. John’s is more attractive than Fordham (a team that should be in MAAC).

Im sure ESPN will show great interest in keeping the new league’s team on it’s network, especially if it can attract teams like Butler, Xavier, Dayton, and Creighton among others being chatted about. Likely more than the A-10 schools are splitting, but, just how much more?

Navy’s Tilman Dunbar was named Patriot League rookie of the week last week, and took another step toward this week’s honor after posting 13 points and 10 dimes in a win last Monday over Bryant. The Bulldogs have defeated Boston College of the ACC this year, but, Navy’s scoring defense has been among the nation’s best so far.

“Tilman has been getting better and better each game. He’s finding offense for us, not only his own, but finding great shots for guys like Brandon Venturini and Kendall Knorr,” Navy Coach Ed DeChellis said.

Navy is in the midst of a 12 day exam break, returning to action December 22 against new Division-I member Northern Kentucky.

Maryland continues to play as if its bored in games against lesser competition, but, it’s winning and that’s the bottom line. Last week’s destruction of Monmouth, was a tremendous defensive effort, which at times as been where Maryland has lacked the effort.

Pistol Pete’s Player of the week is Alex Barlow of Butler. His ability to take over the moment, when the entire planet was expecting Rotnei Clarke to come get the ball, was terrific play making and lifted his team. He only scored six points, but, with Jones and Smith off the floor, someone else had to take over in the moment which is not easy to do.

1. Duke– Does any one have better wins? (Ed. Note – Unfortunately, no)
2. Michigan- Best guard play in the country right now
3. Arizona– Lats minute comeback against Florida trumps Syracuse’s best win vs. SDSU.
4. Syracuse– wins vs. SDSU and Arkansas away from Dome. Boeheim for 900 tonight.
5. Louisville– Love the wins vs. Missouri and on road at Memphis.


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