One bad thing about the college football bowl season is that we are so wrapped up in college football is we miss some big college basketball games. You may not have noticed, but there were some really good non-conference games and even a few big conferences started playing while the bowls were going on. In case you totally missed what was happening in college basketball in late December, here’s what you missed:
The UCLA Bruins are back. Not only are they back they have beaten Kentucky now two straight years. This time, they did it at Rupp Arena, which we can count the UK losses one hand in the Calipari era. UCLA went to three straight Final Fours from 2006-2008 and gave us NBA players such as Arron Afflalo, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Luc Mbah a Moute and Jordan Farmar. Then they hit the skids for a while and Steve Alford replaced Ben Howland as coach.
Alford now has the Bruins back in contention with some future NBA talent such as guard Lonzo Ball. who averages 14 per game and T J Leaf who averages 22 per game. They lost their first game after going to 13-0 on the road at the Oregon Ducks by two points, 89-87 but took those frustrations out on Oregon State.
Speaking of Kentucky, they are really good. They have had several games now where they have broken 100 points, including a 100-58 blowout of SEC foe Texas A&M. They have lost twice, the other on the road at Louisville, and narrowly escaped with a win over North Carolina in another game they scored 100 points. they are flat out scary with guards Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe.
The Indiana Hoosiers are in free fall. They have lost three in a row and also had a loss to one of those Indiana-Purdue schools. A team that was ranked in the top ten at the start of the season, top five in a lot of polls they are now in danger of missing the tournament. This should put their coach Tom Crean on the hot seat.