Jahii Carson

Thursday’s Pregame Shootaround: Turkey Day Tourneys!

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 20 Creighton vs. Arizona State, 11:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

You like scoring? You like stars? You like two teams that can get up and down the floor? Well then have I got a game for you. The Bluejays look like they could end up being the best team in the Big East right now, led by All-American Doug McDermott. They spread the floor and shoot a lot of threes, which is fairly similar to the way that Arizona State likes to play. The difference? The Sun Devils’ star is lightening quick point guard Jahii Carson, who is on the short list with Marcus Smart as the favorite for the Player of the Year award right now.

MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE DAY: Denver vs. Harvard, Midnight ET

Denver might be the best mid-major program out went while Harvard is one collapse at Colorado away from being undefeated and potentially in the top 25. The best opening round game of the Great Alaska Shootout.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 23 Iowa vs. Xavier, 7:00 p.m. ET

The most intriguing game in the Battle 4 Atlantis first round. Xavier has looked good early in the season, particularly Semaj Christon, who is one of the most talented lead guards in the country. Iowa, however, is deep and talented and has a very strong front line. The Hawkeyes haven’t really been tested yet this season, so this will be a nice chance to see whether or not they truly deserve their ranking.


1) No. 5 Oklahoma State kicks off action on Thanksgiving day by taking on Purdue in the Old Spice Classic. The Boilermakers are undefeated, but they haven’t played anyone.

2) Two matchups we’re hoping to see this week? Oklahoma State getting a rematch with No. 21 Memphis, who kicks off the Old Spice against Siena, and UTEP squaring off with USC in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Their coaching staffs nearly brawled last night.

3) LSU gets St. Joe’s in the first round of the Old Spice Classic. The Tigers were supposed to be a sleeper in the SEC this season, but they lost their first notable game against UMass.

4) No. 2 Kansas plays Wake Forest at 3:30 p.m., No. 25 Marquette takes on Cal State Fullerton at 4:30 p.m. ET and No. 19 UCLA tangles with Nevada at 7:30 p.m.

5) Northwestern plays Missouri at 9:30 p.m. in the first game that Frank Haith will be coaching this season.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: NBCSports.com top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State