Our weekly? Yeah, it’s a weird update for the season: Two of the top two teams and three of the top four teams in the Power Rankings College Basketball Rankings are on COVID-19 break. Two of the most anticipated games of the week (Michigan State in Virginia and Texas in Baylor) have been postponed. But one of the good things about this season is that conferences are playing in the league sooner than ever before, which means we’ll be immersed in a full conference game this week.
In a normal season we would be in the middle of a quiet period on the university basketball calendar. Most teams have a short break until the end of last week. But teams and conferences are trying to get as many matches as possible, so the field is packed this week.
Team of the week: Florida Seminoles
Last week, we didn’t have much to do with the state of Florida; the Seminoles only played one game, and that was the home game against North Florida. Well, the Seminoles answered the phone after their impressive home persuaded the top 25 border crews from Indiana and Florida. The victory over the Alligators came with obvious caveats – the game itself faded into the background after Keionte Johnson fell on the field and was taken to a local hospital. But this week was a bit like a party to celebrate the top 10 newcomers and Scotty Barnes’ potential selection for the lottery. Barnes mixed his performance against Indiana to score a winning goal in overtime, then scored 17 points and five assists against Florida. Here is another interesting angle that no one expected to see this season. Isn’t Florida a favorite for a new CCA champion? Virginia, the favorite in pre-season competition, is going through a difficult time, Duke, who is at the top of the draw, has much to do, and North Carolina has lost two of his toughest games with Texas and Iowa. Who says seminoles can’t do it anymore? Never doubt Leonard Hamilton.
Player of the week: Justin Champagne, the Pittsburgh Panthers…
This of course happened against Northwest and Gardner-Webb, but if a player scores 20-20 points in the return games, he will probably be elected player of the week. Champagne, which had a strong opening season for the Panthers, has become a sophomore product – and after last week’s performance it finally gets national recognition. Against Northwestern he scored 20 points and 20 rebounds for the victory on the road with one point. And against Gardner-Webb the Champagne ended with 24 points, 21 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Some statistical data provided by ESPN Statistics and Information: Champagne is the first CCA player in 25 seasons with 20 points and 20 trips. He is the third major conference player in the last 25 seasons with 20 points and 20 trips. And he’s the only CCA player besides Tim Duncan with 20 points, 20 points, 5 points in the last 25 seasons. Yeah, he deserves the credit.
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