This weekend, the Duke Blue Devils won the Motion bracket of the PK80 invitational. What’s interesting is how they won.
Duke was down by at least seven in each of the wins, including being down 17 with 10 minutes remaining in their 87-84 championship win over Florida. It was an impressive show of resilience from a pretty young team.
That young team (more on that below) may now firmly be the favorites for the national title after beating Florida and Michigan St in the first month of the season.
National Player of the Week: Marvin Bagley, III, Duke.
Bagley was dominant in Portland last week as he averaged 27.3 points and 15 rebounds per game to spur Duke to the title. He has shown early on that the hype around him is legit and that he is a legitimate National Player of the Year Candidate.
Stock Up: Washington St. How about the Cougars? Washington State won the Wooden Legacy tournament in Southern California – beating 3 teams that many believe are bubble teams at the very least. This is a huge development for the Pac-12 and that program that hasn’t been the same since Tony Bennett left for Virginia.
Stock Down: Arizona. Wow. If there was any team that the FBI investigation appears its taken its toll on its the Arizona Wildcats. They lost all three game in the Battle of Atlantis and weren’t competitive in the their 89-64 lost to Purdue. It’s an embarrassing performance for a program under the microscope.
Stock Up: Division I basketball in the state of Nevada. Both Nevada and UNLV are undefeated and have looked impressive doing so. The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels destroyed Utah by 25 on Thanksgiving in a clear sign that head coach Marvin Menzies has it turned it around. Meanwhile Nevada has already beaten Rhode Island and Davidson. It looks like those two could be making the Mountain West at least a two-bid league.
Stock Down: Trying to win a game with three players. It’s almost impossible, but Alabama came close. After a scuffle when it’s reserves left the bench, a foul out and an injury, the Crimson Tide was forced to finish its game against Minnesota with just three players. The crazy thing is that after all that happened, Alabama actually cut into the lead. Still not recommended.
This Week’s Top 25:
3. Michigan St
6. Texas A&M
9. Notre Dame
11. Wichita St
16. North Carolina
17. Rhode Island
18. Seton Hall
20. West Virginia
25. Arizona St