College basketball’s early overreactions: Five takeaways from the first two weeks of the 2022-23 season

We’re two weeks away and moving into college basketball season, which means we can officially glean some information from the results and data that we have so far seen and accumulated. Whether or not this is all sticky and prescriptive is probably (definitely!) still to be determined, but opinions are nonetheless forming on what we know so far and what we think we know so far. So why not put pen to paper and dole out a few overreactions on small samples? (So ​​we can, inevitably, look back on that in a few months and see how right we were.)

Most teams have played four, maybe five games, so a lot of those are subject to change, of course. And teams can change and evolve throughout the season, and often do, as injured players return, new teams get acquainted and young players develop. But . . . Sometimes early season results are more predictive than we think. And if they are. . . well, that’s going to be a problem for a few teams (and a boon for a few others.)

Let’s cut to the chase and start with some lows. You can’t spell most of the word “low” without “Louisville”, so cardinals come first.

Lousy Louisville is the worst team in the ACC

It’s been so bad for Louisville this season that I think, as long as we overreact early in the season, we could reasonably just cut “into the ACC” of that prediction and roll with it. Louisville is the worst team. Kenny Payne’s tenure with the Cardinals got off to a bad start. Missing out on five-star rookie DJ Wagner was just a taste of how things went on the pitch. With a blowout 80-54 loss to No. 9 Arkansas in the Maui Invitational on Monday, the Cardinals fell to 0-4 this season, their worst start in more than eight decades (!!).

Tuesday, it got worse. Louisville had its lowest offensive production in 74 years in a 70-38 loss to No. 21 Texas Tech.

There are myriad reasons why the Cardinals aren’t a good basketball team right now, but No. 1 on the list right now is their inability to care for the ball. Louisville ranked last among all major programs in the conference in assist-to-rotation ratio with now 72 turnovers and 31 assists on the season after 22 turnovers and four assists against Arkansas.

And what’s next for Cardinals 0-5? The schedule does them no favors. Louisville plays the seventh-place Maui Invitational game against Cincinnati on Wednesday, then embarks on this tough schedule:

November 29 No. 23 Maryland
December 4 Miami
December 10 to the state of Florida
December 14 Western Kentucky
December 17 Florida A&M
December 20 lip comb
December 22 at NC State
December 31st at No. 15 Kentucky

Louisville started 1940-41 with 11 straight losses and has a clear chance of being 0-10 this season heading into its home game against the Rattlers. But Payne’s first season is on a Payne-full start the cardinals.

Villanova is not the same without Jay Wright

Put it in the category of well, yeah, duh, but Villanova, as it turns out, doesn’t quite have the same buzz he had under Hall of Fame coach Jay Wright that he has so far under his replacement, Kyle Neptune. The Wildcats are 2-2 this season with losses to Temple and No. 12 Michigan State. Their style remains the same – slower than ever with a steady pace to crush teams – but their results so far have been mixed.

Not having five-star freshman Cam Whitmore and veteran star Justin Moore, who both recently suffered injuries, is significant and partly explains why it started slowly. But Nova looks a tier below No. 10 Creighton and No. 20 UConn at first. We’ll see if things change as the conference approaches, but it could be a down year as the Wildcats enter a new era, but this year could bring some growing pains that the program hasn’t had to. manage in recent years.

The Big 12 is a big dog (again)

There was reason to be optimistic in the preseason about the SEC and the Big Ten potentially eliminating the mighty Big 12 as the top conference in college hoops. But so far that optimism has been dulled by a big stick, with the Big 12’s best already looking like they could double as college basketball’s best as well. Texas is 4-0 and ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25 and No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 and 1 on the heels of blowing then-No. 2 Gonzaga. No. 3 Kansas is 4-0 after beating No. 8 Duke. And No. 7 Baylor and No. 21 Texas Tech, despite a stumble each, looked as good or maybe better than expected. .

Meanwhile, in the SEC, Kentucky’s No. 15 big dog looked tough and Tennessee’s No. 22 fell flat against the hot and cold of Colorado, and in the Big Ten, No. 11 of Indiana, Michigan State’s No. 12, Illinois’ No. 16. , No. 23 Maryland and No. 25 Iowa, have all been impressive so far, but no team or team has been as good as the collection the Big 12 has at the top.

Virginia is ACC class

North Carolina’s preseason No. 1 did nothing to technically lose its ranking — it won each of its four games this season — but it certainly didn’t do anything to really validate that either. ranking. Against three teams ranked outside the top 80 on KenPom.com, UNC has a scoring margin that is 54th nationally with wins closer than they should have been against UNC Wilmington and Gardner-Webb.

Meanwhile, No. 5 Virginia’s pre-season buzz has turned into early-season success with one of the most impressive two opening weeks highlighted by wins in Vegas last week against Baylor. and Illinois. With Duke not yet at full strength and UNC faltering early, the Cavaliers are looking like contenders again under Tony Bennett and appear to be ACC class until further notice.

Big Ten exceeds its lofty expectations

There were only three Big Ten teams ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 — Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, which was lower than the Big 12 and the SEC — but six conference teams have landed in the latest AP Top 25 ranking on Monday. That’s more than any other major conference. His rise was bolstered by strong early season results from Michigan State, Maryland, Purdue and Iowa, all of which were unranked in the preseason but are a combined 15 -1 to start the season with wins over Kentucky and Villanova (to Michigan State), Saint Louis and Miami (to Maryland), Marquette (to Purdue), and Seton Hall (to Iowa).

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