The Christmas Shopping Season is long gone and the College Basketball Shopping Season is coming on and Bryson Gordon,(GTCC/GreensboroSports.com) college basketball writer, is right on top and at the top of your shopping list and Bryson is ready to tell the teams you need to buy and sell and now is the time to check out his College Basketball Shopping List for the 2016 post season….
College basketball is heating up. Chatter of the upcoming Duke vs North Carolina games are swirling, which can only mean one thing in the wonderful State of North Carolina, basketball season is in full effect.
Sure the Carolina Panthers are making their first Super Bowl run since Jake Delhomme was under center for the Panthers, but college basketball is beginning to take center stage, and a lot of the games that have already been played have been classics.
We have seen everything from top five matchups, to triple overtime thrillers, and even a bunch of bench warmers from Monmouth getting their shine for their famous (or in some eyes, infamous) antics. But the best thing about all of these signs mean only one thing, March is coming.
It is almost time for everybody to brush off their sometimes not so great bracket predicting skills, and start writing down names. I am going to try and help everybody out, and do a little bit of buy or sell, for the top contenders in college basketball!
I know they took Kansas to three overtimes, but this team relies too much on one guy. If Buddy Hield is not producing for the Sooners, the Oklahoma are in for a long night, whoever they are facing off against. Luckily for the Sooners, Hield has shown no signs of slowing down from his 26 points per game average. But the NCAA Tournament is a whole different monster. The Sooners need another solid big man to step up and take some of the weight off of Ryan Spangler’s shoulders, to account for the nights Oklahoma is not hitting their shots.
North Carolina is easily the deepest team in the Country. The Tar Heels have six players who average double digits, and have had nine different players score in double digits this season. The Heels have not been healthy this season, missing Marcus Paige for six games, Kennedy Meeks for seven games, and now Joel James is out with an Achilles injury, yet the Heels will most likely take over the top spot in the rankings Monday, if they can beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Sunday. If they stay healthy for the rest of the season, this team is widely considered a favorite to cut down the nets.
Kansas is experienced, and BIG. The Jayhakws boast one of the biggest, and most talented frontlines in college basketball, with Perry Ellis, Cheick Diallo, Carlton Bragg, and Jamari Traylor. The guard play is not that shabby either which is led by Frank Mason, and Wayne Selden. Kansas is known for struggling early in the NCAA tournament, but this team is too experienced and deep to fold under pressure. If Perry Ellis continues his 16 points per game production, Kansas will have a spot in the Final Four waiting for them.
Every year Villanova has a great record, but every year Villanova is knocked out of the tournament before the second weekend. Villanova’s last Sweet 16 was in 2009, despite being a one seed last year, and a two seed the year before. Villanova’s guard play is really good this year, led by Josh Hart, Ryan Arcidiacono, and freshman Jaylen Brunson, but the post play is suspect, Nova does not have a single post guy scoring double digits per game this season. Nova played Oklahoma early in the season and lost by 22 points, because they were not hitting their three pointers. That will be the story of the season for Nova, if they do not hit their threes, they will be sent packing early in the tournament.
Maryland has looked like the best team in the country at times, but at times they have looked like they could not care less about the sport. Maryland is extremely talented as we saw in the shootout with UNC back in December, but sometimes they lack the motor to be great. If Melo Trimble puts them in drive, then Maryland is in my eyes a top two team in the Country, especially when Rasheed Sulaimon is on, and Diamond Stone is coming around as one of the better freshmen in America. I really think Maryland is a final four team when the time comes in March.
Michigan State- Buy
Two words will sum this whole thing up. Tom Izzo. Ok I guess I will go on a little more, but really, when has anyone ever counted out a Tom Izzo team, and been right? Certainly not last year when they were SEVEN seed, and still made the Final Four! Tom Izzo is one of the best postseason coaches in college basketball, and he has one of the best players in college right now, Denzel Valentine. That’s a pretty good combo if you ask me. Even though they have lost three straight games, do not sleep on Sparty!