Who’s hungry for college basketball?
Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, a daily column that can be found here every single morning getting you caught up to date on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
T.J. Otzelberger can get blood from a stone
Iowa State’s second-year head coach lost Izaiah Brockington and Tyrese Hunter from last season’s team that reached the Sweet 16 and Temple transfer Jeremiah Williams — who was supposed to be the Cyclones’ starting point guard — to a season-ending injury, but none of that matters. Otzelberger — who is quickly becoming one of the top defensive tacticians in the sport — led Iowa State (5-0) to a dramatic 70-65 win over top-ranked North Carolina on Friday in the semifinals of the PK85. The victory puts the Cyclones into Sunday’s title game against UConn and also reiterates that this program is going to remain nationally relevant as long as Otzelberger is its head coach.
Jeremy Roach was the difference for Duke against Xavier
The Blue Devils’ veteran point guard was sensational on Friday against the Musketeers and looked every bit the part of a guy that played an integral role on last season’s team that reached the Final Four. Whenever Duke needed a big play made against Xavier, it was Roach who was right in the middle of it. The 6-2 junior finished with 21 points, five assists, and four rebounds in the victory while shooting 9-15 from the field. Roach also only had one turnover in 35 minutes.
UConn looks the part
It’s only been two games for the Huskies against power conference opponents, but UConn has won back-to-back games in the PK85 against Oregon and Alabama by an average of 19.5 points. The games haven’t felt that close. Everyone knew that UConn had the Big East Preseason Player of the Year in Adama Sanogo, but the quality of his supporting cast has really stood out over the last few days. Another thing that’s stood out? UConn is a significantly better shooting team than it was last season. In two games in Portland, the Huskies have made a total of 26 three-point shots.
On The Side
- Indiana’s next five opponents — North Carolina, Rutgers, Nebraska, Arizona, and Kansas — are all from power conferences. We’ll know a lot more about the Hoosiers — who are currently 6-0 — by Christmas.
- Ole Miss (6-0) freshman Amaree Abram is breaking out at this week’s ESPN Invitational in Orlando. Through two games in the event, Abram is averaging 22.5 points and four rebounds while shooting 18-26 from the field and 5-5 from three-point range. Abram had only tallied a total of 28 points in the Rebels’ previous four games.
- Portland’s Shantay Legans is the breakout star at this week’s PK85 in Portland. The Pilots nearly beat North Carolina on Thursday and upset Villanova on Friday. Remember this guy’s name when head coaching vacancies come to the forefront in March.
- Syracuse (3-2) has a dangerous “buy game” today against America East favorite Bryant (4-1). The Bulldogs nearly beat the Orange two seasons ago — falling by a single point during the 2020-21 campaign — and have a significantly better roster now, headlined by former top-50 recruit Earl Timberlake (15.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, four assists).
- Duquesne can equal its win total from last season with a win on Tuesday against Big West favorite UC Santa Barbara. The Dukes are currently 5-1, with their only loss coming against Kentucky at Rupp Arena.
- Kent State at Houston
- Bryant at Syracuse
- Colgate at Penn
- Cal/Clemson (Emerald Coast Classic)
- Iowa/TCU (Emerald Coast Classic)
- The Breakfast Buffet: Oscar Tshiebwe, Xavier/Creighton, Keyontae Johnson/Florida
- Midseason All-Americans for the 2022-23 season
- The Breakfast Buffet: Xavier begins its massive week at UConn, Jahvon Quinerly, Bryce Hopkins
- The Breakfast Buffet: Kansas State gets a crack at Hilton Coliseum, North Carolina/Syracuse, Trayce Jackson-Davis
- Episode 378 — Xavier’s Sean Miller