In our latest edition of Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis, we spend a lot of time looking at early season tournaments.
It’s only natural to pay attention to early season tournaments like the Battle 4 Atlantis or Maui Invitational. They are the best vehicle for noteworthy matchups and for teams to emerge, and as such we learn a good deal about a lot of teams early. Here, we look at how North Carolina has looked as good as anyone thus far, even an impressive Kentucky team that saw a historic individual effort on Monday, and we learned a little about Connecticut, Oklahoma State and Georgetown in Maui as well. We also look at the start UCLA has had, including their championship in the Wooden Legacy.
We expand on this by noting the success of the Big East, who claimed four championships as a backdrop against which Georgetown must compete. By the end of Monday, Butler had knocked off Utah, pushing those four Big East teams to a combined 25-0 mark against which Georgetown (and others) must compete.
We also talk about Michigan State, who was a headliner at the Battle 4 Atlantis that was won by Baylor, and Temple winning the NIT Season Tip-Off and appearing ready for another good season. Michigan State has had a brutal schedule thus far, and it won’t get any easier on Tuesday night.
Lastly, before looking ahead we talk about the big week that South Carolina had. The Gamecocks were picked perhaps a bit low for what they did last season and who they return this season – eighth in the 14-team SEC – but they are 6-0 and had two big wins last week.
You get all of that and more in this new episode of our podcast.