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Super Sixteen

By: Jarrod Columnist
Contact Jarrod

College Basketball Super Sixteen

For the first time this season, the top team remains the same, but there's a new team from each the Big East, CUSA, and WCC in this week's edition of the Super Sixteen....

[ Week of December 15 - 21 ]


North Carolina North Carolina
First team to retain a No. 1 ranking all season long, thanks largely in part to playing only 1 game in a 12 day stretch. Should be nice and rested when Wake Forest comes to town. See preview below.
Connecticut Connecticut
Havenít heard much about Connecticut lately? Thatís because their last 3 opponents (Lehigh, Army, Quinnipiac) have a combined record of 9-13. UConn hasnít exactly been beefing up the RPI lately.
Duke Duke
Continues to look better and better with each passing game, even though the win over Michigan State isnít doing the same.
Arizona Arizona
Give Lute Olsen some credit. He beat two Top 25 teams this week, despite being only six deep. Arizona needs to keep playing with a chip on their shoulder.
Kansas Kansas
Jumps a few spots, only because of the string of losses ahead of them. Loss of Jeff Graves will only make it tougher for Wayne Simien down low until the Jayhawks can find a consistent outside threat.
Kentucky Kentucky
Jury is out on Kentucky. They have beaten solid teams, but have yet to play an elite squad. Kentucky still needs someone to emerge as a number one option.
Texas Texas
Ran into a hot Arizona team in New York. Will run into another hot Duke team in Durham this weak. Can Texas win at Duke? It should be interesting.
St. Joseph's St. Joseph's
A backcourt with the likes of Jameer Nelson and Delonte West will do wonders come tournament time in March. They just need to stay focused on their laughable schedule in the months of Dec-Feb.
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Could be the best team in the country, but itís too early to shoot them up this list. At this point, Georgia Tech seems to be more prepared than anybody in the country, but will this be the case when ACC play starts?
Missouri Missouri
Off court problems continue to mount for Missouri. On court performance might decide whether or not Quin Snyder is around next year. Missouri has yet to show a complete performance.
Oklahoma Oklahoma
Bruising wins over Big 10 foes Purdue and Michigan State show that Oklahoma can grit it out with the best of them.
Wake Forest Wake Forest
Road trip to North Carolina this week will be a true measuring stick for the ACC title. Wake Forest can take an early lead with a win.
Stanford Stanford
Impressive start becomes all the better when you consider that Josh Childress has not been playing. Big west coast match up with Gonzaga looms.
Gonzaga Gonzaga
It was only a matter of time until Gonzaga broke into the Super 16. A win over Stanford this week would solidify this team as a national contender.
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
You probably canít name a single starter on Pittsburghís squad, but they are undefeated and have a very favorable schedule the next few weeks. Will they still be undefeated when they travel to Connecticut on January 19th?
Louisville Louisville
Consistency is key for Rick Pitino and company. Win over free-falling Florida was impressive, but will have to back it up in the coming weeks.


Wake Forest vs North Carolina - Saturday
Wake Forest vs North Carolina

SUMMARY: North Carolina comes in with one of premier starting 5ís in the country. Led by Sean May (20.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG) and Jawad Williams (20.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG), they come in as one of the hottest teams in the land.
A young Wake Forest team, who is lead by sophomore center Eric Williams (16.2 PPG) and junior forward Jamaal Levy (12.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG), comes in with an equally impressive resume with quality wins over Memphis, Indiana, and Richmond.
This is shaping up to be quite a battle. North Carolina better be prepared, because Wake Forest can play with anybody in the country, and will come into this game with the attitude of having nothing to lose. Itís early, but this is the first game that could set the tone for the ACC title race. Wake Forest has one of the most balanced teams in the country. North Carolina needs to establish a presence down low with Sean May and control tempo.

X-FACTOR: Glass: Both teams come in with similar rebounding statistics, with a slight edge to Wake Forest. A key for North Carolina to establish their transition game will in fact be rebounding. Keeping Wake off the offensive glass and getting the ball to Raymond Felton will be a focal point for North Carolina. Look for North Carolina to seize the momentum early and not let up.

PREDICTION: North Carolina 86 Ė Wake Forest 79

Texas vs Duke - Saturday
Texas vs Duke

SUMMARY: Led by the likes of P.J. Tucker and Brandon Mouton, Texas comes in with one of the deepest teams in the country. A total of 10 players are averaging over 10 MPG, with nobody averaging more than 30 MPG. The only blemish on Texasí season came at the hands of a hot shooting Arizona team, a game in which the Longhorns only shot 36%. Donít expect this to happen too often.
Duke, still searching for an offensive identity, has been getting it done on the defensive end as of late. Luol Deng, after a tremendous start, has settled into freshmen-like numbers lately. J.J. Redick is still searching for his stroke, but has been perfect from the free-throw, shooting a slick 23 for 23.
This game could go either way. Texas could be the best team in the country, but it will have to find a consistent shooting percentage in order to fulfill that potential. Duke likes to run and run some more at home, but they will have their hands full with Texas.

X-FACTOR: Brian Boddicker vs. J.J. Redick: Both of these guys can be night and day when it comes to shooting behind the arc. But, whoever has the better game between these two might determine the victor. Boddicker has been shooting it well at 45% this season from 3 point land, while Redick has struggled at just 27%. Boddicker has shown a knack for shooting it well on the road during his time at Texas, evident in his games at Notre Dame and Kansas last year, but will need to get more looks in order for Texas to win.

PREDICTION: Texas 77 Ė Duke 74