Random Thoughts 2/28/14

-Batman AKA LeBron James returned last night from his broken nose.  He was sporting a very fancy, black carbon fiber mask.  It didn’t seem to slow him down much as he scored 31 points and the Heat rolled to an easy victory.  Don’t look now, but the Heat have really found their rhythm lately.  They went 9-1 in February with a plus 10 point differential.  Indiana went 9-3 with a plus 6.75 point differential.  That’s still good for Indy, but not as good as Miami.  Steve Kerr made a great point last night when he said it would be devastating for the Pacers to lose the #1 seed.  It’s not that they can’t win in Miami, but they’ve talked all year about how important it is.  And, let’s face it, until the Pacers make the NBA Finals, there will be some doubt in their minds.  Kerr also said something else that I thought was interesting.  He said that he didn’t believe anyone in the West could beat the Heat if they were healthy.  While that’s a bold statement, I tend to agree with him.  Personally I don’t think anyone in the West or East can beat them if they are healthy.  They certainly haven’t been completely healthy the last two years (Bosh and Wade have both been banged up in the Playoffs) and yet they’ve still won.  Indiana is good enough to put a scare in Miami.  And if LeBron, Wade or Bosh are at anything less than 100%, Indiana can win.  But if the Heat are healthy, I don’t see them getting beat 4 times by anyone.

-Kentucky lost another game to Arkansas last night.  In doing so they dropped to 21-7.  Kentucky continues to be a mystery to me.  They have an insane amount of talent with Julius Randle, James Young, the Harrison brothers, Willie Cauley-Stien and more.  However, they haven’t been able to win many big games.  Their best win is against Louisville.  Their next best win is probably against Missouri.  However, they’ve lost to Michigan State, Baylor, North Carolina, Arkansas twice, LSU and Florida.  I don’t think Kentucky is a terrible team, but they haven’t performed too well against the better teams they’ve played.  Louisville and Missouri are the only 2 teams in the top 50 RPI that they’ve beaten this year.  Obviously Kentucky is going to make the tournament, but I just can’t see them making a big run this year.

-There weren’t a ton of games in college basketball last night, but they were pretty crazy.  6 Top 25 teams played and only 1 (Louisville) won.  Saint Louis, Kentucky, Iowa, Memphis and Ohio State all lost.  Just goes to show you how much the rankings mean.  March Madness is only about 3 weeks away.  I always like to pick teams that have faced tough competition all year.  Kansas takes the cake for having played the most top teams.  They have won 12 games against top 50 RPI teams.  Arizona is next with 10.  Don’t get me wrong, that stat doesn’t tell you everything.  Wichita State only had 3 wins against top 50 teams last year.  We’ll see who can get hot and make a run this year.

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