February 23, 2013
Vin Parise is a former assistant college coach and the college basketball insider for NBC Sports. Look for his Top 10 Tidbits every week.
1. Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, Will Sheehey, …etc. No more needs to be said. In this wild season of college hoops, it's taken us until the third week of February to finally settle on a team. Regardless of how the rankings bump around at the top for the home stretch, how do you bet against the Indiana Hoosiers right now in Atlanta?
2. Miami is ranked No. 2 in the country, hasn't lost a game since Christmas Day and is 13-0 in the ACC, three games clear of 2nd-place Duke. If you take into account rebuilding jobs, Tom Crean is the Coach of the last three years as a whole — but Jim Larranaga from Miami is this season's Coach of the Year.
3. UConn won a huge conference game vs. Cincinnati Thursday. And the most unique stat in a long time took place in that game. The Huskies scored 18 points in the 2nd half — and then scored 18 points in the five-minute overtime session.
4. How about Florida International? Richard Pitino took over an 8-21 disaster from Isiah Thomas nearly a year ago and had a lot of work ahead of him. In the off-season he overhauled the roster, he changed the way his home court would look on game nights, but most importantly, he has people in Miami talking hoops. FIU won their 15th game Thursday night on Senior Night and are somehow in 3rd place in the Sun Belt.
5. Keep your eye of Fran McCaffery's team out at Iowa. The Hawkeyes are 17-9 overall, 6-7 in league and are currently in 7th place. However, other than #1 Indiana, the other 4 games left for Iowa are Nebraska twice, Purdue and Illinois. So there is a chance Iowa is 21-10 and 10-8 heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
6. After a lackluster start, Boston University has been on fire the last month. The Terriers have won 10 out of their last 12 and are now tied for second in the America East.
7. One team receiving a lot of buzz right now is Sacred Heart of the NEC. Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will be named athletic director at Sacred Heart, the Connecticut Post reported Thursday. Valentine doesn't have to worry about the baseball program, which has won the NEC two of the last three years.
8. Andre Roberson from Colorado is currently the nation's leading rebounder — a title I thought O.D. Anosike from Siena would have the entire season.
9. Freshman James Robinson from Pittsburgh has the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the Big East — not just amongst rookies…that includes everyone in the league.
10. And speaking of Big East rookies — they might as well just give the Rookie of the Year Award right now to JaKarr Sampson from St. John's.
Follow Vin on Twitter at @VinParise and check him out this Saturday breaking down the Mountain West all day in studio at NBC Sports Network with @carolynmanno.