Mailbag: Duke-UNC, Izzo and more
by Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
After another wild week of college basketball, it’s time for another weekly mailbag. We know everything seems confusing — top teams are getting blown out and star players on bubble teams are getting injured — so we’re here to help you make sense of things.
Onto this week’s …
@ScottSalomon: How good is the University of Miami, and can they win a national championship?
Prisbell: Not only can Miami win the national title, but if they do, don’t be surprised. I have been saying for a couple weeks that Miami is the most compelling story in the sport. The Hurricanes also are the team you would least want to play right now. They have a point guard in Shane Larkin playing like one of the top three point guards in the nation. They have five seniors, a rarity for a power conference team these days. They have played the nation’s toughest schedule. And coach Jim Larranaga has already been to a Final Four and is an excellent coach. The only thing they don’t have is experience. But in this wildly unpredictable season, expect the most wide-open tourney of your lifetime. And don’t be surprised to see Miami reach the Final Four or beyond.
Auerbach: You know how mid-major teams that make NCAA tournament runs usually tend to have one characteristic in common — veteran players? Well then, how good will a talented BCS-conference veteran team be? Apparently, pretty good. This team may not have a ton of NCAA tournament experience, as Eric points out, but they have a lot of basketball experience. After Miami beat N.C. State with 0.8 seconds left a few Saturdays ago, I heard a lot of the Miami players talk about how they were never fazed or nervous. They trust one another, and they’ve been in so many different situations in so many different types of games, they know how to handle them. Larranaga’s a great coach, and these guys play well together … [For more on Mailbag: Duke-UNC, Izzo and more, click here.]