Oladipo is ‘combo of Jordan and Wade’
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
What you need to know: Victor Oladipo might be the best player in the country.
Tuesday night’s Big Ten showdown told us more than the fact that No. 1 Indiana is better than No. 5 Michigan State.
Forget the best team in the country argument and never mind the argument for most valuable player on the Hoosiers’ roster (It’s not Cody Zeller). Oladipo has been the most obvious candidate for most improved player of the year, but it’s time to stop giving all the POY praise to Doug McDermott (his Creighton team is struggling), Trey Burke (Michigan is the third best team in the Big Ten currently) and Mason Plumlee (Duke had another court-storming loss recently).
Oladipo’s 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Indiana’s first win over Michigan State in East Lansing since 1991 spoke volume to his candidacy among the game’s elite.
“To me, he’s a combination of (Michael) Jordan and Dwyane Wade,” Hall of Famer Magic Johnson said Tuesday night on ESPN while calling the Michigan State-Indiana game. “Victor was unbelievable. He took over the game in last two minutes to win the game for (Indiana). If he comes out (of college early), this guy will be one of the top five players in the NBA (draft).”
Myth buster: The Southeastern Conference will only get one bid in the NCAA tournament.
The Missouri Tigers must have read Eric Prisbell’s piece suggesting that the SEC was in jeopardy of becoming a one-bid league because Tuesday’s 63-60 win over Florida ended any bubble discussion Missouri was facing. In our bracketologist Patrick Stevens’ latest Bubble Tracker, Missouri casually moved into the “safe for now” category. The Tigers should take those three words to heart.
Biggest question looming: Will defending champion Kentucky make the Big Dance?
The good news for Kentucky is that weeks will get better than last week. After losing star freshman Nerlens Noel for the season with an ACL tear, the Wildcats were steamrolled by fellow bubble team Tennessee in an SEC test. Kentucky is 17-8 but hasn’t beaten a team in the top 50.