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Back on the grind

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Three things I never expected (or bothered to come to expect) happened to me on this blissful Thanksgiving weekend: I solidified my brand loyalty to United Airlines after receiving two vouchers valued at over $600 for future flights; had brunch next to former Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey (which triggered a recollection of his insanely cheesy yet hilarious televised fishing and ski events featuring 90s d-list celebrities); and sat at the Marriott-LAX bar just two stools away from NBA referees Bill Kennedy, Mark Ayotte, and Rodney Mott as they caught up on NFL highlights while chuckling about "doing" the Lakers game against the dreadful New Jersey Nets. 

One thing I didn't do, though, was learn how to prevent a run-on sentence.

Admittedly college basketball was not a real priority over the past seven days, as we had to rely on the tickers and newspapers to stay informed while bronzing, bathing and studying. Currently working to return to homeostasis, and continue to figure out who's chic now that Feast Week has concluded, here are a few bullets that got us thinking:

  • Is Duke the best team in the ACC? I keep looking for a rule that prevents teams with more than seven white players from being a viable Final Four contender, but so far have not found it. Jon Scheyer may just be capable enough to concurrently score and run the point.
  • Is Gonzaga the best non-BCS team in the country? Apologizes to Butler, but the Zags have been more impressive (and visible) in the early going here. They win the Maui, which had one of the more interesting fields in recent memory, and have four players averaging double figures. The losses of Austin Daye, Josh Heytvelt and Jeremy Pargo may not be as detrimental as we initially thought. Conversely, Butler lost two games in the 76 Classic (to Minnesota and Clemson) and had to sneak by a UCLA team that just plain isn't fooling anyone this season.
  • Is Purdue ready to live up to all this hype? They prevailed over Tennessee in what's arguably the best game of the season to this point. The remainder of their non-conference schedule is fairly smooth sailing leading up to Big 10 play.
  • Am I allowed to anoint Washington State's Klay Thompson as the "Best Player You're Not Watching"? The sophomore leads an undefeated Cougars team and has scored no less than 20 points in all six of their games.  And who says we are victim's of that East Coast bias?
Apologizes to Portland, Florida, Alabama, Cincinnati, Northwestern's John Shurna, and Marquette's Lazar Hayward, but I need to go kick this jetlag.