Be on the look out for a couple of very hot basketball teams. Take notice of the Pitt Panthers, led by sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs. After a slow start, Gibbs has helped lead the Panthers to an outstanding start in Big East Conference play. After being unranked most of the season, the Panthers are quietly off to a 15-2 start, including 3 straight road wins at Syracuse, Cincinatti and Connecticutt. Add to that a big overtime win against Louisville on Saturday and the Panthers are off to a 5-0 start in the Big East. The Panthers currently are ranked #9 in the AP Top 25
The style is the same. Tough defense and team basketball. After losing Dejuan Blair, Sam Young, Levance Fields and Tyrell Biggs from last seasons Elite 8 team, the Panthers were picked to finish 9th in the rugged Big East. Believe me, this is a solid tournament team. Without the star power, they may be even more dangerous. They share the ball more and are very athletic. This is not a team that many want to deal with come March.
Another team that could pose problems come tournament time is the Ohio State Buckeyes. At 13-5, the Buckeyes have crept back into the rankings at #21. The Buckeyes had been struggling somewhat, but led by Evan Turner, they captured wins over two top 25 teams last week in Purdue and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes have problems away from home, but winning at Purdue was a huge win. I still don't think the Big Ten is one of the Top 4 Conferences, but the Buckeyes could easily find themselves the second best team in the conference behind Michigan St.
With the accomplishments of Gibbs and Turner in the past week, the recieve my first awards as my co-players of the week