A lot of ground to cover this week.
For those new to the show, Traveling is your quick way to catch up on the week (or weekend) in basketball. These are quick notes that you can scroll through while traveling to work, or that crucial first bathroom trip of the day.
Let’s get started.
More Top 10 Losses
Villanova loses at Providence. Cincinnati goes down to Houston. Purdue picks up their third straight loss.
And then Ohio State got blown out, 79-56 at Penn State.
All of those Top 10 losses came to unranked teams.
So I think Michigan State was pissed off
Wonder if the Spartans had something to prove after seeing themselves on the No. 3 line? Yeah, they destroyed the Minnesota Gophers, 87-57.
Winter is coming
If you’re a fan of teams like Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, or hell maybe any major conference team at this point, this next Tweet should cause at least a little bit of armpit sweat.
“When this all comes out, Hall of Fame coaches should be scared, lottery picks won’t be eligible to play and almost half of the 16 teams the NCAA showed on its initial NCAA tournament show this weekend should worry about their appearance being vacated.” https://t.co/MDigeOJQqF
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) February 15, 2018
You can read the full story here,
The FBI, normally known for important work, like breaking up violent drug rings or preventing terrorist threats, now seems determined to crack a case about shoe companies giving money to unpaid athletes who make their university millions and networks like ESPN/CBS billions.
The FBI is going to be annoying about this too, likely releasing their bombshell reports right before Selection Sunday.
But hey, Bucknell should be safe
If that Tweet above is true, I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m writing an ebook called “Why Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky Should Leave College Basketball (+12 more teams)” arguing that these 16 teams should just create the NBA’s U-21 league. I may need to hurry up.
The premise is this: if all the Top 50 recruits are going to those schools anyways (Duke has the top three recruits next year) and these guys are only staying for one season, let’s just call it what it is: an NBA Development League. Let’s stop pretending it’s the same thing as places like Bucknell.
Let college basketball be about three and four-year players. You’ll still get the craziness, just take a look at this ending of Bucknell’s game this week.
But, worth pointing out, that video has 2,300 views. Any video with Trae Young: more like 230,000. The NCAA needs their Blue Bloods, their brand names; they need the star players to make the economic engine work.
But then that begs the question, shouldn’t those players be getting paid?
Let’s Jump to the NBA
Isaiah Thomas vs. Rajon Rondo
Don’t hold your breath for Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo to return to Boston, together, as the savvy veteran backups on the 2025-26 Celtics team.
Shaq breaks down the beef below. The two-sentence summary: Rondo had been making fun of IT for having a tribute video in Boston, saying he didn’t deserve it compared to Rondo/Pierce/KG/Ray. This spilled over into the Lakers vs. Pelicans game, insert trash talk, insert double ejection.
What in the world was going on in Area 21??
Kevin Garnett has a show on TNT called Area 21. And this week things got real weird:
The Raptors might have a shot at making the NBA Finals
This would be the year. LeBron will have only had about 30 games with his new roster and Boston seems about even with Toronto’s roster.
One of the best ways to judge a championship caliber team (or conference championship caliber) is how into it their bench is. Take a look at the Raptors:
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Some strange stuff going on in Canada
This gets into Ezra’s Streamable picks of the week, but I’m hoping we get a deep Raptors run simply for more of these halftime shows.
Ezra’s Streamable Pick of the Week
Jokic recorded a triple-double in the first half. No assist better than this one.
Speaking of the Nuggets
Denver is currently the No. 6 seed out West. Half game behind OKC for that No. 5 spot.
But the West is getting crazy competitive, as it does every year. Clippers trail New Orleans by half a game. Utah rising fast, winners of 11 in a row.
Tune in Monday for recaps of NBA All-Star weekend + highlights of the weekend in college basketball action. Mentioned the YouTube channel above, also would love if you gave us a quick follow/like over at the Facebook page.