Halfway Update on the College Basketball Season


Photo from Sports Illustrated

Michael James, Staff Writer

We’re closing in on the halfway mark of the college basketball season, and a number of storylines have developed throughout the games played so far. We’ve seen teams disappoint us and surprise us. We’ve even seen a player arrested for murder. We’re here to recap the biggest storylines from the NCAA Division 1 league. 

After entering the season ranked 4th in the nation, Kentucky still needs to find its rhythm. Kentucky finished the 2021-2022 season with a 26-8 record. The blue blood program sits at 10-6, only 2 losses away from their previous year’s loss total—the preseason favorite ranks 13th out of 14th in the SEC and is no longer nationally ranked. Kentucky’s biggest weakness this season has been their lack of consistency. They looked strong in a win over number 9 Tennessee this week.  The major win comes just days after an embarrassing 20-point loss to an Alabama team that shocked viewers nationwide. Kentucky faces all unranked opponents this week in preparation for a matchup against defending national champions Kansas next week.

Alabama is currently ranked fourth in the nation, but their Cinderella season will be facing some troubles in the coming weeks after recent events. Player Darius Miles was listed as out with an ankle injury early last week with no further comments. It was later released by Tuscaloosa Police that Miles had been arrested in connection to a murder on Sunday morning. Miles was not a large part of the Crimson Tide’s success this season, but an incident like this is sure to shake up the locker room. 

The College of Charleston has also shocked the nation this season. The school of under 12,000 students is leading a run reminiscent of Texas Christian University’s football’s Cinderella season. The Cougars sit at 19-1 atop the Colonial Athletic Association. Their only loss this season has come to a UNC team that was ranked 1st in the nation at the time. Charleston has had one of the most efficient offenses in the country this year. Led by Dalton Bolon, the Cougars are scoring the 28th most points per game in the country. If their success continues, then Charleston will be guaranteed a spot in March Madness as a conference champion. Even if they fail to win the CAA Championship, it would be very surprising to see the College of Charleston miss the big dance this year given their record and resume.

As the season goes on, teams are continuing to improve as the reality sets in that a single loss can disqualify a team from a chance at playing in March Madness. This week, I’ll closely watch on Tuesday as #2 Kansas travels across town in a rivalry match against #13 Kansas State. Wednesday through Friday does not host any ranked matchups. Saturday holds more big games–including another Big-12 matchup for Kansas. They face off against #14 TCU in Kansas. Duke also faces off in an ACC matchup against #17 Miami. Duke has fallen out of the Top 25 for the first time since the Covid year in 2020-2021. This is a turbulent time for the historic university as they try to regain its honor. Duke has been very disappointing this year after losing star player Paolo Banchero to the NBA draft last season. This is a must-win game for them if they hope to make an appearance in March Madness this year.

Going forward, I’ll be sharing weekly updates on the tournament along with the biggest games each week.