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Wednesday News and Notes

While you wait for Duke and Wisconsin, peruse a few articles garnered from the web today.

Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This is our own work, but- KenPom is the go to place for basketball rankings at this point. No media place can come close to the numbers that Pomeroy routinely churns out. In accordance with that, this is our weekly look at how a field comprised of the teams that KenPom rates the highest would actually look.

One of Xavier's favorite tournaments to lose- The Battle for Atlantis has a loaded field next year. This preview looks at the possible UConn-Syracuse matchup (isn't that a little early in the year for Syracuse to leave New York?), but look at that lineup of teams. If Xavier is going to lose two games over Thanksgiving each year, it would be nice to lose to teams like this. Except Charlotte.

One of the more likable players in basketball is out for awhile- Dez Wells can't seem to get things to go his way for a very long stretch of time, and now his broken wrist just extends that run. Dez was scoring 16.2 per game when he got hurt and had Maryland poised to make some noise in the Big Ten. What a bizarre place for the Terps to be, by the way.

Ever read a story about someone you hate and be forced to change your mind?- If you hate Shaka Smart and want to go on doing so, don't read this piece. No kid should ever have to say something like this, "So I remember the door just slamming, and I can still hear the sound of that door just slamming. And that's the last time I ever saw my father. December 12th, 1994."

Longform writing is a dying art- This piece is a bit older, but it combines excellent longform with a story about how loving basketball can lead you places you'd never dreamed you be. For Kimani Ffriend, that love leads to a story that hasn't ended yet, but doesn't end well.