Friday, January 4, 2008

Linked Up, Jan. 4

Not a lot of news today, but plenty of things to talk about; here's some non-newspaper quick-hitters to take up your morning.

- Jeff Goodman breaks down each of the six major conferences heading into conference play. He gives his favorite, surprise, dark horse, individual awards and much more. (

- Dana O' Neil looks at each of the six remaining unbeatens and assesses what they have done so far and what road blocks stand in their respective paths towards perfection. (

- Although top-25 polls don't have an effect on who gets selected to the NCAA Tournament or who wins the national championship, Gary Parrish said it means the world to mid-majors striving for national attention. (

- Bob McClellan empties out his national notebook, discussing Florida's Marreese Speights and several other much-improved players. He also looks at things to watch over the weekend. (

- The Atlantic-10 is having a breakthrough season and could receive up to four or five bids come Selection Sunday. (

- Mike DeCourcy discusses why conference play is so important and also looks at some of the key games the rest of the way in terms of NCAA Tournament implications. (

- Luke Winn looks at defensive efficiency ratings for Elite Eight teams in the past, and how a poor rating could effect several ranked teams in March. (

- Forbes ranks the most valuable college basketball programs in the country, based on what the program contributes to the university, athletic department, conference and local communities. North Carolina is No. 1. (

- John Gasaway goes inside the numbers and examines what conference play in the ACC, Big East and Big Ten might hold. (Basketball Prospectus)

- An argument for North Carolina being a better team that Memphis because of the Tigers'...weak non-conference schedule? (

- Ken Pomeroy analyzes the effect that height has on a basketball team, by looking at four defensive categories: Block percent, 2-point percentage defense, effective field goal percentage defense and adjusted defensive efficiency. (Basketball Prospectus)

- Kyle Whelliston ranks the top mid-majors (lower 21 conferences) in the country, using The State of College Basketball ratings. Sam Houston State is No. 1, Siena No. 2 and Butler No. 3. (The Mid-Majority)

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