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Ohio State Buckeyes from deep, VCU Rams thrill, Louisville thriving

Let it be known ledes are insanely difficult to write when the meaningful information comes after the initial word vomit. It’s similar to micromanaging college basketball coaches who rather run a few seconds off the clock before starting earnest offense.

Basically, all this stuff you see here — the words barely forming sentences — are the needed transition until we hit the observations section of the post. Had there been a slightly more witty man tasked with writing this morning’s lede, you wouldn’t need to read the writings of a mad man.

Final Fantasy is a better universe than Marvel’s. Fine. There. I said it.

It’s The Morning After College Basketball.

The Ohio State Buckeyes From Deep

Joseph Nardone (@JosephNardone): On Wednesday evening, the Ohio State Buckeyes put it on the Villanova Wildcats, defeating the Big East foe by 25 points.

There were several reasons for Ohio State’s victory beyond the vaunted “they scored more points.” It was on only 16 attempts, but the Buckeyes shot 56.3% from deep while only turning it over 10 times. For those unaware of how this newfangled fancy math works, those numbers are good!

It’s also — small sample size theater inbound — representative of their season so far.

With only three games in the books, the Ohio State Buckeyes are shooting over 41% from beyond the arc, and are essentially a wash with their opponents when it comes to turning it over.

The rest of Ohio State’s non-conference schedule — save for a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels — is  less than inspiring. Expect the Buckeyes to be ranked pretty well by the time Big Ten Conference play begins, even if their current efficiency is like unsustainable.

VCU Wins Thriller Against LSU

Blake Lovell (@theblakelovell): In what was easily one of the best games of the new season thus far, VCU earned a huge 84-82 victory over LSU.

Of course, this was a game that was about more than just an intriguing showdown between two projected NCAA Tournament teams. LSU coach Will Wade made his return to Richmond, where he coached for several seasons both as a head coach and as an assistant.

It was far from a warm welcome, as fans certainly had their fun with the former Rams coach while also creating an awesome atmosphere. However, the most fun probably came when VCU won the game.

Mike Rhoades’ squad forced 26 turnovers and simply kept making big plays down the stretch. Five players notched double figures, with Marcus Santos-Silva leading the way with double-double by posting 17 points and 11 rebounds.

For those who had any doubt about the Rams’ ability to compete for an Atlantic 10 title, this game should have been all the proof needed to understand why so many people were high on them heading into the season.

Turning defense into offense continues to be a specialty, and that’s going to be a strength yet again this season. They’ve forced at least 18 turnovers in each of their first three games, which has allowed them to start 3-0 while grabbing a victory against the defending SEC regular season champs.

This team is really good, and as is typically the case, winning at VCU is going to be a huge challenge for any opponent.

Wisconsin Badgers Highlight Number Weirdness

Joseph: The last time the Wisconsin Badgers scored over 80 points, while not needing overtime to do so, was against Grambling last December. Granted, the 83 points the Badgers scored on Wednesday night was against the famed McNeese Cowboys (real school), so there’s only so much you can take away from it.

In fact, the Badgers did a similar thing last season, putting up gaudy numbers against potentially fictitious programs. Before Big Ten play began in 2018-19, the Wisconsin Badgers scored over 80 points four times. There’s even a tremendous 101 point performance against Savannah State in the mix!

However, when Big Ten play began, when removing the overtime game against Purdue (80 points), it was mostly eh-offense from the Buckeyes. To close the 2018-19 college basketball season, the Wisconsin Badgers only scored 62.7 points per game from February until the end of their voyage. Mind you, that number is lifted a bit by two overtime games.

The reason it’s being brought up is that many will want to point to last season’s overall 68.6 points per contest, while ignoring most of it was acquired by way of putting scrub programs under Wisconsin’s thumbs, to suggest the Badgers are capable of putting up big numbers.

A similar thing might end up happening this season; though the Badgers only scored 63 and 65 points in their other games of the season.

Point being, in the most roundabout way as possible: Not only is small sample size theater dangerous, but so too is ignoring the context of the overall information. It’s important to put place the context of the larger averages in conversations, as the numbers might be buoyed (or the opposite) thanks to the level of competition in the early stages of the season.

Louisville Continues To Impress

Blake: Louisville is another team that’s off to a 3-0 start this season, and that’s not exactly a huge surprise.

The Cardinals came into the season with high expectations, and they’ve been the favorite in their three games against Miami, Youngstown State, and Indiana State.

But it’s how they’ve won that’s been most impressive. Just watching this particular team plays makes you realize that they’re legit and undoubtedly one of the early favorites to win the national championship.

Jordan Nwora’s awesomeness was something college basketball fans were already aware of, and he continues to develop his game even more. But it’s not just him. Ryan McMahon, Samuell Williamson, Dwayne Sutton, and Steven Enoch are all averaging double figures as well to this point, and it’s clear that Chris Mack and his staff have a well-rounded team that’s capable of competing on the biggest stage in college basketball.

The schedule starts to get tougher in a few weeks, so Mack will certainly learn a lot more about his team.

But to this point, the Cardinals are looking like a true national title contender.

Final Fantasy VII Is My Marvel Avengers Endgame

Will they still have the stones to let {redacted} be murdered?

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Blake Lovell is a national writer for ClutchPoints. He’s also a contributor for the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview magazine. He hosts two podcasts: Marching to Madness (CBB) and Establish the Pass (NFL). 

You can follow him on Twitter @theblakelovell.

Joseph Nardone has been covering basketball for nearly a decade for various outlets in a variety of ways. He currently contributes to Forbes and Clutchpoints. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone.