NCAAB: Gonzaga, Duke, and Purdue Lead the Race


NCAAB: Gonzaga, Duke, and Purdue Lead the Race

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the States, and it’s no surprise why. Of course, there’s nothing more enthralling than seeing the players take to the court and battle it out in style. But it all has its roots before we even get to the NBA, going back to the squeaky-shoed matches that are played out in college.

College basketball is a big thing in this country, unlike the rest of the world. A really big thing. One that feeds into the sport at a professional level and still has a massive following during the college stages, too.

It’s been an interesting season for the NCAAB this year, but then again, it’s been interesting for all sports across the globe.

But the NCAAB had to change a bit recently, especially with last year’s tournament only being held in one state. Though the teams got back into some sort of routine, they had to incorporate new rules for the 2021-2022 season, such as flopping resulting in a technical foul; personal fouls upped to six before disqualification, and team timeouts replacing media timeouts.

College athletes are resilient and eager to prove themselves, especially the runners up from last season, Gonzaga Bulldogs, who want to take it to the next level this season. However, the Duke Blue Devils and Purdue Boilermakers don’t plan on making it easy for them. 

Bulldogs barking for success
In the recent triumph against the Zags, the Gonzaga Bulldogs demonstrated prowess on the court against one of the top college basketball teams. Even better was Chet Holmgren’s performance, showing how his three-pointers play an important part in Gonzaga’s offense.

Holmgren’s found his feet within the team, knowing how to play on the rebound, shoot for three and get away with technical fouls. Or at least learn what he can and can’t do. The squad is all in a good place, growing after each game.

Anton Watson reinvigorates the team when he comes off the bench, giving the rest needed to players like Holmgren. Meanwhile, Nolan Hickman and Hunter Sallis have been forming a strong defensive partnership which is growing stronger each match.

If they continue to play like this throughout, then the Bulldogs will be a tough team to crack. This will be tough for a team that’s on the rise, having moved recently to number four in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. That makes them the only team from the West Coast Conference within the top 15, so they’ve shown they’ve got the drive, determination, and a growing squad that’s got winning the title in its sights. 

Duking it out at the top

tournament game
Creative Commons

Second place Dukes (right now, anyway) is hot off the trot of success with three wins. Trevor Keels had an important role to play in this, so he deservedly was named the ACC Freshman of the Week. Obviously, a solid squad is going to help the Dukes, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes which are helping to drive them towards success.

Getting new jerseys is just part of it. Another key part is that they’re looking towards new recruits already. Mackenzie Mgbako is the highest-ranked prospect in his class and is hoping the Dukes will be interested in what he has to offer.

It’s an exciting time that’s going to have college basketball fans wanting to back their hunches and place bets at places like, where they can wager on outcomes of the games, potential new rosters, and a lot more. But it’ll be a lot easier to manage than a basketball team – we’ll leave that to the pros.

Number three Purdue going for number one
The Bulldogs might be favored for the top spot, but Purdue is still above them in the AP Poll at number three. And this could be a reflection of what to expect as we move towards the end of the season.

In a recent match against Butler, Purdue thrashed them 77-48 to not only get their tenth win of the season but to renew the squad with more confidence as the year comes to an end.

Jaden Ivey led the way, who took away 22 points, making all six of his three-point shots. It was also a match that saw the behemoth, 7-foot 4 center Zach Edey come off the bench for the first time and add ten points to the tally. Strong performances from Isaiah Thompson and Sasha Stefanovic also highlighted that Purdue has a strong team and are a threat to be dealt with.