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Home > News > DAILY DISH: Murray State, Indiana are for real in 2012

DAILY DISH: Murray State, Indiana are for real in 2012

By: Kels Dayton

  • Murray State is for real. The Racers (No. 18, ESPN/USA Today Poll) won their 16th straight game to open up the season Saturday, knocking off rival Austin Peay, 87-75, on the road in one of the toughest gyms in the Ohio Valley Conference. Murray State owns wins over Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB and Dayton, and has one of the more underrated players in the nation in guard Isaiah Cannan. The 6-0 junior is averaging 18.7 points and 4.1 assists per game, leading the team in both categories. The competition isn’t going to be great the rest of the way, but at 16-0, the Racers deserve the benefit of the doubt should they lose in the OVC Tournament in March. Ohio Valley teams have won games in each of the past two NCAA Tournaments, with Murray State and Morehead State knocking out Vanderbilt and Louisville respectively. The Racers even gave Butler an incredible game in the second round in 2010, arguably the Bulldogs’ toughest test on the road to the Final Four that season.
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  • Isiah Cannan and Murray State are off to a 16-0 start this season. (AP Photo)

    Pencil in Indiana head coach Tom Crean as the National Coach of the Year at this point in the season. Crean’s Hoosiers are an incredible 15-1, and own wins over Kentucky, Ohio State, and Michigan. The Hoosiers don’t have a ton of NBA-level talent, but much like the 2002 Indiana squad that reached the NCAA Championship game, this team has a bunch of solid players who know how to win. All five starters average in double figures in points, led by freshman Cody Zeller at 14.5 points per game. If the NCAA Tournament began tomorrow, the Hoosiers would have a great argument for a No. 1 seed.

  • Colorado and Iowa State have been two of the biggest surprises thus far this season. The Buffaloes are 11-4 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-12 despite losing first-round pick Alec Burks to the NBA lottery. The Buffs humiliated Utah, 73-33, on New Year’s Eve, and then demolished Washington and Washington State in an incredible conference debut homestand. Sophomore forward Andre Roberson is averaging a double-double (11.3 ppg, 11.7 rpg) to lead the Buffs, who are enjoying life in the Pac-12. Iowa State doesn’t miss them; the Cyclones are 12-3 and 2-0 after knocking off Texas and Texas A&M in back-to-back games to open Big XII play. Senior Chris Allen has done it all for the Cyclones, and could be a potential NBA draft pick this summer.
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