You know big expectations are in store when you win by 16 points and yet the opposing crowd is still chanting overrated. But that’s just how it’s going to be all season for North Carolina. UNC Asheville isn’t much competition, no matter what Tyler Zeller (27 points) tried to say after the game was over. North Carolina did the same thing on Sunday that they did against Michigan State: play well enough to take control, and go on cruise control the rest of the way. Honestly, this team is so loaded with star power that they can get away with it. Yesterday, it wasn’t just Zeller but all of the big guns. Harrison Barnes dropped another cool 17 points, but was still out-shined by Kendall Marshall (15 assists) and John Henson (20 points, 12 rebounds). It is still early, but do you think they are at all overrated? … Speaking of expectations, when was the last time Vandy had some as big as they do this year? Try 46 years (they have their highest preseason ranking since 1965). They didn’t look too good yesterday, losing rather easily at home to Cleveland State 71-58. John Jenkins had 17, but Jeffery Taylor was virtually non-existant (eight points in 34 minutes). No one’s saying Vanderbilt isn’t talented, but it always takes time to adjust to having people say it better be Sweet 16/Elite 8 or bust … The other top 25 teams in action all won: Louisville, Pitt, Baylor, Arizona, Texas A&M, Cincy and Cal … According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, the hit NBA reality show “The Association” has contacted the New York Knicks for their third season. “The Association” is the NBA version of “Hard Knocks,” HBO’s fascinating NFL documentary – but what do you guys think? Are the Knicks the best candidate for “The Association” this year? Obviously the Miami Heat would be up there with the Lakers and maybe Oklahoma City simply for the fact that all three teams are championship contenders with high profile stars. But a dark horse for “The Association’s” third season… how about the Minnesota Timberwolves? When you have guys like Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and the No. 2 pick in the draft, Derrick Williams, on the roster, you know that’s going to be good TV. And don’t forget David Kahn, the Mad Hatter who’s mostly mad with not that many tricks. Couldn’t you see Mike Beasley throwing a tantrum at practice, then storming out of the gym and into the locker room, throwing things around violently like an six-year-old who was just told by his parents that they ate all of his Halloween candy? Or Ricky Rubio gradually coming to grips with the fact he hasn’t noticeably improved in two years and may not be able to handle the physicality of the NBA? Or Kevin Love being the first player to tweet while at the free throw line? Or interviews with David Kahn where he says things that make you turn to your buddy and say, “Wait, what did he just say?” … According to the Boston Globe, Allen Iverson wants to play for the Celtics. Apparently Iverson has the upmost respect for Doc Rivers and the current Celtics roster and would “relish the opportunity to play in that organization.” Sorry Allen, but the Celtics are already old enough. Yet no matter what we think, something tells us if Boston’s vets are on board, the Cs are the perfect place to try to reign in the mercurial former star … LeBron James says he thinks he would beat Kobe Bryant in one-on-one. If you actually watch the interview, LeBron didn’t come out and say he would beat Kobe specifically. But when posed the question of who would win that matchup, LeBron said he would take himself over anybody (obviously) in a one-on-one situation. But there’s another thing he says in the video that could be contrived as a jab at Kobe: “I’m a team basketball player, man. It’s not a one-on-one sport…” Are we reaching? Probably. But it’s interesting that James attacked the question so differently than Bryant. When 24 was initially asked this last fall, he seemed to enjoy the fact that he thought he was better. Easily. Whether you want to look this far into it or not, it’s obvious James is a little sick of the question. He ended the interview saying he would appreciate it if people would stop asking him that question. You could take a screenshot at any point during the interview and it’d make the ultimate stone face picture … The Red Storm is now 3-0, but that’s not anything remotely interesting at this point. We want to talk names. We mentioned last week how their whole team seems to be littered with unique and original names. Yesterday, they were paced by sophomore guard Nurideen Lindsey (15 points, 10 rebounds and nine dimes) in their 82-59 win over Maryland-Baltimore County … And this year’s Hall of Fame nominees were announced, and some of the more interesting names on there include Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Jerry Krause and Vlade Divac. Reggie Miller, back to try again, is on there as well. Will it finally be Miller time this year? … We’re out like Iverson in Boston.
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