'Possession Arrow': Badgley<-Razook

Below begins what we hope will be a worthwhile exchange between two of college basketball's most astute observers. John Razook is an Oklahoma State graduate; Shawn Badgley, a Syracuse dropout. But they will discuss all manner of NCAA hoops happenings. Chances are the St. Louis Cardinals will come up every once in a while, as well. Other voices will be featured – yours included, should you care to comment.

From: Shawn Badgley
To: John Razook
Time: 12:09pm, Jan. 6

John, we've got 0-0s across the Big 12 standings for about another half-hour, when the Sooners tip off against Tech in Lubbock. I was hoping you might take a break from mainlining Jack Daniel's and playing darts to discuss a little college basketball, now that the real season is about to start, and since ESPN is offering a free preview of its Full Court programming through Jan. 12. This development, along with my tubercular hangover and the cold rain outside, means I probably won't move for the next 10 hours. Aside from typing, my last act will be to turn down the sound on the TV so I don't have to hear your fellow Oklahoma State alumnus Doug Gottlieb during in-game and halftime updates. I find your opinions marginally more interesting and far less sneering.

I find it interesting, for instance, that yesterday you mentioned your band is "more badass" than Texas and Missouri – who play at the Erwin Center on Wednesday in a game that I will likely attend instead of your show – taken together as basketball teams. Interesting because I like them both. They're fun to watch: Mizzou because of Mike Anderson's frenetic philosophy and Texas because of those preternaturally talented freshmen. I think each will do some damage in the conference, and, in what could be construed as a down year, very possibly in the Big Dance. UT in particular. Their backcourt play between D.J. Augustin and newly anointed starter Justin Mason has been outstanding, and we know what that can mean in March. And what more can we say about Kevin Durant? He could go all Carmelo on a brother. Like, carried 2003 national champion Syracuse on his back Carmelo as opposed to sucker punch chump and leading scorer in a chump league Carmelo.

So, I chalk the Longhorns for the NCAAs, and I see the Tigers clawing their way in, as well. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Big 12 is going to be fun: Those two teams, Kansas, the streaky A&M, the winningest coach in major men's hoops history, Jeff Capel as one of the youngest coaches in major men's hoops history, and four players averaging double figures at Oklahoma State. Is there a more dangerous inside-outside combo in college basketball than Mario Boggan and JamesOn Curry? Talk about a contender. Your Pokes are Final Four material. Now that they've been sufficiently jinxed, I leave the ball in your court. Let's hear some of your heralded predictions. As I sign off, Duke is down to Virginia Tech at the half and I'm looking forward through a TheraFlu haze to UCLA-Oregon this afternoon. Should I have soup or oatmeal for lunch?

Updates: The Red Raiders handled OU, thus surging to first place in the conference; VaTech upset Duke at Cameron; Oregon, after losing a tough one to USC earlier this week, ended No. 1 UCLA's unbeaten streak in a thriller; UT's put 51 up on Colorado in the first half at Boulder - but Colorado's put 48 up on them; I got off my ass long enough to get coffee at Thunderbird and migas at Tamale House.

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More by Shawn Badgley
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More by John Razook
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NCAA basketball

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