Observations: Is Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis the best PG in the country?

Is Providence’s Kris Dunn a better NBA prospect?

Absolutely.

Has Maryland’s Melo Trimble hit more big shots in big moments?

Probably.

But neither of those guys have proven that they can run a team and be an extension of a coach on the floor the way he has.

Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis is averaging 19.8 points and 9.0 assists over his last four games all while only committing a total of four turnovers during 148 minutes played in that span.

Blessed with maturity and poise that extends beyond his years, Ulis has elevated everyone on Kentucky’s roster to a different level recently, the mark of a truly special player.

Dunn, Trimble, and Iowa State’s Monte Morris are all in the conversation for the label of being the best point guard in the sport, but Ulis’ ability to affect the game on both ends of the floor, coupled with his penchant for making heady plays is usurping anyone else who plays his position.

Kentucky (19-6) has won three straight games and next hosts Tennessee Thursday at Rupp Arena.

Malcolm Brogdon is playing like the ACC Player of the Year

And he’s doing it on both sides of the floor.

The 6-foot-5 senior was the epitome of efficiency in Monday night’s win over NC State’s and finished with 22 points on 13 shots to go with five assists and just one turnover.

But Brogdon’s defense on Cat Barber is what really made him stand out against the Wolfpack.

Barber came into Monday night’s game against the Cavaliers averaging 24.1 points, but only finished with 14 because of Brogdon’s defense on the perimeter.

The veteran guard has been a part of back-to-back teams to win the ACC regular season title and now he’s in position to go after a third.

Virginia is now 10-4 in conference play and 21-5 overall.

Murderer’s Row awaits North Carolina

The entire college basketball world is focused on the Tar Heels’ showdown with rival Duke on Wednesday in Chapel Hill, but the bigger story is how Roy Williams’ team will perform over its final six games.

North Carolina (21-4) has looked this season like it has had the highest ceiling in college basketball and it will have to play that way to get through the next couple of weeks.

After Wednesday’s game against the Blue Devils, the Tar Heels will host Miami then travel to NC State and Virginia back-to-back. North Carolina will close out the regular season with a home game against Syracuse on Feb. 29 before a return visit to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

That’s six games against five teams that are likely to play in the NCAA Tournament and the sixth is against a capable team on the road in NC State.

We’re going to learn an awful lot about the Tar Heels from now until the start of championship week.

This just in

  • Colorado’s Josh Scott (ankle) is day-to-day, Tad Boyle told CBS Sports. Scott has missed the Buffaloes’ last two games. Colorado faces USC in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Tyler Ulis is improving with each and every game for Kentucky. (USATSI)

This and That:

  • Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff has had seven games this season with five or more blocked shots. The most underrated thing about this guy? How well he protects the front of the rim.
  • USC is probably a year ahead of schedule in terms of its overall trajectory, but the Trojans have the talent to be a dangerous team if they get into the NCAA Tournament. Andy Enfield’s squad was impressive in defeat on Sunday night against Arizona and only lost by eight points despite being down 16 at halftime. This team has the talent to break open a bracket if it can get to a neutral court setting. USC is currently 18-7 overall and 7-5 in Pac-12 play.
  • Tonye Jekiri isn’t Miami’s best player, but he’s definitely the Hurricanes’ most important player. The senior big man gives Jim Larranaga’s team a presence defensively at the rim as well as on the boards. If Miami was a snake, then Jekiri would be the head. The 7-footer is averaging 8.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks.
  • If Cincinnati wants to play in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season, it has to do something with the opportunities it has this week. The Bearcats are at Tulsa on Thursday and then return home to face UConn Saturday at Fifth Third Arena. Mick Cronin’s squad is 19-7 overall and 9-4 in AAC play.
  • This is Texas’ final six games in Big 12 play: West Virginia, Baylor, at Kansas State, Oklahoma, Kansas, at Oklahoma State. That’s the epitome of brutality. Shaka Smart’s squad is 16-9 overall and 7-5 in Big 12 play.
  • UCLA’s Isaac Hamilton has scored in double figures in every game he’s played since Nov. 23. The 6-5 junior is quietly having an All-Pac-12 season and is averaging 16.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. The Bruins are currently 14-11 overall.
  • Temple’s Josh Brown has 17 assists to just two turnovers in his last three games. The Owls’ junior point guard is averaging 8.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists for Fran Dunphy’s team, who is 16-8 overall and hosts top-ranked Villanova on Wednesday at the Liacouras Center.
  • Hofstra’s Rokas Gustys is putting up video game like numbers. The 6-9 big man averaged 21.5 points and 18.5 rebounds in two games last week while shooting a blistering 76.0 percent from the field. That’s utterly ridiculous.
  • Stony Brook’s winning streak is now 18 games following Sunday’s win over New Hampshire, but I’d be very tepid to put the Seawolves into your early NCAA bracket. Stony Brook has been a model of consistency under Steve Pikiell, but has yet to break through and win the America East Conference Tournament. There’s definitely an elephant in the room with this program.
  • Rutgers has now lost 27 consecutive conference games. No other words are needed.

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