College Basketball Weekly:
Welcome, I post this every week…you just never noticed. Honestly, college basketball fever is rife within my soul and now I am unleashing what I have to say. Thank God I have a blog, right? Many of you will notice similar points made from my last post, but that’s the curse of releasing information before I really wanted to, I suppose. Let’s Go!
The “real” Top 25:
We need to base this off of more than just what teams were ranked preseason and last week. Let’s give the proper teams their due.
#25 Marquette: I’ve seen this team be terrible at times. Thrashed by Louisville and Florida. They have taken down bottom-feeders. The end of the season will tell us everything we need to know about Marquette. Prove me wrong to put you this low.
#24 Colorado State: The Rams have three quality losses all on the road (Colorado, San Diego State, New Mexico). They lack a quality win, but at least they beat the teams they are supposed to (excuse mine ignoring a loss to Illinois-Chicago).
#23 Virginia Commonwealth: I cannot bring myself to put Butler in the top 25 despite the Bulldogs and Rams having nearly identical resumes. VCU’s two non-conference losses were to Duke and Missouri, so we’ll forgive those.
#22 Louisville: What is this team doing? They have Final Four talent. Peyton Siva appears awful and Russ Smith appears idiotic. Until those two guys play like they did last season Louisville is not even getting out of the first round.
#21 San Diego State: I love my Aztecs! Forget the loss to Air Force, a minor road block and its hard to find teams without those this year. I wouldn’t want to play the Aztecs on a neutral court…on which all NCAA Tournament games are held.
#20 Oklahoma State: Five losses looks bad, but four are on the road. Put this team on a neutral court and they’ll be just fine. The only really unforgivable loss is @Virginia Tech, but the Cowboys have tallied five straight wins which is enough to get you in the top 20 these days.
#19 Ohio State: two straight losses (despite them being against Michigan and Indiana) is detrimental to any team’s standing. The Bucks HAVE to win at least 6 of the last 7 if they want to be a upper tier team.
#18 Missouri: Hiccups along the way, but Missouri’s thrashing of a good Ole Miss team impressed this blogger. The strength of the team is inside. If they play there instead of firing threes up like last year’s Mizzou team (which lost to Norfolk State, I remind) then they can be Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight material.
#17 New Mexico: The Lobos can play roundball. They have won at Cincinnati and on a neutral floor against UConn. No real let downs except a loss to South Dakota State, and by now you know one bad loss can get you ranked pretty high.
#16 Wisconsin: That shot against Michigan was straight up broken. I just want Wisconsin to lose because they are the worst team to watch in college basketball and I don’t want them in my top 25.
#15 Kansas: the same thing goes for the Jayhawks as Louisville. The team seems incapable of scoring outside Ben McLemore. They threw up a meager 13 in the first half against TCU…who was 0-8 in conference.
#14 Notre Dame: Just because I found the 5OT game so darn entertaining. The Irish have beaten all the bad teams they’ve played which is good news for any team this season. I am always over-impressed with Big East teams…but hey, it’s my bias.
#13 Georgetown: I continuously seeking teams which have rallied to a few wins in a row. The Hoyas have to a tune of five. Erase a loss to South Florida and I see some quality wins, quality losses, and excusable losses.
#12 Memphis: I swear I didn’t hit my head. The Tiger’s three losses are to VCU, Minnesota, and Louisville. The Cardinal may be the worst of those three losses at this point. The Tigers should run C-USA and have the opportunity to be as high as a three-seed come Selection Sunday.
#11 Pittsburgh: Some may vomit at the Panthers being this high, but they have tallied 7 wins in 8 games..although that includes a loss to Louisville .. embarrassing. Let’s see what happens in the next two games against Marquette and Notre Dame, shallst we? We shallst.
#10 Florida: I cannot respect a team which loses to Arkansas. I thought Florida might be the nation’s best team….hmph.
#9 Kansas State: The Wildcats have been playing good pumpkin of late. They have a gimme against Kansas at home on Monday. The only challenge looming is at Oklahoma State on March 9th…but those unranked pesky teams are sandwiched between now and then. Beware!
#8 Arizona: The Wildcats really mucked up the works by losing to Cal Sunday. That makes two straight losses at home (which apparently doesn’t even happen to TCU anymore, get the memo, Arizona). I want to put these guys lower, but they would need to lose to a team as pitiful as Arkansas to earn that with only three losses.
#7 Michigan: The Wolverines are one of the most studly teams in basketball. Losing at Wisconsin, at Ohio State, and at Indiana is nothing to be ashamed of. They rocked the neutral court (including beating my #11 and #9 teams). Eight is too low for this team, but they can hop into the top 5 by beating Michigan State Tuesday.
#6 Michigan State: Speak of the devil and he shall appear! In this case it is Tom Izzo who has an under-talented team playing over-talented basketball. I remember when I considered MSU’s loss at Miami to be a bad loss…hahaha
#5 Duke: I just cannot see this team getting very far without Ryan Kelly. Sure they’ve only lost road games, but wins against Kentucky, Ohio State, and Louisville no longer impress me enough to warrant a top 5, but honestly who else deserves it? Duke has nothing left on the schedule to impress me because winning at Cameron should be expected and not give Duke boasts in the polls. If they win the ACC Tournament, I’ll be impressed.
#4 Gonzaga: If only they could prove themselves in a power conference. Honestly, the Zags will take a top 5 ranking a 2 seed come March any day of the week if all they have to do is pound cupcake WAC teams into submission.
#3 Syracuse: The play in the Big East, so of course I’m impressed! The Orange were thrilled to have James Southerland back and broke St. John’s (who was playing very well) in Steve Lavin’s absence. All three losses are disheartening (although two were without Southerland) and good wins are a little absent (especially since Louisville sucks now), but the Cuse have to play in the Big East, so they get my vote ahead of Duke and Gonzaga.
#2 Indiana: A fluke at Butler in their messed up gym, a defensive break down against Illinois, and f@#$%&g Wisconsin stand between Indiana and perfection. The Hoosiers looked unstoppable against Ohio State in Columbus Sunday. Four games against vaunted competition give Indiana a chance to leap frog my #1 team because the Big Ten is substantially better than the ACC.
#1 Miami Florida: Did anyone else see the U whomp UNC on Saturday? The Canes continue to obliterate competition and became the first team since Maryland in 2005 to beat both Duke and UNC by 20+ in the same season. Shane Larkin may be the best point guard in the country aside from Trey Burke (he’s certainly one of the best scoring PG’s). Baton down the hatches, March Madness has a hurricane on its radar.
Player of the Year:
Victor Oladipo: forget stats, because V-Po is the crowned jewel of the NCAA and NBA teams should be taking notice. He plays phenomenal defense and is a highlight waiting to happen. The kid is the best player I’ve seen this year and would be more prominent if not for the shadow cast by preseason favorite Cody Zeller.
Coach of the Year:
Jim Larranaga: probably the easiest decision anyone has had to make ever about a coach of the year. No one was looking at Miami entering the season and they’ve been blowing people away.
Most Underrated Team:
I said Miami Friday, but Monday’s AP Poll will reflect the U’s efforts a little more. The other obvious choice is Memphis, but I mentioned them Friday as well. Considering how the AP will rank, I see one team not making enough of a jump and that’s Georgetown. The Hoyas have been winning games better than most teams and deserve Top 10 consideration just as much as Kansas State, Michigan State, and Florida who will likely end up there.
Most Overrated Team:
In the AP this week, it’s going to be Butler, but I’m trying not to repeat myself from Friday. The other team I project to be ranked too highly? Well, Creighton if they even sniff the top 25. The Bluebirds lost to two garbage teams from the Missouri Valley. Don’t give me any “Indiana State isn’t a garbage team!” The Sycamores lost to UCLA by 27 and Morehead State by 12.
National Champion At This Juncture:
Surprisingly, if they played the tournament I don’t think Miami would win it. The Hurricanes have dominated lately, but often on their home floor. I’m going rogue and saying the team playing the best dribble-ball with the most talent right now would have to be Syracuse. Everything has gone Jim Boeheim’s way, right?…I don’t even care if I spelled his name wrong.
When the AP comes out you’ll see Indiana #1, Duke #2, Miami Florida #3, Michigan #4, and Gonzaga #5…Gonzaga will be the only top-5 team to lose this week…on the road at St. Mary’s on Valentine’s Day. Don’t think this is a bold predication? It’s not so much Gonzaga losing as every other team not losing.