Well this guy's takin' a stand. I won't be swayed by the big jugs that are the Duke name, or the free fellatio that is their gaudy record. Instead, I'm gonna hang in the kitchen with the keg, and avoid being a perverse footnote on some poor soul's lonely road to a life that ends on the bathroom floor of a bus station in a pool of their own urine...
OK, perhaps that visual was a little extreme. But it was all in an attempt to get across the metaphorical point that college basketball is just one big party, and the Duke Blue Devils are the confused whore either giving you thrills, or simply pissing you off and making you feel uncomfortable...
And if it is going to be that kind of party, then I may just have to go ahead and insert my reproductive organ into a bowl full of Idaho's finest deconstructed and buttered up carbohydrates. At least I can be sure that they won't one day find Jesus and write a tell all book about how they swallowed the whole basketball team in one sitting...
It's week 2 of my Top 25. Get some...
Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25
The Big East is king, so that makes the Pitt Panthers Zeus. Or maybe it's Hercules, I can never seem to remember. Either way, Pitt's still the only team I've seen this year with the ability to score, defend and rebound from every spot on the floor. Whether it's LeVance Fields outside, DeJuan Blair inside, or Sam Young every place in between, Jamie Dixon's boys have about a million ways to beat you, and just as dangerous, are prone to do it a different way on any given night...
2. UCONN (18-1) 2
3. North Carolina (17-2) 3
They're still head and shoulders above any team in the ACC. And while that might not mean what it used to, it's still good enough that they'll be a sure fire #1 seed come tourney time...
4. Louisville (15-3) 6
UCONN and Pittsburgh, say hello to Louisville. After early season losses to Western Kentucky and Minnesota, the Cardinals have rebounded nicely, going 7-0 since the start of '09, including a 6-0 start to Big East play. Pitino's boys are big, strong, fast and finally playing with the confidence that made them last year's trendy pick to make the Final Four. They keep this impressive play up, and they could even enter March as a chic favorite to cut down the nets...
...and FYI. It's pronounced "Lew-Vull", not Louie-Ville. I don't know why, and I don't make the rules. But like I always tell people, we don't pronounce it Ark-Kansas or Wor-Chester either. After all, it's not their fault they're from Kentucky and will never have the ability to read above a 4th grade level. I say we cut 'em some slack...
5. Duke (18-1) 9
God help us all if the Dukies take care of business this week on the road against Wake Forest. If they do, we'll have to hear about how great they are and how big a genius coach K is until the Tar Hells come to town on February 11th. And could it be any more taylor made for the Devils? They finally get to play the Heels, and they'll have them at the cozy confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium...
6. Oklahoma (19-1) 5
The Sooners are still the beasts of the Big XII, but what exactly that means isn't all that clear. And don't expect the picture to get any clearer anytime soon. Oklahoma's next 6 opponents have a combined 8-18 record in conference play until they finally play back to backs @ Texas and against the 4-0 Kansas Jayhawks...
7. Marquette (17-2) 8
I'm on the bandwagon, kids, and I've made room for some friends. Just make sure you're not late to the party. There's really not enough dip to go around, and word is head coach Buzz Williams didn't get his nickname from his receding hairline...
8. Wake Forest (16-1) 4
9. Arizona St. (16-3) 12
10. Texas (14-4) 10
11. Michigan St. (16-3) 11
12. UCLA (15-4) 14
13. Kentucky (16-4) 17
14. Syracuse (17-4) 7
Louisville and Syracuse might as well have switched places after the Cardinals narrow but decisive defeat of the Orange in the Carrier Dome. Louisville got their first real big road win in conference play, while Syracuse was exposed as a team that's going to struggle to win against bigger teams that are more defensively active. The Orange managed just 4 of 16 from 3, shot just 35% from the field and were out-rebounded by the Cardinals 39-35. The good news is they can still score in bunches, and their D held Lew'vull to just 37% shooting...
15. St. Mary's (18-1) 15
16. Xavier (17-2) 20
Nothing's sexier to a pollster than respectable non-conference win during conference play, and the Musketeers 10 point win @ LSU was exactly that. It also lends credence to the belief that guys who find college basketball wins "sexy", are virtually irresistable to women. Case in point...
17. Butler (18-1) 16
18. Washington (15-4) NR
Big win against UCLA doesn't tell me that the Huskies are better than the Bruins, but it tells me their legit. I like the fact they're packed with veterans too, with Jon Brockman on the inside, and Justin Dentmon and Quincy Pondexter on the outside. The fact that a freshmen guard named Isiah Thomas is leading them in scoring (16.3 ppg)? Well that's just flat out creepy...
19. Gonzaga (14-4) 21
20. Davidson (16-3) 22
21. Villanova (15-4) 18
22. Georgetown (12-6) 13
For whatever reason, either the win over Syracuse or the loss @ Duke has sent the Hoyas reeling. Since scoring a 14 point win at home against the Orange, G'town has dropped 3 straight to Duke, West Virginia and Seton Hall, with the Mountaineers beating them in their own gym by a mind boggling 17 points. I still have faith in JT3 and the boys, but it's gonna take a few solid wins to really make me a believer again...
23. Purdue (15-4) 23
24. West Virginia (14-5) NR
Can you say Kevin Pitts-karma? Bob Huggins and West Virginia are a match made in heaven. Just like celebrity rehab clinics and reality TV. Ahhh Dr. Drew. Is there nothing you can't do?
PS - This is America. If you don't like watchin' celebrities do drugs and endanger themselves and their families, then you can get the Hell out!
25. Kansas (15-4) NR
just missed: Notre Dame; Illinois; Memphis; Missouri; UNLV; USC; LSU
dropped: (19) Notre Dame; (24) Texas A&M; (25) Tennessee
ESPN/USA Today and AP Polls
Conference Power Rankings
Let's go ahead and end this argument right now...
Not only is the ACC not as good or as deep as the Big East, but I wouldn't even like their chances if they went head to head with the up and coming Pac 10...
In the Big East, Pittsburgh, Lousiville, UCONN and Marquette make up the top. Teams like Syracuse, Villanova, Notre Dame, Georgetown and West Virginia give the conference some serious depth. And even bottom dwellers like Seton Hall, Rutgers and Providence are no easy out when playing on their home courts...
In the Pac 10, UCLA and Arizona St. were joined this week by Washington as legit contenders, while Stanford, California and USC make up a strong second tier...
But in the ACC? Sure North Carolina is good, but what's anyone else bringing to the table? Even if you want to buy Duke and Wake as conference heavyweights, who else in the ACC is gonna scare anybody on a neutral court? Maryland? Florida St.? Virginia? Georgia Tech? Certainly not Clemson. Matter of fact, no matter how much you love the ACC, I'd have trouble believing that you think any team other than those top 3 and either Virginia Tech OR Miami would even be able to hang in a conference like the Big East, Pac 10 or SEC...
The ACC is just a house of cards. Clemson's already been exposed, and should either Wake or Dule turn out to be softies, then the whole bunch of 'em are going to instantly lose any shred of credibility the conference may have had...
1. Big East 1
2. Pac 10 3
3. ACC 2
4. Big XII 4
5. SEC 5
The SEC is the real wild card in all of this. Like what the Hell do you make of the fact that Arkansas, a team that's currently 0-4 in conference, has wins over both Oklahoma and Texas?
6. West Coast Conference 6
7. Big 10 7
8. Mountain West 8
9. WAC NR
10. Atlantic 10 9
dropped: (10) Missouri Valley
Sure are some good games on this week. That is, if you're not too busy watching 24...
This Week's Slate...
Marquette @ Notre Dame (ESPN 7 pm)
Oklahoma @ Oklahoma St. (ESPN 9 pm)
Texas @ Baylor
Miami (FL) @ NC State
Purdue @ Wisconsin (ESPN 9 pm)
BYU @ Utah
Duke @ Wake Forest (ESPN 7 pm)
Pittsburgh @ Villanova
LSU @ Tennessee
Michigan @ Ohio St.
Syracuse @ Providence College*
UTEP @ Houston
UNC @ Florida St.
St. Mary's @ Gonzaga (ESPN 2 11 pm)
California @ UCLA
Stanford @ USC
Clemson @ Virginia Tech
Illinois @ Minnesota
Alabama @ Arkansas
San Diego @ Portland
Brown @ Cornell
Hey, I figure if I have to work it, then you're at the very least going to made aware of it's existence...
Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh (ESPN 12 pm)
Georgetown @ Marquette
Stanford @ UCLA (ABC 3:30 pm)
UNC @ NC State (ABC 3:30 pm)
Washington @ Arizona St.
West Virginia @ Louisville
Michigan @ Purdue (CBS 1 pm)
Providence @ UCONN
Florida @ Tennessee (ESPN 9 pm)
Arkansas @ LSU
Baylor @ Missouri
San Diego @ Gonzaga (ESPN 2 6 pm)
California @ USC
St. Joseph's @ Dayton
Player of the Week
Earl Clark, Louisville
His numbers aren't gonna wow ya, but he's the cog that makes Pitino's Cardinals work. This week's stats are a great example. In Louisville's 2 road wins over Rutgers and Syracuse , Clark averaged 15.5 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. What's even more impressive, is that the guy averages over a block and a steal a game, all while managing to stay out of any serious foul trouble. Now that's a guy you can depend on come tournament time...
So there it is, kids, in all it's glory. You learned a bit, perhaps laughed a bit, and are just flat out a better person for having experienced it...
Make sure to check back on Friday for my Super Bowl pick, along with several other good reasons you should be watching Sober House on VH1. Here's a hint. It has nothing to do with that fat, busted chick from American Idol...See ya then...