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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

College Hoops Top 25 (2/17): Pitt-Fall For UCONN...

Life is a journey. And more to the point, life is a journey based on learning lessons and building character. Granted I have enough character to staff my own Broadway musical. But this week, thanks to a heavy workload and a shortage of spare time, I learned the value of being late. As someone that's punctual to a fault, it was a weird realization to come to, I know. But even the best of us, those that pride ourselves in always being on time could take a page out of my book this week, and realize the value of being late...

Maybe you don't wanna be late to work, late to the party, or have your significant other's "red messenger" be late. But when it comes to making a college basketball poll, there's no man smarter than the Tuesday morning quarterback...

So while I may have been a little distracted this week thanks to work, I still managed to pull the bare bones together, and give you this week's installment of my top 25. IT may be without some of the usual bells and whistles, but don't let that lull you into a false sense of insecurity. I'm still bringin' the funk, I still got the knowledge, and I'm still here to make sure you know exactly how it is. In short, just because I'm busy, doesn't mean I still can't take time out of my busy schedule to let you know what's up...


Especially since I have something very important that I wanna make sure you all hear...


Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25


1. Pittsburgh (24-2) 1

I TOLD YOU SO!

What? I did, didn't I? And more over, I've been telling you the same thing week in and week out for the better part of 2 months!

And what's more, anyone who tells you that they "hate to say they told you so" is either lying, or they weren't that proud and confident in their original proclamation to begin with. Well I'm no liar, and if it's anything I am, it's proud and confident. SO, on the day after their road win against the Nation's #1 team, allow me again to utter one of my favorite phrases, though it's one that make sure to only use in the most optimal situations for maximum effect...

I TOLD YOU SO!

For all you Pittsburgh doubters out there, let last night's win over #1 UCONN serve as notice that you're just now realizing what I've known for quite some time. The Panthers are the best, most well rounded, and most dangerous team in the beloved country than many of us refer to as the U S of A. Case in point. Pitt was leading UCONN by 2 in the late going despite not having a single point from PG Levance Fields. Then, almost on cue, Fields nailed 2 clutch 3 pointers than put the game out of reach for good...

With that kind of poise, and that many weapons, I would have no problem filling my bracket out today and having the Pitt Panthers as they only team to walk away from March Madness with 6 wins. Yeah, they're that good...

2. North Carolina (23-2) 3

Their poor first half against the hot shooting Blue Devils could have awakened a sleeping giant. Good news for Tar Hell fans, bad news for the rest of the country...

3. UCONN (24-2) 2

UCONN may have lost, but in losing they may have sent just as important message to the college hoops fan base had they actually won. Simply put, that loss, combined with how the Huskies have played of late, tell me their are 3 teams that are head and shoulders above the rest of the country. I'd tell you who they are, but if you haven't already figured that out, then you're in need of something just a tad more rigorous than a simple explanation...

The one thing that could hinder the Huskies success, is something that reared it's ugly head last night, and something a UCONN-fan friend of mine has been saying for most the the '08-'09 season. When it comes down to crunch time, who on Jim Calhoun's team is their go to guy? Who, when all the chips are in the middle, is going to take the final shot? Hasheem Thabeet? AJ Price? Jeff Adrien? Stanley Robinson?

That's a question UCONN very well may need to answer if they expect to meet a lot of people expectations, and make a run at their 3rd National title...

4. Oklahoma (25-1) 6



5. Arizona St. (20-5) 8

With their home+home sweep of the UCLA Bruins, the Sun Devils cemented themselves as the kings of the Pac 10. Or did they? Sure ASU got two big wins against the Pac 10's top dog, but watching both wins left me asking one very important question. Is ASU better than UCLA, or do they simply match up really well against them? I mean, anyone watching that second game knows UCLA could have easily won if not for an awful charging call in the final minute against Darren Collison, so what are you supposed to draw from that?

Well for me, the jury is still out. I'll slide the Devils up for now, but it's safe to say it won't take much for me to again install UCLA as the team to beat in on the West Coast...

It's also safe to say that Jerron and Josh Shipp (above), easily have the best brother vs brother inter conference rivalry currently going. And that's "brother" like blood relation. I'm not a racist.
At least not this week...

6. Louisville (19-5) 5

7. UCLA (19-6) 4

8. Marquette (21-4) 7

9. Michigan St. (20-4) 9


10. Duke (20-5) 10

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, the naked Emperor. And boy is he hung like a light switch. Guess I shouldn't have expected any more from a bunch of over-privileged, charge takin' white, stripper taggin', 3 chuckin' white dudes whose actual career dreams are to one day be their school's assistant coach...

UNC not only exposed the Dukies in the 2nd half of that rout @ Cameron Indoor, they may as well have exposed the entire ACC. And for that, I thank them...

11. Villanova (20-5) 11

12. Memphis (22-3) 14

13. Xavier (21-4) 13



14. LSU (21-4) 16

To use an overused cliche, the Tigers must be one of the best team's in the country that nobody is talking about. Tasmin Mitchell (17 pppg/7 rpg) and Garrett Temple (7 ppg/5 rpg/4 apg) are holdovers from the Final Four team of '06, while senior Marcus Thornton might be averaging the quietest 20 points a night in major college hoops. Their 4-3 road record and lack of big wins may scare some, but their talent is, in the end, what makes them head and shoulders above the rest of the SEC. Or head and "gums" above the SEC, if you wanna get critical of Mitchell's picture...

Hey, I just got a brainstorm. Let's watch Meet the Browns!!...

15. Wake Forest (19-4) 12

16. Washington (19-6) 19

17. Kansas (20-5) 15

18. Purdue (19-6) 17

19. Illinois (21-5) NR

There's just something about this team's versatility and their crisp passing game that's made me a believer. That, and when your coach has been to a Final Four in recent history it doesn't exactly hurt your resume either...

And you can mark down the name Mike Tisdale right now as someone the big time analysts are gonna drool over when it comes to breaking down this year's tourney. The 7'1" sophomore has been showing great touch and athleticism around the hoop and in helping the Illini in their press breakers, but it's his "upside" that will have all the talking heads tripping over themselves...

Just make sure when filling out your bracket, you can tell the difference between the player, and the hype...

That tip's free, the rest are gonna cost ya...

20. Kentucky (18-7) 18

If stud forward Patrick Patterson is hurt, then the Wildcats could be done. I mean I love Jodie Meeks as much as the next guy...matter of fact, I've been touting him longer than most...but if he's the only threat on the floor for Billy Gillespie's crew, then they could easily be one and done. That's if they can avoid sliding off the bubble all together...

21. Gonzaga (19-5) 22

22. Butler (22-3) 21

23. Missouri (22-4) NR

24. Syracuse (19-7) 24


The loss to UCONN was expected in both result and size, but this week did little to answer questions about the Orange future. Sure they can score, running up nearly 80 points a game. But if they keep letting up an average of 70 per, than thy can pretty much dismiss any shot that they'll have at making any serious post season advancements. And the sad part is, I don't even think it's a lack of effort. I just don't think they have the right mix of Boeheim type players that fit in the legendary 2-3 Syracuse zone...


...and check out the "U" on Sea Brisket's stomach. I guess anything to distract from that world class schnoz she's got goin' on. Good God, somebody get me some sort of paper bag...or Patrick Ewing's phone number...

25. Miami (15-9) 23


just missed: Creighton; Arizona; Dayton; Notre Dame; South Carolina; West Virginia; Clemson; Texas; Tennessee; Siena; California; Ohio St.; Utah

dropped: (20) Davidson; (25) Texas



So that's it for this week, boys and girls. As you well know there's still plenty of college hoops action to come over the next few weeks, and while my points here may have been brief, you can rest assured that's sure to not be a trend.

When I return next week, it'll be with a fresh top 25, a look at some of the mid major teams to watch for down the stretch, and of course the latest list of fraudulent teams that serve only one purpose; Busting your bracket...

After all, this whole futile enterprise is eventually supposed to lead us to the pot of goal at the end of the NCAA tourney rainbow, right?

So until next time, I'll leave you with these words of wisdom...

"A flute with no holes, isn't a flute. A donut with no holes, is a danish" - Ty Webb

Be good, pimps...

100...

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