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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

College Hoops Top 25: Live Long and SUCK IT!



Greetings and salutations, my good people, and welcome to another edition of the Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25...

I'd like to start off this week's post by thanking you. Not for reading, or supporting me, or even for being my friend. No. I'd like to thank you for something much more important. I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule of watching taped delayed 500m men's speed skating and pairs ice dancing, to take a few minutes to visit my lowly blog. Believe me, I know how entertaining those sports can be, even if you already know the results, so I am honored and humbled that you would step away for even the tiniest of moments in order to humor me with your virtual friendship...

So, did you pick that up. Did ya? Because that, my friends, was sarcasm. Laid on thicker than an old man's aftershave, and every bit as uncomfortably pungent. Flat out, I just don't like the Olympics, and I wouldn't have to keep saying it, if you people wouldn't constantly ask me why, or tell me to stop hating...

But you won't, and I won't, so I guess we'll just have to go on disagreeing with each other. I say the Olympics are for little kids, who have no previous exposure to events like that, and for old people, who have nothing else to watch on TV and long for the days of the Cold War US/USSR battles...

Our generation? My generation? The Internet has globalized our lives, giving the games even lesser meaning. It's easy to be amazed by an Italian skier if you've never seen a skiing competition and have never been to Italy, but since the dawn of the Information Age, a lot of that stuff has lost it's luster. The hype machine surrounding these athletes has not only sucked out all the surprise and I inetintrigue, but its made it so all of these preordained competitors are put in the position where if they don't win its viewed as an upset for the ages. Its not fair to them, its not an accurate representation of what's probably going to happen, its just hype. They know they need it, these sappy, special interest stories in order to get viewers, and while I get that some people like that stuff, I only find it interesting as a side story to an entertaining event, not a headline...

These sports are only showcased once every 4 years because they don't have the popularity to withstand a year round "league". Simply puy, tyhey don't have a large enough following. They've been able to stand on the fact they're unique, hosting a battle of Nations that allows the average viewer to see things they've never seen before, in places they'd only heard about on TV and read about...on the Internet...

Well, for this guy, the mystique has long since disappeared. The curtain has been pulled up, and I've seen the midget standing behind it. In this case, that midget's name is Bob Costas. Ha! Just kidding, Bobby Boy, you tiny Pootie Tang lovin' Olympic bastard...

So amidst all this Olympic bashing, what am I watching? Well aside from the usual fair of adult animated comedies, Nip/Tuck, No Reservations, and whatever documentaries tickle my fancy (just finished one on Katrina as we speak), my televised drug of choice has been none other than the sweet science of college basketball. After all, that's why we're here, right? So let's just cut to the proverbial chase, and get right down to it...

Here it is, the latest and the greatest. It's the Rooch Nation Top 25, tape delay free, and ready for your enjoyment...

Get some...or in the words of Mr. Spock after he won the Galactic Lottery "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you...you're pretty cool...fuck you, I'm OUT! Live Long and SUCK IT!"...

Nah, just kidding. Enjoy...


Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25

1. Kansas (25-1) 2

I'm still not thrilled with their down the stretch scoring options, but this Jayhawk team keeps on winning, and winning convincingly. Even more impressive, is even when they don't play well, like on Monday night @ Texas A&M, they can still find ways to beat some of the best teams in the country on their own floor. That's more than I can say for the Big East's best, these days, and that's why Kansas is my new #1...


2. Syracuse (24-2) 1

As for the old #1, losing to Louisville (pronounced Loo-vuhl...seems we have to do this every year) was by far the worst loss of the season. Matter of fact, I for one was embarrassed at their performance. I sat, watching the last few minutes unfold, and while I rooted for my Orange to pull it out, I honestly didn't really want it to happen. I'm an odd duck, like that. I root blindly for my team, but I can never really enjoy victories that I feel were undeserved, or victories that were given to my team by a crooked official or just an incorrect call...

So while I was rooting for Cuse to lose, I'm actually glad they lost. I mean, imagine one of the most talented teams in the country, already at 24-2, receiving a wake up call in mid-February. Should they actually take to this warning, and begin playing the ball we haven't really seen them play since 17 point home win against Georgetown in late January. Appropriately enough, they'll be able to test this new found resolve and inspiration this week when they travel to DC to attempt a season sweep of the Hoyas...

I'm hoping Jim can lay the Boeheimian Smacksody down, and get the boys back on track, but it's not always that easy when you're dealing with 18-20 year olds. Just ask Woody Allen and Larry King...

3. Kentucky (24-1) 4


4. Villanova (22-3) 3

The Wildcats fell at home, much like the Orange, but the story there might be the resurgence of UCONN more than Nova taking a bad home loss. I'm not sure if it's too late for the 15-11 (5-8) Huskies, but it should be fun watching them make a game of it in the Big East's final weeks...

Good news for Huskie fans is they have 5 winnable games to finish up, and a 9-9/10-8 type Big East record, combined with their hot play of late should be enough to sneak them into the Big Dance. And should they stumble, there's a good chance I'll be there at Madison Square Garden to watch their final gasps for tournament glory as they take the floor in the Big East Tournament...

That's right, your man is workin' on gettin' some tickets. Got the NYC 'Cuse boys on the case, and I got a good feelin' they're gonna make it happen. Worst case scenario, I'll be blogging and tweeting from just a few blocks away. Nothing like a good camera photo from inside the arena though, as this picture from last night's Attleboro/North Attleboro rivalry game most definitely proves. If you don't get it, it's OK. But if you do, you're welcome for that free trip down memory lane...

5. Purdue (21-3) 5


6. Ohio St. (20-6) 6

Much like they did earlier in the year when they finally caught up to where I had Cornell ranked (mid 20s), the voters will eventually come around to my way of thinking about Thad Motta and his Ohio St. Buckeyes. Another poll stigma, and that's not some sort of rash you get if you sleep with a stripper, but another poll stigma is denying teams their just position because of the reputations of the teams ahead of them...

Obviously, judging from my rankings, I don't think Michigan St., Duke, Kansas St. or Georgetown are better than OSU, but it's gonna take those teams losing for the Buckeyes to move forward. Whether the voters actually think they are a better team or not. Again, it's a sad commentary on the system in place, but when you're dealing with people, people with preconceived notions and preexisting relationships, things like this are always going to happen...

Hey, it's an imperfect system, what can you do. Let's just all be glad it's not the BCS, and move on down the road...

7. Michigan St. (20-6) 7

8. Georgetown (18-6) 8

9. Duke (21-4) 11

10. New Mexico (23-3) 13

I know people are still sleeping on the Lobos, but after wins this week @ UNLV and @ Utah, you better have woken up and started to take notice. Don't hit the snooze only to wake up when UNM is dancin' into the Sweet 16. Wake up right now, and take notice...

They're strong with the ball, they're tough, and as of late, they're specializing in winning close games. A team nobody knows too much about, with a random mascot nobody quite understands, that specializes in winning close games? Nah, those teams never win NCAA tournament games / are you paying attention, yet?..

11. Kansas St. (20-4) 10

12. West Virginia (19-5) 9

13. Wisconsin (19-6) 12

14. Pittsburgh (19-6) 14

15. Butler (23-4) 15

The Butler Bulldogs could very well be my biggest enigma in this year's college hoops' season. They've won 15 in a row, but against inferior competition. They beat Ohio St. and Xavier earlier in the year, but that was an OSU without Evan Turner, and merely a 1-point win against Xavier on Butler's home court. Their 4 losses? Neutral court VS G'Town, Minnesota and Clemson, and @ UAB by 10. And outside those 2 mid-December wins against the Ohio's finest, the best win the Bulldogs can probably claim is another 2 point neutral court win against UCLA. 11-13, UCLA...

Good thing the Bracket Buster games are starting up. A home match up against Siena should go a long way towards telling us how good Butler really is, and what their chances are come tourney time...

16. Gonzaga (21-4) 17

17. BYU (23-3) 18

18. Texas A&M (18-7) 22

A tough battle at home against the #1 Jayhawks legitimized the Aggies as a tournament team in my eyes, and their presence in the Top 25 boosts the Big XII up right next to the Big 10 as the Big East's step children. Not one of the red-headed step children like the A-10, but one of those normal colored-head step children that are allowed to eat at the table and aren't forced to sleep on the cement floor in the basement...

19. Texas (20-5) 21

20. Vanderbilt (19-5) 23

21. UNLV (19-6) 16


22. Richmond (20-6) NR

Speaking of red-headed step children, the Richmond Spiders are now the Daddy Warbucks to the rest of the A-10's Little Orphan Annie's. A 17 point home win against Temple got the ball rolling, but 2 road wins this week, including a 2 point victory @ URI, and the glare off the top of their rich, bald heads is getting too much for the rest of the conference to handle...

OK, at only 1/2 game, their conference lead is tenuous at best, but with a starting back court averaging more than 30 points per game, and the team currently riding a 6 game winning streak, I think they're gon-na like it here....in the Top 25 that is...

What? You were expecting a hard knock life reference? Who am I, Jay Z? Well I'll tell you this right now. If I'm Jay Z, then Beyonce not only has some explainin' to do, and I have a lot of New York Yankees gear that I have to burn...

23. Baylor (19-5) NR

24. Cornell (21-4) 20

If you want to dismiss the Big Red because they lost @ 4-15 Penn this past weekend, feel free. Just know that I've far from written them off. It was an ugly loss, this is true, but one game does not a season make. Especially if that game is at the toughest venue the Ivy League has to offer...


25. UTEP (19-5) NR

New to the Top 25, it's only fair I give you a few words on the UTEP Miners...

Now the kings of Conference USA, UTEP's found it's way into the ass end of the Rooch Nation Top 25 thanks to 9 straight wins and a 55 RPI. Whoa, first time I've mentioned RPI all year, right there, kids. Must be gettin' close to the tourney. And hey, if you feel like gettin' your learn on, and crunching the same numbers the selections committee will use come that fateful Sunday, check em' out righ here - http://insider.espn.go.com/ncb/rpi

But back to the Miners. Not only are they the owners of impressive computer numbers and a nice winning streak, but they can flat out put the biscuit in the basket. They're averaging more than 78 a game, with all 5 starters in double figures, and they're only allowing a touch over 63. Granted they don't exactly have any wins that are gonna impress John Q. Hoopsfan, but if 9-2 Richmond in the A-10 is getting respect, then the same is deserved for a 10-1 team in Conference USA. At least, that's my logic...


just missed: Temple; Northern Iowa; Mississippi St.; Wake Forest; Tennessee; Virginia Tech; UCONN; Utah St.

dropped: (19) Tennessee; (24) Northern Iowa


So there you have it, kids. And I must say, for whatever reason I'm extra proud of this week's rankings. No reason in particular, I guess, it's just I feel good about what I've just done. Kinda like I feel every year after I've just finished filling out my bracket. Matter of fact, I just decided right now that when I do fill out my bracket, if I get stuck, I'm gonna come back to this week's rankings and use them as some sort of virtual tiebreaker. Hey, I gotta do something to help stop this 4 year losing streak I've been on, don't I? Desperate times, man. Desperate times...

As for you guys, the best way for you break your personal drought, or to start a new winning streak, is to watch as many games as possible. So if you have any time once you've finished watching taped delay pairs ice dancing, Id' advise you give a few of these games the good 'ole once over...

Make sure to keep an eye up for the myriad of Bracket Buster match ups (games scheduled mid-season to give lower conference teams a chance to pad their resume), your usual smattering of big conference showdowns, and one of the most anticipated Ivy League games since the advent of the shot clock...

Enjoy...


This Week's Slate

2/16
Wake Forest @ Virginia Tech (ESPN2 7 pm)
Kentucky @ Mississippi St. (ESPN 9 pm)
North Carolina @ Georgia Tech

2/17
Purdue @ Ohio St.
Florida St. @ Virginia
Texas @ Missouri (ESPN2 9 pm)
South Carolina @ Arkansas

2/18
Syracuse @ Georgetown (ESPN2 7 pm)
Vanderbilt @ Mississippi
Pittsburgh @ Marquette (ESPN2 9 pm)
Wisconsin @ Minnesota

2/19
Cornell @ Harvard
Old Dominion @ Northern Iowa (ESPN2 7 pm)

2/20
Siena @ Butler (ESPN2 11 am)
Morgan St. @ Murray St.
Baylor @ Oklahoma St.
Tennessee @ South Carolina
Texas @ Texas Tech (ESPN 2 pm)
Georgia Tech @ Maryland
Illinois @ Purdue (ESPN 4 pm)
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt (ESPN 6 pm)
Wichita St. @ Utah St. (ESPN2 12 am)

2/21
Villanova @ Pittsburgh (CBS 12 pm)
Ohio St. @ Michigan St.
Northwestern @ Wisconsin
Marquette @ Cincinnati
Virginia Tech @ Duke (FSN 745 pm)

2/22
West Virginia @ UCONN (ESPN 7 pm)
Oklahoma @ Kansas (ESPN 9 pm)


Have a great week, everybody, and lemme leave you with this one peice of advice. If you're looking for images to portray how much you dislike the Olympics, don't type "Olympics suck" into google images. That is, unless, you want a picture of a nearly nude Homer Simpson peeling a strip of bacon from a living and what seems to be a happy pig. IF you're looking for Pete Rose in his underwear, on the other hand, I can advise you that "Pete rose haircut" is exactly the search term you're looking for...

Adios, muchachos, and I'll catch you on the flipman...

Teddy Williams...
WJ4P...
100....

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