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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

College Hoops Top 25: You Told Me So, or So You Say...


You know, it's funny. For two weeks I couldn't find anyone that wanted to bet with me on the Super Bowl, yet now I can't find a single person that didn't pick the Saints to win. Weird, right?

Turns out all of my friends and colleagues must have had a change of heart literally minutes before the big game began, and missed out on a golden opportunity to take an extra $20 or so off of yours truly. My good fortune I suppose, or maybe it's just more of that legendary gamblers' mentality...

You know, how you never hear that anybody ever loses when they gamble? Like when someone comes back from the casino and you ask them how they did, and they say they broke even? That means they lost, doesn't it? Like me, for instance. If you've run into me the past few days, I'll not only tell you I lost betting on the Colts, but that I made most of my money back playing poker while the actual Super Bowl was going on. Now in my case that happens to be true, as I'm always straightforward about my losses so I can bemoan my luck, but you get what I'm sayin'. Nobody ever wants to say that they lost, because they feel embarrassed. It'd be smart if they
mixed in a "loss" story now and again so we'd actually believe them if you ever did win, but feel free to keep living that lie and convincing yourself that we all think you're such a great gambler...and that you just "choose" to drive that shitty car around and drink the cheapest beer known to mankind. Right, we get it. You'd just rather not spend your millions on trivial things like that. Totally understandable...

But anyway. It was one thing if you wanted the Saints to win, or you wanted the Colts to lose, but unless you have a betting slip to prove the size of your cahones, running around saying "I called it", is every bit as annoying as the childhood classic, "I told you so"...

But hey, I had a great time watching the Super Bowl with my friends, and it was a great game, so I can't really complain. Well, I could, but I said last week that if I had a good time watching the Super Bowl then I couldn't complain if I lost, and I'm gonna stick to my guns. Ya know, except for the fact that I just ripped a ton of you for rejoicing in the Saints win...

...Which really wasn't my intent. I get the anti-Colts sentiment, and am happy for all of you that find joy in Peyton's loss, just don't tell me you called it. I just won't believe you. The $20 still residing in my wallett tells me your full of...well..you're full of whatever substance you personally would find the most vulgar and disgusting...

See that? That's cursing without cursing, friends. Something new I came up with. Kinda like the new hashtag I invented on Twitter. I call it, the "pay it forward" hashtag, and it looks like this #$>. For those that don't know, hashtags allow you to search for and trend things on Twitter, and can sometimes serve as almost a page to a certain group of followers. My intent, with the "pay it forward" hashtag, is just to create a symbol that everyone can use in response to a tweet they believe is an example of someone paying something forward. Not looking to become famous with this thing, obviously, but I think it's a cool notion, and a damn cool lookin' symbol, so I'm on board. Plus, I invented it. And last night I had a dream that I helped invent the Delorean, but I'm already way too far off topic to start delving into my dreams....let's just say there was a talking monkey involved, and he may or may not have had an Australian accent, and may or may not have been the one driving the car most of the time...

As for the Super Bowl, just a few things before I roll on to this week's Top 25...

Between the Colts' missed 51 yd FG, and the Saints recovered onsides kick to start the 2nd half, it should be clear who the better coach was in Super Bowl XLIV. Granted if the Saints miss that onsides kick, Sean Payton doesn't look so hot, but it worked, so that's that. As for Caldwell opting for a 51 yd FG when he has the league's best QB and the league's oldest kicker? That my friends, is a genuine head scratcher...

Other than that, the game was very entertaining. I missed most of the commercials because I was busy playing poker, but I'm getting the feeling I didn't really miss too much, so I'm OK with it. I saw The Who, and while I love them, they're just too old at this point. Townshend more than held up his end of the OVER 5 1/2 windmills, but between Daltrey's bare midriff, his failing voice, and the bands just overall decrepit looking condition, it's just not the same. I guess it's not their fault their aren't enough relevant rock acts to take their place, but it still doesn't make it right...

So that's it. The NFL season is officially over, and like you, I'm already counting the days til Yahoo! sends me my fantasy football reminder, and getting ready for the draft. Both real, and fantasy. This year has barely ended, and we're already primed for the next. It's great. I've already got 2 bets in on the Packers (12/1) and the Chargers (8/1) to take down next year's Super Bowl, and rest assured I'll be here every week to monitor those wagers and discuss everything else going on in the Nation's new favorite past time. Not this Nation. Your Nation...

In this Nation, every sport takes a back seat to college hoops. Which is why I'm now more than pleased to bring you this week's edition, of the Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25...

Enjoy...

Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25

1. Syracuse (23-1) 1

Seems like I'm not the only one out there thinking The Orange are deserving of more love than they're getting. Check what ESPN's, Pat Forde, has to say about the 'Cuse and their coach...

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=4895869

Forde talks about Boeheim's career success along with the meteoric rise The Orange have had this season. It's a solid article, and the fact that he recognizes their length as the main reason for their success is what should give him ultimate credibility. Guy knows his stuff...

2. Kansas (23-1) 5

The Jayhawks are starting to grow on me with their physical play and their consistent success. Still not thrilled about their offensive weapons when it comes to crunch time, but I'm starting to get the feeling they're gonna figure it out before all is said and done. Besides, If I'm talkin' Cuse, and I'm talking Title, it's only appropriate that the Jayhawks should be in the mix...

3. Villanova (21-2) 2

They proved in being blown out at Georgetown that they can be outrun and outscored, but they proved in winning @ West Virginia that they're excellent at imposing their will. They may have the best stable of guards in the country, right now, and in a tournament where it's usually all about guard play, that's going to make them extremely dangerous, and a popular pick to make their 2nd straight Final Four...

4. Kentucky (22-1) 3

5. Purdue (19-3) 6

6. Ohio St. (18-6) 11

Evan Turner's averaging 23 points a game over his last 8, a span in which the Buckeyes are 7-1. Hey, I know they're about 10 spots back in the other major polls, but with Turner playing like this, and OSU's solid defense, I'd like to see those 10 other teams take them out on a neutral court. March is for stars, and this year in Columbus, they have one of the brightest one's in the country...

7. Michigan St. (19-5) 4

8. Georgetown (17-5) 8

9. West Virginia (19-4) 7

The loss @ home to Villanova was a little more disconcerting than you'd probably think. Per usual, it's not that they lost, it's how they lost. 'Nova was able to jump out to a lead, and immediately Mountaineers became a one dimensional group of 3-point shooters. When they're driving to the basket, they're a great team, but when they're just playing the "Da'Sean Butler and a bunch of 3's" game, they become very beatable. I bet Huggins can get their heads right with a few shots of Jack and a night on the town, but another stinker like that, win or lose and I might start losing a little faith...

10. Kansas St. (19-4) 10

11. Duke (19-4) 12

12. Wisconsin (18-5) 15

13. New Mexico (21-3) 17

14. Pittsburgh (18-6) 14

I'm not moving the Panthers from 14 because I don't wanna have to move them back up here when they start beating people again. Hey, you know it's gonna happen, I know it's gonna happen, so I say, why fight it? And plus, you really telling me you'd pick Butler in a neutral site game against the Panthers right now? Of course you wouldn't. And while most of that has to do with the fact that you don't know where Butler is, and don't trust to pick a team that's not a college basketball "blue blood", I think you'd still be correct in taking Pittsburgh to win...

15. Butler (21-4) 16


16. UNLV (19-4) 25

They may not have Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Anderson Hunt, or Tark the Shark...or Hell, even Long Kruger's kid...but this UNLV squad has more than just the catchiest nickname and most bookies per dormitory. This year's Runnin' Rebels, still coached by Lon Kruger, are 19-4 in an underrated Mountain West, and after a drubbing of conference leader BYU, find themselves in a 3-way tie atop the conference with the Cougars and the New Mexico Lobos. Now, people are starting to take notice. Junior Tre'Von Willis leads the way at more than 18 a game, but as usual Kruger is doing it with defense and depth. Right now the Rebs have 11 players averaging 11+ minutes per game. And oh yeah, they're hot, having won 7 of their last 8...


17. Gonzaga (19-4) 24

I kind of dismissed this Zags team to start the season, but Mark Few and his boys are startin' to make a believer outta me. Senior Matt Bouldin is a savvy, gritty scorer who hearkens back to the days of Stepp and Santangelo, and Elias Harris, Steven Gray, and Robert Sacre lead a frontcourt that will allow Gonzaga to get physical with nearly any team in the country. I still worry a bit about the inferior competition in the West Coast Conference and their tendency to go cold from the field, but if they can continue to perform like they did on the road against a tough Memphis squad, then like I said, I could become a believer...

18. BYU (22-3) 13

19. Tennessee (18-4) 22

20. Cornell (20-3) 20


21. Texas (19-5) 9

Remember when UCONN played Texas and it was like the biggest game of the week? Yeah, me either. Another week like this, and those two teams could play naked in Central Park and not draw a crowd. Not a crowd of basketball fans, anyway. Pervs and crackheads, yes. But not basketball fans....

...OK most NBA fans would be down. And Spike Lee would probably be sitting courtside in a lawn chair watching the whole thing, he himself naked, thinking of some way to turn this whole charade into a movie, and how on Earth he was gonna find a role for John Turturro. Maybe he could play Rick Barnes. I know they don't look alike, but for a guy that's played Jews, Italians, Puerto Ricans, you name it, I don't think being a white guy is gonna be much of an issue. Plus, he already played a basketball coach in He Got Game, so I figure he's got it covered. No Rick Fox this time around though, Spike, if you please...

22. Texas A&M (17-6) NR

The Aggies are the only team to don this week's rankings that haven't made an appearance yet in 2010, so I figure I'll give them a little ink...

Beating Mizzou, who hadn't lost at home in forever, really opened my eyes. I know Mizzou isn't Kansas or Texas, but that's still a damn good win, and a game that "on paper", the Aggies really shouldn't be winning, That'll always boost your cred with me...

Of their 6 losses, only the one @ Washington (64-73) in late December really stands out. The other 5, (vs WVU, vs New Mexico, @ Kansas St., @ Texas, @ OK St.) really aren't that bad. Sure you'd like to see a few more marquee wins, but I get the feeling it's only a matter of time. Led by Senior guards, Donald Sloan and Derrick Roland (currently injured), coach Mark Turgeon's boys are an experienced team, and one that could come on strong and become a real player in the Big XII as the season winds down...

23. Vanderbilt (17-5) 19

24. Northern Iowa (21-2) NR

25. Temple (19-5) 21

URI is #30 in the rankings! URI is #30 in the rankings!...


just missed: Georgia Tech; Baylor; Florida; Siena; Illinois; Wake Forest

dropped: (18) Georgia Tech; (23) Baylor


And there it is, ladies and gents, the penning of my latest piece of prophetical pontification, straight from my brain to your eyes. I don't have time to give you the heads up on this weeks' big games, as I have the proverbial "bigger fish to fry", (not to mention I need to re-read the P section of the dictionary) but I'm sure if you direct yourself to you're local cable box or DVR, I'm sure you'll be able to take care of business. If not, then I'm not sure what I can do for you. Well I do know, but saying what I would do here would only hasten my prosecution should I ever actually go through with it...

Have a great week, everybody. We're just a few Johnny Queir Olympic ads and triple sow cows away from pitchers and catchers, so hang in there. Let college hoops be your methodone to the Heroin of the pink-hat Olympics. It'll get you through the

tough times, let you keep your integrity, and avoid making you look like a fool when you get high and attempt to go curling on the half frozen pond in the woods behind your house. Trust me, I've seen it happen, and it can get ugly. So be careful...

And seriously, that kid still doesn't have feeling in any of the 3 toes on his right foot that they let him keep. And his socks haven't fit right since...

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

#$>

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