Tuesday, January 31, 2012

College Hoops Top 25 (1/31)

Right about now, depending on when you're reading this, Rob Gronkowski is at the podium at Media Day in Indianapolis, creating the material that will undoubtedly fuel the next 5 days up to the big game. Whether it's the talk about his high ankle sprain diagnosed by his father, or just some more of his meat head/frat house rhetoric, it'll be talked about, dissected, and created into YouTube parodies about 15 millions times before this sucker actually kicks off. As I warned you last week, it's gonna be great. But I'm not here for that today...

Nope, I'm here to roll out the latest edition of the Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25. The Big XII is tumbling, some mid majors are rising, and with the selection of the Bracket Buster match ups last night, we've truly been signaled that the home stretch has officially been reached. Granted, it's one Hell of a stretch, but that's part of the reason this sport is so enjoyable to watch. Nearly every night, from now until the Tournament, there'll be games to watch that will prove pivotal when deciding who gets in, and where they play. It's just high stakes stuff, and probably the main element that has long since separated college basketball from it's NBA counterpart. That, and the fact that they actually call traveling and play team defense. But that's something you already knew...

OK, time to hammer this thing out so I can go enjoy Media Day before getting in some actual work, and then sitting down to watch some of those aforementioned pivotal games. See? Now you won't even need to go to Twitter or Facebook to check my status for today, because you know what I'm gonna be doing. I still might advise you to what I've been eating, though, so feel free to keep tabs on my, anyway...

Top 25. Let's go...

Fab Melo in street clothes is not a welcome site to fans of the Orange
College Hoops Top 25
1. Kentucky (21-1) 1

2. Syracuse (22-1) 2

Fab Melo is still MIA, and Dion Waiters has continued to scuffle. Still, the Orange have only dropped the 1 game, and continue to play relatively well. Getting breaks like that missed goaltending call against West Virginia doesn't hurt, either. But I'm of the opinion that one play didn't necessarily determine the outcome of that game. After all, there were still 8 seconds left for Syracuse to provide an answer. My bigger concern is how Syracuse is getting owned on the boards without Melo in the middle. If that trend continues, they're stay in the top 5 and atop the Big East order of merit could very well be short lived...

3. Ohio St. (19-3) 3

4. Marquette (18-4) 6

5. Duke (18-3) 7

6. Missouri (20-2) 4

I wasn't shocked to see the Tigers have a letdown after their big win @ Baylor, and the fact they were able to bounce back and win @ Texas after losing in the final seconds to OK St. helped prove it was more likely just a bump in the road then a sign that they're on the decline. Hey, they're kids. They probably got caught up in the hype, and weren't as ready as they should have been for a hostile road game. Shit happens. They're still tough as nails and offensively efficient. You won't want them in your quarter of the bracket...

7. UNLV (20-3) 9

8. North Carolina (18-3) 10

9. Michigan St. (17-4) 11

Don't say you weren't warned...
10. Creighton (20-2) 12

Bracket Buster match ups were announced on Monday, and Doug McDermott and friends will get a stiff tests as they get to host early season giant killers, Long Beach St. For the novice fan, these are the games to watch, and you could do your bracket some big favors if you take a look at a good chunk of these games when they air February 17th-18th. Hence the name, "Bracket Buster". If you're not aware of these teams come Selection Sunday, they'll probably be the ones that cause you to rip up dozens of sheets and enter you're shady coworkers "field of 32" pool. Yeah, good luck seeing any money from that...

11. Kansas (17-4) 5

12. St. Mary's (21-2)  14

13. San Diego St. (18-3) 8

14. Baylor (19-2) 13

You've probably noticed that I have both Baylor and Kansas a good deal lower than the National polls. Am I hating on the Big XII? Hardly. I'm just not a fan of teams that only seem to win games that they should have won to begin with. I suppose you could throw that argument right back in my face when it comes to Syracuse, but my defense there would be that they're just more talented than this duo from the South. Essentially, I just wanna see these teams play better in some tougher games before I officially start buying into them as legitimate contenders...

And yes, I think if the tournament started today, SDSU would beat Baylor and Creighton would beat Kansas. That's how my poll works. They'd all be in the Sweet 16 though, and fail to advance to the Elite 8. So how much of a difference are we really talking, here. Not a whole lot, which in my opinion is disappointing news for the Bears and the Jayhawks...

15. Florida (17-4) 16

16. Florida St. (14-6) 17

17. Georgetown (16-4) 15

They've got Swag in spades, but what the Racers could really use is a marquee win...
18. Murray St. (21-0) 18

The basketball nerd in me had one major problem with the Bracket Buster match ups. I really wanted Murray St. to have to travel to St. Mary's instead of getting to host the Gaels in their own place. I just wanna really see what Murray St. can do in a truly hostile atmosphere, and there's no tougher gym to play in right now than the one inhabited by St. Mary's. Doesn't Murray St. should be able to roll them at home, but it would have been a much better litmus test in my eyes if the Racers were forced to go West. They deserve to host the game, but you gotta think even they'd want to take this thing on the road to really boost their RPI and the likelihood that they get a semi decent seed come March...

19. Michigan (16-6) 19

20. Virginia (17-3) 22

21. Mississippi St. (17-5) 21

22. Wisconsin (17-5) NR

23. Vanderbilt (16-5) 25

He's baaaaaaack....
24. Pittsburgh (14-9) NR

Nine losses for a team in the Top 25? Sure. If that team is one of the 25 best teams in the country at the moment, then why the Hell not? And that's what Pittsburgh is. They struggled when Tray Woodall went down with an injury, but he's back, and so are the Panthers as a team to be reckoned with in the Big East. They went 11-1 with Woodall, and while I don't expect that kind of run to end the season, I do expect them to play more like the team that started the pre season in the Top 10 than I do the team that we've seen stink out the joint in the last month or so.

25. Indiana (17-5) 24

just missed: Louisville; West Virginia; Harvard; Iowa St.; UCONN; Wichita St.

dropped: (20) UCONN; (23) Kansas St.

Games to Watch
Tennessee @ Kentucky
Seton Hall @ Marquette
Michigan St. @ Illinois
Vanderbilt @ Arkansas
Kansas St. @ Iowa St.

Baylor @ Texas A&M
Colorado St. @ UNLV
Indiana @ Michigan
UCONN @ Georgetown

SE Missouri St. @ Murray St.
UCLA @ Washington
Gonzaga @ BYU

Cornell @ Harvard

Syracuse @ St. John's
Ohio St. @ Wisconsin
Kansas @ Missouri
Vanderbilt @ Florida
UNLV @ Wyoming
Marquette @ Notre Dame
Virginia @ Florida St.
Indiana @ Purdue
Seton Hall @ UCONN
Texas A&M @ Kansas St.
Ole Miss @ Alabama

Michigan @ Michigan St.
West Virginia @ Providence
Villanova @ Pittsburgh

UCONN @ Louisville
Missouri @ Oklahoma
Texas @ Texas A&M

Catch Friday, friends, for all the Super Bowl madness. Until then, be good. And Yo Soy Fiesta. Which I'm pretty sure translates to "let's play this freakin' Super Bowl already"...

Teddy Williams...



Anonymous said...

Sooooo by your logic, Marquette's gonna make the Final Four? Not buyin' it.

Brett Ferruccio said...

Buy it or not, my anonymous friend, but yes, if the tourney started today, I would probably have Marquette in my Final Four barring an extremely tough draw. WAR GOLDEN EAGLE

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