Tuesday, January 03, 2012

College Hoops Top 25 (1/3)

Well my friends, here we are. A new year, and a new attempt at mastering the enigmatic contest that is the NCAA Tournament bracket pool. That, and another year of making it known on a weekly basis that I think most of the pollsters, from both the media and the coaching sides of things, aren't nearly as informed and knowledgeable as the average hard core fan. That hard core fan in this case, being your truly. Which is why you'll have to judge for yourself whether or not I actually believe the team I have at #1 is the best team in the country, or I'm merely putting them there to prove I'm not a "box score lemming" that just randomly assigns teams based on the public perception. That, will be your decision. The rest, are up to me...

It's college hoops, baby. And the race to March is now officially on...


College Hoops Top 25
1. Ohio St. (13-2)

A lot of people probably surprised I don't have Syracuse, the consensus #1 in the country, as my #1 team, but that's just how I roll. Not just to be a contrarian, either. Syracuse may be deeper, but OSU can play any style of ball, and has the superstar inside, and the veteran ball handlers/shooters outside, to finish you off. At least for right now, that's enough for me to give them the edge over my Orange...

2. Syracuse (15-0) 

The Orange are the deepest team in the country, without question, but the only way they can leap frog OSU in my mind is if they have one of their scorers step tp to become a big time finisher. Both at the rim, and at the end of games. My money is on Dion Waiters, and it has been since he's stepped on campus...

I'd certainly take a Kris Joseph led National Championship team, though...

3. North Carolina (13-2)

4. Baylor (13-0)

What's with Baylor having ill guys whose name's end in III? Perry Jones III may not win player of the year to match Griffin III's Heisman, but you could easily argue that he's the most talented player in the country. Maybe not "the best", but in the eyes of the NBA scouts he's probably second only to UK's freshmen specimen, Anthony Davis...

5. Kentucky (13-1)

The ball handling isn't there yet, for Coach Cal's young guards, but two things are for sure: 1) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a MAN, and can do whatever he wants on both ends of the court (hence my moniker for him Mann-Gilchrist) AND 2) Anthony Davis might be the most gifted big man since DeMarcus Cousins...yeah, they get a lot of them down there. Davis has much more offensive potential, though. And at first glance, a decent head on his shoulders. At least, I haven't seen him punch anybody yet...

6. Duke (12-1)

I've yet to be all that impressed with alleged #1 high school prospect, Austin Rivers, but these are still the Dukies we're used to seeing. They shoot lights out, play hard nosed D, and they won't quit. Easy to rout against, but hard to ever count out...

7. Louisville (12-2)

Pitino says he's done coaching after 2017...unless Benjamin Franklin and a truck load of his buddies come walkin' through that door...

8. UCONN (12-1)

9. Missouri (13-0)

10. Michigan St. (13-2)

As bad as they looked at times on the air craft carrier, Tom Izzo's already got his boys primed and ready for Big 10 play. It's always nice when you have a walking match up problem on your starting roster too, in Draymond Green (15.4 ppg / 9.5 reb / 3.3 ast / 1.5 stl / 1.3 blk) who can control the flow of your offense on one end just as easily as he can disrupt it on the other...

11. Indiana (13-1)

Impressive wins at home are nice (Kentucky, Ohio St.), but impressive showings on the road will do you even better. Still, great to see Tommy Crean's hard work finally bearing fruit in Bloomington.

12. Georgetown (12-1)

13. Marquette (12-2)

14. Wisconsin (12-3)

15. Harvard (12-2)

Last year I told you about Cornell, and they proceeded to second guess myself into not taking them in the NCAA tournament. This year...I'll probably end up doing the same exact thing. The Crimson are good, though. They don't turn the ball over, shoot better than 38% from downtown and 75% from the line. That's a combination that'll win you a lot of games, even when your outsized...

16. UNLV (15-2)

17. Michigan (12-2)

Tim Hardaway Jr. is one of those guys you can just see shining come March, and John Beilein is just the coach to make sure the rest of the team is ready when they get there, too...

18. Kansas (10-3)

19. Florida (11-3)

20. Murray St. (14-0)

Murray St.'s biggest win to date was @ a then 20th ranked Memphis squad that is currently 8-5...all be it with 4 other losses to rather good teams (GTown twice, L'ville, MICH). Still, the fact that they're 14-0 still has to be recognized...

21. Mississippi St. (13-2)

22. San Diego St. (12-2)

23. Kansas St. (11-1)

24. Stanford (12-2)

The Cardinal are proving what I thought I saw when they played Cuse close @ MSG. They're a very solid team. They haven't been all that great of late, losing to Butler and barely escaping UCLA, but I think this is just a valley for a team that's destined to have a fine season...

25. Purdue (12-3)

Shout out to my man, Robbie Hummel! This is your year, bud. You can do it!...go a season without crippling yourself, that is. I swear that kid has Polio or somethin'...

just missed: New Mexico; Alabama; Vanderbilt; Arkansas

Games to Watch
Michigan St. @ Wisconsin
Louisville @ St. John's

Marquette @ Georgetown
Syracuse @ Providence
Kansas St. @ Kansas

Michigan @ Indiana

Marquette @ Syracuse
Missouri @ Kansas St.
Mississippi St. @ Arkansas

Wisconsin @ Michigan

West Virginia @ UCONN
Cincinnati @ Georgetown
Oklahoma @ Oklahoma St.