Tuesday, February 14, 2012

College Hoops Top 25 (2/14)

Well greetings, friends. I know you probably all missed me on Friday, but seeing as I couldn't bring myself to discuss a goalie's Facebook page or debate the merits of Paul Pierce as the greatest Celtic of all time, I figured it was as good a time as any to take some time off. Sure, I guess I could have discussed Jeremy Lin's sudden rise to fame in the NBA, but seeing that my thoughts on that topic are mostly negative and focused on the fact that the NBA is inept at nearly every level, I probably would have just sucked all the feel good out of what is supposed to be an inspiring story. So, it's probably better off that I left that one alone...

Instead, here I am on Valentine's day, set to deliver you with the latest version of my Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25. Can't you feel the love? First, I don't break your heart by raining on your "Jeremy Lin" and Paul Pierce" parades, and now here I am freely handing over to you my take on the college hoops scene. Might not seem like much of a gift now, but when your rakin' in the loots come early April, I bet you'll be singing a different tune, and those assorted chocolates will have long since been relegated to the trash can...

So, without further dudes, here is my Valtenine's gift to you. Feel free to enjoy it with those aforementioned chocolates. Because like I always say, college basketball goes great with anything. Well, I don't always say that, but I might start now...


College Hoops Top 25

1.Kentucky (25-1) 3

There's no denying it, now. The Wildcats are the best team in the country, plain and simple. They still don't have the perimeter players that I usually like to see on my Championship contending teams, but the toughness and versatility they have down on the blocks more than make up for it. I mean, Anthony Davis alone could probably give that to you, but add in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the reemerging Terrence Jones, and they not only can make up for any of their team's inefficiencies, but can form a front court so formidable that I believe they could carry Kentucky all the way to the National title...

That's just not Fair...
2. Syracuse (26-1) 2

When the betting line nose dives 1.5 points (from -3.5 to -2) just hours before game time, it sends a clear message. IT says the smart bettors saw a flaw in the line, and decided to jump on it. I was one of those smart bettors, as I locked in Louisville at +3 in my college picks league, and just as we all had predicted, the game played out as a nip and tuck battle that saw the home team fight to the finish and nearly pull out the win. So, what does this all mean? Other than the fact that I was fortunate to walk away with the ultimate win/win? It means the Orange are up to the task. Public opinion be damned, that was a tough road win for Syracuse, last night, and it's given me even more confidence in their chances at cutting down the nets. Certainly doesn't hurt that CJ Fair, yet another weapon off that frighteningly deep Syracuse bench, has established himself over the past few games as yet another legitimate scoring threat, either. The rich are getting richer, and it's now clearer than ever that Boeheim's boys are the team to beat in the Big East...

3. Missouri (21-4) 4

4. Michigan St. (20-5) 10

Like Tom Izzo teams of the past, this Spartan squad is starting to play their best ball at just the right time. I've been calling them a West Virginia team that can actually score, and that toughness is what should serve them well through both the rest of the Big 10 schedule, and what should undoubtedly be yet another prosperous post season...

5. Ohio St. (21-4) 1

Do you think he gets a fake doctorate now, too?
6. Duke (21-4) 7

I guess Austin Rivers finally decided to show up, huh? Well, good for him. He's finally showing what all the hype was about, and his improvement should serve the Dukies well as each game gains more importance. That being said, I don't take nearly as much away from that comeback at UNC as most. Sure, it was a nice comeback, but was even more impressive was the home collapse by the veteran Tar Heels. They need another ball handler, STAT, and are really feeling the pre season loss of Dexter Strickland more than ever. Remember that when the tournament rolls around. Unlike Kentucky, UNC doesn't have the interior toughness to make up for the lack of a premier distributors and floor generals. They've got the talent, but talent and toughness are completely different things. Especially come March...

7. Marquette (21-5) 6

8. North Carolina (21-4) 5

9. Kansas (21-5) 12

10.Georgetown (19-5) 18

11. Baylor (22-4) 13

12. St. Mary's (23-3) 9

13. Wichita St. (22-4) NR

Probably the biggest leap ever in the history of my Top 25 (from 30 to 13), but capping off an 11-1 stretch with a 21 point win over your biggest conference rival (Creighton) can tend to lead to some crazy swings. Without ta bad loss on their schedule, wins over both UNLV and Creighton, and top 40 rankings in rebounding, FG %, points and assists, the Shockers are as worthy of this spot as they are efficient. A win @ Davidson in one of Saturday's Bracket Buster games would go a long way towards giving them some national legitimacy...  
14. UNLV (22-4) 14

15. Florida St. (17-7) 15

16. Florida (19-6) 8

17. Murray St. (24-1) 16

18. Louisville (20-6) 23

Ricky WhiteSuit and friends may not have been able to pull the home upset against Syracuse, but they're not too far away from rounding into form. Again, this isn't one of Pitino's most talented clubs, but their gritty style and ferocious defense should serve them well moving forward, in what should be a lot of close games like the one they barely lost last night...

19. Creighton (21-5) 11

20. Mississippi St. (19-6) 19

21. Michigan (19-7) 21

22. Virginia (19-5) 20

23. San Diego St. (20-4) 17

It wasn't just the close loss @ UNLV that helped the Aztecs continue to slide, it's their less than stellar play. After a very hot start, SDSU has now slipped out of the top 50 in nearly every legitimate stat category, and have recently struggled at home in wins over both TCU (14-10) and Boise St. (11-12). They still have the talent to compete, but this may very well be a case of a team that peaked too early, and is primed for an early round departure...

24. Wisconsin (19-6) 24

By the Beach...BOY!
25. Long Beach St.(19-6) NR

Undefeated in the Big West (12-0), Long Beach can also hang their hat on a pre conference win over a healthy Pitt squad, and close losses to both UNC and Kansas. If they can send Creighton to their 4th straight loss when they visit the Blue Jays for the Bracket Buster, you may see the 49ers follow the Wichita St. Shockers right to the front of the Mid Major pecking order. They've been rolling, too, winning their last 4 games by nearly 13 per contest...

just missed: Notre Dame; Gonzaga; Pittsburgh Temple; New Mexico; Alabama; Drexel

dropped: (22) Pittsburgh; (25) Notre Dame

Games to Watch
Florida @ Alabama
Ohio St. @ Minnesota
Virginia @ Clemson
Cleveland St. @ Milwaukee
Illinois St. @ Indiana St.
St. John's @ Seton Hall

Arkansas @ Tennessee
Oklahoma St. @ Missouri
UNC @ Miami
New Mexico @ San Diego St.
Northwestern @ Indiana
Missouri St. @ Wichita St.

Wisconsin @ Michigan St.
West Virginia @ Pittsburgh
NC St. @ Duke
Virginia Tech @ Florida St.
Vanderbilt @ Ole Miss

Northern Iowa @ VCU
Brown @ Harvard

Ohio St. @ Michigan
St. Mary's @ Murray St.
Ole Miss @ Kentucky
Kansas St. @ Baylor
Wichita St. @ Davidson
Florida @ Arkansas
Long Beach St. @ Creighton
UNLV @ New Mexico
Missouri @ Texas A&M
Florida St. @ NC St.
Maryland @ Virginia
Marquette @ UCONN
Texas @ Oklahoma St.
UNC Asheville @ Ohio
Notre Dame @ Villanova

Syracuse @ Rutgers
Michigan St. @ Purdue
South Florida @ Pittsburgh
Indiana @ Iowa

Baylor @ Texas
UCONN @ Villanova

There you have it, friends. Enjoy your Valintine's Day, and I'll catch you on the flipman. Maybe on Friday, who knows? Though I don't like our chances if the biggest news story is the MySpace musings of the goalie for the New England Revolution...

Teddy Williams...



Anonymous said...

Tony Meola?

Brett Ferruccio said...

Yeah, I heard he has a bone to pick with Obamacare, and you're gonna hear about it on his MySpace page. You'll also get to hear the songs he feels best represent his current mood. Can't miss.

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