Tuesday, February 07, 2012

College Hoops Top 25 (2/7)

So, to quickly recap the Super Bowl. The better team made more plays and fewer mistakes, and was able to hang on and win in the final seconds. Wes Welker not catching that pass OR Mario Manningham hauling in the grab I'll forever refer to as the "TYREEPEAT"? Just window dressing. Pivotal plays, to be sure, but neither is the sole reason, or even the main reason, that one team won and another team lost. The Giants were just the more well rounded team, and they proved that as the game went on. That's probably why I'm only mildly disappointed in the Patriots' loss. I didn't have a ton of confidence in them winning, I didn't expect them to be there in the first place, and I didn't walk away from that game thinking they were robbed or made one crucial mistake that cost them the game. The just weren't good enough to get it done, and while it pains me to say it, that's just the way it is...

OH! He's just my little Asian angel!
It's OK, though. They had a great season, and as a great organization, I can be assured that they'll put themselves in a good position to make another run at the Super Bowl not only next year, but for the foreseeable future. Besides, at least someone got to celebrate a World Championship, right? Yeah, in case you were wondering who that Giants fan was at the top of my page, that's my good friend Adam "Whitey" Rosen, looking not nearly as white as his nickname may suggest. I mean, Hell. If you can't feel at least a slight sense of happiness for a true fan like that to taste the spoils of victory, then I'm not sure you understand how the whole "fan" thing works. Sure, you might find it odd that Whitey attended the game with a small Asian boy that he may or may not have sold to Dot and Glen from Raising Arizona immediately after the game, but that's neither here nor there. And as long as I can go to sleep knowing that at least one true fan enjoyed this Championship at my team's expense, well then that's just all right by me...

Hey, it was another great NFL season, and I can't wait til the next one, but for now, I guess we'll just have to amuse ourselves with come college hoops. Which is great, for me, because that happens to be a field in which I fancy myself an expert. Let's take a gander at my latest Top 25, and check out the landscape before a legendary Wednesday slate of games will likely turn the Top 10 on it's ass. Mmmm Hmmm. Should be a great week of watchin'...

College Hoops Top 25

1. Ohio St. (20-3) 3

All Kentucky did this week was win, but despite their continued success, I felt it warranted to re-install the Ohio St. Buckeyes as my #1 team in the country. Kentucky still might have the edge in "talent", from an NBA perspective, but I find I'm again liking Ohio St. more as a tournament ready team and a team that will be able to better adapt to the various issues both conference tournament and NCAA tournament play often provide. More to the point, I like Sullinger in a 1 on 1 battle with UK's Anthony Davis. I think Davis is the better talent, but I like Sully's odds of getting the better of him (foul trouble) in a 1 on 1 match up for all the marbles. That's why the Buckeyes are back at #1, and it's going to take some serious doing to knock them from their perch. Doesn't hurt that they're the best team in what's clearly the best (or at least toughest) conference, either...

Michael Carter-Williams let the world know on Saturday
that there's yet another Orange guard that we should be keeping our eyes on
2. Syracuse (23-1) 2

With Fab Melo back, The Orange get the bump over the Wildcats, as well. Again, it's a match up thing. Not that I think Fab Melo is better than Anthony Davis. Hey, I'm not smoking Meth. I just don't like Kentucky's chances against that 2-3 zone. Kidd-Gilchrist could serve them well as a zone buster, but otherwise I think that's a match up that favors the Cuse. Seems like a small thing to consider, but it's what I would think if I had to pick this match up when filling out my bracket, so it's the same logic I'm using now. Call me crazy, but that's what I think the Top 25 should be trying to accurately represent. I mean, there's no trophy for being #1 in the polls when the season's done, right? So why bother trying to predictproject anything else...

3. Kentucky (23-1) 1

4. Missouri (21-2) 6

5. North Carolina (20-3) 8

6. Marquette (20-5) 4

7. Duke (19-4) 5

This dangerous duo is really starting to click.
8. Florida (19-4) 15

Everyone knew the Gators had a ton of talent coming in, and now they're finally starting to piece it all together. They've won 7 straight, and freshmen Bradley Beal is really finding his stride, raising his scoring average to over 14 points per game after averaging better than 18 over the team's last 6. With Beal and Kenny Boynton at the helm, Florida should once again prove to be a dangerous out. Just how dangerous may very well be determined by how well they play tonight @ Kentucky...

9. St. Mary's (22-2) 12

10. Michigan St. (18-5) 9

11. Creighton (21-3) 10

12. Kansas (18-5) 11

13. Baylor (21-2) 14

14. UNLV (21-4) 7

15. Florida St. (16-6) 16

Starting to hear a lot of buzz about the Seminoles as a potential Final Four sleeper. Not sure I'm buying any of that, yet, but their continued consistency is rather encouraging. Their history still says the bottom could fall out at any moment, but I'm thinking they're likely to remain right around a Sweet 16 team rather than either of the extremes I just mentioned...

16. Murray St. (23-0) 18

17. San Diego St. (20-3) 13

Like Kentucky, the Aztecs didn't lose, but they lost ground in my rankings. They should have lost if not for a last second 3 rimming out against Boise St., and really haven't been too impressive since a home win against UNLV on January 14th. If they can beat the Rebs in Vegas, I might start singing a different tune, but right now SDSU is looking like a team that very well may have already peaked, and that's never a good thing...

18. Georgetown (18-4) 17

19. Mississippi St. (18-5) 21

20. Virginia (18-4) 20

21. Michigan (17-7) 19

22. Pittsburgh (15-9) 24

Ricky White Suit, teachin' the kids how it's done. Even in the grey suit...

23. Louisville (18-5) NR

The healthier they get, the more we're reminded of how good they are when they're at full strength. They've won their last 5 Big East games by an average of 13 points, and I don't care which Big East teams you're playing, that's very impressive and worthy of a spot in the Top 25...

24. Wisconsin (18-6) 22

25. Notre Dame (15-8) NR

Home wins against Syracuse and Marquette and road wins against Louisville and UCONN. Not too bad. Much like Pitt, the Irish had a less than enviable stretch towards the beginning of their season, but there's no denying right now they're one of the 25 best teams in the land. It's Mike Brey coachin' 'em up, and that should be good enough for Notre Dame to finish strong and claim a legitimate seed in the field of 64...or 65...or whatever. They'll be in the field. And with road wins like the ones mentioned, they'll likely prove as a staunch opponent...

just missed: Vanderbilt; Harvard; Indiana; Gonzaga; Long Beach St.; New Mexico

dropped: (23) Vanderbilt; (25) Indiana

Shaping up to be the best week of the year, so far. But we
all know what looms not too far off in the distance...
Games to Watch
Florida @ Kentucky
Purdue @ Ohio St.
Maryland @ Clemson
Iowa St. @ Oklahoma St.

Duke @ North Carolina
Georgetown @ Syracuse
Kansas @ Baylor
Pittsburgh @ South Florida
Notre Dame @ West Virginia

St. Mary's @ Gonzaga
Wisconsin @ Minnesota
Ole Miss @ Mississippi St.
Illinois @ Indiana
Colorado @ Arizona
Iowa @ Northwestern

Harvard @ Pennsylvania
Iona @ Loyola

UCONN @ Syracuse
Michigan St. @ Ohio St
Baylor @ Missouri.
Virginia @ North Carolina
San Diego St. @ UNLV
Cincinnati @ Marquette
Louisville @ West Virginia
Vanderbilt @ Kentucky
Wichita St. @ Creighton
Tennessee @ Florida
Maryland @ Duke
Kansas St. @ Texas
Xavier @ Temple

Illinois @ Michigan
St. John's @ Georgetown
Pittsburgh @ Seton Hall

Syracuse @ Louisville
Iowa St. @ Baylor
Kansas @ Kansas St.

Hope you enjoyed, friends. And have a great week...

Teddy Williams...



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