Tuesday, February 04, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (2/4)

I'm mad at Philip Seymour Hoffman. A waste of emotion, I know, considering he's a dead stranger. But I'm still mad. Mad that he let addiction get the best of him. Mad that he left behind 3 children that will have to grow up without a father. And, most selfishly, I'm mad that he's robbed us of any opportunity to watch him act. Something he's been as well as anyone on the planet for as long as I can remember...

And I'm not going to get into which of his roles were best, or which were underrated. Because none of that really matters. And I'm not going to talk about how horrible addiction can be. Because none of that really matters to me right now, either. What matters, is that an incredibly talented person did an incredibly selfish thing, and now the world is worse off for them having done it. There's no silver lining, here. Certainly not because he made so many great films. Nope, there's only sadness and anger. And I'm beginning to think those feelings won't be going away. Not soon, and not ever...

I mean, it's not like I'm going to hold some grudge and never watch his films again. That'd be even more a waste than being mad at a dead stranger. But this guy went out of his way to make a lot of people care for him, and then took that all away through a thoughtless act of selfishness. Disease, or not. And I respect recovery and addiction. But, disease or not, his actions are the kind that can do nothing but fill anyone that even remotely cared about him with as much a sense of anger and betrayal as it will sadness and regret. It's a waste of talent, is what it is. And there's nothing worse than a waste of talent. Except, you know. Being found dead on your bathroom floor with a needle sticking out of your arm and in possession of enough heroin to make Frank Lucas blush. And he's a black man, so to make him blush. Well, ya know. But, yeah. Levity aside, this is as unfortunate as it gets...

That doesn't mean I still won't celebrate your entire catalog though, Philip. Philip, who loved acting. It just means that I'll be somewhat bitter while I do it...

Goodnight, sweet prince...

Now onto the hoops...

College Hoops Top 25

1. Syracuse (22-0) 2

The win over Duke at the Carrier Dome was simultaneously one of the best played, and worst officiated I've ever seen in my life. But what an atmosphere. And that fact that both teams were able to rise the occasion made it an instant classic in every sense of the phrase. Major takeaways were Tyler Ennis' continued poise under pressure, and Jabari Parker's Rajon Rondo-like tendency to hit that extra gear when the game is in prime time. I mean, where has that Jabari Parker been all year? That guy shows up regularly and Duke won't need nearly as many 3s to take down a top team like Syracuse...

2. Florida (19-2) 5

The Gators have won 13 straight, by an average of 23. And they could be getting better, with highly touted 6'11" freshman, Chris Walker, having finally been cleared to play. He'll likely start off limited, but even in the short term Florida is likely to benefit from his interior presence. Which is scary, seeing that's all the Gator's have really lacked all season. We'll see how he blends, though...

3. Duke (17-5) 6

4. Michigan St. (19-3) 1

The team I stubbornly kept at #1 while I waited on them to get healthy, still should have beaten an undermanned Georgetown team. Shame on you, Sparty. You let me down. Even though I'm thinkin' you'll be back. Especially if you keep rockin' those sweet unis. Those alone are worth a #1 seed in my book. My book also has a lot of pictures of sideboob in it. Imagine some sideboob in one of those jerseys? That would be sweet. Chick boob, obviously. You sick bastards...

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

5. Wichita St. (23-0) 9

6. Arizona (21-1) 3

Brandon Ashley was basically averaging 12 points and 6 boards per game, and now he's gone for the season. That hurts. I'm sure Sean Miller's got another elite athlete he can chuck into the mix, but it'll still be tough for the Cats to remain elite without one of their key cogs...

7. Creighton (18-3) 13

8. Kansas (16-5) 4

9. St. Louis (20-2) 10

10. Iowa (17-5) 15

11. Michigan (16-5) 14

12. Cincinnati (21-2) 25

A road win @ Louisville really gave the Bearcats winning streak some credibility. And they've run it up to 14, now. I worry about when they run into great defensive teams, because they don't exactly wow you with their offensive execution. But Sean Kilpatrick can fill it up, and they can make your life tough when you try to get into any sort of rhythm. A dangerous combination come tourney time...

13. Kentucky (16-5) 11

14. Pittsburgh (18-4) 7

15. San Diego St. (19-1) 16

16. Villanova (20-2) 19

17. Louisville (18-4) 12

18. Iowa St. (17-4) 23

19. Gonzaga (20-3) 22

20. Texas (17-4) NR

21. Oklahoma (17-5) 18

22. Ohio St. (17-5) 24

23. VCU (18-4) NR

#HAVOC. IT's back. And you knew it would be, too. The Rams have won 10 of their last 11 and 5 straight. We'll know more after big games with St. Louis and UMASS in the upcoming weeks, but per usual Shaka Smart's boys seem to be starting to peak at the right time...

As for the hot mess B1G 10 teams that surround them in my rankings. They're still talented as all Hell. But they need to get their shit together. I mean, did you see the end of that Ohio St./Wisconsin game? That play embodies how both those teams are playing, right now. I'm of the belief they'll find their respective strides sooner rather than later (especially Wisconsin, too talented offensively). But right now they're just embarrassing the game. Like Dennis Rodman. Except they're a bunch of white guys...and all the black guys have flat tops for some reason...

24. Oklahoma St. (16-6) 17

25. Wisconsin (17-5) 8

just missed: UCONN; Tennessee; UCLA; Memphis; Harvard; SMU; Indiana St.

dropped: (20) Memphis; (21) UMASS

Here's a look at this week's slate. Not sure if that Indiana St/Wichita St. game will actually be on TV, but it could easily end up being the week's best. Yeah, seriously. Oh, and it turns out that game is on TV. At least kind of. ESPN3. So there's that...

What To Watch This Week
Kansas @ Baylor
Ohio St. @ Iowa
Maryland @ UNC

Wichita St. @ Indiana St.
St. Louis @ St. Joe's
Oklahoma @ West Virginia
Stanford @ Cal

UCONN @ Cincinnati

Seton Hall @ Villanova

Michigan @ Iowa
Cincinnati @ SMU
Texas @ Kansas St.
Baylor @ Oklahoma
Gonzaga @ Memphis

Clemson @ Syracuse
Michigan St. @ Wisconsin
Washington @ Colorado

Kansas @ Kansas St.
Iowa St. @ West Virginia

Catch you next week friends. Oh, and as for the Super Bowl? You're welcome...

Be good...



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