Tuesday, March 11, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (3/10)

So, True Detective limped to the barn. Which is to say, it violated rule #1. A rule I like to call the "the sky is green rule". A rule that I apply to shows and movies, where the creator is allowed to create whichever universe they'd like, as long they stick to their own rules. For instance: IF at the beginning of the movie you tell me that the sky is green, the amazing solution or ending to your film can't be that the sky was actually blue. That the whole world was some sort of dream or Matrix type situation and everything you were shown was either a fabrication of someone's memory or a straight up lie. And, without giving spoilers, that's exactly what True Detective did with their intellectually unsatisfying and inconsistent ending...

And I'm not some fan boy who had overdosed on theories and was convinced that Cohle's head was going to pop open and Satan himself was going to fly out. But if you want to spend a few months telling me that things are happening for reason "A", then your ending better involve a whole lot of that reason "A", and not a whole lot else. Because if it's not, then you basically admit that you've been merely jerking me along for 2 months. And that's not cool under any definition. I mean, movie blue balls? That's like the worst, right there. You know, except for the actual real blue balls. Which, to describe the pain to a woman, probably feels a whole lot like when your female friend doesn't respond to your texts...when you CAN TELL THAT SHE'S ALREADY READ THEM!!!

So, yeah. Endings to things can be disappointing, and this was one of those times. It doesn't mean the overall experience wasn't a pleasant one, because I still contend that it was. But ultimately, looking at the work as a whole, you won't ever be able to recapture the excitement and the intrigue that made the ride so enjoyable. Which makes it a lot like the NCAA Tournament. You know, like if 1 #16 finally beat a #1 but then all of the Final Four games were unwatchable blowouts...

And that, was a segue. Not even a forced one, either. OR maybe it was just a transition? Meh, either way it was better than saying "moving from blue balls to orange...". At least I think it was. Well, whatever. Here we are, the final Rooch Nation College Hoops Top 25 of the year. Next up, will be the bracket preview on Wednesday, after I've returned from the ACC Tournament in Greensboro and likely/inexplicably changed my opinion on virtually half the teams in the field. So, there's that. And there's this! So, enjoy. And I'll catch you Teds again on Wednesday...

College Hoops Top 25

1. Florida (29-2) 1

The Gators may seem like a nondescript bunch, and that's probably because they are a nondescript bunch. But that's really only a way of saying they're balanced, and without a "true" superstar. That could ultimately come to haunt them during crunch time in the tournament, but I'll take my chances with a well balanced group of blue chippers. Especially when they're being led by one of the most successful coaches in tournament history. His leadership and experience should help counterbalance that late game uncertainty. If there ever actually is any...

2. Wichita St. (34-0) 3

3. Duke (24-7) 2

4. Michigan (23-7) 6

5. Arizona (28-3) 4

If there's one thing that's likely to derail the Wildcats tourney train, it's their penchant for going on 2nd half scoring droughts. Much like they did in their latest loss to Oregon. They're still arguably the best defensive team in the country (Ken Pomeroy has had them #1 in adjusted defense for quite some time), and that will carry them a long way. But we're splitting hairs here, at the top. And they're one of the few top teams with a blatant flaw. And one that's proven to be the undoing of many other talented teams in tournaments past...

6. Louisville (26-5) 12

7. Virginia (25-6) 5

8. Villanova (28-3) 10

9. Creighton (24-6) 9

One of these incredibly efficient offensive teams is going to make a serious run, I've just yet to settle on which one I think it's most likely to be. Probably Villanova, because they have the superior defense. But if either of these teams gets it cooking from the outside, their defense is unlikely to matter. At least not until the Elite 8, or so...

10. VCU (24-7) 14

11. Wisconsin (25-6) 7

12. North Carolina (23-8) 13

13. Kansas (23-8) 8

14. Syracuse (27-4) 11

The two biggest injuries going into the tournament are those of Kansas' Joel Embiid, and Syracuse's Jermi Grant. They're elite players, who at their best could serve as vital cogs to a Final Four run. But, without them at their best, neither team should expect more than a jaunt to the Sweet 16. And with the Orange's scoring issues of late, even with Grant healthy, they'll be lucky to get that far...

15. Cincinnati (26-5) 18

16. San Diego St. (27-3) 20

17. Tennessee (20-11) NR

I've had my eye on the Volunteers for a while. Mostly because they were that team that was high on KenPom's list (13 overall, 17th in offense, 28th in defense) and completely OFF of everyone else's. But mostly because they're arguably the hottest offensive team in the country. I don't care who you play. When your average margin of victory in a conference like the SEC is 25 during your 4-0 early March run, you're going to gain my favor. That and, you know. All the KenPom stuff. Because off the radar squads like this are his bread and butter come tourney time...

18. Iowa St. (23-7) 16

19. St. Louis (26-5) 17

20. New Mexico (24-6) 21

21. Ohio St. (23-8) NR

22. Michigan St. (23-8) 24

I've started to hear a lot of 2011 UCONN talk in regards to the Michigan St. Spartans. Talented team that finishes like True Detective, only to finally harness that talent and make an improbable run. And I can see it, I really can. Mostly because I always try to remember the top preseason teams that fall off. But mostly because the Spartans are almost guaranteed to bust all of my brackets, one way or another. Much like the Huskies did. So there's that...

23. Gonzaga (27-6) NR

24. UCONN (24-7) 19

25. SMU (23-8) 15

just missed: Oklahoma; Oklahoma St.; Oregon; UCLA; Harvard; Kentucky; Stephen F. Austin; Memphis

dropped: (22) Kentucky; (23) Memphis; (25) UCLA

And there ya have it. The final College Hoops Top 25 of the '13-'14 season. Hope you enjoyed. If you're actually wondering why I haven't listed "what to watch", then just turn on your TV at any given time. Because that's where the jump off will be. And in between conference tournament games, feel free to pop on an episode of Rick & Morty. It's back, Teds. And it's better than ever. OK, it's more or less the same. But that's still pretty damn good, Morty. Maybe not as good as, say, Inception. But still pretty damn good...

Have a good week, friends. And I'll catch you on Wednesday...



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