Friday, February 27, 2015

College Hoops Top 25 (2/27)

Baseball is BACK! YEAH! OK, that's enough of that. I mean, I'm excited for baseball, and sights like Rusney Castillo's sweat fueled mohawk, up there. But there are few things outside of a network sitcom that can rival Spring Training's uselessness and unwatchability. But watchable baseball will be back soon, and that's a good thing. Even if you're team consists of a bunch of shady #3 starters and a bunch of position players playing out of position. Mostly because fantasy sports make anything watchable. Except, of course, Spring Training. Which I continue to capitalize, for some reason...

But that time is not now. Now, it's college basketball's time to shine. And with just a few weeks til the tourney, things are finally starting to take shape. I mean, not really. But with so little change towards the top, and so little time left, that's just the kind of thing you say. So there it is. And here it is. The it, of course, being my latest Top 25. Not a lot of changes because, like I said, I have it all figured out. But you should peruse it nonetheless. I mean, you are already here...


Thursday, February 19, 2015

College Hoops Top 25 (2/20)

Yep, that should do it. With the "that" being the OT classic from UNC & Duke, and the "it" representing the viewing public's annual post Super Bowl reminder that college basketball is about to deliver the goods, and fill the void for the next two months. And if that contest were any indication (and it usually is), then the next two months should be their usual glorious selves. Like Lindsay Lohan's going to be when she emerges from her latest bout of anonymity with a nice big ass. Not sure
how that's relevant, but I've been thinking about that lately. You know, how LiLo's latest incarnation is going to involve her looking like the white Nicki Minaj. Mostly because asses are so IN right now, and I have a modest Lohan obsession. But mostly because, when in doubt, I like to tie everything back to backsides and washed up child stars rapidly descending into the pit that is pornography. So there's always that....

There's always this, too. Which is my weekly College Hoops Top 25. And while it hasn't transformed quite to the degree that LiLo's ass will, it's still worth your time. If for no other reason than you obviously have nothing else to do if you've already ventured this far. So here we are, friends. Enjoy...

Friday, February 13, 2015

College Hoops Top 25 (2/13)

College basketball lost two titans, this week. With the passing of both Jerry Tarkanian and Dean Smith. Two coaches known for their high scoring, super-athletic teams, who should really be known for their commitment to tough defense (you can only get out and run if you get a stop), and how they always seemed to put their players' welfare before their performance on the court...

And I don't say that latter part lightly. Granted, I never met either man. And yes, they admittedly operated within the confines of the NCAA. Arguably the shadiest and disingenuous association of all time. But just listening to the respect and the passion with which their former players have always talked and continue to talk about them, and having heard stories and watched various documentaries on their storied careers. It's just impossible not to come away feeling like they didn't so much spending their lives coaching, as they did mentoring and positively altering the lives of hundreds of young men. Many of whom would have been lost without that necessary guidance...

So they're gone now, but won't ever be forgotten. Mostly due to their records and titles. But mostly because those whose lives that they positively influenced, myself included, will never shut up in singing their praises.

RIP Dean Smith and Tark The Shark. And here's to hoping that, wherever you are, that there's a kid or two with a will to win, and a weak defensive stance. Rest well, fellas...

Friday, February 06, 2015

College Hoops Top 25 (2/6)

Well. That was somethin', wasn't it? A play for the ages to cap off a game for the ages. And please try to remember it that way. Not as some blown play call by some freewheeling robber baron. Because that's already become the narrative whose furtherance will only continue to take away from the fact that a player, Malcolm Butler, made arguably the best play in Super Bowl history. And what a glorious play it was. I mean, I've still got wood. STILL!

But now football is over. Sad. College basketball is here to pick up the slack, though. Which is always a good thing. Even if the team you root for has already removed themselves from postseason contention via poor play and a self imposed banishment. My thoughts on which are this:

The NCAA is a laughably inept and corrupt organization. And corrupt organizations can usually be bought off rather easily, whether it be with money or good will. By making themselves ineligible for the 2015 post season before the NCAA wraps up it's seemingly infinite investigation into allegations of academic "inconsistencies", Syracuse is doing exactly that. Buying good will. And it'll probably work, because the NCAA is weak and only concerned about the bottom line. And the fact that Syracuse is doing it during a down year in which they weren't even being projected for the big dance? Well, that's just smart business, right there. Sucks for the Seniors, but that definitely falls into the "break a few eggs" category. OR perhaps "squeeze a few wedges" would be a more appropriate? Nah, that just sounds pervy...

OK. Now onto some teams that are actually eligible for the post season. How they were able to meet all of the NCAA's stringent guidelines, we'll never know...

College Hoops Top 25

1. Kentucky (22-0) 1

2. Gonzaga (23-1) 3

3. Duke (19-3) 6

4. Virginia (20-1) 2

The way they let Duke own their souls in the final minutes on their home court was a little disconcerting. But bouncing back @ UNC the way they did was just as encouraging. Especially considering they still have Louisville to come on Saturday...

5. Arizona (20-2) 4

6. Wisconsin (20-2) 7

They've lost to Duke and @ Rutgers without Frank Kaminsky. Who, by the way, is averaging better than 20 points per game since he missed said game on January 11th. During which his Badgers are 5-0...

7. Notre Dame (21-3) 5

8. Louisville (19-3) 9

9. Kansas (19-3) 11

The Jayhawks have won 5 in a row, too. Topping 75 points in 3 of those wins, and beating their conference foes (2 ranked) by an average of 9+. The emergence of Frank Mason III has been huge (minutes more than doubled). Which is great, because you can never have too many "the third's" to talk about. Especially with Charles Howell III being so irrelevant for the past lifetime...

10. VCU (18-4) 12

11. Villanova (20-2) 14

12. Northern Iowa (21-2) 17

Seth Tuttle is a cool name, too. Not as cool as Seth Tuttle III would be. But I digress. Tuttle leads a Panther team that goes 9 deep, and while they won't wow you in any one area, their dangerously efficient. A poor man's Wisconsin, if you will. With Tuttle playing the role of Frank Kaminsky the first...

13. North Carolina (17-6) 8

14. Utah (17-4) 13

15. Providence (17-6) 15

Apparently I'm on an island with my Friars. They received only NINE total points in the coach's poll, and KenPom has them all the way down at 43. Meh, whatever. I'll ride with these pimps until they buck me. Which they almost did by losing @ St. John's, save that impressive bounceback road win @ Georgetown...

16. Wichita St. (20-3) 10

17. Baylor (17-5) 19

18. Iowa St. (16-5) 18

The Cyclones just aren't as tough as they need to be, and that's gonna come back to bite them come tournament time. They're fun to watch, and they'll score a lot of points (#1 in the country in assists, too). But so will their opposition. Hell, they've given up 81+ to Kansas twice in just the past few weeks...

19. West Virginia (18-4) 16

20. Oklahoma (15-7) NR

21. Butler (17-6) NR

Another Big East team with a 17-6 record, but this one's getting a lot more national love. Probably because they've won 6 of 7 and are a sexy 18 in the KenPom. But I say it's Ed Cooley hair prejudice. DON'T HATE WHAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, PEOPLE! I also happen to like the fact that PC has already beaten Butler this year in their own building...

Oh and hi, Brad Stevens! What it do?!?! I see you've turned your back on this year's leading scorer. Oh well, I'm sure it's all been worth it. Do you, coach. Do you...

22. Arkansas (17-5)  25

23. Ohio St. (17-6) 20

24. Maryland (19-4) NR

25. Miami (14-8) 22

just missed: SMU; Texas; Colorado St; Georgetown; Indiana 

dropped: (23) Texas; (24) Stanford); (25) Colorado St.

What To Watch This Week
Dayton @ George Washington

Notre Dame @ Duke
Baylor @ West Virginia
Kansas @ Oklahoma St.
Georgetown @ Villanova
Louisville @ Virginia
Kentucky @ Florida

Maryland @ Iowa
Miami @ Clemson

Duke @ Florida St.
Iowa St. @ Oklahoma

Kentucky @ LSU
Wisconsin @ Nebraska
Notre Dame @ Clemson
Georgetown @ Seton Hall
New Mexico @ Colorado St.

Kansas St. @ West Virginia
Pitt @ Louisville
Villanova @ Providence
Indiana @ Maryland

Stanford @ Utah
Ole Miss @ Florida
Michigan @ Illinois

And that's it for me, friends. I'll catch you Teds next week. Be good...