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...