Saturday, January 30, 2010

Parity will be the madness come March

As the madness is just over a month away teams seems to gearing up to try and put together the six-game winning streak that has immortality on the other end of it. One of the key components to putting together that streak is have a favorable draw and/or most importantly, a top seed. However, it doesn’t appear that anyone wants it or at least can hang on to it. The aberration that was the 07/08 tournament where all top seeds made it to the final four, will surely not be the case this year as no team has been able to separate themselves from the pack as a clear favorite as the normal party guest have yet to RSVP for this year’s party. North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis, UCONN, and Louisville are some of the party animals from the previous decade that are in danger of missing their invitation this year. Beginning this weekend there are some crucial games for teams that are trying to build their tournament resumes starting with the war at ‘the octagon’ between K and KState. This was unavoidable and was circled on the schedule as one of the tough games KU would have to overcome, but how padded would KState’s RPI be if they can come up with their second win over a top-ranked team in consecutive weeks? Kudos to Duke and Georgetown for putting it on the line with a tough non-conference schedule this late in the season. Gtown is in a better position but an upset win by Duke whom normally have their non-conference challenges in the confines of Tobacco Road surrounded by Cam Crazies, but this time they’ll travel to a hostile place in need of a big road win. Then there’s the Kentucky who took over as the Nation’s top team but had a shorter reign than Pope Uban VII, after losing at the same afore mentioned octagon. So with no clear cut favorites and possibly two top-seeds with multiple losses mean for the greatest show on earth? Probably the most competitive tournament that we’ve ever had and despite the absence of the some big names and traditional teams the parity of this years dance will more than keep the audience close long after the opening tip just over a month away. Do you think the tournament needs the big name schools or players to draw big ratings or attendance this year? Let us know here or in any of the quick links.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

As Conference play takes its first lap still no clear cut favorite

I’ll tell ya, we’ve been trying to gauge where this year’s tournament is going and almost 3 months into the season there is no clear cut team to beat. It’s pretty clear that this aint’ the BCS and teams don’t worry about padding their stats with non-conference cupcakes and occasionally they’ve gotten burned (ie; Syracuse) but for the most part they’ve been risk free. Now that conference play has begun until all of the top 10 goes on the road, AND WINS, I’m not ready to call anyone a number one seed. With that said there are some who have answered every challenge up to this point.

Texas – Weathered the storm of A & M and won in OT to remain unbeaten at 17-0 at on top of the mountain top. Now they catch a major break that the KU game is in their domain, but the way the B-12 is shaping up there are no sure things and don’t expect them to roll into the dance in UNLV type 30-0, but they should be the team to beat come March.

Kansas – Amazing how these guys just seem to reload and are competitive every year despite the success of the previous seasons (taking notes UCLA?). They’ve been upset by the hands of Tennessee but they’ve shown a copious amount of intestinal fortitude in several games that have been close near the end of the game, and every hoops fan in the country can’t until Feb 2nd.

Kentucky – John Calipari has done it again as UK is putting together a run that could conclude with a spot in the final four where they will be a very tough out. Although it’s tough to channel a wedge between any of the top three, what might give the Cats the edge is the way their getting it done on the defensive end. If it’s possible to erase the near disaster to Sam Houston State on the third game of the season where they gave up 92 points, only 3 teams have even seen the 70’s since then and that’s what wins games beyond the sweet 16.

Villanova – The other Cats have gotten off to the start they needed at 14-1 (as their schedule is back-end loaded) and ranked in the top 5 in a very tough and still underrated Big East. Now as they approach the ‘Back 9’ we’ll see what they’re made of as tough road games against GTown, WV, Pitt, ‘Cuse, and Cincy.

Syracuse – How bout’ the Big East with 3 teams in the top 10? Enough talk about the ACC the Big Beast is back. After have an early loss expunged for their record because the school was “undertalented” the Orange have put together an impressive run and might be boasting the strongest strength of schedule when Selection Sunday rolls around. Because of that if they can hold it together for just over a month and a half, now there gonna take a couple of losses, but limit it to just a couple, and they’re our pick for a sleeper top seed.

Who are your picks to gain the top seeds in this year's NCAA Tournament? Let us know here and in any of the quick links: