Thursday, January 13, 2011

An early season version of the “final four” doesn’t include Duke

There were five unbeatens that took the floor on ‘hump day’ but only four remain as the number one team in the nation hit a major speed bump to slow them down after 15 consecutive wins. The warning sings came up after a sub-par second half against Maryland that they ended up pulling it out, and most figured it would be a wakeup call but perhaps it was a harbinger instead. Obviously this is not the last we’ve heard of the Blue Devils this season (thankfully this isn’t the BCS), but for the first part of the year the media has all but engraved their second consecutive ring so perhaps this is a good reason to not cue up ‘one shining moment’ just yet. And in case you didn’t notice there are quite a few other schools that will be participating in the NCAA Tournament this year other than Duke, in fact four of them are still unbeaten and were all in action on Wednesday night. The new top dog to be Ohio State went into a fervent Michigan hot box and gutted out 4-point win to remain undefeated and will be awarded the top spot if they can survive a trip to Penn St. this weekend. Rucker Park moved its classic to the Garden as Syracuse and St. Johns rekindled their rivalry and gave us one of the most entertaining games of the season as Cuse’ moved to 17-0 for only the third time in their history, but will really be put to the test as they take on two top ten schools in Pitt (#5) and Nova (#7) next week. This may be the best team in the nation as they have the guns, the coach, and will have proven to be able to hold their mud in the toughest conference in the country this season. The Big East is truly big again. Kansas is a gate crasher to the Unbeaten fraternity as their record should be once tarnished after that farce of a call at home against UCLA but for now they continue wear their pledge pin with prid-0 and e at 16-0 and will try to stay focused for the rest of the month until they meet interstate rival K-State in a war for more than just bragging rights on the 29th. Last but certainly not least because what makes them so danger is the fact that everyone does think of them last are the Aztecs of San Diego State. At 18-0 they currently possess the nation’s longest winning streak and get less love than Boise St. does in football but is still going about their business and held off a good UNLV team to remain unbeaten, an unnoticed, like the guys that are attending their first frat party. As well they may be, but don’t be surprised if these are the guys that leave with Cinderella at when the party is over in March. Who do you think is the best of the ‘unbeatens’? Let us know here and in the chat rooms and blogs.

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