Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Now there are a number of different ways I could go with this topic, but now that we have had the opportunity to see a number of the college teams past their first couple of games I think we should start with the rankings.
1. Kansas
2. Texas
3. Kentucky
4. Purdue
5. Syracuse
6. West Virginia
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Connecticut

These are the main teams that by just about anyone's standards have the best chance of winning the tournament. All of them are traditional powers, with at least a couple experienced players. On a side note, what happened to the Pac 10 (more specifically UCLA) so far this season. I mean normally they get better as the season goes on, but they are looking terribly weak so far.
Kansas: This teams is stacked and in my opinion has the best chance to win it all. Well duh, they are ranked #1 and have been all season. Here is why, they are an older team, these guys have been around for a couple of years. Their leaders are almost all upperclassmen, plus one outstanding freshman in Henry. Now in college basketball any one with more experience than a freshman is considered older. If you look back on the bast few national championship teams they all had similar makeup. A number of older guys maybe one great young player, but enough experience to handle the pressure when times got tough. The same thing goes for the team at #2. Texas, is a force to be reckoned with, which was shown by the their performances against other top teams with good big men. There are not going to be too many teams who can compete physically down low with these big men.
#3 Kentucky, they are probably the most talented team in the conversation for championship teams this year. Calipari does it again putting together another set of super talented freshmen, not that anyone is very surprised now with the name of Kentucky behind him I wouldn't be surprised if he got the top ranked person at every position some years. Here is the reason why the team will not win it all in my opinion; the team while it has proved that they can play down the stretch and win against some of the best teams in the nation, this team will struggle against a team like Kansas or Texas who is loaded with good upperclassmen. The main difference between freshmen and the rest of the players in the NCAA is the fact that the older players will play hard for the entire game. From what I have seen in some of Kansas' games is they are better than their opponent but they don't keep the team down once they get the lead. I think Calipari will likely run into the same problem he did in Memphis. Having the most talented team but too young to win it all. Now I am by not means saying they can't win, but until a Calipari team with a bunch of younger players does win, I will remain a skeptic.

(thought this pic was interesting)

#4-#8 I don't mean to disrespect these teams but to be honest they are all similar in a number of ways, and all the more dangerous because of it. They are loaded with more experienced teams and all of them have one freshmen or less in the top 6 contributors on the team. (only Syracuse has more than one sophomore) This is dangerous because these guys all know what to expect in the tournament situations. The determination and resolve from these teams will make them all tough to be come tournament time. The biggest change in these teams from last year is Syracuse. Last year they would just try to outscore you, watch out for the improved defense this year. I haven't seen much of Purdue, but their big men are all talented and persistent defenders and re-bounders. Tough to keep them off the glass. Duke is relying less on the outside shot so far this season, which will help them score more consistently throughout the games. (I haven't seen enough of West Virginia or Villanova to make a comment on their situations yet)

#9 North Carolina: Now I am a UNC fan so make sure to keep that in perspective but, I think the team is struggling in the aftermath of losing so many great college players. The people who are trying to fill the shoes this year are doing a good job but they just haven't shown the same determination going late in games against other good opponents this year. The big men are talented and so are the guards, but so far I haven't seen the same quality (again lost a ton of players) from this team. However they have played a number of good teams so far, and are gaining experience. Come tournament time I would not rule them out, but they need to find the Tyler on this team, the person who is going to push them in tough situations. Ginyard also needs to stay health for this team to have a hope, which doesn't look like it is going to happen.

#10 Connecticut: This team has the potential in my opinion to win it all, yes they have lost a number of important people to the team the last few years, but they have yet again a couple of great seniors. Most prominent of them in my opinion is Robinson. This guy has a number of pro like physical capabilities, and athleticism. So far they have only lost to Duke and Kentucky, and put up a good battle in both those performances. The only question so far is their center. While he was a McDonald's all American last year, he has not shown me yet that he can keep up with the college pace and level of play just yet. We will see as the season continues, but as usual Uconn will have a chance late this season.

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