College Basketball Roundup: Looking Ahead to March Madness

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College Basketball Roundup: Looking Ahead to March Madness

We love college basketball and don’t write about it nearly enough. That changes now! We’re in the prime of the college basketball season and so many things are happening. I need to take a look at a few of them.

Readers note: I’m going to be asking questions to myself and then answering them. Extremely lame—I know.



Who’s the best team in the land?

Who the F knows? Seriously. I know it’s cliché but this year it is wide open. It all depends who you talk to and when you talk to them. I could easily say one team, one day and another the next day without any games being played in between. You get that?

Tennessee just beat an undefeated-high flying Memphis team at their house, but then came back three days later and lost to Vanderbilt. So long for that No. 1! By the way, when did Tennessee become the center of basketball? The Memphis Grizzlies completely blow and the only things I know about Tennessee are: good whiskey, Tennessee football and Country Music. Where did having three ranked big time college basketball programs come out of?

Anyways, since I need to make a decision, I’m going with Kansas. That probably will get ripped since they just had a horrible loss at Oklahoma State this weekend. Memphis has one loss but can’t shoot free throws.

I don’t like this UNC team. They do only have two losses but they’ve played a fairly easy schedule.They’ve played one ranked opponent in the last 13 games and lost it. The best two non-conference games were Ohio State and Kentucky. They’ve lost to Duke and Maryland. There is a reason why they keep winning while Ty Lawson is injured—they aren’t playing anyone that great! Anyways, I can’t pick them. UCLA and Texas don’t have the depth that Kansas has.

If Kansas can just pull their head out of their asses for one March Madness, they should get to the Final Four at the very least! They are a balanced team with four guys averaging over 12 a game and are 13th best in the country in points scored. Only four teams from the big conferences are ahead of them. They can fill it. If Bill Self didn’t look like Alfalfa from the “Little Rascals,” I think more people would be on their bandwagon.



Who is player of the year?

Our boy Michael Beast-ley! With all due respect to Eric Gordon, Kevin Love, D.J. Augustin, Chris Douglas-Roberts, DJ White and especially Tyler Hansbrough, I think Beasley is the best player in the land.

The only other player you can make a case for is Hansbrough. You could make a hell of a good one, too. 23 points (7th in the country) and 10.5 rebounds (11th) on the 3rd ranked team in the land. Those are super numbers and he’ll win it. He’s an upperclassman on a better team with good numbers.

I’d be shocked if he doesn’t win. Plus, if you don’t vote for him and he loses the POY it’s a pretty good guarantee Tyler will be parked in your street in a shady looking white van with no windows with tons & tons of explosives in it.

My vote would still be for Beasley though. He plays on a pretty good team that is far less talented than UNC with numbers of 26 points (third in country) and 12.5 rebounds (first) a game. Three more points and two more rebounds a game. He won’t win because he’s on an inferior team but his numbers don’t lie. If the Wolves somehow get lucky and get this guy next year, I’m buying one of those gay “Howl-pack” game packages for sure. Watching him and Big Al together would be entertaining as hell.



Who do you predict will get the #1 seeds?

Memphis, UNC, Kansas & Texas.

Honestly, the spot I’m on the fence the most is with the last spot. Memphis will enter March Madness with one loss so they have a No. 1 seed locked up. Duke will beat UNC the last game of the regular season but lose the ACC Championship so that puts UNC at the No. 1 over Duke.

However, I don’t know how the committee would look at this. If one wins the last game and the other wins the ACC Championship against that same team, whom do they take? Either way, I’m taking UNC for the 2nd spot. I see Kansas and Texas both winning out but Kansas winning the Big 12 Championship, which puts Kansas ahead of Texas for that third spot because they will have less total losses. The last spot gets tricky.

If Bruce Pearl (above) can coach Tennessee to win out and win the SEC Championship, they are a lock at a No. 1. For some reason, I don’t see that happening. They play Kentucky and at Florida to round out their season, plus the SEC tourney. I see them slipping up.

I’m not going to predict when because I suck at that. If they do slip up, I see Texas taking that last spot. That spot could go to Duke or UCLA also. I’m sticking with those four but those conference championships could mess everything up...



What do Stanford, Xavier, Butler, Kent State, & St. Mary’s have in common?

Teams in the top 25 that I have really no flipping idea how good they are and that will eventually kill my bracket because of my unfamiliarity with them. Stanford is eighth in the country and I haven’t seen them play once. The only team I’ve seen play a full game is Butler and I watch a fairly decent amount of basketball. Paul Allen from KFAN said that Xavier is a lock for his Elite Eight maybe even Final Four.

Granted I’m talking about the same Paul Allen that guaranteed TE Carlester Crumpler (who?) would have 10 touchdowns for the Vikings after the former seventh round pick came to us from Seattle with three total touchdowns in four years.

Carlester finished with two catches on the year! So Paul makes some outrageous statements but he’s obviously watched Xavier enough to make that call. Myself on the other hand? No idea about them. The only thing I know about Kent State is they had school shootings back in the early 70’s. I know nothing about their basketball team in 2008. St. Mary’s? You guessed it...no flipping idea. Here’s to hoping they all get bounced from the tourney early! Doesn’t Kent State just reek of a Sweet 16 bid?



Which team outside the AP top 10 right now can win it all?

A lot of the teams after the top 10 are very similar. You could make arguments for a few of them. What would you guys think about a team like Indiana? This is my pick. They are 23-4 and have a good chance of winning the Big Ten.

However, anytime you hear the word “Indiana” it’s always followed by “Sampson” & “possible sanctions.” You don’t hear hardly any talk of their actual play on the court, which is pretty damn good I might add. If they could somehow squeak by the sanctions this year they could make a run. The players will be even more motivated with the “let’s win one for the Gipper angle and they have the talent. They have one of, if not the best 1-2 tandem in the land with Gordon and DJ White.

And the stat that I love best about them is that they are ninth in the country in FT percent. A huge stat when it comes to close games.

These are the eight teams above them in this category: Cornell, Utah State, IUPUI, California, Florida State, Loyola, Houston and UC Santa Barbara. I went through all the teams and looked at records and it’s a realistic chance only Cornell gets in the tourney and fucking Cornell is getting bounced by UNC first round. So you could argue that Indiana is going to be the best free throw shooting team after round one. That’s called a weapon. By the way, the 11th ranked team in FT% after unknown UC Davis at 10...Xavier.



Three players I love (not a question, I know)

Mario Chalmers (Kansas)- Probably my favorite player in the country. His stats aren’t jaw dropping but he’s so clutch. He mostly scores in the teens but a lot of his buckets come late in the second half. Love his game.

Chase Budinger (Arizona)- Big white guy that can shoot the three and looks like he has a giant pile of pubes on his head.

Drew Neitzel (Michigan State)- A straight G. As in gamer. A prototypical college player that makes college basketball so great.




Three players I hate (also not a question, kiss my ass)

Jerel McNeal (Marquette)- It’s pretty simple. He thinks he’s really awesome and shoots waaaaaay too much. Shooting 30 percent is his mojo and his single handily lost a couple games for MU. I hate him.

Roy Hibbert (Georgetown)- An overrated pile of shit. He’s 7’2 and averages six boards a game. That’s one rebound every six and half minutes. Come on dude, you’re the tallest chump on the floor every game—extend your arms. He moves like a guy with osteoporosis.

Shan Foster (Vanderbilt)- His name is pronounced Shane as we heard in the Tennessee game this week. Soooooo put a “e” at the end of it!



Who’s your favorite mid-major team?

Davidson. You have the little man Stephen Curry whom is just flat out a stud, averaging 25 points while weighing only 110 pounds. Models weigh more than this kid.

You saw Davidson a lot early in the year with close losses to UNC, Duke, NC State and UCLA. They have six non-conference losses and zero conference losses. If they win their conference championship, they are going to be an intriguing pick come tourney time. To be honest, I’m not a die-hard fan of these guys. I don’t hate them either. It’s just that my two roommates and co-writers love this team and love this Curry kid. And since we’re a tri-pod, I’m obviously on board...

 

Finally, how about those Golden Gophers?

The Gophers RPI is 108 in the country. Besides the Illinois game, they have lost to everyone that is better (below) than 108 and have beaten everyone that is worse (above) than the 108 number. Illinois has a worse RPI and we lost that game. That’s it out of 27 games. Really no slip-ups but we didn’t steal one game. That’s incredible. Luckily are schedule was so cupcake early that they jumped to a 10-1 start. They aren’t making the big dance and need to win a couple more games to get in the NIT.

I like the promise going forward though friends. My favorite players in order are: Hoffarber, Nolen, & Damian Johnson. Well, they are all coming back with “Tubby’s Five” rolling into campus next fall.

Can you say “Big Time” with a giant fist-pump? I can and I just did it to myself. I can’t wait to get some real talent in here. My least favorite players in order are: Tollackson, Tollackson, Tollackson, Tollackson, Tollackson, Coleman, & Kevin Payton.

Loser Spence and I never reached my potential-Coleman are seniors that are gone in about two weeks and won’t be getting any jersey’s retired or welcome back to Williams Arena showcases. Kevin Payton needs to get red-tagged. He pretty much averages as many points as he does turnovers...one! A great Division 1 player Monson stole from New Jersey.

Whatever happens this year it will be nice watching us at some postseason tournament. Anytime the Gophers are on national TV it’s great. The Big Ten Network is a complete buzz kill that needs to work a deal out to get it to a larger audience.

Whatever. Maybe next year. What do you think of a starting lineup of: Nolen, Joseph (freshman), Hoffarber, Iverson (f) and Sampson (f) next year? All three of those freshmen are in the top 150 on rivals.com. Put them with the Minnesota kids and I say—We’re coming! We’re coming!

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