Musings from the Bald Prophet: Sun Devils' Playground and the 10th BP Top 25

Marc DaleyAnalyst IFebruary 9, 2009

1) The Arizona State Sun Devils have gotten back on track.  Herb Sendek is one of the best coaches that flies under the national radar, and N.C. State has to be kicking themselves for when he resigned under pressure.  However, the only "easy" game they have the rest of the way is at home against Stanford.

They're also not a deep squad, as only seven players average more than 15 minutes a game.  But they have a great inside-outside combo with James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph and are poised for their first Sweet 16 run since 1995.

2) Former Stanford coach Trent Johnson has put down the eyebrows raised when he took the LSU job.  Since the Bayou Bengals lost to Alabama, they have gone 7-1, with the lone black mark coming against Xavier.  At this rate Chris Johnson (no relation) and company are in the driver's seat to take the overall regular season title in the SEC and are poised for their first dance card invite since their Final Four run in 2006.

3) Siena and Xavier both lost this weekend, but unless they suddenly collapse, both teams should be OK even if they stumble in their conference tournaments.  Their current RPIs are a healthy 27 and 5, respectively.  If they do stumble, expect the committee to collectively grab some antacid, as there's going to be a few teams that get invited whose credentials will be debated long after the tournament is over.

4) One of those teams could be Georgetown.  The Hoyas have played the nation's toughest schedule (per but have lost six of their last seven.  They have to go to Syracuse, South Florida (stop laughing, ask Marquette), and have the aforementioned Golden Eagles at home.  They could easily be 4-10 in the conference after Feb. 21.

5) Another team that could upset the bracket's apple cart is Wisconsin-Green Bay.  No, the Bennetts haven't come back, but the Phoenix have a 59 RPI, an 11-2 conference record, and beat Butler.  Considering that it's very muddled in Bracketville when it comes time to consider 11 and 12 seeds, a case could be made for this team as an at-large selection.  They have five players who average double figures and are fairly deep.  If they do get in, whoever plays them in the first round better be ready.


1 - UConn

2 - UNC

3 - Oklahoma

4 - Pitt

5 - Louisville

6 - Memphis

7 - UCLA

8 - Duke

9 - Michigan State

10 - Marquette

11 - Xavier

12 - Villanova

13 - Wake Forest

14 - Kansas

15 - Butler

16 - Clemson

17 - Utah State

18 - Missouri

19 - Purdue

20 - Florida

21 - Syracuse

22 - Gonzaga

23 - Illinois

24 - Arizona St.

25 - LSU