Musings from the Bald Prophet: Sweating in Durham and the 11th BP Top 25

Marc DaleyAnalyst IFebruary 16, 2009

1) If you're a fan of schools like North Dakota State or Cornell, don't fret if you get in the tournament and draw Duke in the first round.  Belmont took them to the wire last year, and this year their fondness of the three continues to bite them in their blue-blooded butts. 

Even though they aren't terrible rebounders, the Durham Devils are way too perimeter-based to compete for a title.

2) Speaking of the NDSU Bison, they have the best inside-outside combo you've never heard of in Ben Woodside and Brent Winkelman. 

This is only their fourth Division I season, but Woodside averages 22 points a game and Winkelman 19 to go with seven boards a game to give the Remote Outpost U. a comfortable lead in the Summit Conference (home of Valpo, for those keeping score at home).

3) The Big East has become college hoops' equivalent of '90s Brit-pop act Pop Will Eat Itself.  I could go through the various who-beat-who stories, but it becomes more confusing than trying to watch Lost.  One of these teams very well could be numero uno in March, but I don't see one ending up there in April.

4) The Mountain West is better than the SEC according to  While the rebel states prepare to vigorously defend their hoops status, keep in mind the Rebels (of UNLV) beat Louisville, Utah has won six straight, San Diego State might get their first tournament win ever, and BYU has overcome the loss of Trent Plaisted quite nicely.

5) In continuing the "corporate manager" coach theme of last week, add Tim Floyd of Southern Cal to the list.  The Trojans have Demar DeRozan (who was supposed to be this year's O.J. Mayo) and Taj Gibson but stand to stay home on prom night this year. 

Floyd sure can recruit 'em, but I don't think he quite knows what to do with the divas once he has them in the same room.  Think of USC as America's Next Top Model.

Now your poll... (through Sunday's games)

1 - UConn

2 - UNC

3 - Oklahoma

4 - Pitt

5 - Memphis

6 - Michigan State

7 - Louisville

8 - Kansas

9 - Duke

10 - Marquette

11 - Xavier

12 - Villanova

13 - Missouri

14 - Arizona State

15 - Wake Forest

16 - UCLA

17 - Purdue

18 - Gonzaga

19 - Clemson

20 - Illinois

21 - Butler

22 - LSU

23 - Syracuse

24 - Utah State

25 - Washington