Biggest Fallacies in College Basketball That Will Be Debunked in 2012-13
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Despite the amount of talent that comes and goes, College Basketball seems to play off the same script each year.
The Big East is the toughest conference. The ACC is run by North Carolina and Duke.
The SEC has a couple good teams each year, and the rest are forgettable. The Big 12 lights up the scoreboard, and the Pac-12 talks about baseball season being right around the corner.
Oh, and the Big Ten usually has a couple teams that make it deep into the NCAA tournament before getting run out of the gym by a team with better talent.
But this season may look different than previous ones.
Sure, Kentucky will be as talented as ever. And the Big East will continue to play tough basketball.
But change is in the air this fall. With the season just around the corner, here are four fallacies about College Basketball that will be debunked this year.
Kentucky Has the Most Top-End Talent
Kentucky Coach John Calipari
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Kentucky will enter the 2012-13 season with plenty of NBA prospects on its roster. But for the first time in several years, a different team will have the most top-end talent.
That's where the UCLA Bruins enter the picture.
How can a team that didn't even make the NCAA tournament have more talent than Kentucky, you ask? Remember that Kentucky sent its top six players to the NBA and is starting fresh once more, albeit with a talented group.
But the Bruins group is better, and they'll prove it this season. Take a look at their recruiting class from last season, which has more talent than most schools get in four or five years.
Both Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad, the top two small forwards in the class, had eligibility issues entering the year. But Anderson's family members recently told the LA Times that he had been cleared to play.
The hope in Westwood is that Muhammad will be cleared as well. But they also have Tony Parker, rated the seventh-best center in his class, coming to play for coach Ben Howland.
If the one-and-done trend continues to affect the college game, all three players could be high draft picks next summer.
Kentucky boasts a strong young group of its own, and the Wildcats may prove to be the better team because of their depth.
But a trio of Bruins will shine brightest this season.
North Carolina and Duke Will Own the ACC Once Again
NC State Coach Mark Gottfried
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To say that the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils have owned the ACC lately would be an extreme understatement.
One of the two schools has either won or tied for the regular season ACC crown in each of the last nine seasons. The Tar Heels have 29 conference championships. Duke has 19.
The rest of the conference has 24 combined.
But this season, it will be the North Carolina State Wolfpack walking away with the conference hardware.
They are ranked 6th in the preseason AP poll, with four players returning who averaged double-digits in scoring last season. Guards Lorenzo Brown and forward C.J. Leslie both bring big-time game to the court.
Freshman Rodney Purvis is a local talent looking to make an impact at the college level. Coach Mark Gottfried enters his second season brimming with conference after an NCAA appearance last season.
Both Duke and North Carolina are likely to leave their marks on the upcoming season, but for the first time in nearly a decade, a different team will own the ACC.
The Best Conference Will Be the ACC or Big East
Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo
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The NCAA champion doesn't always come out of the ACC or Big East, but they are typically the two deepest conferences.
That will change this season.
The Big Ten will have the best all-around conference in 2012-13, led by the resurgent Indiana Hoosiers.
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines will be right on their tails, and both the Michigan State Spartans and Wisconsin Badgers should have solid campaigns as well.
All five teams are ranked in the preseason AP Top 25. The Hoosiers are ranked No. 1, and both the Buckeyes and Wolverines are in the top five.
There's no doubt that both the ACC and Big East are filled with quality teams, but the Big Ten has several teams that can win it all.
The non-conference matchups will help settle the debate, but don't be surprised to see the Big Ten have the best all-around conference this year.
4. The Pac-12 Conference Will Be an Afterthought
UCLA Coach Ben Howland
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Last season, the Pac-12 conference reached an all-time low.
They sent just two teams to the NCAA tournament, and neither made it past the Round of 32. The regular season champion Washington Huskies didn't even make the field, after stumbling early on in the conference tournament.
While the Pac-12 may not be filled with Top 10 teams just yet, they have plenty of talent and several teams that could cause problems in March.
We've already looked at the UCLA Bruins' talented freshman class. But they won't be the only team making headlines.
Arizona also has a good looking team, starting with senior forward Solomon Hill, who can score from anywhere on the court.
Both Cal and Stanford should be improved from last season, and the Washington Huskies are no slouches either.
Top to bottom, the conference will be much better than last season, and the days of sending just two teams to the postseason are long gone.