College basketball is at the point in the season where teams are trying to solidify their resume for the Big Dance and meeting up with their rivals in conference play. Below are notes to help you keep the college basketball conversation alive this week.
Kentucky takes number one spot
Have you heard that Kentucky is number one in the land of college basketball? It is the first time since the end of the 2002-03 season they have sat at the top of the poll. The Wildcats are led by all-world guard John Wall, who will likely bolt to the NBA after just one year in Lexington.
Coach John Calipari is trying to temper expectations of the Wildcats running the table, but the talk is very much alive around Rupp Arena. Games that loom on the schedule that might just catch the Wildcats? They have to face Vanderbilt twice, with one obviously being on the road. Mississippi State also has the talent to pull the upset if the Bulldogs can all get on the same page.
Update 1/27/10-Sorry South Carolina fans. We underestimated just how tough your team might be. Congratulations on a great win!
How did the Cats come to be the team placed in the top spot? Texas carried the number one ranking into the week, but a tough road loss to Kansas State knocked them out of the seat in their first ever appearance at number one. It was a second loss to the UConn Huskies that dropped them down to number six in the AP poll.
Best conference debate is on
Which conference is the best in the nation from top to bottom? This year the conversation has to center on the Big East, with their annual power lineup of teams, and the Big 12. Both leagues will be looking at seven or more bids to the NCAA Tournament right now, so does that give the edge to the Big 12 given they play with four fewer teams than the Big East?
A nudge to the Big East would be their four AP Top Ten teams and the probability of two number one seeds with Syracuse and Villanova. Who knows? One real positive about college basketball over it oval ball cousin? There will be a tournament to decide a winner.
Power failure at North Carolina
Where did you go North Carolina basketball? It is becoming fashionable to pontificate on the demise of North Carolina basketball in some circles. We will not join in on the chorus, but the Tar Heels 12-7 record is reason to pause and wonder what is going on. When you actually look at their losses it is only the one to the Charleston Cougars that really looks terrible.
Their other out of conference losses have come to: Syracuse, Kentucky and Texas. In ACC play Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest have taken them down in their last three games. Of these losses four of the teams are in the Top 25, with Wake Forest and Clemson just outside of the rankings right now. Roy Williams’s team can also boast victories over Top 25 teams Michigan State and Ohio State.
Will they get to play in the NCAA Tournament? There are plenty of games left to prove themselves in, but know for sure that many would love to see the might fall. With N.C. State and Virginia on the schedule this week the Heels need to get things pointed in the right direction now.
Hopefully this gives you enough to keep the conversation going for another week. Our goal at College Sports Matchups is to keep giving you the information you need to carry your end of the bargain out.