NCAA Basketball Talking Points: No. 2 Seeds, Dynasty Trouble, Rising Teams

Gary BrownCorrespondent IIFebruary 9, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - JANUARY 12:  Evan Turner #21 and  William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reach for a rebound during the Big Ten game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on January 12, 2010 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Ohio state won 70-66.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

At College Sports Matchups we believe our job is to keep you in the know so you can be in the conversation with your buddies when it comes to college basketball. Here is what you need to know this week.

Who Will Earn the No. 2 Seeds?

As the NCAA Basketball Tournament is quickly moving toward us, the debate is starting to heat up on who is most deserving of the second seeds. Usually the discussion is over the No. 1 spots in the tournament, but Villanova, Kansas, Kentucky, and Syracuse are the clear leaders according to most experts.

So, who are the No. 2 guys? The leaders and why they are at the top of the list are:

  • Duke - Leading the ACC is usually good for a No. 1 seed. This year the conference is a little down. The Blue Devils have a good out-of-conference win over Arizona State, but the loss to Wisconsin hurts.
  • West Virginia - This might be the shakiest nominee for a No. 2 seed. West Virginia has not demonstrated the consistency you like to see in a second seed. They beat a quality Texas A&M team but lost to Purdue. Will the committee punish the school for the behavior of their fans?
  • Purdue - How good would they be playing in the SEC? The Boilermakers were fortunate to earn a late wing against Alabama, a middle of the road SEC team and earned a close victory over Tennessee. This team is still in the hunt for a conference championship. Winning the Big Ten would set them up well.
  • Georgetown - Playing hard has always been a Hoya trademark. This Georgetown team is no exception. Their out-of-conference schedule might be a little suspect to the committee.
  • Kansas State - Wildcat coach Frank Martin has been able to fire his team up for the toughest part of their schedule. They now enter an element of the schedule with lesser Big 12 teams. The hard part is over. Can Martin keep the emotional level up on the back side of the schedule?

What about Michigan State and Wisconsin? We don’t see them playing in this group.

Where Did _______________ Go?

Powerhouses have down years, but there are three teams from last year that have really fallen on hard times this season. Will they make the NCAA Tournament this year? Based on the body of work right now, we don’t think so.

  • North Carolina - Last year’s champ is looking like a chump this year. Going 13-10 is bad enough, but standing 2-6 in the ACC on the eve of the Duke game is just absurd. Tradition does not mean the Tar Heels should be given a bid at the expense of any team of quality. If they are in the tournament then the BCS has as much credibility as the basketball tournament.
  • Connecticut - Jim Calhoun is sick. Sick of watching his team play. The Huskies made the final four last year, but their record in the Big East is dismal this year. They are barely above .500 for the season in ALL games.
  • UCLA - Many thought the Bruins would be a strong team this year. They were wrong. UCLA is a middle of the road team in a bad Pac-10.

Teams We Are Starting To Like

South Florida has made a strong run by beating Seton Hall, Pitt, and Georgetown before dropping a game to Notre Dame. This team may be getting hot at the right time. The keys to earning an invitation to the Big Dance is a win over Cincinnati, playing Villanova close, and avoiding any losses to teams below them in the Big East.

Arkansas has found a rhythm with guard Courtney Fortson leading the way. The Razorbacks currently lead the SEC West, but their overall record does not look like one that will qualify for the NCAA Tournament. What might be the result of their improved play? Coach John Pelphrey might get a little more time to make a go of Arkansas basketball. It should be an expectation of Razorback fans to be a regular in the NCAA tourney, and a contender on a consistent basis.

Texas A&M has quietly forged a record of 17-6 while sitting just behind Kansas State in the Big 12. When outstanding guard Derrick Roland was lost for the year with a broken leg, the Aggies had to figure out how to keep make things happen all over again, but they seem to have gotten a handle on it. Barring a late-season disaster they look like a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

When your buddies call you now have enough to hold your own when talking hoops. Keep the conversation going.