While you always need the right mix of supporting players on any good college basketball team, a potent duo can go a long way in helping a program experience immense success over the course of a single season.
Especially when the tournament rolls around, it can be a huge advantage for a team if they have two superstar players that are able to carry the load on both ends of the court, and sometimes these extremely talented duos can prevail over teams that are more complete from top to bottom.
Over the first few months of the college basketball season, we've already witnessed some incredible play from the best teams in the nation and even though many of these teams are loaded with talent up and down their rosters, there are generally two players who have distinguished themselves as the go-to guys for their respective squads.
When making these rankings, I considered many factors including: production, help from supporting players, star factor, strength of opposition, and quality of the team they play for.
As most people who watch or play basketball know, it's much easier for a good player to put up big numbers on a below average team than to do so on a winning one and this definitely played a factor in my rankings.
Because of the huge impact that two players can have on a college basketball team, I also gave more of a preference to duo's who are a part of winning teams, because in my mind, if a duo is one of the best in college basketball, they would (in most cases) be able to raise the play of their team and have them amongst the best in the nation.
So let's take a look at the 30 best duos in college basketball this season who should continue to frustrate opponents and lead their teams to success because of their transcendent play.
Penn State has already surprised a few teams in the Big Ten and the duo of Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks has been the driving force behind the Nittany Lions relative success during conference play thus far.
They might only be 3-4 in the Big Ten but their resume does include upsets over Michigan State and Illinois, not to mention their narrow defeats at Ohio State and Purdue which went down to the final seconds.
Talor Battle is putting the finishing touches on an incredible career at Penn State and has been the face of this program from the time he set foot on campus. Throughout his career, the 6'0'' point guard has been a superb all-around player for the Nittany Lions and been amongst the team leaders in points, rebounds, and assists.
In his senior season Battle has taken his game to the next level and has not only continued his great all-around play, but he's also become one of the best scorers in the country who is capable of carrying this team on a given night.
Battle has finally gotten some help on this Penn State roster from 6'8'' forward, Jeff Brooks, a fellow senior who leads the team in rebounding and is second in scoring.
Even with Battle and Brooks having fantastic seasons, Penn State is still out-manned on most nights in the Big Ten. But because both players are on this roster they have a fighting chance every time they take the floor.
Klay Thompson is having one of the best seasons in the country that few people are talking about.
The junior guard is averaging 22.2 points per game to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in what has truly been an incredible first few months of basketball for the son of former NBA great Mychal Thompson.
As you can see from his numbers, Thompson can do it all and whether he's setting up teammates, hitting the glass, or connecting on over 40 percent of his three-pointers, he's a tough player to match up with.
Faisal Aden, a transfer student from Hillsborough Community College, has given the Cougars a viable second option behind Thompson and although he's struggled in games the team has lost, his 20-point performance against Stanford just a few days ago was a big reason why Washington State was able to escape with a win.
Aden's had his share of breakout games this season and while he's far from a household name, the 6'4'' shooting guard has been able to quietly play Robin to Thompson's Batman which has helped to take some pressure off one of the best players in the country.
Washington State looks like a bubble team right now and while their chances of making the tournament are up in the air, I don't think too many teams will be upset if the Cougars don't make it because the task of having to account for Thompson and Aden is a challenge for any defense.
Things haven't gone exactly as planned for the Virginia Tech Hokies through the first 18 games of their season, and while Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen haven't quite lived up to the lofty expectations that were placed on them before the year started, they're still a fantastic duo.
Delaney is an explosive scorer who's capable of getting hot from the behind the arc at a moments notice and can make life very difficult for opposing defenses.
For proof of this, you can look to Delaney's performances against UNLV and North Carolina, in which he scored a combined 58 points and shot an astounding 14-for-21 from three. In addition to his scoring prowess, the 6'3'' guard is also a solid play maker who leads the Hokies in assists and has consistently looked to get others involved this season.
Senior forward Jeff Allen isn't the flashiest player you've ever seen but he's effective under the basket and more often than not he gets the job done.
Allen leads Virginia Tech in rebounding and is second in scoring, all the while providing this team with an inside presence that they sorely need to counterbalance what Delaney gives them on the perimeter.
The inside/outside combination of Delaney and Allen has grown over their four years at Virginia Tech and they have developed a chemistry that few other duos in the country have.
But Delaney, Allen, and the rest of the Hokies roster has some serious work to do if they're going to make the tournament and prevent this season from being a big disappointment.
The Marquette Golden Eagles are a feisty team that hasn't quite been able to get over the hump this season but they're far from a pushover and have given some of the best teams in the country just about all they can handle.
Darius Johnson-Odom and Jimmy Butler might not be very well known outside of the Big East, but that doesn't mean they're not an extremely talented duo that can be tough for opposing teams to match up against.
Johnson-Odom has struggled a bit in his second season under Buzz Williams but the three-point specialist has begun to turn it on of late, scoring at least 20 points in five of Marquette's last seven games all of which have come against Big East foes.
In addition, DJO is a very athletic player who uses a lightning fast first step to blow by defenders in transition or halfcourt sets.
Jimmy Butler is quietly one of the better small forwards in the country thanks to a rare blend of size and skill which allows him to excel on the perimeter as well as around the basket.
The 6'7'' senior does a little bit of everything for the Golden Eagles and whether he's playing tough defense, hitting three's, or grabbing rebounds, Butler is the kind of player who makes everyone around him better because of how much he brings to the team.
Marquette might be on the outside looking in come selection Sunday but the duo of Johnson-Odom and Butler is sure to make life very difficult for the remaining teams on their schedule.
Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack were integral parts of Butler's miracle run to last season's national championship game and despite the fact that this team lost Gordon Hayward to the NBA, both players are doing their best to build off of last season's success.
Matt Howard isn't the biggest, strongest, or fastest guy on the court but he simply knows how to play basketball and he uses his incredible footwork to frustrate would-be defenders.
Howard's obviously had success against Horizon league opponents, but he's also played very well against teams from major conferences, including big games against Florida State and Louisville earlier this season, where he's shown that he can hang with tougher competition.
It seems that Shelvin Mack has had a little trouble adjusting to life without Gordon Hayward, but he's still one of the better shooting guards in the country who has a great mid-range game and has shown the ability to hit clutch shots.
Mack is also a very solid play maker and defender who utilizes his strong frame to his advantage on both sides of the ball.
Butler seems to have lost a bit of their magic from last year's run as they've already lost more games in the Horizon League this season than they did all of last year.
But with a combination like Howard and Mack who have already proven that they have what it takes to win, I don't think too many teams would be thrilled about seeing either guy in the tournament should this team make it that far.
The duo of Vanderbilt's John Jenkins and Jeffrey Taylor offers the Commodores the best of both worlds. On one hand, you have a lights-out shooter in Jenkins who needs to be accounted for on every offensive possession and even when the 6'4'' shooting guard is blanketed, he's still capable of making teams pay from behind the arc.
Just when teams have gotten the hang of chasing Jenkins around screens, they realize that they also need to contend with 6'7'' Jeffrey Taylor, who is one of the most athletic players in the nation.
Taylor is a jack of all trades for Kevin Stallings and he's as comfortable shooting from outside as he is throwing down a thunderous dunk in traffic.
And while Taylor's jaw-dropping athleticism makes him a dynamic weapon scoring the ball, it also makes him one of the better rebounders and play makers on the team who most opponents have a hard time matching up with.
The Commodores are off to a solid 14-4 start this season and they've definitely gotten some great contributions from other guys like Festus Ezeli, Brad Tinsley, and Lance Goulbourne, but the play of Jenkins and Taylor is the biggest reason why Vandy is looking for another tournament berth and figures to play a prominent role in a fairly wide open SEC race.
If you didn't know who Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough were, you probably wouldn't be very impressed with them before the game tipped off.
But after watching Notre Dame's two leading scorers scorch the nets for 40 minutes, you would realize that they're one of the best duos in the nation and a big reason why the Fighting Irish are out to an impressive 16-4 start.
Abromaitis burst onto the college basketball scene last season when he quickly established himself as one of the better three-point shooters in the country and although he's had somewhat of a down season from behind the arc this year, he's still hitting 39 percent of his threes.
Along with his sweet shooting touch, Abromaitis also has a deceptively solid all-around game as he's leading Notre Dame in rebounding and, unlike a lot of pure shooters, he is capable of putting the ball on the floor and finishing at the rim thanks in part to his 6'8'' frame.
Ben Hansbrough gives the Irish another great perimeter shooter that opposing defenses must account for and he's also become much more comfortable as the team's primary ball handler.
Tyler's younger brother has also become a great leader for Mike Brey this season and can be counted on to hit that clutch shot or make the right decision when the game is on the line.
Having two perimeter players who are capable of hitting over 40 percent of their threes is a huge advantage that Hansbrough and Abromaitis give Notre Dame and this sweet-shooting combination has their sights set on a tournament run come March.
Things have been looking up for this Minnesota program in recent years, and thanks to the outside shooting of Blake Hoffarber and relentless inside play of Trevor Mbakwe, the Golden Gophers are looking to take the next step this season.
Aside from leading the Golden Gophers in scoring this season, Hoffarber has become more than just a shooter as he also leads the team in assists and has done his part to help replace Devoe Joseph, who has decided to transfer from Minnesota after being suspended indefinitely by the program.
The way Hoffarber shoots the ball can really turn the tide of any game and his range made a huge difference in Minnesota's 70-67 victory over Purdue which saw the sharpshooter pour in 26 points including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Trevor Mbakwe has been a force under the basket for the Golden Gophers who were extremely happy to have acquired his services as a transfer from Miami Dade Community College.
The 6'8'' power forward gives Minnesota a physical and athletic inside presence on both sides of the floor who specializes in rebounding and can also make a difference as a shot blocker.
The Golden Gophers have quite a few other talented players on their roster, but the combination of Hoffarber's shooting and Mbakwe's tough play around the basket is a big part of this team and makes up one of the best tandems in the nation.
The Georgia Bulldogs have raised a few eyebrows in the first half of the college basketball season and their dynamic duo of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie are an extremely tough matchup for most opponents.
Standing 6'9'' and possessing a formidable offensive repertoire, Trey Thompkins is a lot for most teams to handle down low and because of the high release point on his shot, it's nearly impossible to stop him from getting the look he wants.
After his 25 point, seven rebound performance in Georgia's upset victory over Kentucky on January 8, Thompkins put the rest of the SEC on notice that this Bulldog team won't be a pushover during conference play.
Alongside Thompkins, Travis Leslie has also made a name for himself thanks to his freakish athleticism which allows him to do a little bit of everything and play much bigger than his size.
Leslie is a demon on the court and uses his tremendous leaping ability, speed, and quickness to wreak havoc in the open court as well as on the glass, making him a highlight reel waiting to happen.
Both Thompkins and Leslie are projected first round picks in the NBA Draft thanks to what they've already shown at Georgia, but there's still plenty of time left for this pair to make opposing players and coaches miserable.
It seems like Chris Wright and Austin Freeman have been playing for Georgetown since John Thompson II was roaming the sidelines, and this fantastic guard combo has been a huge part of the program's success in the past few seasons.
The Hoyas have struggled through the first seven games of Big East play, but Wright and Freeman are still capable of beating pretty much any team in the nation when they're at the top of their game.
Both players can hurt you when they put the ball on the floor or by shooting from long range, and it's never a good idea to let either get rolling as Wright and Freeman are explosive enough on offense to carry this Georgetown team to victories over even the toughest opponents.
This mentality was on display during their thrilling 111-102 overtime victory over Missouri earlier in the season, when Wright and Freeman combined for 52 points and sank 8 of 17 long distance shots, including a game-tying three pointer by Wright with time winding down in the second half which seemed to turn the momentum of the game in Georgetown's favor.
While Austin Freeman has been great thus far, Wright has struggled and both his field goal and turnover numbers are by far the worst of his career in what has been a somewhat disappointing senior season for the Maryland native.
Despite the fact that Wright is struggling right now, him and Freeman go together like peanut butter and jelly and they definitely make Georgetown a dangerous team when either or both players are playing up to their potential.
Mike Anderson's fastest 40 minutes of basketball is one of the more unique philosophies in the country and even though he utilizes many different players, it's hard to leave a combo like Marcus Denmon and Ricardo Ratliffe off this list.
Denmon has really stood out from the crowd on a deep Missouri roster and in his junior season he's become the leading scorer on one of the best teams in the nation.
All season long, the 6'3'' shooting guard has shown that he's absolutely lethal from downtown and the fact that he's currently shooting 49 percent from three is probably one of the more ridiculous stats in the nation.
Meanwhile, Ricardo Ratliffe has become an extremely important player for the Tigers under the basket thanks to his 6'8'', 240-pound frame which he uses to create plenty of space in the paint.
The junior college transfer is leading Missouri in rebounding and is second on the team in scoring as he's been able to make the most of his opportunities around the basket in this guard-centered offensive attack.
Because of the frenetic pace with which Missouri plays, they utilize an expansive rotation and rely on many different players to be productive throughout the course of a game.
But even though eight players on the team get at least 17 minutes per game, the duo of Denmon and Ratliffe has stood out as the engine that keeps this Missouri machine moving along.
Demetri McCamey is without a doubt one of the best players in the country and when you combine his ability to score with his knack for setting up teammates, he's almost impossible to shutdown.
The Fighting Illini have leaned heavily on McCamey to lead this offense and he's responded in his senior season by scoring 15.6 points per game and dishing out 7.1 assists.
Whether you're trying to prevent him from getting off his feathery jumper, or you're hoping to stop him from knifing through the lane, there's always some part of McCamey's offensive repertoire that even the best defenses will be vulnerable to and few teams have been able to neutralize both his scoring and play-making ability this season.
Meanwhile, Mike Davis has been a productive player for Illinois for the last three seasons and has steadily improved his toughness around the basket.
He's not the type of player who needs the ball in his hands all the time and Davis is usually fine with focusing on rebounding and just taking a few high percentage shots per game.
Even still, he's emerged this season as the Illini's second leading scorer who isn't afraid to do the dirty work around the rim that might not show up in the box score but definitely helps this team win games.
With the combination of McCamey and Davis leading the way for this Illinois squad, they've had a solid first half of the season and are currently fourth in the Big Ten.
If this team is going to build off their early-season success, they will definitely need both players to continue their strong play which will help guide the Fighting Illini through a brutal remaining schedule.
For the first time in a long time, Colorado looks like they they're capable of doing some damage in the Big 12 and the backcourt tandem of Alec Burks and Cory Higgins can go shot for shot with anyone in the nation.
Alec Burks somehow slipped under the radar of most of the top programs in the nation and was scooped up by Colorado, which was no doubt extremely pleased to get such a gifted athlete, scorer and team leader.
During his short time in Colorado, Burks has already shown that he has what it takes to make this team a serious threat and because of his size and ability to take over a game, there aren't too many players in the nation who can do what this sophomore can on the basketball court.
A couple of Big 12 teams have already been stung by Burks, most notably Missouri which watched as he exploded for 36 points and eight rebounds during Colorado's 89-76 upset over the Tigers on January 8.
Because of how impressive Burks has been, it would be easy to overlook the play of Cory Higgins, but the 6'5'' senior has been almost as good and is more than capable of picking up the slack when Burks isn't putting up the huge numbers we've all grown accustomed to.
When you put a player with Higgins ability to score alongside a guy like Burks, it makes things extremely difficult for opposing defenses and it's been one of the biggest reasons why Colorado is currently 14-6 and tied for fourth in the Big 12.
There aren't too many other guard tandems in the country who can do the kinds of things that Burks and Higgins are capable of, and there's little doubt that this high scoring duo will be a thorn in the side of many Big 12 teams for the rest of the season.
It's been a roller coaster season for the Tennessee Volunteers and it's only halfway over.
At this point, we're all familiar with the Bruce Pearl recruiting violations and inconsistent play which has beset Tennessee thus far, but it's also become clear that the duo of Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris is not to be taken lightly.
The lanky 6'6'' Hopson has brought his game to the next level during his junior season and has been extremely aggressive on the offensive end of the floor where he leads the Volunteers in scoring and is definitely their go-to guy regardless of the situation.
Because of his size and athletic ability, Hopson is a mismatch waiting to happen and most defenders have a tough time keeping him away from the basket in either transition or halfcourt sets.
Bruce Pearl's highly-touted freshman, Tobias Harris, has taken little time to adjust to the college game and is definitely living up to his billing as one of the top prospects in this year's class.
While Harris is a highly-skilled player who can do a little bit of everything on the court, perhaps the best thing about him has been his consistency through the first 19 games of his young career.
Harris has scored 15 or more points in 14 of his first 19 collegiate games and rarely has the youngster exhibited the inconsistency that most players his age tend to show.
He's also played some of his best ball against some of the best teams on the Volunteers schedule, including performances against Villanova, Memphis, Florida, and Vanderbilt in which he was one of the best players on the floor for either team.
This Tennessee team definitely has some challenges ahead of them but the duo of Hopson and Harris is about as skilled and versatile as any in the country.
There's plenty of talent on this Washington roster, but Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning have shown that they are Lorenzo Romar's go-to guys in what could be a very successful season for the Huskies.
If you follow college basketball even a little, you've heard of Thomas who has been a productive player since his freshman season and is one of the best point guards in the nation.
As a junior, Thomas has improved his shooting percentages and while he's not scoring more than he did as a sophomore, he's playing more efficient basketball on the offensive side of the floor.
This has allowed the diminutive guard to become a much better distributor, as he's averaging two more assists per game than he did last season while keeping his turnover numbers the same.
Quincy Pondexter's jump to the NBA at the end of last season gave Matthew Bryan-Amaning a huge opportunity to play a much bigger role for Washington and he hasn't disappointed thus far.
The bruising 6'9'' senior forward is currently leading the Huskies in rebounding and is second on the team in scoring thanks to his superb finishing ability around the basket, which has him shooting upwards of 58 percent from the field.
We all knew that Thomas was a great player but it would have been difficult for him to lead this team without a successful post presence. The fact that Bryan-Amaning has emerged as a reliable option under the basket has really helped out this Huskies program and also made for one of the best tandems in the country.
Kalin Lucas and Draymond Green might not have the eye popping numbers that some of the other tandems on this list possess, but they definitely have just as much skill.
Michigan State has relied on Lucas to lead this team for the past few seasons and the point guard has been a steady floor general for the Spartans who is capable of rising to the occasion when this team needs him the most.
Lucas isn't the most explosive scorer but he's got a solid midrange game and he's great at breaking down defenses with his penetration, which leads to open looks for his teammates.
One of these teammates is Draymond Green, who essentially came out of nowhere during his sophomore season to become one of the best players and leaders on last season's Final Four squad.
There really aren't too many players like Green in college basketball, who is an extremely versatile, undersized power forward that can bang under the basket, step out and hit a jumper, plays great defense, and might be the best passer on this Michigan State team.
The Spartan's early season struggles have been well documented and Kalin Lucas has also been slowed by the ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered during last season's NCAA tournament.
However, Lucas seems to be near 100 percent and the combination of a healthy Lucas and Green is one of the best in the nation and should help Michigan State get back on track.
San Diego State basketball isn't exactly a powerhouse program but the tandem of Kawhi Leonard and D.J. Gay has made this team hard to ignore. Thanks in large part to the contributions of Leonard and Gay, the Aztecs are one of two undefeated teams left in the country and have been ranked in the Top 10 for the last few weeks.
Kawhi Leonard is the heart and soul of this San Diego State team and he uses his superior athleticism and high motor to give the Aztecs a little bit of everything.
He's the team's leading scorer and rebounder and despite the fact that he routinely goes up against bigger players, he is a menace on the boards who relentlessly goes after rebounds. Leonard also makes positive contributions on defense thanks to his length and he has shown that he has the ability to hit the open jumper.
The play of D.J. Gay has also been instrumental in San Diego State's success thus far and his long-range shooting touch has been a great compliment to the game that Leonard plays.
Gay has recently been on a tear in MWC action, where he has scored 50 combined points over his last two games while shooting 13-of-22 from behind the arc, which prompted head coach Steve Fisher to proclaim that Gay is not only the Aztecs most important player, but he might be the team's best as well.
The incredible season that San Diego State has enjoyed thus far can be attributed in part to their duo of Leonard and Gay, who have both shown that, for now, this team deserves to be mentioned as one of the best in the country.
The legend of Jimmer Fredette seems to grow every time he steps onto the basketball court. Whether the guard from upstate New York is dropping 47 on Utah or casually draining 30-foot jumpers against TCU, he seems to have captivated the nation with his incredible play.
We all know about Jimmer's scoring ability and he's just as deadly shooting midrange jumpers as he is spotting up from three.
Much of the talk about Fredette centers around his scoring but he's also a willing facilitator who leads the Cougars in assists and he can be almost as effective passing as he is shooting.
Jackson Emery makes up the second half of BYU's dynamic backcourt duo and even though Jimmer gets most of the national attention, Emery has been an extremely valuable asset, especially from downtown.
The 6'3'' senior guard takes nearly seven shots from behind the arc per game and he's connecting on just over 40 percent of these attempts. Emery's sweet long range touch is the perfect compliment to a player like Fredette, who is constantly drawing extra attention from defenders which generally allows his teammates to get open looks at the basket.
Emery also does the little things well and is averaging 2.6 steals per game while sporting better than a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The duo of Fredette and Emery might be a little undersized, but they've been making teams pay all season from deep and can score with any two players in the country.
LaceDarius Dunn and Perry Jones are as talented of a duo as you will find in college basketball. Unfortunately for Baylor, this talent hasn't stopped them from underachieving in the first 18 games of the season.
Despite the fact that things haven't gone according to plan for Baylor, LaceDarius Dunn has been the explosive offensive player that everyone expected him to be and he's cemented himself as one of the top scorers in the country.
Dunn can hurt you in a lot of ways but the 6'4'' shooting guard is most comfortable when he's launching up shots from behind the arc, where he's hitting nearly 42 percent of his attempts thus far.
Dunn isn't a tremendous athlete but he's a great shooter who simply finds a way to score the basketball and he's capable of going for 30 against any given team in the country.
Perry Jones is an incredibly skilled and versatile 6'10'' forward whose athleticism and ability to shoot the ball puts him in a class by himself and has this freshman atop most NBA scouts draft boards right now.
Jones has stepped up his game since Big 12 play kicked off a few weeks ago and it's scary to think about the kind of production he can give Scott Drew down the stretch.
The ceiling for a player like Jones might be as high as anyone in college basketball right now, but he's still young and has yet to realize his full potential.
Even so, Dunn and Jones are an extremely formidable tandem who have the potential to carry this Baylor squad through the Big 12 and into the tournament. But they will need to realize this potential sooner rather than later.
It's been a real treat for Villanova fans (and college basketball fans for that matter) to watch Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes mature throughout their four seasons with the Wildcats.
In their senior year they've become one of the most feared tandems in the nation while helping Villanova win 17 of their first 19 games. Both players have proven this season that they're capable of carrying the team on the offensive side of the floor, and whether it's Fisher doing damage on pick and rolls or Stokes spotting up from three, you better have some good perimeter defenders if you're going to compete with 'Nova.
Fisher has done a good job of filling the vacated spot left by Scottie Reynolds and the Bronx native has been equally adept at dishing to teammates or taking the shot himself.
Meanwhile, Corey Stokes has matured into the three-point marksman that this team needs him to be and he has also raised his play in pretty much every department this season. Stokes posted huge games against Louisville and Temple where his soft shooting touch helped Villanova triumph over two of the best teams they've played up to this point in the season.
Guys like Maalik Wayns, Antonio Pena, and Mouphtaou Yarou have also contributed to Villanova's great start, but this team generally wins and loses with the play of Stokes and Fisher, which has brought Jay Wright much more success than failure over the years.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are one of the toughest teams in college basketball and their backcourt duo of Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker can go go toe to toe with any two guards in the nation.
Gibbs and Wanamaker give the Panthers a little bit of everything and Jaime Dixon can rely on this pair of upperclassmen to carry the scoring load while providing great leadership.
Ashton Gibbs might have an unorthodox shot but you really can't argue with a guy who hits nearly 45 percent of his three's and rarely has an off shooting night.
In support of Gibbs shooting, Brad Wanamaker is an efficient scorer who doesn't need a lot of shots to make his presence felt on the offensive side of the court.
Wanamaker also chips in on the glass with nearly five boards per game and is the Panthers leading assist man who never hesitates to drive to the basket and then dish to open teammates.
Pittsburgh is one of the deepest and best teams in the nation and while there's no shortage of talent on this roster, the contributions of Gibbs and Wanamaker stand out from the crowd and make the Panthers a serious threat to win it all this season.
The Wisconsin Badgers are enjoying another successful season and while most Bo Ryan teams don't feature two players that put up big numbers, Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor are bucking that trend this season.
Leuer has improved in each of the four seasons he's played for the Badgers and gives this team an extremely versatile 6'10'' forward who is capable of banging under the basket or stepping out and making opponents pay from deep.
Because of his wide-ranging game, Leuer ranks at the top of the Big Ten in both points and rebounds per game and is a huge reason why the Badgers are currently 15-4 and ranked in the Top 25.
Leuer's partner in crime is Jordan Taylor, who has emerged this season as one of the premier guards in the nation. At just 6'1'' Taylor relies on his powerfully-built frame and above average athleticism which allows him to create space for his jumper and blow by defenders on his way to the hoop.
The junior guard is the table setter for this Wisconsin offense and his 17.4 points per game coupled with a 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio shows just how good he's been thus far.
Both Leuer and Taylor are having magnificent seasons for the Badgers and their presence on this roster should keep Wisconsin near the top of the Big Ten.
Jim Boeheim's squad just had a rough week after dropping games to Villanova and Pittsburgh, but because they have a duo like Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson, they're still one of the best teams in the nation.
Both Jackson and Joseph have done a magnificent job of replacing Wes Johnson and Arinze Onuaku who were two of the teams most important players a year ago.
Joseph was one of the best sixth men in the country last season but he has embraced his role in the starting lineup this year and is a matchup nightmare on the wing thanks to his size, athleticism, and ability to score in many different ways.
Not to be outdone, Rick Jackson has become one of the best post players in America thanks to his relentless rebounding prowess and shot blocking. The 6'9'' senior has also been one of Syracuse's most consistent and efficient scorers which has helped him record 13 double-doubles this season .
Syracuse tends to cause plenty of mismatches thanks to their style of play and Kris Joseph slashing on the wing coupled with Rick Jackson banging in the post has proven incredibly difficult for most teams to stop this season.
After what John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins did last season for Kentucky, it was going to be very difficult for anyone to fill their shoes.
This season's version of the Wildcats might not be quite as good as they were last season, but the freshmen combination of Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight has been sensational nonetheless.
Jones didn't come into school with as much hype as some of the other Kentucky prospects, but the 6'8'' forward has been one of the best players in the country and has been nearly impossible for opponents to contain.
Whether he's spotting up from three, putting the ball on the floor, or crashing the offensive glass, Jones has baffled defenders this season and he always seems to be a step ahead of the competition.
The southpaw has had huge games against some of the best teams on Kentucky's schedule thus far and his performances against Washington, Notre Dame, and Georgia have cemented his place amongst the nation's elite.
Jones might be getting most of the attention, but Brandon Knight has been nearly as good at point guard for John Calipari.
Having to play in the shadow of a guy like John Wall is no easy feat but Knight has been an extremely consistent scorer for the Wildcats thus far and a great compliment to the production that Jones has given Kentucky.
Knight has shown that he is capable of hitting the outside shot, which makes him nearly impossible to guard when you factor in his quickness and ability to get to the basket.
The duo of Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones might be young, but they've been a huge part of Kentucky's success thus far and will make this team dangerous come March.
What was supposed to be a down year for the UConn Huskies has been transformed by Kemba Walker into one that has their fans thinking about a deep tournament run.
The play of the 6'1'' guard has been nothing short of incredible this season and he's not only been an unstoppable force scoring the basketball, he's also been one of the better rebounders and distributors on the team as well.
While I could go on and on about how good the Bronx native has been this season, the purpose of this article is to highlight the best duo's in college basketball so let's give a little love to Alex Oriakhi as well.
The lanky forward had his struggles adjusting to the collegiate game as a freshman but he entered his sophomore season much more confident and aggressive which has helped him become a difference maker under the basket for UConn.
Possessing great length and solid athleticism, Oriakhi is a rebounding machine who has also begun to play a much more active role as a shot blocker around the basket.
Oriakhi still isn't a polished offensive player but he has improved substantially since he was a freshman and is capable of scoring with his back to the basket as well as thriving off of offensive rebounds and dishes from Walker.
His play has still been a little inconsistent as a sophomore, but big games against Villanova, Kentucky, Texas, and Michigan State have been the perfect inside compliment to all of the amazing things Walker is doing on the perimeter.
The Jared Sullinger experience has taken the nation by storm and it's become commonplace to see the wide-bodied freshman having his way around the basket.
At 6'9'' and 280 pounds, there aren't too many players in the country who can bang with Sullinger under the basket and while he doesn't exactly play above the rim, his brute strength and soft touch has made it virtually impossible for opponents to contain him.
Sullinger's had some huge games against lesser competition (see his 40-point explosion against IUPUI) but he's also stepped up to the plate during Big Ten play and has shown that he is without a doubt one of the top players in the country.
Ohio State's guard play has been fantastic as well this season and while I've chosen David Lighty to pair with Sullinger as one of the top duo's in college basketball, you could easily make a case for either William Buford or Jon Diebler as well.
As it stands, Lighty has been one of the Buckeyes most consistent scorers going for double figures in 14 of their 20 games thus far and his performances against Florida and Minnesota have demonstrated that he has the ability to step up in the most crucial situations.
But Lighty's offensive game is just the tip of the iceberg, and the senior swing man makes some of his biggest contributions to this team with his defense and versatility.
Because of his size, Lighty can defend both guards and forwards and he isn't shy about ratcheting up his defensive intensity when he's matched up against prolific scorers.
Lighty is also one of the best play makers on the Buckeyes who averages 3.6 assists per game as he knifes through defenses and looks to set up his teammates.
As I said above, any of Ohio State's three guards could be a part of this duo but the bottom line is that when you have a player like Sullinger paired with any of the Buckeyes talented three guards it definitely makes one of the best duos in all of college basketball.
The Morris twins have been sensational this season and thanks in large part to their effort, you wouldn't know that Kansas is without three of its best players from a year ago.
Marcus and Markieff combine to make one of the most imposing frontcourts in the nation and this duo has made life around the basket miserable for most of the teams they've faced this season.
Both players are a load to handle in the post and possess a combination of athleticism and strength that sets them apart from most of their competition.
They're also extremely versatile, as they can score in a multitude of ways on the offensive side of the floor and they do so very efficiently.
Marcus Morris has one of the more polished post games in the country and he utilizes his superior footwork to run circles around would-be defenders.
As if the combined production of the Morris brothers (30 ppg and 15 rpg) wasn't impressive enough, when you consider that Marcus plays around 26 minutes per game and Markieff just 23, this production is even more impressive.
Because of their unique skill sets and size there aren't too many players like either of the Morris twins in college basketball, and the fact that both players are on the same team makes them one of the premier duos in the country.
After a disappointing season for both Jordan Hamilton and this Texas program last year, things are going a lot better in 2010-11. Hamilton has improved in leaps and bounds from his freshman season and is absolutely one of the premier players in the country as a sophomore.
The best part of Hamilton's game is his seemingly effortless ability to score in a variety of ways, which has been the catalyst for some impressive wins against Illinois, North Carolina, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and Kansas.
The 6'7'' forward is also the team's second leading rebounder and although he played selfishly at times last season, he has become a much more willing passer and is averaging over two assists per game.
Hamilton's teammate, Tristan Thompson, has been one of the more impressive freshman in the nation this season and even though he's been inconsistent at times, the youngster has also provided the Longhorns with a viable presence around the basket.
Thompson possesses great length which allows him to be a force on the glass as well as a game changing shot blocker who can make opponents think twice about trying to score in the paint.
Thompson and Hamilton have both played extremely well this season and this young duo has already shown that Texas is capable of beating anyone in the country.
JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore are an inside/outside combo that coaches dream of and in the absence of Robbie Hummel, the pair has taken it upon themselves to carry the Boilermakers this season.
In the last few weeks, Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith have started to help with the scoring load but Johnson and Moore have essentially been Purdue's offense this season and the duo combines to average over 50 percent of the team's points per game, not to mention being the Boilermakers top two rebounders as well.
Both Johnson and Moore present huge matchup issues for opposing teams and can beat you in a multitude of ways.
Johnson is great in the post and possesses a turn around jumper that's almost unstoppable because of his high release point. But the 6'10'' senior also has range out to the three-point line, where he's connected on a few long distance shots already this season.
E'Twaun Moore is one of the most explosive perimeter scorers in the country and he's equally as deadly taking you to the basket as he is spotting up from three.
With the tandem of Johnson and Moore firing on all cylinders in their senior season, this Purdue team has gotten out to an impressive 17-3 start and despite the fact that they're without Robbie Hummel, the Boilermakers are a threat to make a deep tournament run because of how dynamic both players are.
Singler and Smith are elite players at their respective positions and they are arguably the best shooting guard and small forward in the country.
The two seniors have played at the highest level of competition in college basketball for the last four seasons and after helping Duke win the national championship, there isn't much that either player hasn't accomplished over their fine careers.
Nolan Smith was a very good player last season, but he has been a man on a mission since Kyrie Irving went down with a toe injury and he has seen a rise in all major statistical categories from a year ago.
Because Smith's play in all phases of the game has been so extraordinary, he's now being mentioned as one of the candidates for player of the year and it's hard to argue with his inclusion in this discussion.
Kyle Singler has been an extremely versatile player during his career at Duke and he's having another great season playing inside and out as a senior. The 6'8'' forward has been slumping a bit recently but there's not much of a reason to believe that his slide should continue for much longer.
Even with their recent loss to Florida State, the Duke Blue Devils are one of the elite teams in the country and they're lead by the best combination that college basketball has to offer.