College Basketball: Who's No. 1?
Just over 20 games into the college basketball season and we don't know much more about the NCAA tournament than we did in the middle of November.
Sure, we know some teams have been disappointments (Baylor and Kansas State, I'm looking at you), we know that one team has a better record than everyone else (Ohio State is undefeated), and that one guy can outscore everyone in the nation (obviously The Jimmer). But other than Ohio State, we don't really have any clear-cut No. 1 seeds. So here is the breakdown of who it might be.
A Texas team that was ranked 25th in preseason coaches poll, and was unranked in the first AP ballot in Week 2 has taken the Big XII by storm. The Longhorns last lost was to Connecticut on January 8 (a game that provided us with this funny play), and the Longhorns only lost that game by a single point in overtime.
However, the Longhorns are packed with talent in Jordan Hamilton (19 ppg), Tristan Thompson (12.9) and the occasional explosion from J'Covan Brown (23 at Kansas), and as opposed to last year's Texas team have gelled and look primed for a postseason run.
Kansas is 20-1 on the season with their only loss at home to an uber-talented Texas team. The Jayhawks' remaining schedule has them set to play Missouri (twice), and host A&M in their next to last conference game. In their first game after the passing of Thomas Robinson's mother, Kansas absolutely obliterated Kansas State, hanging 90 points on the Wildcats.
The Panthers currently sit atop the very deep Big East that is very intent on beating each other up. The Panthers resume boasts wins over ranked teams (Texas, UConn, Georgetown and Syracuse) and their two losses have been to a very good Notre Dame team, and a very up-and-down Tennessee team. Pitt still must play Nova and West Virginia (twice each) and they'll host Rick Pitino and his Louisville Cardinals.
The Panthers need to avoid any major slip ups for the rest of the season along with making it to the final four of the Big East tourney if they want to snag a No. 1 seed.
The Huskies were expected to be down as they came into this year, but Kemba Walker (24 ppg, 4 apg) has decided to put the team on his back and carry them through the season. UConn has wins over Michigan State, Texas, and Villanova and all of their losses have come at the hands of good teams (Pitt, Notre Dame and Louisville).
At one point Duke was the No. 1 team in the nation, with a relatively easy schedule, and had people talking about an undefeated season. Since then the Devils have lost twice (Florida State and St. John's), and found that their road to a No. 1 seed is near impossible. While the Blue Devils are a very good basketball team led by Kyle Singler (he gets buckets) and Nolan Smith, they really have no way to prove it.
However, what Duke wasn't counting on was Kansas State being a disaster, Michigan State being an eight-loss team and Butler being an average team with no Gordon Hayward. But that is whats happened to Coach K and his team, and now they are stuck in a very weak ACC with no way of shaking off two losses to below-average teams (for those of you that care, Duke hasn't played a team ranked in the top 25 of the RPI).
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