College Basketball's Power Eight

Dusty FloydCorrespondent INovember 26, 2008

1. North Carolina
Despite losing freshman Tyler Zeller for the season, the Tar Heels have looked as good as, if not better than, everybody thought they would be.
Their matchup against Notre Dame will be a great game, and we should really get a feel of how good North Carolina really is.
2. Connecticut
Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrien are both averaging double-doubles, which helped put the Huskies past No. 19 Wisconsin.
My only problem with UConn is their very close win over La Salle. I would have felt a lot better about them if they had played to their full potential in that game.
3. Louisville
I've been set on Louisville ever since they whupped Tennessee in the Sweet 16 last year. Their leading scorer, Samardo Samuels, is off to a great start, averaging 21 points per game.
The Cardinals will have to get through a tough Big East schedule though.  If they get out with fewer than six losses, watch out.

4. Michigan State
Michigan State will get their first test on Thanksgiving night against an undefeated Maryland.  Even though their talented freshmen haven't had too much of an impact yet, look for Korie Lucious, Delvon Roe, and Draymond Green to be a factor against Maryland and other future opponents.
Lucky enough for the Spartans, the Big Ten only has two other ranked teams, which could earn them a pretty good seed in the NCAA tournament.

5. Pittsburgh
The part of this Pittsburgh squad that has me so hooked on them is their balance. They have three players that average over 13 points per game.
After knocking off an underrated Belmont team, they looked to knock off Texas Tech, who's averaged over 100 points en route to their 5-0 record.

6. Duke
I have to give Duke a lot of credit for winning the 2K Sports Classic even with star point guard Greg Paulus having limited playing time with an injury.
Duke has four players averaging more than 12 points. I wouldn't want to play against the Blue Devils, especially when they get Greg Paulus back.

7. Notre Dame
Well, as of the moment, they're losing to North Carolina by 10 at halftime, but I don't care if they pull off the win or lose by 30.
After watching them beat Texas, I know that Notre Dame basketball will be at least a lot better than the football team in South Bend this year. Luke Harangody hasn't disappointed at all this year as he averages over 25 points and 12 rebounds.

8. Tennessee
Many people don't think the Vols will be very good this year because Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith graduated, but I could care less.
Those people have forgotten about the balance of Tennessee and a forward named Tyler Smith. He's one of the front-runners for the SEC Player of the Year award and hopes to lead the Vols past a strong Siena team on Thanksgiving Day.