Ok, so I’ve been lax in posting on college basketball (or anything else for that matter) for the last two weeks, but sometimes your day job becomes your night job too and gets in the way of your hobby. That said, I’m not one to cheat my readers, so I’m giving you the same volume of content that I would have regularly. This time, I’m going to give you five completely fake questions submitted by me, to me. This should teach you to tweet/email me more questions. If you have real questions, you can tweet them to me @SECandEE or email them to me here. In the interim, let’s get to the first question;
Rick Pitino really in need of 15 seconds of lovin'
It seems that nobody stays #1 in the polls for more than a week this season. Is this year’s field really this weak, or is there a strange voodoo curse on the #1 ranking? – Justin, Columbia, SC
While I’m not one to discount the power of voodoo, I think we’re simply dealing with a down year in college hoops. This isn’t to say that the field is devoid of talent, we’re simply enduring a year where we have no great teams, just a handful of very good ones, a lot of good ones, and the rest of the usual suspects. You might be surprised, but I don’ t think that this is a bad thing, especially as it affects the tournament. I think it’s going to be a crazy year, starting with the conference tournaments, and ending with the final four. In the end, I feel that a familiar face will win it all (e.g., Duke, Indiana, Kansas), but I wouldn't be surprised if a team we haven’t thought about in a while (e.g., Michigan, Arizona, Louisville), or never (e.g., Miami) wins the tournament.
Which team that’s not currently in the top 25 do you think has the best shot of making the final four? – Jeff, Greenville, NC
This is an excellent question that I’m glad I thought of. The short answer? None of them. If you asked the question differently, i.e., “not in the top 15”, my answer would still be none of them. I strongly feel that the final four will come from the top 15 teams in the polls (as of this week). However, could you convince me that a Wisconsin or Wichita State might get hot and advance to the last weekend? Maybe. You might also convince me that Marshall Henderson won’t be busted for possession of a controlled substance in the next five years, but it would take some work.
Which top-ten team will be bounced from the tournament first? – Sue, Tyler, TX
The top ten will undoubtedly change quite a bit between now and the tourney. However, using the current standings, I have to say that Kansas looks the most vulnerable. However, (this is kinda cheating) Ohio State looks pretty bad too. If I have to pick one, I will go with Kansas since they’re in a death spiral. When your head coach compares you to a team that lost to a YMCA club team, you've got issues.
Considering that I would like the earth to open up and swallow both programs, who has a better chance of making it to the sweet sixteen, Kentucky or North Carolina? – Theresa, Durham, NC
I like your vitriol, but I’m afraid that both teams might get hot, make the tournament, and advance to the sweet sixteen. Of the two, I think that Kentucky has a better chance. Sure, their talent is rawer, but their path to the tournament is clearer, which means that their seed will be higher. Both will get the “historic program bump” in seeding, but I think that Kentucky will probably win five of their last eight, two games in the SEC tournament, and garner a four seed in the tournament (to the consternation of everyone not wearing Wildcat blue). On the other hand, UNC will probably go 4-4 in the regular season, win one in the ACC tournament (with Miami, NC State, Duke, and Virginia lurking), and get a five seed, where, if there is any justice in the world, they will be the victim of a 5-12 match-up.
Ok smartass, who would you choose as the four number one seeds if you had to choose them today? – Brian, Dickinson, TX
Clearly, this is a dick question, since there is a lot of basketball left to play. However, I’ll answer it for the sake of having five questions to answer. Based on their play right now, I would go with Duke, Miami, Arizona, and Gonzaga. I know a lot of folks in Ann Arbor, Bloomington, and Gainesville just lost their shit, but I don’t have faith in any of your teams. Of these, I have the least faith in Arizona, since they lost to Oregon and UCLA. I have the most faith in Miami, despite a bad loss to Arizona (by 19), based on their beatdowns of UNC and Duke. In the end, we’ll have to let the season play out. For all I know, all four teams could flame out leaving us with Indiana, Florida, Michigan, and Syracuse as the top four seeds. Your guess is as good as mine.