This is the time I tend to notice more people talking about college basketball. Not only because I see people attempting to blog more stories, but just on Twitter in general. Let me tell you something, it was a perfect night to welcome people to college basketball. We had brutal beats - see above. We had late game-winners. We had disgusting basketball.
It sort of summed up college hoops so far. Teams are coming out of nowhere, games have been ugly at times yet we can't look away. It's perfect. So for those joining welcome, here's your guide. Let's run through some of the talking points you'll need to get caught up on.
The 10 best teams in no specific order - Baylor, Gonzaga, Purdue, Kansas, Villanova, Arizona, Auburn, Kentucky, Duke, Alabama
Wait Baylor and Gonzaga ... again?
Yeah, these are the two best teams right now and they are pretty clear of 3. Baylor is the only undefeated team in the country because Scott Drew just completely reloaded. He lost a ton from last year, fine. He went out and got James Akinjo. He landed Kendall Brown. Guys like Matthew Mayer and Adam Flagler took bigger roles. Pretty ridiculous what they are doing considering they have wins over Michigan State, Villanova, Oregon, Iowa State and Oklahoma on the resume already.
Arizona is the biggest surprise so far
I actually think Arizona would be ranked 3rd in my power rankings right now behind Baylor and Gonzaga. First year coach Tommy Lloyd would be 2nd in my COY rankings behind Drew and they are just awesome to watch. You have a legit All-American and NPOY candidate in Ben Mathurin. You have a hell of a defensive player in Christian Koloko. Kerr Kriisa might be my favorite player just because he pisses everyone off. The dude runs around with a headband on, wears Kerr on his 25 jersey because he's named after Steve Kerr and talks all the shit. They have the fastest tempo in the country. I love this team.
Okay, so who sucks?
The ACC. That's who sucks. Outside of Duke there really isn't a good team. UNC is down because they can't defend the Barstool basketball team. Notre Dame is still middling. Virginia can't play offense and is mediocre by Virginia standards defensively. Florida State is bad. Louisville is down and they might be the 2nd best team in the conference. Maybe Miami or Wake Forest? Yeah, that's where we are with this league. I don't think Duke runs the table because it's hard to go undefeated in major conference play, but I wouldn't be shocked if they do. I also wouldn't be shocked if this ends up a 2-bid league or something pathetic like that.
Houston is highly ranked but it's time to sell on them
Everyone you look Houston is ranked fairly high. They are 3rd on KenPom. They are 3rd in the NET. They are 12th in the AP. But they got decimated with injuries the last week. They lost Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark for the season. They still might win the AAC, but I'm selling on them. You can't advance losing that sort of talent. It's a shame because they'd be in that top-10 list. But without Sasser and Mark, can't trust them.
The best player currently plays for .... Wisconsin. What the fuck?
Yep. Johnny Davis. Dude is the pick for NPOY right now. All he's doing is putting up 22 and 7 and scoring basically every single point for Wisconsin. He's also a lottery pick.
The best talent is...
Three freshmen make up the guys who are the most talented. Debate between Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren.
Did you know Coach K is retiring?
Haven't heard about it.
Coach K is still a dick.Just wanted to clear that up.
Maryland's Mark Turgeon just quit in the middle of the season because he was mad fans were mad or something
This story did not get nearly enough attention mostly because it happened right before bowl season. Mark Turgeon quit as head coach of Maryland as they continue to be fairly irrelevant in the national picture. He was upset fans were mad or something. Danny Manning is interim coach and is out there recruiting. It's wild. Danny Manning isn't going to get the full time job. He's coaching basically the entire season including all Big 10 games.
Want to put a future bet, here you go:
These are my picks from the preseason:
I have since added Arizona at 35/1 a few weeks back and doubled down when Kentucky dropped to 30/1. If you want to put a bet in now, here's what I'd look at:
I'm not adding anything to mine, again, this is if you want a future bet in January to place. I'd immediately go look at Kansas 12/1, Auburn 20/1 and LSU 45/1. LSU is the best defense in the country, which is worth noting. They are good enough there to advance and possibly get to a Final Four. They just need some offense. Kansas is figuring everything out after benching David McCormack and the improvement of someone like Christian Braun. Then there's Auburn who has Jabari Smith and just plays the unique style. Take a shot on those three.
The A-10 is a complete crapshoot with St. Bonaventure not really living up to the hype and Kyle Lofton missing some games. I'd take a shot at Davidson +400 here. They might be the best team in the conference. They only play the Bonnies once and even though it's on the road they won't be +400 in that game. Think it ultimately comes down to those two teams. They've won 10 straight games. They have Bob McKillop and that beautiful offense.
Speaking of mid-majors:
You want to pay attention to mid-majors? Fine. The best teams are Colorado State, San Francisco, Loyola Chicago, Saint Mary's, UAB, Louisiana Tech, WKU, Boise State and Belmont. Those are teams that can win a game in March. Also the WCC legit has a chance for 4 teams in the NCAA Tournament with Gonzaga, BYU, Saint Mary's and San Francisco.
Games are going to get rescheduled, postponed
We're still dealing with teams canceling games or postponing games. Just be prepared. It sucks, but as long as they are played we're good.
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