Monday, February 12, 2007

Field of 65--version 6

(about 1 week has passed since last version)
1)
Florida (23-2); Wisconsin (24-2); North Carolina (22-3); UCLA (21-3)
*After seeing Florida play in person, I am a believer. Kentucky played really well for about 30 minutes, and Florida played great for about 10. Noah and Horford gave sub-par performances, and the Wildcats had a chance to send the game into overtime. Still, these guys are so impressive it’s hard to put into words. A few things I was impressed with: the way Noah and Horford run the floor; the fact that Chris Richard could be a stud on another team; the way Noah passes the ball (I already knew Horford could pass); pretty much everything about Corey Brewer; and the fact that none of these guys seem to care that they’re not putting up 20 a game (about the most unselfish team that is this talented that I can remember). Before everyone starts talking about UCLA’s loss to West Virginia, remember 2 things—the Bruins were playing without PG Darren Collison and the Bruins aren’t the first team to have some trouble figuring out the gimmicky Mountaineers.
2)
Ohio State (22-3); Texas A&M (21-3); Pittsburgh (22-3); Kansas (21-4)
*I know everyone talks about UNC, but Ohio State is also freakishly deep. Pitt is a lot better than I thought.
3)
Memphis (21-3); Washington State (21-4); Nevada (22-2); Oregon (20-5)
*Some people seem to think Nevada is a one-man team. However, Marcelus Kemp (18.2 ppg) and Ramon Sessions (13.2 ppg) provide options besides Nick Fazekas (20.8 ppg and 11.7 rpg).
4)
*Marquette (21-5); Butler (23-3); Georgetown (18-5); Kentucky (18-6)
Georgetown had a good week, picking up wins against Louisville and Marquette. I think they’re one of the hottest teams in the nation. After watching Kentucky’s loss to Florida, it’s obvious that the Wildcats are one post player away from being a real contender. On the offensive end of the floor, Randolph Morris couldn’t be much more effective. I don’t know why he doesn’t touch the ball every possession. For anyone who thought Joe Crawford had a future in the NBA, I would suggest watching him get absolutely embarrassed by Corey Brewer.
5)
Indiana (17-6); Boston College (18-6); Oklahoma State (19-5); West Virginia (19-5)
*I didn’t think BC would play this well without Sean Williams. Oklahoma State is really struggling. Their lack of depth really hurts them. West Virginia’s victory over UCLA legitimized their tourney resume.
6)
Clemson (19-5); Southern Illinois (21-5); USC (18-7); Texas (17-7)
*USC moves up to a 6 seed from a 7 seed, and all they had to do was lose to UCLA.
7)
Arizona (17-7); Air Force (21-4); Virginia Tech (17-7); Duke (18-7)
*If freshman Jordan Hill continues to emerge for the Wildcats, we might not be able to write off Arizona just yet. This Duke team just isn't very good. They have absolutely no presence in the post on the offensive end of the floor. Josh McRoberts isn't a back-to-the-basket type of player. Gerald Henderson is being under-utilized.
8)
Notre Dame (18-6); Stanford (15-8); Virginia (16-7); Alabama (18-6)
*Just when you think things are starting to shape up for the Crimson Tide, they drop one to Ole Miss.
9)
BYU (19-6); UNLV (21-5); Tennessee (17-8); Florida State (17-8)
*BYU is 1 of 3 Mountain West teams in the field. With Chris Lofton back, watch out for Tennessee.
10)
Villanova (17-7); Vanderbilt (16-8); Kansas State (18-7); VCU (21-5)
*K-State’s 27-point loss at Kansas proves that, despite their impressive record, the Wildcats have work to do before joining the Big 12’s elite.
11)
Creighton (17-8); Gonzaga (18-8); Xavier (18-7); Maryland (18-7)
*Xavier gets the A-10 bid after destroying George Washington at GW. Maryland’s win over Duke keeps them in the field. However, I can’t see the ACC getting 8 teams in, and I think the Terps are the weakest of the group.
12)
Missouri State (19-7); Hofstra (19-7); Washington (16-8); Purdue (16-9)
*With the exception of Missouri State, I don’t feel good about giving any of these teams a bid. Hofstra lost to Drexel this past week. Washington picked up a good win against Stanford, but the Pac-10 is not getting 7 teams in (I don’t think). However, I will say that I am more impressed with the Pac-10 than any other conference this season. Purdue gets the last at-large bid. They’re one game under .500 in the Big 10, but they have more solid wins than the other Big 10 middle-of-the-packers. The Boilermakers have wins over Oklahoma, Virginia, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, and Michigan State. With their last 4 games of the season against Minnesota and Northwestern, look for the Boilermakers to rack up some late-season wins.
13)
Akron (18-5); Winthrop (21-4); Davidson (21-4); South Alabama (19-7)
*Well, Runs with Two Horses, you were right. South Alabama gets the nod over Western Kentucky after winning their most recent meeting. But give me some credit—the Hilltoppers had demolished South Alabama by 22 earlier in the season. We’ll find out who’s going to the dance in the Sun Belt Conference tourney. I would have trouble not giving Winthrop an at-large bid if they lost in their conference tournament.
14)
Long Beach State (17-6); Vermont (19-6); Oral Roberts (18-8); Holy Cross (19-7)
*The America East Conference tournament will be interesting if Vermont and Albany make it to the finals. Well, kind of interesting.
15)
Austin Peay (17-7); Marist (19-7); East Tennessee State (19-8); Texas A&M-Corpus Christie (18-5)
*Austin Peay may deserve to be seeded higher.
16)
Weber State (17-10); Central Connecticut State (15-10); Pennsylvania (14-8); Jackson State (14-11); Delaware State (13-11)
*In imaginary basketball news, Central Connecticut State got two more wins this past week.

In: BYU; Missouri State; Purdue; South Alabama; Washington; Xavier
Out: George Washington; Louisville; Michigan State; New Mexico State; Texas Tech; Western Kentucky

9 Comments:

Blogger Jesus' Son said...

I happened to catch the Central Connecticut game on ESPNU, it was a nail biter. They actually play on an all blue court.

I don't see how you can have 2 CAA teams 11 seeds or higher. VCU's loss to Old Dominion I think seals 1 conference bid that will be a 12 seed or lower. There really is no reason to include Hofstra.

I like you struggle to place either Arizona or Texas lower than a 7 seed. I think Arizona hit the bottom and can only get better, or they may just collapse.

I still don't understand Creighton. However, I'm glad you've seen only 1 Kentucky team will make the field of 65.

February 12, 2007 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Dr. Dunkinstein said...

Your Florida analysis is pretty good, but here's the Dr.'s diagnosis of Saturday night. While I was watching the game, I couldn't help but think "at least 4 of these gators should be playing in the NBA right now." However, out of Noah, Horford, Brewer and Green, I was the least impressed with Noah. Not because he's about 2 steps this side of being Clint Howard ugly, but because he just doesn't seem to have many skills besides face dunking (which this Dr. knows is a serious skill to have). He's a decent passer and high energy guy, but the biggest chink in his armor is that he's not a very smart defensive player. I thought Orbzut liked to pick up fouls like they were Eastern-European hookers, but Noah took himself out of the game Saturday night by making stupid fouls. With all that said, on Saturday night Rupp Arena was Corey Brewer's world, the rest of us were just living in it.

February 12, 2007 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Jumping Bull said...

In other news from Bizzaro-NBA world, Stephen Jackson testified in an Indianpolis courtroom today regarding his "run-in" with Deon Willford (pun intended) following an altercation outside an Indianapolis area Strip Club. Here's a few memorable quotes from ESPN.com's coverage of the trial:
[Mr. Willford shouted]"'Go ahead and dump, dump!' Where I'm from, 'dump' means pull out your gun and shoot." -Jackson on his provocation from Mr. Willford to fire shots into the air.
"Mr. Willford, in fear of his life, in fear of his cousin's life, does what the average reasonable person would have done." Jeffrey Mendez, Mr. Willford's attorney, explaining why his client drove his vehicle into Mr. Jackson.
Quick question Jeff - what kind of reasonable people are we talking about? Mike Tyson reasonable, or Randy Moss reasonable? I for one have never struck somebody on purpose with my car, but then again, I've never had a professional baksetball player fire shots at me outside a strip club...

February 12, 2007 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Leonard Peltier said...

Never had shots fired at you by a professional basketball player outside of a strip club? Jumping Bull, my friend, you haven't lived.

February 12, 2007 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

The SEC is a complete clusterfuck this year. Besides Florida, and then UK several feet behind, there are no teams that are playing really well. However, it's hard not to feel that Tennessee, Alabama, or Vanderbilt could beat some of the top teams on any given night. Tennessee should have beaten Ohio St. if they would have given Lofton the ball on the last play. Vanderbilt has some awful games, but they could have beat a lot of teams the night they beat Kentucky. Alabama has loads of talent, but I think early distractions have really hurt them in the long run. It's been a long and trying season for Alabama, and I still feel like they could make a run in the tournament. Side note, if for some crazy reason Duke does not make the tournament, I will be the happiest little boy on the block.

February 12, 2007 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...

I'm going to support the good Doctor. Brewer is a special player, and I think his skill set will transfer over really well in the NBA. I could see him becoming a Josh Howard type of guy who takes a few years to develop his offense, but then there will be a lot of teams feeling stupid for taking an 8 foot tall European guy who weighs 110 pounds ahead of Brewer in the draft. My wife also likes the fact that he looks like a skinny Tracy Morgan. That should at least get Cory some face time on www.nbadraft.net for looking like another celebrity.

As far as Noah goes, I think he'll make any team he plays on better, but he will never be a franchise player. I know his team defense looked bad on Saturday, but you have to remember how he completely took away the interior against everybody in the NCAA tournament last year. And those weren't all a bunch of Nancys. Mbah a Moute, Ryan Hollins, and our dear friend Leornard's buddy, Roy Hibbert, were all owned by Noah in the tournament. The best thing that could happen for him is if the Suns get to use the Hawks pick at number four or five in the draft and add Noah, who would be a perfect compliment to everything they do, and he wouldn't have to be a star.

Is Dunkenstein a Jewish name?

February 12, 2007 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Dr. Dunkinstein said...

In response to Runs' question: do my farts smell like vomit? Does Joakim Noah like punching cheerleaders? Does Thelonius regularly butcher the English language? Are all future decades destined to pale in comparison to the 1980's? Does a caged-bird sing? (these are not rhetorical questions - I really need answers from Mr. Two Horses)

February 12, 2007 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...

By the way, it's a little ridiculous for Jumping Bull to make everyone involved in that altercation sound stupid. Didn't you read the whole article? Stephen Jackson only fired his gun to try to break up the fight. What else was he supposed to do? His quick thinking probably saved someone from getting a black eye, or even worse, getting their jeans ripped on the pavement.

February 12, 2007 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...

Dr. D,

In Thelonius's defense, I thought he just wrote in Pig Latin. Is that not right?

Once my time machine is finished, you and I are going back to the 80's, or as I like to remember it, heaven.

Your friend,
Runs

February 12, 2007 at 5:06 PM  

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