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Who The Hell Is Number 1?

On the heels of Duke getting smushed by Miami, it seems nearly impossible to say who truly is number one this year. Usually by this point I'm on the verge of figuring out who I like this season, but this year I'm clueless. Everyone can look great and everyone can look like shit. Let's try and sort out the top of the College Basketball World.

The Candidates


Good wins: #2 Louisville on a neutral court, vs #4 Ohio State
Lost @ #20 NC State and @ #25 Miami
Remaining ranked games: vs #18 NC State and vs #25 Miami

Wow did the Blue Devils get smoked last night. Duke fans will chalk it up to a home team that hasn't been good in quite some time taking on a #1 Blue Devils team. That crowd had every reason to be fired up.

They have a chance to avenge both of their losses this year, and those are the last ranked games on their regular season schedule.

Mason Plumlee can be a man amongst boys at times but he will disappear and let the rest of the Blue Devils take jump shots. He shoots 57% he should be putting up over 20 points a game. They need to get him the ball when it counts if they want to have a chance to win this year.


Good wins: vs #18 NC St. and @ #9 Minnesota
Lost @ #15 Ohio State
Remaining ranked games: @ #7 Indiana, vs #14 Ohio State, @ #13 Michigan State, and vs #7 Indiana

They're currently up six with 12 minutes left in the 2nd half vs Purdue. They're on a bit of a run. They might just be the most fun team to watch in the nation. They're athletic, they can shoot, and they have two kids of former NBA stars. They haven't been truly tested just yet. That win @ Minnesota was a great one but their remaining schedule is brutal. Assuming they close out the week undefeated they will assume #1 in the nation. Can they hold on to that?

In order to succeed in the tourney they need to have stellar guard play. Great guard play goes a long ways in the NCAA tourney since not many teams have true big men. They have some of the best and should make a long run this year.


Good wins: @ #7 OSU, @ #11 Kansas St.
Lost vs #21 Michigan State

Remaining ranked games: vs #11 Kansas State

They have had a relatively easy schedule thus far. That has contributed to them only being ranked #3. Their only loss was early on, you would think they would be higher by now, especially with all the big losses lately.

They are playing well rounded ball right now centered around their great big man Jeff Withey. A defensive presence that is starting to hone his offensive game this year. If they can get some scoring out of him and consistant enough guard play they could be the team to beat.


Good wins: vs #20 San Diego St., @ #1 Louisville, vs #1 Cincinnati
Lost to Temple on a neutral site

Remaining ranked games: vs #24 ND and vs #5 Louisville

The Orange are rolling right now. They just won @ #1 Louisville and vs #21 Cincinnati their last two games. That being said their only other ranked win was the first game of the year. Relatively easy schedule if you ask me. That zone hasn't been tested thoroughly yet. I'm not sure they have the one guy they need to step up and take over a game.


Good wins: vs #5 Florida, vs #17 San Diego St.
Lost @ Oregon

Remaining ranked games: None

Here's an easy schedule for you. Nevertheless they have won the games on their schedule, Oregon aside. They deserve to be mentioned but I'm not sure how well they will fair in the long run. They have some great guards that can light it up but I don't think they are deep enough to survive the battle royale that March brings.


Good wins: vs #8 Minnesota
Lost @ Butler and vs Wisconsin
Remaining ranked games: vs #13 Michigan State, vs #2 Michigan, @ #14 Ohio State, @ #13 Michigan State, @ #12 Minnesota, vs #14 Ohio State, @ #2 Michigan

That's a doozy of a remaining schedule. I'm personally not sold on this Hoosiers team yet. I've felt as though they have been overrated from go, but this stretch will sure test them.

They need to rely heavily on Cody Zeller on the block and smart play by everyone else. They can't commit turnovers, they need to make the most of every possession. But they are capable of it. They play relatively disciplined basketball but with all those tough games ahead I'm curious to see if they can maintain it. It's safe to say after this stretch we will know how good this team really is.


Good wins: vs #22 Wisconsin, vs #17 Missouri
Lost @ #8 Arizona and vs Kansas State on a neutral site
Remaining ranked games: vs #23 Ole Miss and @ #22 Missouri

They have only lost to of the best teams in the country, but they haven't really beaten anybody either. They aren't a good rebounding team so they rely heavily on making possessions count. They get easy buckets and shoot a high field goal percentage but if you stack them up against a good defensive team it's going to be bombs away with a live or die three ball attitude.

The Rest

Kansas State
Michigan State
Ohio State

All of these teams are legit. Any one of them could make a run to the championship. That's 15 teams I think could actually win a title this year. On this list I have my eye on Minnesota. They play tough ball and they seem to love playing for Tubby Smith. Who has proven he's one of the best basketball coaches on the planet time and time again. They will be ready come tourney time.

As of now I will say that Duke, Michigan, Kansas and Minnesota are my Final Four. But who knows how the brackets will fall and how many more big losses and crazy games we will have. One thing is for sure, this years March Madness is going to be one for the ages.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

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