Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Four Corners

Here are my hoop feelings this morning.

- There is no team that is playing better than Texas right now. They are playing great defense and extremely efficient on offense. After a shaky start, they are now showing my some picked them to win a national title.
- Michigan State is starting to turn the corner now. Yes, they are ranked #11 in the country, but they were really struggling on defense, a rarity for Tom Izzo teams. They turned a close game at home versus Indiana into a blowout buy holding them to 34 points in the second half. Then they go on the road and play a very tough underrated Ohio state and hold them to 59 points and beat them. Now, they have a string of 4-5 winnable games that should get them back on track and in the top 5 again. They returned 4 starters from last year’s final four team and will shortly be another threat to return.
- LSU is the best team with 5 losses. Their losses include a one point loss at UConn, a 2 point loss at Ohio State, a 3 point loss at Cincinnati and a 4 point loss at home to Northern Iowa. They boast wins at West Virginia, at Arkansas and Tennessee.
- The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) is the most underrated conference. They represent 4 of the top 10 Mid Major teams in the top 25 ( Northern Iowa returns all five players from last years team, as well as All American candidate Ben Jacobson. They will probably get 2 invitations, maybe 3, which is a shame, as there will be some good teams from this conference left out.
- Speaking of mid majors, these teams will ruin somebody’s March in the first couple of rounds (provided they make the tournament); Northern Iowa, Winthrop, George Mason, Bucknell, and Akron.
- Washington really impressed me in sweeping the LA schools last week, and put themselves right back in the hunt for the Pac 10 title.
- Why are Boston College and Oklahoma ranked in the coaches top 25 poll? Louisville will soon join them on the outside.
- I don’t buy into Florida as a #2 team in the country. Yes, they are undefeated, but their biggest wins are 5 point victories at Wake Forest, who is having a down year and at home to Syracuse. The teams in the SEC, aside from LSU, don’t scare me either. There is really no team getting in the way of Florida. They will likely lose 2 random games along the way, win their conference, and end up with a number one seed. All of this, and they still won’t be tested. They are a young team, and I smell a first round exit.

Money’s trip to the Bank: (Money's Cash cow to date -8 wins, 2 losses)
TENNESSEE +10.5 at Memphis (winner)
Two very good teams playing well now. One, Tennessee, coming off a loss, and the other, Memphis possibly wearing down after a brutal non-conference schedule. Too many points to give the Volunteers. Back Tennessee.
UAB -6.5 at rice (winner)
UAB is one of the best teams in the country that nobody talks about. They will destroy Rice.


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