Going into this weekend, most college hoops team are about halfway through their conference schedules. Various sites are beginning to post early drafts of the NCAA tournament brackets, which of course will be changing on a weekly basis. Most hoops fanatics really begin digging in their heels right now as games become more important, especially for teams that haven’t performed as expected and others that may be slumping lately … both are fearful of being on the wrong side of the proverbial bubble. So as Wally takes a look at the hoops landscape, there are questions that need answers … or at least speculative answers from those of you on our panel of experts:
1) Is Wisconsin a legitimate contender for a #1 seed? How do they do it? I know they’ve got Tucker, but they also got 4 ____ ________. And why are they ranked behind Ohio St, who they’ve beaten?
2) Is the hype surrounding Ohio St a bit overblown? Sure they’ve got a GREAT freshman class with Oden, etc, but they were beaten handily by No. Carolina and Florida. Just don’t see them as a #1 seed yet, but let’s see how they do in their next game vs the Badgers.
3) At least Duke’s Womens team is really good. Thank God they beat UNC the day after the Duke Men lost to UNC, or else the Dukies would all be visiting shrinks right now. Seriously, are the Duke Blue Devils merely going through a slump with 3 L’s in a row, or are they just an average team this year?
4) It appears we have the makings of a real “Hoosiers” cinderella story again this year. Can the Butler Bulldogs make it all the way to the Elite 8 or better? Why or why not?
5) Has anyone seen Air Force play? Are they legit? I think it’s simply amazing that they are in the Top 15.
6) Any reason why Florida won’t win it all again this year? Which team is most capable of unseating them?
7) Which of the conferences appears strongest so far this season? Seems the Pac 10 has the most depth.
8) Why can’t Notre Dame be at least as consistently good as Marquette is? Is it coaching or talent? Both? Another frustrating close loss by the Irish to DePaul last night. Won’t be surprised if ND bubbles themselves out of the tournament again. 6 losses and counting … they have not been a very good homestretch team.
9) Who’s your surprise team that will appear in the Final 4 this year … ala George Mason?
10) Who’s gonna win the Naismith Player of the Year award?