Can we just fast-forward to March?
I know how a hamster feels. We have come to that time of the season, the February blahs (and I was born in this month, so I can make the claim). No real holidays to speak of, spring and warm weather still in the distance, the madness tantalizingly close yet oh so far away. And folks like me, relegated to the monotony of the treadmill. Running far, getting nowhere.
I don't know why hamsters just don't get off the wheel and sit down. I mean, do they care if they're fat?
Anyway, as for basketball, here's what I know, what I think I know and what I don't know.
Five things I know
1. Who the college basketball heroes are.
There was less of a consensus on the game's good guys than the villains, which I suppose is a good thing.
We all need more heroes, right?
Kansas' Thomas Robinson, whose hardships a year ago tugged hard at college basketball's heartstrings, earned the most votes -- even some surprising ones. "Thomas Robinson on KU and I'm a #KState fan,'' @patronut0709 wrote on Twitter.
After that it was a smorgasbord of coaches and players, past and present. Those who received multiple votes: Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, Gerry McNamara, Skip Prosser, John Wooden, Jimmer Fredette and Dean Smith.
A few that I found especially enjoyable:
-- A nod to practice players and walk-ons.
-- The Unforgettables, Kentucky's 1991-92 team, the group that resurrected the Wildcats out of NCAA scandal.
-- Minnesota's Paul Carter, and all players who transfer to be near ailing family members.
And one who I'll selfishly add to the list, Tanner Smith. The Clemson senior started Tanner's Totes when he was a middle schooler, delivering goodie bags to kids in long-term hospital care.
Read more about Tanner here.
2. Connecticut needs to take its academic medicine.
Facing a ban from the NCAA tournament next season because of its APR, the university has concocted a multi-step pitch for the NCAA, hoping that self-induced penalties will allow the Huskies in the field next year.
I know this: If the NCAA accepts UConn's pitch it can never again say the words academics and athletics in the same breath.
Plenty of schools have suffered the sting of an insufficient APR. Except we haven't heard about most of them because they are off in the MEAC or the SWAC, not the defending national champions.
It would be completely unfair and frankly shameful for the NCAA to offer a reprieve to UConn when it never gave other schools a chance.
The APR wasn't just sprung on UConn. The school, like its counterparts, has known for years what the requirements were, so retroactively offering to get its academic house together shouldn't alleviate a punishment for earlier disorder.
3. Memphis to the Big East is good and bad.
And that's for all parties involved.
The Big East, which had barely been able to lay down a bunt with its conference additions, at least belted a solid double off the wall with this one. Finally the league based on basketball added a program that boosts its basketball membership.
Of course in the world where you can't have it all -- unless you're the SEC -- the conference added one of the most underachieving football teams in the country.
As for Memphis, this will only raise the profile of an already high-profile team. Memphis leaves the hinterlands for the spotlight and a program that always has been able to attract good players will have even more to offer recruits.
Here's the other side of the coin: Memphis fans will have to temper their expectations a little bit. This is a fan base accustomed to sashaying through Conference USA. There is no sashaying in the Big East. It's more of a slam dance.
Memphis is joining the league during a power shift. Exchanging Pitt, West Virginia and Syracuse for SMU, Houston and South Florida isn't exactly a fair trade but there will still be plenty of powerbrokers left for the Tigers to contend with.
4. Bad hair.
As a woman who has endured her fair share of bad hair days (let's just say I went to college in the late '80s and leave it at that) I can appreciate a person's follicle follies.
The entertaining blog, Ballin' Is A Habit, recently unveiled its annual look at the game's best hairdos.
It is, um, hair-raising to say the least.
I will issue this warning to all on the list: In 15 years, you'll look back and think, "What was I thinking?" Trust me.
5. Kentucky is scary.
And it's not just because of Anthony Davis who is, ahem, raising eyebrows.
I'm always slightly confused when I watch the ticker and see women's basketball scores. Two top-10 teams will play one another, and one will win by 30. How can that happen?
Now I know, after watching the Wildcats manhandle Florida on Tuesday night.
The first word that came to mind: Lordy.
Heaven knows it is not easy for an opposing team to win at Rupp Arena, but should it be that easy for the home team to win?
I'm anxious to see how the Wildcats do when they take their show on the road this month, but right now Kentucky is a horror show for the SEC.
Five things I think I know
1. John Thompson III is underrated.
I say I think I know that because I do realize that the Georgetown coach has gotten his due on occasion, but I'm not sure it's quite enough.
The antithesis of his firebrand father, JT3 is creating the same results in Washington, D.C.: consistent success. I've known Thompson for years, dating back to his assistant days on the Princeton bench. He's a great mind, basketball or otherwise, who can be a tough nut to crack in an interview but who also is as dialed in to his team and the game as anyone.
Georgetown has come from nowhere this season, taking what was supposed to be a do-over season and turning it into yet another very good one.
The Hoyas' tough loss at Syracuse on Wednesday night turned a lot of heads to just how good Georgetown is.
The same is true for the coach.
2. This could be the last great rivalry week.
As colleges continue to shuffle their lineups -- I believe my kids' middle school also has joined the Big East, bringing the membership to 25 -- the collateral damage collects.
College basketball fans have been treated to one of the best weeks of the season -- rivalry week. The games were hardly a disappointment -- well, unless you're a Baylor fan.
And yet one by one they are disappearing. Kansas has dug in its heels and said it will not play Missouri once the Tigers depart for the SEC. Texas already has pulled the plug on future games with A&M and Texas Tech has jumped on board against the Aggies, too.
What will happen with Syracuse and Georgetown, West Virginia and Pitt, remains to be seen but Hoya coach John Thompson III didn't sound optimistic.
"Everything changes,'' he told ESPN's Andy Katz about the longtime feud with the Orange. "Right now, this falls into the category of what you would consider out-of-conference scheduling. It's there with the SEC-Big East Challenge. It is year to year. We'll see. There are a lot of hurdles and factors as to whether we play the game or not.''
The logistical snafus are fair; the hurt feelings are understandable.
Sadly it's the fans who will suffer.
3. The Palestra could be all that stands in the way of Harvard and the NCAA tourney.
I'm sure Crimson fans are cringing right now, remembering how Harvard let its own fate slip through its grasp at the end of last season.
And yes, history could cruelly repeat itself.
But really, it all comes down to the Palestra, and here's why. The only two teams that pose a real threat to Harvard and the automatic bid are Penn and Yale, each with just one loss in the Ivy League.
If the Crimson can get past the Quakers on Friday night -- no easy task as Jerome Allen has restored order at Penn -- there are just three more road games between it and that elusive NCAA berth. Harvard is at Princeton on Saturday night and will travel to Columbia and Cornell. The Crimson would be favored to win all three.
Equally important, Yale and Penn will meet in the final game of the regular season.
At the Palestra.
4. Jeff Reynolds must have been the toughest coach in the country.
Shoot, maybe ever.
Air Force fired Reynolds after five seasons, with athletic director Hans Mueh offering a blistering -- and refreshingly honest -- reason for his decision.
"I couldn't care less if they win another game,'' Mueh said. "I care a lot about their atmosphere and attitude out on the floor. I want them to jump up and high-five each other. I want them to smile when they're playing.''
I've never met Reynolds before but if a coach is too tough at the Air Force Academy, where rigorous discipline is doled out regularly, he must be off the charts.
5. Sometimes people know better.
Computers crunch numbers and spit out data.
People watch games.
Which is why sometimes you've got rely on your eyeballs.
Case in point: Wisconsin is currently eighth in the Sagarin Ratings and fourth in Ken Pomeroy's standings.
The human voters, meantime, have the Badgers at No. 22, and rightly so. Wisconsin is good but has six losses, including that bad home upset at the hands of Iowa.
Five things I don't know
1. If Creighton is losing it.
I've been as high on the Bluejays as anyone, but after a disconcerting week -- and Wichita State looming on Saturday -- it's hard not to wonder if Creighton is dipping at exactly the wrong time.
The Bluejays lost their past two games, both on the road -- at Northern Iowa and at Evansville. Doug McDermott has done everything for Creighton this year, but he's also putting in a lot of time. He played 36 minutes against the Panthers, this despite four fouls, and 33 more against Evansville three nights later.
A top-25 darling all season, the Bluejays aren't in danger of slipping onto the bubble yet but certainly this isn't the way anyone wants to point toward March.
2. Who the ACC player of the year is.
After watching Zeller against Duke, it's hard not to give the North Carolina senior serious thought. He's tough, smart and heady.
But he's also on an all-star roster, which opens things up.
Conversely, Scott is the star for Virginia, the big reason that the Cavaliers are back in the top 25. He averages 17 and 8.3 for Tony Bennett.
He's equally smart, equally dominant but he has to be on every night for Virginia to succeed.
Good news: You can't go wrong with either.
3. If I can trust a few teams.
It is that time of year when you start thinking about your future bracket and who you have faith to pencil forward.
There are a few teams that gave me serious pause this week.
I was all ready to go all in with Florida State, convinced that perhaps this was the season someone else claimed an ACC crown.
And then the Seminoles allowed Boston College to drain eight 3-pointers early and pull off the upset.
I was a believer in Baylor despite claims that the Bears were soft. Then Baylor practically laid down for Kansas.
I though Pitt really had turned it around and would mount a serious late charge in the Big East. And the Panthers lost to South Florida.
4. If Jared Sullinger will survive the season.
The Ohio State big man has more bruises than a Buckeye linebacker.
Against Purdue on Tuesday night, Sullinger took a shot beneath the belt and later left the court with a bloody nose.
Mix that with back problems and hip pain and you could understand why Thad Matta might want to put Sullinger in bubble wrap.
Sullinger's health and well being are beyond critical to Ohio State. Perhaps no top-10 team would fall off the deep end with the loss of one player more than the Buckeyes sans Sully.
5. Where to go in Columbia, Mo.
I'll be making my first visit to the Missouri campus this weekend to watch the Tigers face Baylor.
I've been given a few tips from some esteemed J-school grads but I'll welcome more, including any outside the box.
And if we can order up another great game and great atmosphere like the Border War, I'll take that, too.
Send suggestions to @dgoneil1.
Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Dana on Twitter: @dgoneil1.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Report: Coach K considering Team USA return
- Washington's Wilcox undergoes foot surgery
- Ex-coach Alford, New Mexico agree on buyout
- Kansas St. adds former Hoyas forward Bolden