Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.
1. Texas A&M has won 10 straight. For those who haven't been paying attention, what makes the Aggies so tough to beat?
Andy Katz: The Aggies have tremendous depth and length, and they play with a tough mind-set. I was sold in the Bahamas, watching this squad come back in waves. They have an experienced point guard in Anthony Collins. Alex Caruso's toughness is an X factor, and the bigs give this team versatility that is tough to match.
Jeff Goodman: I'll go with talent. Isn't that usually what makes a team tough to beat? Billy Kennedy has a couple of guys who can handle the ball. He's got a nice blend of experienced guys with some quality freshmen. But ultimately it comes down to talent -- and there's no shortage of it on the roster.
John Gasaway: Defense. The Aggies are No. 1 with a bullet in terms of points allowed per possession in SEC play, and Billy Kennedy's guys (Caruso in particular) really pressure opposing offenses into committing turnovers. One other underrated factor: A&M records all those takeaways without fouling much.
2. Louisville has just three losses. Should the Cardinals be ranked higher than No. 16?
Katz: Not yet. The Cardinals have looked the part but haven't played a strong slate. Rick Pitino didn't know exactly what he had this season. So no one should be surprised that he softened it up a bit. We'll learn a lot more about the Cardinals in the coming weeks.
Goodman: Nope. I shouldn't be saying this because I'm heading to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby in May (with my wife), but who have the Cardinals beaten? I know they have lost to some good teams, but Louisville should be fortunate to be No. 16 with the team's best win -- and only likely victory against an NCAA tournament at-large team -- coming at home against Pittsburgh.
Gasaway: A bit higher, yes, and the Cardinals can support that case with a win at Virginia Tech on Wednesday. We rank teams highly that "haven't played anybody" all the time as long as they keep that number in the loss column low, so I'm not sure this case is really such a stretch. Also note that Louisville's ACC schedule thus far has been comparable to North Carolina's, and no one (quite rightly) is doubting the Heels.
3. Kentucky's Alex Poythress scored 16 points against Vanderbilt after getting benched. Was that the jolt the senior forward needed?
Katz: Sure. But Poythress has had moments this season. Consistency could still be hard to come by for a player who missed most of the previous season to injury. But getting that kind of production -- especially when the Wildcats go on the road -- could be a difference maker for this team.
Goodman: I hope so, but I've seen way too much of Poythress to believe he is going to be consistent now. He's a terrific kid, often too nice of a kid -- and often it shows with his play.
Gasaway: No, that would be too conventional and we're talking about one of the most singular and, yes, baffling players I've ever come across. Whether because of his abilities, teammates, John Calipari's preferences or all of the above, Poythress has never maintained a consistent featured role in the UK offense.