SportsNation Blog Archives Villanova Wildcats
Geno Auriemma's Connecticut team avoided the closest thing it has faced to an upset challenge in a long time Monday night at Oklahoma, but the Big East's best men's teams haven't been quite as adept at sidestepping that Acme anvil on the road to the NCAA tournament.
Auriemma's Connecticut counterpart, Jim Calhoun, was responsible for the latest when his team knocked off No. 3 Villanova. But how much does that win, along with Louisville's win at Syracuse and Rutgers' win at Georgetown (Pitt knocking off West Virginia seems like a mild upset at best on the former's home court) really change the landscape for the NCAA tournament?
We've already seen that most of the country thinks the Big East is the best conference in the land, and as much as we like to talk about Cinderella, 62 percent of SportsNation thinks finishing at .500 in the nation's best conference makes a team more deserving of the NCAA tournament than winning a mid-major crown.
How many more games do the Cardinals need to win to feel safe of garnering an at-large bid?
No worse than .500 in your remaining games, conference tournament included.
You still have SU as a 1 seed ...good but surprising. Why didn't they slide to a #2?
In terms of overall profile and level of play, my belief is the Committee would still slot Syracuse no worse than No. 4 (based on records to date, of course). Also, if the Louisville loss had occurred a month ago instead of a day, it probably wouldn't be a question. Full transcript
The Big east is the best conference. Nobody can dispute that. They are like the SEC in football. Every team is good and they just beat each other up throughout the conference season. I'm a Kentucky fan and I still think Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse are the best teams in the country. Sorry, Nova. You're close but not quite there yet. After Nova, its anybodys guess.” -- jay_bilastrator
What does college basketball need to do to get your attention? Hit you in the head with something? West Virginia's fans can take care of that (although as the Charleston (W.V) Daily Mail explains, they'll have to go to great lengths to get around the added security measures the school is implementing for Monday's showdown against Villanova).
But with a mere 56 days until some men's college basketball team celebrates like the Saints did Sunday night, it's most definitely time to throw yourself into the hoops scene. And despite Texas' best efforts to ruin a good thing, Monday's doubleheader on ESPN is a good place to start. Ranked No. 1 as recently as Jan. 18, Texas has lost four of six entering tonight's game at home against top-ranked Kansas. The opening act comes with Villanova traveling to meet West Virginia and its fans, just days after being routed at Georgetown.
Jay, you really think Kansas is better than Syracuse? They may look good on paper, but I think direct comparison (they have played three of the sames programs) has SU performing better against the same teams.
By a hair, yes. But, there is not a team out there that Syracuse cannot beat. And, I think that teams would have a big problem against the Syracuse zone. Kansas is the most efficient team at both ends. Remember, though, you are talking about my No. 1 and No. 2 teams, and I have said that no team is great. So, either of those teams can win this thing. It is a pretty close call, and reasonable minds can differ. Full transcript
A little tidbit for folks to chew on. WVU finished the St. John's game on a 47-15 run in the final 15:44. If that continues, the rest of the nation better beware. The Mountaineers have a lot of good shooters on the team. But they haven't been shooting well much this season. If this team's shooters follow Butler's lead and suddenly get hot, this could end up being a great year to be a WVU fan...” -- Bit_Cruncher
For any 'Nova fans making the trip, I hope you are treated well and can enjoy the atmosphere without fear of injury. Its sad that it has come to this, and WVU fans/students need to clean up their act regardless. The attention deserves to be on the court when these 2 great teams battle it out, not in the stands where people are acting like fools. I expect a close one and I think WVU/'Nova will split games this year with the home teams winning.” -- WVUeersfan09
Aldrich isn't going to be able to push Pittman around but we'll have to see how he handles himself tonight. He hasn't played as well during BigXII competiton. I think he'll get some good looks though because I could see KU doubling up on James while Marcus Morris on him and Cole sliding in to help.” -- RockChalk0001
Probably the matchup of the year down low.. Aldrich vs. Pittman.. Will get really physical.. Hate to say it but the only way Texas wins this is if Pittman destroys Aldrich on the glass (which won't happen) or Damien James erupts” -- Cubs0810O
So about us suggesting yesterday that South Carolina had no chance to beat Kentucky? Oops. Clearly, we should have listened to our old friend Vizzini's advice that you never go up against Devan Downey when an upset of No. 1 is on the line. And anyway, if you want analysis, you go to Andy Katz, Dana O'Neil and Pat Forde. We're just here for our looks.
Kentucky's stunning loss at the hands of the Gamecocks has thrown the race for No. 1 wide open (again). But does it really matter? If this was football, Kansas and Kentucky might be sweating a bit. And Texas could go ahead and book rooms for the Cotton Bowl at this point. Yet through the miracle of a playoff system, they're all still prime championship contenders.
In fact, wherever the two teams end up ranked in next week's polls, are the Jayhawks and Wildcats still the best championship bets out there?
Is Eric Bledsoe a legitimate one and done player?
Can he go after this season? Yes. There is a need for more point guards. Should he go? No. He could use another season and would be the star attraction next season assuming John Wall, Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins bolt, too. Of course Kentucky won't be as talented. But Bledsoe still needs to work on his decision-making and distributing. He can shoot and has the natural speed and lateral quickness down. If Kentucky wins the title, though, I fully expect a mad dash to the draft.
Noah R (Miami,Fl)
Andy what are your thoughts on who takes over the number 1 spot if/when Kentucky loses? Seeing Cuse is ranked number 1 in the RPI and top ten sos and has been very impressive do they get the nod over Kansas and Villanova?
Syracuse would definitely get the nod over Villanova but the debate with Kansas would be interesting to do. Full Tuesday transcript
Forget about which team is No. 1; there's not much point arguing that unless unbeaten Kentucky stumbles (and don't count on a trip to South Carolina tonight to do it). The interesting race of the moment is one right out of Joe Lunardi's syllabus. Namely, which teams are on track for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament?
Syracuse staked its claim with a convincing win against Georgetown Monday night, but the fourth-ranked Orange aren't even the Big East's top representatives in the polls. That honor goes instead to No. 3 Villanova, one of four Big East teams ranked in the top 10.
That's good conference prestige -- it might even mean the Big East is better in basketball than the SEC is in football. But could it be bad for Bracketology if Big East heavyweights beat up on each other while teams like Michigan State, Texas and Duke make light work of easier schedules?
By the Numbers (D.C.)
Joe - How is UK the #1 seed overall? Yes, they're undefeated; But I'm a numbers guy -- and I thought you were too. When you look at the numbers (other than win %), there's just no way UK beats out Kansas or Syracuse for the top spot. Check it out: Inside RPI - Syracuse #1; Kansas #2; Kentucky #7SOS - Syracuse #1; Kansas #14; Kentucky #117Top 50 - Syracuse 4-1; Kansas 5-1; Kentucky 2-0Computer ratings also have Syracuse and Kansas at the top, and Kentucky barely scratching the top 10. What gives?
Like it or not, the polls have mattered when it comes to the very top seeds. If the season ended today, there's no doubt in my mind the Committee would install Kentucky as No. 1 overall. And it's my job to replicate what they're going to do.
Ryan (New York, NY)
Assuming both teams maintain themselves over the rest of the Big East, is there any chance that the looser of the Nova vs 'Cuse game could still get a number one seed?
After the Big East got three No. 1 seeds last year, we no better than to disregard any such possibility. Full transcript
It's not a list that Reggie Theus or anyone who gets the coaching gig at USC will have to worry about for the forseeable future, but Andy Katz is talking top 25 in college hoops.
Now that the early-entry candidates for next week's NBA draft are locked in place, Katz has surveyed the landscape and installed Kansas as his team to beat. Here's his top 10, complete with significant representation for the recently beleaguered SEC.
Andy Katz's Top 10
1. Kansas (SN fan group: Rock Chalk Jayhawk)
2. Michigan State (SN fan group: Michigan State Basketball)
3. Texas (SN fan group: Big 12 Twelve Group)
4. Villanova (SN fan group: Villanova Wildcats!)
5. North Carolina (SN fan group: Tar Heel Basketball)
6. Purdue (SN fan group: United States of Boilermakers)
7. Kentucky (SN fan group: Kentucky Basketball Fans)
8. Tennessee (SN fan group: 100% SEC)
9. West Virginia (SN fan group: Mountaineer Nation)
10. Duke (SN fan group: ACC Sports)
Not bad, but I would make a few adjustments. I think that Kansas is where it should be, maybe move UNC up a spot, and put UK in top 5, even though they are young. I would have Louisville in the top 25 as well, and possibly Mizzou. The SEC looks to be a good conference this year.” -- bluerupp
I agree with the top 5 on the listing. You can take a blanket and throw it over the group and any of them could win the title. If all teams are healthy come tourney time (not likely), Kansas will have the most talent and depth to win. Adding the Henry brothers to the other recruits means that they will be far deeper at key positions (center and forward) than last year. Also, playing 4 frosh significant minutes means they grew up last year and should be readier for the rigors of major conference basketball.” -- tcco007