Saturday, October 29, 2005

Preseason College Basketball Poll Analysis

On Friday, the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 college basketball coaches’ poll was released.  Here are some thoughts on each of the top 10 teams.


10.  Kentucky:  Wildcat supporters are antsy to reach their first Final Four since 1998.  Way back when Ashley Judd wasn’t known solely as “the hottie Kentucky fan.”

9.  Arizona:  Wildcats, part 2.  The nation’s longest current NCAA tournament streak (21 seasons) is safe.  Then again, you’d think the same about a 15–point lead with four minutes remaining.

8.  Louisville:  One of the new members of the expanded Big East.  Unconfirmed reports claim that authorities have located a man who can name every member of the conference.

7.  Gonzaga:  Has become the latter-day UNLV: a fixture in the rankings from a mid-major conference.  Just without the hot tub scandals.  And “Viva Spokane!” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

6.  Oklahoma:  The pollsters don’t actually know if the Sooners are this good.  They were just shocked to see OU out of the top 10 in football and did their part to compensate.

5.  Michigan State:  Avid college hoops fans know that the Spartans have been to four Final Fours in seven years.  Otherwise, most people outside of Michigan think that Izzo was Stockard Channing’s character in “Grease.”

4.  Villanova:  The Wildcats (does everyone in this poll have that nickname?) are in the unusual position of facing heavy expectations.  Fortunately, Philly sports fans don’t put much pressure on the local teams.

3.  Texas:  I can’t understand the fuss about the USC-Texas debate.  The Trojans were last in the Pac-10 last year.

2.  Connecticut:  You thought I’d take the lazy route and just write UConn, didn’t you?  Anyway, the backcourt leads the nation in steals, spending more time IN court than on the court.

1.  Duke:  Finally, some long-overdue recognition for the plucky upstarts from Durham.  I was wondering when they’d actually get some media attention.  Dick Vitale cannot continue to ignore this team and its low-profile coach.


The defending champs are conspicuous by their absence.  Somehow the one point and four rebounds contributed by UNC’s returnees in the national title game failed to sway the voters.  So who will emerge victorious in Indianapolis?  How should I know – am I supposed to see the future?  If I could, wouldn’t I have made millions from gambling by now?  I’ll just have to wait and see like everyone else.