Well, the 2009-2010 college basketball season is now underway. Some teams ranked in pre-season Top 25 polls have struggled, some have already suffered a loss and some have looked down right scary good. Many of the teams in the Top 25 polls are regulars, while some are newbies and still others are used to be's who have re-surfaced once again. Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut, Louisville, Michigan State and Texas are just some of the schools who are returning to the polls as they have always done. Some of the newbies (meaning either never having a Top 25 ranking or seldom having) include Dayton and in some polls Siena. Kentucky is a school who once was, and is back again.
With all that said, I predict that this year, the polls will change more than anytime in recent history. I see several schools jostling back and forth at the top and I see parity and parody at the same time. Parity can be seen with Butler, Dayton and Siena becoming more than just annoying mid-major schools who scare a few teams during tournament time. Parity could also be seen with the near misses between Memphis and Kansas this week as well as between Gonzaga and Michigan State, at Michigan State. At this point in the season there really isn't a standout number 1 or even 2, 3, or 4 team. You can mix and match the top 10 teams all day long and at one point or another in the season, you'll be correct in your picks. Parody will be seen through the likes of Clemson (who will go 15-0 and then crash land, as usual) and through California and Washington who will represent the Pac-10 as Arizona did last year in the NCAA tournament, ouch.
Here are my picks to watch for this season. Watch out for Tennessee. This team is loaded with seasoned vets and talent and Pearl is due a long ride in the tournament. Watch out for Kentucky. They are green as green can be right now and they will lose some games, but Wall is the real deal as is Cousins. These guys, as bad as it pains me to say it, will be hard to handle in March. Watch out for UConn. Hey, its Jim Calhoun, the guy can coach. Finally, watch out for my own beloved Louisville Cardinals. They are young, and like Kentucky, they will lose some games, but its Rick Pitino and he has the talent.
Here are my picks to falter when it counts. Don't buy stock in Texas. Yes, they're talented, but they never seem to be able to perform when it counts. Don't buy stock in Duke. They are much like Notre Dame football.....riding the polls on reputation of years gone by. Sure, they'll win a lot of games, but they're not a top team. Don't buy stock in Purdue. If they suffer from the injury bug again this year, they're done. They have no depth.
Everyone else is a crap shoot, in my opinion. Some will rise to the top, while others fall to the depths. Whatever happens, it'll be fun to here Jim Nance roll us into the 2010 NCAA tournament!
Posted on: November 19, 2009 11:51 am