Blog Entry

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

Posted on: February 17, 2009 8:08 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2009 1:19 am
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What do us bracketologists/college basketball experts/sports fanatics in general do in our spare time? Stuff like this. Here's 10 storylines to watch for during the rest of the college basketball regular season (which for the purpose of this includes conference tournaments):

1) Who will finish the season #1? Connecticut lost last night and since the new polls come out on Mondays nobody has been able to claim the new top spot so far. Oklahoma and Pittsburgh appear to be the leading candidates, along with preseason favorite North Carolina.

2) Which team will be the NCAA Tournament's #1 overall seed? And yes, for those that don't know this is very different than question #1. Just because a team is #1 in the polls it does not mean that same team will be the #1 team in the NCAA Tournament field.

3) Stephen Curry's health is very important for Davidson. He appears to be healing rather quickly and this may soon become a non story. Right now it is because without Curry the Wildcats could easily miss the NCAA Tournament altogether, and that means one of college basketball's stars wouldn't get to shine on ths stage he dominated last season.

4) Will Kentucky make the NCAA Tournament? I won't ask this question about many single teams during this 10 storyline article but Kentucky IS KENTUCKY. Right now the Wildcats are in the midst of a huge three way logjam at the top of the SEC East standings.

5) And how about Arizona? The Wildcats are trying to keep their 25 year NCAA Tournament streak going. Currently the Wildcats are on an incredible seven game winnning streak.

6) This year's Cinderella team during conference tournaments will be _________. I leave it blank because I don't know. Last year Illinois (who eventually lost) and Georgia (who won the SEC) were among the Cinderellas that made huge runs to try to steal automatic bids.

7) Georgetown & Notre Dame, will either make the Big Dance? Maybe both? More than likely one will but at this point it appears neither would if the season ended today. That's incredible for two teams that were sure top 20 teams before the season.

8) How will Jerome Dyson's absense affect Connecticut's national champioship hopes?

9) Which player will win player of the year? At this point Oklahomla's Blake Griffin is the leading candidate but Hasheem Thabeet, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Tyler Hansbrough are among others that will receive votes.

10A) Which team will be the most deserving of an at large bid but get left out? Every year it seems at least one or two quality teams get left out when they should probably be in the field.

10B) Can Memphis finish off another undefeated season in Conference USA?

10C) There are lots of other storylines but these were the first few that popped in my head. More later!

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Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 1:36 pm
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

3) Stephen Curry's health is very important for Davidson. He appears to be healing rather quickly and this may soon become a non story. Right now it is because without Curry the Wildcats could easily miss the NCAA Tournament altogether, and that means one of college basketball's stars wouldn't get to shine on ths stage he dominated last season.

I'll be honest: even with Stephen Curry, if the bracket was out today, I wouldn't have Davidson winning its round one matchup. Nothing against them, or anybody for that matter, but with all the coverage they'll have on them following last year's run, I believe they will not be able to handle the pressure of an encore this year. They may win one game, but no magic this year in my opinion if they are lucky enough to make it.

10A) Which team will be the most deserving of an at large bid but get left out? Every year it seems at least one or two quality teams get left out when they should probably be in the field.

Kinda funny, but usually when a team gets left out of the field and they feel very passionately that they got left out unjustly, they either make a huge run in the NIT to prove the committee wrong or fall in round one of the NIT because they feel so dejected about being left out they don't see the point in competing in the NIT. That's a story I look forward to because I go to the NIT Final every year and find it interesting which teams are in it. Just some thoughts of my own.




Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 12:38 pm
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

Is there a team outside of the 4 #1's (OU, UCONN, PITT, UNC) that has a REAL shot at winning it ALL??? LVille, MSU, and Wake all have the talent to win the championship. The question is can they play effectively as a unit for 6 straight games against good competition.




Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 12:23 pm
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

#6(conference tourney cinderella): I'm thinkin Stanford, Washington State have a great chance in the Pac-10. In the Big Ten, Northwestern has played a couple of good Big-10 teams to the wire, if they click at the right time they could find their first ever NCAA tourney berth. In the Big 12 you gotta go with Ok St and Baylor because they have the talent. Texas Tech and A&M have also shown they can put together impressive games, but they don't have the talent to beat OU, a healthy Texas, or probably even Kansas. I don't believe there will be one in the Big East or ACC. In the SEC it's wide open, kind of, so really wouldn't be much of a surprise if a bottom half team won the tourney.

#10B: earlier in the year, you would've thought it was possible for Memphis to get beat a couple teams in the C-USA, but Memphis keeps getting better, so Yes: they'll go undefeated in conference.




Since: Jul 2, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 10:26 am
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

The storyline I will be following, and maybe this will be my mailbag question to you for the rest of the year, dantheman:

Is there a team outside of the 4 #1's (OU, UCONN, PITT, UNC)  that has a REAL shot at winning it ALL???  I say no, for now...

Memphis??  Myehh! 

Duke??  Come on!! 

Louisville, Mich St., Wake??  A sleeper like Gonz....ehh forget it!!

What say you, dan? 

 




Since: Nov 13, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 1:36 am
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

I don't even think Tyler should really be in the dioscussions and after seing what blair did to him neither should Thabeet.

 

I would have it between Harden, Blair, and Griffen.

 

ALSO COME ON THE MWC IS FUN. As for a team stealing a conference title, do not put it past texas A & M or Oklahoma State those have very talented wingman that are streaky but when they are on they are on (Anderson and Carter),




Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 12:51 am
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

Griffin, but two omissions from your list in my mind are Ty Lawson and DeJuan Blair. How can include Thabeet but not BlairBlair who averages more points than Thabeet, more rebounds than Thabeet, leads the nation in offensive boards, leads his team in steals, and just wiped the floor with Thabeet head-to-head? I don't think Blair is the guy, but neither is Thabeet (though both are excellent college players and should be in the mix for BE POY and on the all-BE first team).

I completely agree with everything you said right there. Lawson is certainly a top 5 player and Blair deserves more attention that he gets. The only reason I didn't include him is because he's not a name I have heard anyone mention for some reason, and I was just naming the leading candidates. He should be among them though.

Pittbaster thanks for taking the time to read all of this. This was the most interesting of all:

Would Notre Dame's needed run through Syracuse put them in jeopardy? How the heck would the selection committe clean up that mess if both the Irish and the Hoyas make deep runs? That would leave 11 teams with legit cases (Connecticut, Pitt, Marquette, Louisville, Villanova, Providence, Syracuse, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Georgetown) but there's no way that many at large spots would be available. 

I have absolutely no idea what would happen. I hope it happens though just so we can see what will take place.




Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2009 11:18 pm
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

I guess they were storylines, not questions per se, but I just happened to have 2 cents to put in on (almost) all of them.




Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2009 11:17 pm
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

6.  You know who I like here?  Wisconsin.  They're a quality team with a great coach who will be sitting on the bubble when they throw the ball up at the Big Ten tourney, and that makes them very, very dangerous.

7. I don't know if either of these teams makes it or not, but I almost guarantee 8 from the Big East.  It just depends on if Cincinnati or Providence drops enough to let one of them sneak into the top 8, or if Georgetown or ND makes a deep enough run in the Big East tournament to get in.  Here's a wild scenario for you:

Right now Georgetown is the 12 seed in the BE tournament.  If it ended today, they'd play USF (a win), Villanova (a team they could upset), Louisville (tough, but possible), then probably Marquette (also beatable for the Hoyas).  Not that those are bad teams, or that GTN is better, but that's a run where they could do some damage.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame enters as the 10 seed today.  They'd have Rutgers, Syracuse, Pittsburgh...probably could win 2 of them.

Then, the 8-9 game in the second round (WVU would beat DePaul) would be Cincy WVU...would the loser land on the wrong side of the bubble?

Providence would enter as the 6 seed, probably beat the winner of St. John's-Seton Hall but lose to Marquette...does that get them in?

Would Notre Dame's needed run through Syracuse put them in jeopardy?  How the heck would the selection committe clean up that mess if both the Irish and the Hoyas make deep runs?  That would leave 11 teams with legit cases (Connecticut, Pitt, Marquette, Louisville, Villanova, Providence, Syracuse, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Georgetown) but there's no way that many at large spots would be available. 

8. I don't think the huskies can win the title without him.  There, I said it.  They are still very good, but not national title good.

9. Griffin, but two omissions from your list in my mind are Ty Lawson and DeJuan Blair.  How can include Thabeet but not BlairBlair who averages more points than Thabeet, more rebounds than Thabeet, leads the nation in offensive boards, leads his team in steals, and just wiped the floor with Thabeet head-to-head?  I don't think Blair is the guy, but neither is Thabeet (though both are excellent college players and should be in the mix for BE POY and on the all-BE first team).

10A. Absolutely no idea.

10B. yes (lol)




Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2009 11:00 pm
 

10 Storylines for the rest of the regular season

Thanks for providing content that isn't about trolls and isn't about the one big game so far this week (been a slow basketball week outside of that game, so I understand the coverage, but even as a Pitt fan I want to move on).

 

1. I think either Oklahom or UNC will be #1 in the polls before the tourney, because I think Oklahoma stands a very good chance of not losing another game and plowing through the Big Twelve tournament as well.  UNC probably will take one more loss somewhere, but I see them sweeping the ACC title as well.  Pittsburgh I see losing between one and three more games including the Big East tournament.  They stand a good chance of winning one or the other, but I doubt the same team claims both BE titles this year, and that alone will prevent whoever wins each from finishing the season as #1.

 

2.  This one is trickier.  If a Big East team sweeps both titles, it has to be that team regardless of what Oklahoma does, because the top 3 in the league are just that strong and the next bunch of teams is pretty darn good too.  If not, I think Oklahoma has the inside track because, as I said above, they could wind up with just one loss.  North Carolina has to be mentioned too, of course, but I think they have to win out including the ACC tourney to beat Oklahoma.

 

3. I think the committe might overlook a loss or two without or with an injured Curry...but not more than that.  As long as he limits his time away he should go dancing.

 

4.  Right now, with a loss @ Vanderbilt appearing imminent, it's very dicey.  They still have games to play back in...but they're a curious case.

 

5. I think Arizona is safe but they can't go on another skid.  Their bumbling weird-fouling ways seem to be behind them, and I always have in the back of my mind that two of those close losses should be wins.  The committee likes the hot team, and Arizona certainly qualifies right now.



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