Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hoop Dreams

Or maybe it just seems that way after watching so much basketball late into the evening.

I realize that my rankings have some issues. And the fact that I haven't gone public with them confirms that. But I just don't understand why teams that play for national titles get no respect the following year, regardless of what returns. Wouldn't it make more sense to make teams such as Ohio State, Florida, etc have to play their way out of the rankings and teams like Washington State, Louisville and the like to have to play their way in. I understand, I probably shouldn't have Air Force in my top 10 - but eventually that will take care of itself. I still just think you have to give last year and history some due in the rankings. I've got the Buckeyes 16 at the moment and feel like I've shortchanged them somewhat. But others don't even give them a mention.

Or what about Butler? How could you just ignore the Bulldogs? They are 14 in my latest collection. That kind of stuff doesn't make sense to me.

Of course both teams will now probably lose their next times out, just to make all of you feel better.

My top four by the way is UCLA, Florida, Duke and North Carolina. I was impressed by the Dukies in Hawaii. Although, I do think the Maui field wasn't quite as strong as it has been in the past. Still that was a good effort last night, and a good win over a solid Illini team. I think Duke is closer to being back near than top than many give them credit for. But I do think teams like Kansas, Memphis and Tennessee if they perform well in the Legends this weekend, could push for those top slots.

Two interesting little tournaments tip off today. The Old Spice Classic at Disney, and the Anaheim Classic out west. I'm interested to see how Penn State fares in the opener today. They hung a huge win on Canisius the other night and might be ready to be mid-Big Ten. They'll need to win twice in Orlando to show they are stepping forward.

The opposite side of the bracket has some real interesting situations. Central Florida is probably looked upon as the weak link, but the Knights can play a little bit and will give everyone a tough time in this tourney. UCF could get Nova tonight, if the Cats aren't careful.

George Mason faces Kansas State in the matchup in that half. The Patriots are still unbeaten and that hasn't happened for a long time in Fairfax, despite their recent success. Of course everyone wants to see Michael Beasley. This is K State's first test. It won't be an easy one.

Southern Illinois played in Orlando last year if I recall, and they head to Anaheim for the holiday this year. I think everyone has to think that USC is the favorite at this tourney. But it really could be interesting. San Diego will be fiesty for the Trojans, late night tonight, and the Salukis maybe the best team in the field. Of course, Mississippi State will try to shake off the home loss to Clemson and make some noise in the tourney. And they have the ability to do so.

If you would rather ignore those and settle for the best game of the day. It just might be Gonzaga and Western Kentucky in Anchorage. The Zags will have to play well to advance.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the food and whatever else you might enjoy.

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