Friday, January 18, 2008

Your Questions, My Answers

Can Indiana be a Final Four Team?

The Hoosiers continue to be one of those teams that are growing on me. I thought despite the fact that they won on the road last night they didn't play very well. If that continues, not sure they can make a deep tournament run. However, they seem to be the type of team that could be a surprise in the Big Dance.

How surprised are you that Pitt hasn't fallen apart with all the injuries?

Well, I didn't expect them to just fall off the map. They are more a sum of the parts team anyhow. And obviously you need the parts but they have some very good ones without Fields and Brown. DeJuan Blair is pretty darn good and the Panthers are true contenders for the Big East crown. I think everyone went a little overboard when they had the big injuries and the loss at Dayton. But they were going to lose to the Flyers no matter what. They've got two on the road that they can win upcoming at Cincy and St. John's, but they better get those because they might not win away from the Pete the rest of the way.

Is Derrick Rose going to lead Memphis to an undefeated season?

Rose plays his best when he has, and the Tigers may need him against Tennessee and Gonzaga down the stretch. I don't see this team losing in the CUSA, but either of the non-conference teams could upset the Tigers. Rose has sacrificed some of his personal stats for team accolades, but he steps up when he's needed, which is good to see.

Can Purdue become the team to step up in the Big Ten?

They are definitely one of the candidates behind the top four in the Big Ten. A strong Big Ten start, 3 wins in four games helps them. The problem for the Boilers is they can't afford any slip ups the rest of the way. Four non-conference losses, including losses to Wofford and Iowa State is going to hurt the resume in the end. But the win over Louisville gets better as the Cards continue to recover. I expected more from Purdue to this point, but they could make a push down the stretch but for now they are NIT bound.

Was Michigan State's loss at Iowa a hiccup or a sign of bigger problems?

Winning on the road in conference play is really tough. In the first 11 games in the Big 12, only two teams won. In the first 29 league games in the Big East, the Home team won 22. The Pac 10 sees the visitors winning only about 33% of the time. It's one of those things that happens. I see it more as a hiccup. However, people have to realize that Michigan State wasn't going to go 27-2 or something like that. 24-7 seems more realistic and the Iowa loss has more people thinking along those lines.

Why no love for the Ole Miss Rebels?

The Rebels are currently 18th in my Index. But I guess that is what you are referring to. I think the Rebs are pretty good. But there are a lot of pretty good teams in college hoops and this team, because of its defensive numbers seem like a team that could be susceptible to a first round knockout in the tourney. Or they could be a team that justifies its record and plays in a regional final or something. I think they will finish strong and get a top seed. After that, I'll wait and see.

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