I love waiting a while before posting about college basketball. To me, the months of November and December are one big exhibition season. The season truly begins when you get in the grind of conference play. The schedule becomes routine with everyone getting their two-games-a-week schedule going.
In the meantime, not everything has gone by the board. The Maui Tournament was a thrill with some superb games and teams competing on the island. Connecticut took the title, but it was Gonzaga and Michigan State who played a three overtime game. Duke won the Preseason NIT over Memphis. Marquette beat South Carolina for the Great Alaska Shootout title.
Kentucky lost to upstart North Carolina who lost to Illinois at home. Then the Cats proceeded to lose by 26 to Indiana, yet in a week's time, turnaround and beat Louisville in Rupp, leading wire-to-wire.
For now, I can't even rank the teams other than to say that Duke is the best team in the land I have seen play with Connecticut a close second. Villanova is worthy of mention and I wonder what they would be with Curtis Sumpter not having torn his ACL.
The tournament this year culminates in Indianapolis. The regional sites are Washington DC, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Oakland. First and second round sites are Greensboro (Duke, hello), Jacksonville, Salt Lake City, San Diego for the Thursday/Saturday set and Dayton, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Auburn Hills, Mich. for Friday/Sunday.
I couldn't begin to give you an attempt at the #1 seeds by team. I will say that I think as strong as the Big East and ACC will be, their champions will earn top seeds in Washington and Atlanta. Anything else is speculation.
It sounds complete bandwagon but right now the Player of the Year is already between Redick and Adam Morrison of Gonzaga but, its still too damn early. January will prove plenty.
- ► 2006 (87)