March 25, 2013

TDOE's NCAA Power Rankings, Sweet 16 Edition

AKA the Ben Howland/Tubby Smith memorial edition:

  1. Louisville  The tournament is looking more and more like theirs to lose.  Colorado State had the feel of the kind of team that would give the Cards trouble, but they didn't.  Not one bit.
  2. Michigan State  This high because Tom Izzo, duh, but also because they have the look of Spartan champions of the past.
  3. Duke  This high because Mike Krzyzewski, duh, but . . . well, do you really need another reason?
  4. Ohio State  Aaron Craft defends the point, Deshaun Thomas scores at will.  If those two get help, any help at all, the Buckeyes win 99 times out of 100.
  5. Miami  Took a solid shot from a decent Illinois team and is still standing.  They do a lot right, and little wrong.
  6. Indiana   On the other hand, Indiana seems to do a whole lot wrong, and still get away with it by and large.  After spending the early part of March screaming "POUND THE BALL IN TO ZELLER!" incessantly at my television, the Hoosiers did just that against Temple with mixed results.  Tom Crean chose to see the glass half full and celebrate his team's grind-it-out victory against a good Temple team, but there are times when the ennui of this ridiculously talented group is palpable.
  7. Florida  How good are they, really?  Better than Gonzaga, worse than Louisville, as hard to pin down as the exact location of an electron . . .
  8. Kansas  Very good at times, especially defensively; but the question still seems when, not if, the Jayhawks will implode again.
  9. Michigan  If it's a shoot out, Michigan wins, period.  This is why some have inflated the Wolverines' worth a bit after two impressive victories.  The problem is that the blueprint to stopping them is too well known: force Trey Burke to give up the ball early.  There are at least four teams left who can do just that.  Their offensive firepower may carry them past one or two of those teams, but it's not enough to win it all.
  10. Oregon  Can we all go back to disrespecting the Pac-12 again?
  11. Syracuse  Very good at times, very bad at times, much like every team from the Big East.  Unlike Louisville, however, the Orange's highs aren't quite high enough to compensate for the lows.  Don't be surprised if they still make a little noise, especially if Indiana doesn't eat its Wheaties on game day.
  12. Arizona  Seriously, the Pac-12?
  13. Marquette  If you beat Marquette, you know you've won a game, because they're always the best prepared team around, and because they never, ever beat themselves.
  14. Florida Gulf Coast  Ah, the darlings of the tournament!  There is a small chance that their magic ways can continue against a Florida team that is still a bit of a mystery; but if they do, don't expect them to survive a Kansas team that can go up and contest all those pretty alley-oops, or a Michigan team that will win any scoring contest that comes its way.
  15. Wichita State  Have to play almost perfect ball to keep advancing.  Have done just that, so far.
  16. La Salle  I will go on record as saying that the Wichita State/La Salle game will be must-see TV for the basketball freaks among us.  Both of these teams are good . . . better than FGCU under normal circumstances . . . and have earned the right to be just where they are. 
Well, there you have it.  Leave all your unrestrained bile in the comments below.  Go Hoosiers!

Hey Jim!  Look up at the scoreboard!  Is that the
number of timeouts you have left, or the number
of players you are graduating?  "Double bonus"?
That's what a Syracuse letter of intent gets you,

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