College Basketball 2009

Not sure how many threads we’ll need for college basketball, so I thought I’d start one for the rest of 2009. Maybe monthly threads as we head into conference play in January and then a tournament thread in March?

Anyway, as a fan of Pac 10 basketball, this is the worst I’ve seen the conference look in a long time. Only 2 Pac 10 teams ranked right now and California just got spanked by Syracuse. I haven’t seen enough of Washington yet to make a judgment on them yet. The UCLA loss to Cal State Fullerton was embarassing and UCLA still has games against Kansas and Mississippi State coming up. I couldn’t really judge Arizona too well against NAU, but I’ll watch them tonight.

Arizona State has looked decent, but they’ve got a game against Duke coming up. I’ll be most interested in that game.

I like SEC b-ball, Kentucky specifically. I think you probably recall all that from last year. I expect UK will be improved overall, but I don’t see them dancing past the Sweet Sixteen this season. They look pretty raw against nobodies. Beating the U of Miami Ohio on a last second buzzer-beater (after clawing back from an 18 point deficit) isn’t confidence-inspiring. But, its a long season, maybe they can turn it on huge deep into SEC play.

As good as the SEC is in CFB, the ACC Rules in CBB. I was disappointed to see my Yellow Jackets lose to Dayton today. But Dayton is a ranked team.

I am looking forward to a 11th straight ACC win in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. SWEET.

Not only are there only two pac teams ranked in the top 25, but IIRC, they were the only teams west of Kansas ranked in the preseason polls.

Things go from bad to worse in the Pac ten.

At UCLA, Nikola Dragovic has been charged with felony assault. He is the only returning starter on a bad UCLA team. He sat for a game against might Cal State Bakersfield which UCLA barely managed to win. I didn’t see much of the game, but this team should be ashamed to put on UCLA uniforms.

California managed to lose to Ohio State. At 2-2, Cal is going to drop to the 20’s when the next rankings come out.

I did get to see a full game from the Arizona Wildcats. They’re young, but they have a lot of talent. Nic Wise is a talented point guard. I’ll be interested to see them play in Maui next week.

Preseason and early season team ratings are worse in basketball than football. It takes a long time to drop the big programs from their over rated early spots.

I don’t think the ACC “rules” CBB. I’d say that the SEC and the ACC are roughly equivalent at the sport.

I don’t know what kind of objective measure you want to use, so I’ll go with NCAA Championships and Final Four Appearances by each conference since 1978. I chose 1978, because it is cherry picking a favorable stat for the SEC.

NCAA Championships ACC has 9, SEC has 6.

2009 UNC
2005 UNC
2002 Maryland
2001 Duke
1993 UNC
1992 Duke
1991 Duke
1983 UNC
1982 UNC
2007 Florida
2006 Florida
1998 Kentucky
1996 Kentucky
1994 Arkansas
1978 Kentucky
Final Four Appearances

ACC = 29
SEC = 17

FTR, I didn’t count Arkansas final four appearances in 1990 and 1978, because they weren’t part of the SEC at the time.

(I think we talked about this in last years thread, but anyways)

No chance in hell that the SEC is on level with the ACC. Top-to-bottom the ACC is head and shoulders above the SEC. Florida (with their two championships), Kentucky (obviously with theirs), and even Tennessee in recent years, are tops in the conference, but then you got South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Vandy, and both Mississippi schools who struggle each year to be average.

I would even argue that the Big XII (if you include the Big 8) with seven championships (if you also count Kansas’ first two in the 1920’s) is above the SEC in basketball.

If I had to rank the conferences:

2.)Big East
3.)Big XII

And where would you put the Pac 10?

This year probably 6th.

I’ll 'fess up front, I’m a UK and SEC fan.

I don’t know what winky waving claims about conference supremacy proves except that people will claim tribal favourtism whenever tribal competition comes into play. So why can’t we give the conference comparisons a big miss?

I’ve followed (from Australia and earlier, from Lexington KY) the CATS for fifty-five years. My dad was the team doctor and I attended all home games in his company as he walked in without charge. I can recall some remarkable games and players (my favourite is still Cotton Nash) from the fifties and sixties before i migrated to Australia.

As for the current team, lots of hype about the new coach and the recruits, but I’m waiting the outcomes of performances in upcoming games before I get excited about our rankings. When we beat UNC, Connecticut, U of L and Indiana - then I’ll climb on board. 'Til then, I’m still remembering Gardner - Webb and VMI.

No love for Michigan State?

Did anyone else get to see Kentucky playing Cleveland State in (no kidding) the Palace Hotel Ballroom this afternoon?

No, of course you didn’t, because it was on CBS College Sports, a channel so obscure that the local cable company in Lexington had to give away a free preview so we could see this debacle. I swear, Clyde booked this last year solely so he’d have access to an open bar while on the bench. If you doubt that, check out the pictures on Kentucky Sports Radio.

I think we have a pretty good chance of going to 6-0 against Stanford tomorrow before we come home and get one more game before UNC comes to town. If Bledsoe can cut down on the turnovers, Wall can learn when not to over-penetrate and have to force a layup and Dodson can apologize for whatever got him exiled to the end of the bench, the UNC game has the potential to be the game of the year.

I actually get CBS College Sports in HD. Hopefully, they’ll replay the game. I love some of the gyms they play in during some of the early tournaments. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game in hotel ballroom!

There are chandeliers hanging 29 feet above the floor. The baseline on one end is not straight because the floor is warped. There are dead spots in the floor that are so bad, Eric Bledsoe had to slap the ball about eight times at the top of the key on one end just to get it to bounce all the way back up.

There’s literally an open bar and a buffet behind one set of bleachers, an open bar outside the entrance and of the 1,200 tickets they sold to this, 85 percent went to Kentucky fans.

But of course! This time of year, it’s hard to rate the teams. Everybody for the most part feasts on cupcakes in the non-conference part of the schedule (with the exception of a few teams, notably Michigan State playing Gonzaga and North Carolina). Since nearly everybody finishes their cupcakes without choking, those preseason rankings are pretty static until the conferences start play.

Duke is big up front (4 good players over 6’10"), and talented, but a little slow of foot this year. They also have little depth at guard. Coach K is experimenting with zone defenses (which in years past would have been something akin to religious error for him) to try to keep his team out of foul trouble.

I’m afraid it is going to be quite ugly for Arizona State against Duke tonight. Hoping ASU can keep it to a single digit loss.

UK’s game against Stanford in Cancun was a tight one with UK winning in overtime. Stanford had a good game plan and controlled the tempo which kept UK frustrated.

I’m not certain why UK was scheduled to play in this tournament. It was poorly organised and the TV coverage was absolutely pathetic. Maybe the experience of bonding within the team was worth the trip but i would think playing under these referees on an unstable court would be enough to make UK reject the invitation.

I wish this UK team was unranked. The ranking is much too optimistic for a team with so little experience. The games against Stanford today and the one against Miami (OH) suggest that UK should not by ranked in the top twenty-five teams in the nation at this stage of the season.

UK’s ranking is horribly overrated. Wall is an NBA-worthy player, though.