Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tony's Top 64

  1. Florida
  2. UNC
  3. Kansas
  4. Ohio State
  5. Syracuse
  6. UCLA
  7. Pittsburgh
  8. Wisconsin
  9. LSU
  10. Arizona
  11. Alabama
  12. Texas A&M
  13. Duke
  14. Georgetown
  15. Memphis - 1st C-USA
  16. Boston Coll
  17. Nevada
  18. Tennessee
  19. Louisville
  20. Illinois
  21. Oklahoma State
  22. Kentucky
  23. Georgia Tech
  24. Xavier
  25. Michigan State
  26. Washington
  27. Marquette
  28. Southern Illinois
  29. Texas
  30. Creighton
  31. Villanova
  32. USC
  33. Gonzaga
  34. Virginia
  35. Wichita State
  36. Michigan
  37. Hofstra
  38. Maryland
  39. Mississippi State
  40. San Diego State
  41. Oklahoma
  42. California
  43. Kansas State
  44. Akron
  45. Texas Tech
  46. Winthrop
  47. Oral Roberts
  48. Rice
  49. Air Force
  50. New Mexico State
  51. St John's
  52. Charlotte
  53. Arkansas
  54. Albany
  55. Old Dominion
  56. UMASS
  57. Pacific
  58. Penn State
  59. DePaul
  60. IUPUI
  61. George Mason
  62. Long Beach State
  63. St Louis
  64. Loyola Maramount

Matt's 11-26 Top 25

1. Kansas
2. Florida
3. UNC
4. Pittsburgh
5. Arizona
6. Ohio State
8. Georgetown
9. Duke
10. LSU
11. Syracuse
12. Memphis
13. Alabama
14. Wisconsin
15. Texas A&M
16. Georgia Tech
17. Nevada
19. Maryland
20. Kentucky
21. Gonzaga
22. Texas
23. Oregon
24. Butler
25. Air Force

Last 5 Out

26. Marquette
27. Xavier
28. Oklahoma State
29. Creighton
30. Boston College

Monday, November 20, 2006

Matt's 11-20 Top 25

1. UNC - 1st ACC
2. Florida - 1st SEC
3. Kansas - 1st Big 12
4. Pittsburgh - 1st Big East
5. Arizona - 1st Pac-10
6. Ohio State - 1st Big 10
7. Duke - 2nd ACC
8. UCLA - 2nd Pac-10
9. Wisconsin - 2nd Big 10
10. Georgetown - 2nd big East
11. LSU - 2nd SEC
12. Syracuse - 3rd Big East
13. Boston College - 3rd ACC
14. Alabama - 3rd SEC
15. Texas A&M - 2nd Big 12
16. Memphis - 1st C-USA
17. Nevada - 1st WAC
18. UCONN - 4th big East
19. Kentucky - 4th SEC
20. Maryland - 4th ACC
21. Georgia Tech - 5th ACC
22. Oklahoma State - 3rd Big 12
23. Oregon - 3rd Pac-10
24. Texas - 4th Big 12
25. Air Force - 1st MWC

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Early Season Surprises

Surprisingly Good

Air Force - They just went on the road and beat Major Conference squads Stanford and Colorado on their own courts- by a combined 72 points! Duke should be able to handle them on Monday; but not without a fight.

Michigan State - topping Texas and almost beating Maryland with such a young team is impressive.

Oral Roberts - If a team that I don't even have pegged to win the Mid-Con over IUPUI can beat my #1 team Kansas on their home floor, they're surprisingly good.

- I had them being surprisingly good before the season, but if 5'6" freshman Tajuan Porter can score in the 20's every night (so far an avg. of 27.5 ppg), this team can SOAR.

- I had them beating Notre Dame in an upset, but I though Indiana could handle them. Wrong. Butler looks really good and should be able to take the Horizon League.

Maryland - Beating MSU in the finals was good, but absolutely demoralizing St. John's in the semifinals was even better.

Pittsburgh - I don't like Pittsburgh. But they've proved that they're good. Even without Aaron Gray for much of yesterday's UMASS game, they pretty much dominated. I don't think this'll be the same story in Big East play, though. They'll have a lot of close games.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Open Letter to College Hoops Fans

Dear Friends,

The world is going to pot.

UNC almost lost to Winthrop. Kansas is losing by 5 right now to Oral Roberts. Northewestern State (not even the real Northwestern) has closed a double digit gap on Oklahoma State; they now trail by only one. Georgetown may very well lose later tonight at the hands of Vanderbilt.

My rankings are being exposed as fraudulent and my heart cannot take it. But soft, BEHOLD -beyond yonder wrath there lies a golden beach, the sands of which wedge between thine toes. Be aware that no trace of your presence will be left here after the sea washes over your eyelids.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Opening Week Observations

-Bradley has recently dropped to 9th in the MVC in most prediction magazines, and DePaul is climbing up the Big East ladder. Seems like an easy victory for Depaul on paper, right? Well Saturday they were PULVERIZED BY THE BRAVES, 78-58
- Marist is looked upon as one of the top small conference schools in the nation, but apparently they left their true colours behind this weekend as they got smashed by the Ohio Bobcats, 83-66.
-Washington State topped UAB 71-60 in a game where I would've picked UAB. Guess they need more time to be any good.
-In my favorite match-up of the weekend, Charlotte topped Hofstra like I predicted. The final score was 88-82, though Hofstra came back from a sizeable halftime deficit to make it interesting. The 49ers aren't a bunch of cupcakes just because Curtis Withers left. They'll compete heavily in the A-10 this season and probably be in the picture in March.

UCONN and Quinnipac. Both of Michigan's games. Georgetown and a pesky Hartford team. All of these games were uncomfortably close for these big-conference schools. Perhaps most noteably of all, Marquette had to squeak one out over...Hillsdale College?

First they were barely beaten by top-25 candidate San Diego State, on none other than a half-court prayer by Brandon Heath as the buzzer sounded. Apparently demoralized and zombified, they dropped their next game to Division II Seattle-Pacific.

Preseason Conference Rankings


1. UNC
2. Duke
3. Boston College
4. Georgia Tech
5. Maryland
6. Florida State
7. Virginia
8. Virginia Tech
9. Clemson
10. Wake Forest
11. Miami
12. NC State

Notes - The middle of the pack is the trickiest here. 5-8 will be closely knit, and only 2 of those teams will probably go to the NCAA tourney. The others will make serious noise in the NIT.

BIG 10

1. Ohio State
2. Wisconsin
3. Michigan
4. Illinois
5. Indiana
6. Penn State
7. Michigan State
8. Purdue
9. Iowa
10. Northwestern
11. Minnesota

Notes - Wisconsin will be a failure for those of you who have them #4 in the nation. Ohio State's talent will come together through the season, and they'll truly flourish with the debut of Greg Oden. Michgian and Illinois are both very good 3rd place candidates, while Indiana is a bit overrated by most. I like Penn State's chances as a sleeper team. I don't really have a strong feeling about MSU, Purdue, and Iowa; those 3 could all trade places. The bottom two are clear, though.

BIG 12

1. Kansas
2. Texas A&M
3. Oklahoma State
4. Texas
5. Texas Tech
6. Kansas State
7. Baylor
8. Oklahoma
9. Missouri
10. Colorado
11. Iowa State
12. Nebraska

Notes - Kansas should be close to dominating this league. They should only really fear Texas; as they could pose a serious threat if their youth can all come together. I fear that they'll face inconsistency. That's why Texas A&M and Oklahoma State are ahead of them. I think Texas A&M will be consistently good but never great, and Oklahoma State could steal some huge wins early in the season. Texas Tech and Kansas State are close, too, but I think Bobby Knight's Red Raiders are ready for the Big Dance. Colorado's fate hangs in Richard Roby's supporting cast. They could fall to last.


1. Georgetown
2. Pittsburgh
3. Syracuse
5. Villanova
6. Marquette
7. Louisville
8. St John's
9. DePaul
10. Cincinnati
11. Providence
12. Notre Dame
13. West Virginia
14. Rutgers
15. Seton Hall
16. South Florida

Notes - Georgetown over Pittsburgh and St John's over DePaul. Those were my two bold predictions that I'm standing by, though I've had my doubts. Syracuse is a clear #3 for me; I don't know where people who have them 7th are coming from. UCONN is a clear 4th. Villanova and Marquette will go down like this - VIllanova will have a better conference record and more consistency, Marquette has the ability to make a bigger splash on the national scene.


1. Arizona
3. USC
4. Washington
5. Oregon
6. California
7. Stanford
8. Arizona State
9. Oregon State
10. Washington State

Notes - Arizona is a top four team. UCLA is a top 10 team. The rest are scrambled all over the place. I like Oregon more than Washington; however, it comes down to consistency again. Oregon will show flashes of greatness, and they'll show up in March. Washington will be consistent in the season then fall apart in the tourney. I just have an overall good feeling about USC though. Cal feels underrated in the bottom half of the conference, but the rest don't.


1. Florida
2. LSU
3. Alabama
4. Kentucky
5. Tennessee
6. Mississippi State
7. Vanderbilt
8. Arkansas
9. Georgia
10. South Carolina
11. Auburn
12. Ole Miss

Notes - The top 5 and the bottom 7 have a clear line between them. Maybe that can be blurred by the end of this season. The top 3 are very close, especially LSU and Alabama. Kentucky will be surprisingly good, and Tennessee will disappoint without 3 starters from last year. Chris Lofton can't do it all himself. Mississippi State will be a "flashes of greatness" team who's consistency will hurt them. Vandy could be really good, while Arkansas will disappoint.


1. Xavier
3. Charlotte
4. St Louis
5. George Washington
6. Fordham
7. Dayton
8. St Joseph's
9. Temple
10. LaSalle
11. Rhode Island
12. Richmond
13. St Bonaventure
14. Duquesne

Notes - UMASS and Charlotte are interchangable. St Louis is a clear 4th and George Washington a clear 5th. Xavier clearly has the most talent. The bottom 4 are really bad; I had to put Duquesne last because their team was pretty much depleted further with a tragic shooting.

1. Hofstra
2. Old Dominion
3. George Mason
4. UNC-Wilmington
5. Drexel
6. Virginia Commonwealth
7. Towson
8. Northeastern
9. Georgia State
10. Delaware
11. William & Mary
12. James Madison

Notes -The top half is very strong. The bottom half is really, really bad. The bottomhalf is in complete shambles.


1. Memphis
2. Houston
3. Rice
4. UAB
6. Tulsa
7. Marshall
8. SMU
9. UCF
10. Tulane
11. East Carolina
12. Southern Miss

Notes - Memphis will have a dominant season, Houston may grab a tourney bid by winning the conference tourney. Rice will rise on Morris Almond's wings. UAB and UTEP are closely knit.


1. Akron
2. Toledo
3. Ohio
4. Kent State
5. Northern Illinois
6. Western Michigan
7. Miami OH
8. Ball State
9. Buffalo
10. Bowling Green
11. Eastern Michigan
12. Central Michigan

Notes - The top 7 is very good in the MAC. Without the burden of meeting expectations, Ohio may surprise. Akron and Toledo seem to be above the rest, but not by much. WMU's young talented squad could pull off some upsets, while Northern Illinois will be good after seeming "too good" last year.


1. Creighton
2. Southern Illinois
3. Wichita State
4. Missouri State
5. Bradley
6. Evansville
7. Northern Iowa
8. Drake
9. Illinois State
10. Indiana State

Notes - Bradley won't drop to 9th after being a Sweet 16 team last year. The loss of Patrick O'Bryant hurt them but it didn't completely destroy the school's dignity. Creighton will be consistently good while Southern Illinois should make an impact in March. Missouri State is hungry after being snubbed from our brackets last year.


1. San Diego State
2. Air Force
3. BYU
4. New Mexico
5. Utah
7. Colorado State
8. Wyoming
9. TCU

Notes - San Diego State is easily the best team. Air Force and BYU will compete for a bid in March. New Mexico and Utah will be close, and both will ultimately have successful seasons. This conference isn't half as good all-around as some people are hyping it up to be.


1. Nevada
2. Fresno State
3. New Mexico State
4. Utah State
5. Hawaii
6. Boise State
7. LA Tech
8. San Jose State
9. Idaho

Notes - Nevada will dominate, Fresno State and New Mexico will compete for 2nd. A lot of mid-major conferences have this storyline. Utah State, Hawaii, and Boise State round out the winning records of the conference, as the rest could be in for ugly seasons.


1. Gonzaga
2. Loyola Maramount
3. St Mary's
4. San Francisco
5. Santa Clara
6. San Diego
7. Portland
8. Pepperdine

Notes - Without the stache, Gonzaga won't be as good, but they'll still be head and shoulders above the rest of the conference. The only way another team could sneak into the NCAA's is if Loyola Maramount, St Mary's, or San Francisco can step it up and upset them in the conference tourney.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Matt's Final Pre-Season

1. Kansas Jayhawks - 1st Big 12
Out of more than just sheer instinct, I think Kansas will have the best season in college hoops. They are so well balanced and deep, I can hardly see them losing to anyone in the Big 12. They have crazy amounts of athleticism, a true leader in Brandon Rush, and the determination to tear it up after being thrown out the past 2 years in the first round. Their only problem might come in the middle, but that can be minimized by a more uptempo pace than most.

2. Florida Gators - 1st SEC
The defending champs are human too. They'll underestimate some opponents, they'll have some shaky games. They may have the best starting 5 in the nation, but they're not as deep as Kansas. They're a powerhouse to be sure, but I see them dropping a few games.

3. UNC Tarheels - 1st ACC
A similar situation as Kansas; a sweet recruiting class and returning most of a good team from last year. They have a leader in Tyler Hansborough, but his game is more limited than Brandon Rush's. They strike me as a powerhouse, no doubt, but they will have to eek out some close ones.

4. Arizona Wildcats - 1st Pac-10
The top 3 teams are the same in every ranking you see, but the 4th team is usually different from poll to poll. In this case, I'm going for Arizona, who a lot of people don't even have winning the Pac-10. Lute Olsen is hyping up Chase Budinger, but he's far from their only weapon. Marcus Williams and Mustafa Shakur are a year better. Ivan Radenovic will need to take a small step up. But overall I really like this team's chances.

5. Ohio State - 1st Big 10
This ranking isn't official till January comes around, when Greg Oden suits up in red. Even until then, I have confidence in the young guys to step it up and hold down the fort, being a top 15 or so team. They'll be a real threat in the NCAA tourney.

6. Georgetown - 1st Big East
Georgetown has more star power than Pittsburgh, assuming that my prediction of 7'2" Roy Hibbert rising to Aaron Gray's level comes true. Also throw into the equation that Jeff Green will be working for a high pick in the NBA draft next June, and you've got a great team, despite inexperience (not holes) in the backcourt.

7. Duke - 2nd ACC
Duke isn't going to plummet to 20th in the nation. Duke is Duke, and will be Duke for as far as I can see. McRoberts is primed for a huge year. Martynas Pocius is a sleeper for a big year. Greg Paulus is a key player for them, but it's not like they'll just be awful without him. There's just too much pure talent here.

8. UCLA - 2nd Pac-10
I believe that Farmar was this teams anchor. It seems like his loss would be absolutely devestating, but Darren Collison is gonna step in and do some good things, and Josh Shipp helps balance out the loss of Farmar. This won't be Afflalo and Mbah-Moute against the world.

9. LSU - 2nd SEC
I don't think Tyrus Thomas was that big of a loss for the Tigers. LSU still holds their anchor Big Baby Davis , but I question if his supporting cast can be consistent.

10. Pittsburgh - 2nd Big East
Aaron Gray is a force inside, no doubt, but I don't think their other players will have the great season they showed hints of last year. The loss of Krauser DOES hurt, too.

11. Boston College - 3rd ACC
Craig Smith? Sean Williams is primed.
12. Syracuse - 3rd Big East
Devendorf will shoot the rock freely without G-Mac
13. Wisconsin - 2nd Big 10
It's a gut feeling that Wisconsin can't live up to their hype. If all their talent comes together they could take the Big 10 by gaining wins on the weakened Ohio State
14. Alabama - 3rd SEC
It hurts to rate them this low, because they have a sweet sweet trio of players.
15. Texas A&M - 2nd Big 12
Jones and Law, but much more?
16. Memphis - 1st C-USA
17. UCONN - 4th Big East
18. Nevada - 1st WAC
19. Marquette - 5th Big East
20. Oklahoma State - 3rd Big 12
21. Creighton - 1st MVC
22. Kentucky - 4th SEC
23. USC - 3rd Pac-10
24. Texas - 4th Big 12
25. Villanova - 6th Big East
26. Georgia Tech - 4th ACC
27. Southern Illinois - 2nd MVC
28. Michigan - 3rd Big 10
29. San Diego State - 1st MWC
30. Washington - 4th Pac-10
31. Xavier - 1st A-10
32. Illinois - 4th Big 10
33. Oregon - 5th Pac-10
34. Tennessee - 5th SEC
35. Texas Tech - 5th Big 12
36. Wichita State - 3rd MVC
37. Gonzaga - 1st WCC
38. Hofstra - 1st CAA
39. Maryland - 5th ACC
40. Indiana - 5th Big 10
41. Florida St - 6th ACC
42. Louisville - 7th Big 12
43. Virginia - 7th ACC
44. Kansas State - 6th Big 12
45. Charlotte - 2nd A-10
46. Akron - 1st MAC
47. Air Force - 2nd MWC
48. California - 6th Pac-10
49. UMASS - 3rd A-10
50. Houston - 2nd C-USA