People love to talk about the superiority of the NCAA Tournament to bowl games. There's something nice about deciding the season on the field as opposed to in the computers. But oddly enough, it is the same subjective, numerically focused discussion that people hate about college football that makes college basketball so interesting right now. Deciding who actually makes the NCAA Tournament is as subjective as who should play in the college football title game. And this doesn't bother me.. late season jockeying for NCAA Tournament spots turns dozens of otherwise meaningless games into must-watch action.
B - Southern Illinois / Bradley
A couple weeks ago, tonight's game on the Deuce looked meaningless. Both teams were disappointments, hovering around .500 or worse. But SIU has won 4 straight games and Bradley's reeled off 9 of 11.. suddenly these teams have renewed postseason dreams. SIU is back on or at least near the bubble due to a quality RPI and SOS. I'm fairly certain that someone other than Drake will win the MVC Tournament, and SIU always seems to play great ball in Saint Louis (though apparently not when actually playing SLU). A win tonight at Bradley keeps their at-large hopes alive, but more importantly, they need to continue the momentum they've built up right until the conference tournament.
C - Ohio State
The Buckeyes are perhaps the most overrated team in the country. When they lose tonight at Indiana (which they will), their record against Top 50 teams will be 1-9. The lone "good" win was against Syracuse (#48 RPI).. and the Orange have proven to be pretty mediocre. There's a perception that an over .500 Big Ten should make the dance.. but people need to break down such biases. OSU has simply feasted on the very poor bottom half of the conference.
D- Kansas State
There's no shame losing to Texas, so that's not why they get the low grade. Its their style of play which frustrates me. Despite having the best player in the game, Kansas State plays such a boring, bland style of offensive basketball. Against the zone especially, everyone just stands around and Beasley just pitches a tent on one of the blocks and takes a nap while the guards pass the ball around the 3-point arc. A home game against a Top 5 team, with the top talent in basketball, should turn into must-watch television.. but mostly it was yawn-inducing.
F - Villanova
Simply put, the Wildcats blew their chance last night. Coming off three important wins, they got a home game against a Top 25 team known for struggling on the road, took a 7 point lead at half.. and then they just fell asleep. Now with a road game at scorching hot Louisville coming up, all the good vibes that the Cats had built up will be forgotten by the weekend..
The Daily Report Card tells you all you need to know about the day in college hoops. From good to bad and bad to worse, I'll be laying down the law.
Previous Best / Worst
February 21st - Tony Lee / Oregon State
February 20th - Hasheem Thabeet / Aaron Bruce
February 19th - Josh Duncan / Tim Welsh
February 18th - Wake Forest / NJIT
February 15th - Oral Roberts / Big Ten Predictions
February 13th - Mike Green / Ed Donato
February 11th - Charron Fisher / Tim Morris
February 8th - Big West / Virginia
February 6th - Chris Lofton / Dick Vitale
February 5th - Bob Knight / Josh Heytvelt
February 4th - New York Giants / Washington State
February 1st - Nevada / Penn
January 31st - Kansas State / St. John's
January 29th - Winthrop / Dyson & Wiggins
January 28th - Rutgers / Doris Burke
January 25th - Ron Hunter / Princeton Offense
January 23rd - Kentucky / Archbishop Burke
January 22nd - DJ Augustin / Scott Sutton
January 21st - New York Giants / Marquette
January 20th - Maryland / ESPN.com editors
January 18th - Cleveland State / Marquette
January 17th - Drake / HP Laptops
January 14th - Roy Hibbert / Michigan State
January 10th - Tony Bennett / Saint Louis
January 9th - DJ White / CSTV
January 8th - Robert Morris / Schedule Makers
January 7th - Wayne Ellington / Illinois
January 6th - Herb Sendek / Kentucky