Saturday, December 31, 2016

10 Bold Predictions For 2017

These are almost certainly going to be wrong.  Please be advised.

1. Oregon will win the Pac-12

2. Gonzaga won't go undefeated but will flirt with it.  Portland is the one that ends the perfect season.

3. UCLA won't make the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

4. The ACC champion will finish league play with a minimum of four losses.

5. Purdue will win the Big 14.

6. West Virginia will win the Big 12

7. The Big 12 will get 8 teams in the dance thanks to weak mid-major bubble teams.

8. Rhode Island will win the A-10.

9. UConn will miss the NCAA Tournament and Kevin Ollie will take an NBA job.

10. Marquette goes 9-9 in the Big East and makes the Big East semi's and earns a play-in berth.

Happy 2017

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Big East Enters League Play

Hi!  Anywho, the Big East kicks off league play today.  Let's see where we're at.

The Gold Standard

Villanova is undefeated and number one in the country in the polls and in KenPom. They have a national POY candidate in Josh Hart and despite missing Phil Booth for a stretch, they're clearly a threat to repeat. Their real season starts in March.

The Pretender

Minus Myles Davis, Xavier has gone from trendy Final 4 pick to team of mystery. The numbers are solid. They aren't doing anything poorly but they don't necessarily have anything to hang their hats on. 

Pre-season chatter of an All-American type campaign from Edmond Sumner hasn't happened. The Musketeers are tourney bound but this isn't a Final 4 caliber team at the moment.

The Sleeper

I was high on Creighton entering the season. They haven't disappointed. They've been an offensive juggernaught. Defensively, they're so-so but the Watson-Foster back court has been fantastic. 

There are concerns about the offense being too 3 reliant but if you wanted to take a flier on a sleeper Final 4 team, you'd do far worse.

Old Reliable

Butler has seamlessly transitioned to the Big East and become a reliable tourney team. 17th in KenPom at 11-1, a top 20 offense and top 35 defense and a slew of players that can contribute on a given night, the Bulldogs are barking their way to March. Question will be where they end up on the seed line.


Next up in the KenPom rankings are Marquette (38th), Seton Hall (48th), Georgetown (49th) & Providence (61st). 

All will need to be on their best behavior through league play. Anything below .500 will probably relegate these teams to the NIT.

My guess is Seton Hall makes it and Marquette is the next closest. Georgetown's margin of error is too thin. Providence has been about what I expected and will probably win a game or two they're not expected to. Still see them at 7 or 8 wins in league tops.

Bad Losses

The bubbly' can't afford losses to St. John's or DePaul. Chances of both going winless are zero since they play each other. St. John's is 97th in KenPom, so they're not hopeless but you want them to be a w on your schedule.