With conference play underway, we’ll see things start to take shape in college hoops. Like most years, the Top 25 is laden with ACC, SEC, and Big 12 teams. But who else is in there to make some noise? The Big Ten, for now, is not represented as well as it usually is. Here’s the conference breakdown:
ACC – 6, Big 12 – 5, SEC – 4, Big East – 3, AAC – 2, B1G – 2, PAC-12 – 2, WCC – 1.
The top 3, MSU, Duke, and Nova are valid threats. These teams are stacked; they have depth and pure athleticism. #4 ASU is trying to play spoiler to everyone. They’re off to a great start. #5 Xavier, aka the best team to never make a Final 4, could possibly get that monkey off their back this season. Chris Mack is quietly one of the best coaches in the nation.
#6 through #15 are perennial big boys. WVU could beat anyone on any given day. Let’s just hope their players don’t give Coach Huggins another health scare. The rest of this group are teams that compete each year; Kansas, UNC, UVA, Purdue, Miami, etc…
#16 through #25 is where some new faces emerge. Are they off to a quick start or are they legitimate contenders? Gonzaga is currently at #20, but I look for them to get better as the season progresses. Cincinnati will win 30 games. Again. In the AAC. I don’t see them getting past the first weekend. Again. UK is always there at the end. Coach Cal will have these guys on their best game come March. The remaining teams here will prove they belong, or not.
I know this much; I’ll be in Vegas the first week of the tournament like I am each year. This is arguably the best time of the year for sports fans in general. Until then, let’s enjoy the games, start visualizing your brackets, and book that flight to Vegas.