Who Is The Most Dominant Team In College Basketball?
Trick question – there isn’t a dominant team in college hoops this season.
Texas’ loss last night to #9 Kansas State just proves the almighty Jay Bilas right, that this year’s Final Four is completely wide open. You can look at the nation’s top-five ranked teams and easily realize that not one team can gain 100% of one’s confidence. And I say top-five because any consideration for any team past the #5 Syracuse Orangemen, at this point, is simply a waste of time.
Texas – Obviously a great squad this year, but even more obvious that they don’t deserve the “dominance” label. The Longhorns can push it when they want to, their big men can hold their own, they have decent depth off the bench, and they have their own edition of the ‘freshman phenom’ (Avery Bradley). But as we all saw with the K-State game, Texas can be shut out of a game by a few bad calls and an exploding student section. The Horns still have to play at UConn this weekend and they have to defend homecourt when they take on the Kansas Jayhawks in February. But we also must not forget that this team has taken down a couple of respectable foes, including Pittsburgh and North Carolina.
Kentucky – Actually the only undefeated team remaining at 18-0, Coach Calipari has this squad runnin’ and gunnin’ this season. The Wildcats are touted with highly-recruited freshman and the team is certainly prospering. The play of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Patrick Patterson really makes this team a threat come March. And the versatility of the entire team really scares opponents. Possibly one of the most, if not the most, athletic teams in the nation. With that being said, this team still has to face Tennessee twice, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State at home. Can they remain undefeated? Possible, but doubtful.
Kansas – Although they have since fallen from their pre-season #1 spot, the Jayhawks are probably the closest thing to a legitimate number one team. The team is rich with talent, has their own freshman to brag about (Xavier Henry – 15 ppg), and their leadership is second to none. Sharon Collins comes up huge in big games and the big white semi-hope Cole Aldrich is a man down low. Their offense is explosive and they’re holding their opponents to just 60 ppg.
Villanova – I love the backcourt of the Villanova Wildcats that includes Redding, Reynolds, and Fisher. However, a loss at Temple cannot be in the genetic make-up of a dominant college basketball season. Yes, I understand that anything can happen in the wide world of sports but that’s literally the lone loss holding the Wildcats back. Their schedule thus far isn’t overly impressive by any means but their remaining schedule is where their name will be made. They just rolled past Georgetown last week but they still have to face WVU twice, Georgetown one more time, go on the road to Syracuse, face Harangody and the Irish, play UConn, and take their team over to Pittsburgh. And look out for Seton Hall, they have the potential to bust some Big East hopes this year.
Syracuse – They are my favorite to win the Big East this season but the Orange aren’t necessarily the dominant man in the conference. Syracuse obviously has the outstanding zone defense and their offensive ability is through the roof – as they can shoot the three, cut to the rim, and draw fouls. One specific reason why I don’t see the Orange running the table is because of how Luke Harangody and the Irish actually got behind the zone in their closer-than-appears game Monday night. I have a feeling that if the opponent can get momentum on the Orange, they begin to panic just a bit. This team does get ‘Nova late in the season and it is guaranteed to be one hell of a match-up. The Big East title will be between the Wildcats and the Orange.
And that’s about it. You’ll of course get some complaints, comments, and screeches from the typical Duke Blue Devil fan, claiming they are more than deserving of the label. However, Duke has yet to see the beef of their schedule. They still need to play at Georgetown, they have Georgia Tech at home, and they still have UNC and Maryland twice. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Let the madness begin…