I spent my Valentine's Day in a windowless conference room with a few dozen college hoops aficionados -- mostly grown men who can argue for hours, coherently and vociferously -- over why the Kansas Jayhawks' historically difficult schedule (by far the toughest in the past two decades of college hoops), means they are under consideration for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Or why St. Louis and its 23-2 record get a lower seed than a seven-loss Michigan team. Or why Colorado might end up the single most difficult-to-seed team come March Madness.
It’s an easy jump to make – after Louisville’s thrilling 58-57 road win over No. 7 Cincinnati on Saturday was punctuated by Russ Smith’s game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds left – concluding this Rick Pitino team is blazing the same trail as last season’s national-title-winning team.
What's the common denominator among most of the teams considered favorites to win the NCAA championship? They value the defensive end more than the offensive end. And there's no team in the country where that's more true than Arizona.
In one game last week, the team many are picking to win the new Big
East was hit by two pieces of bad luck that easily could have
â€“ and still might â€“ derail a
season that has as much postseason promise for Creighton as any
since the school last made a Sweet Sixteen four decades ago.
The New Year's Eve party that Val Ackerman is hosting this year
might be one of the more ambitious New Year's Eve parties ever:
five college basketball games, five different locations, all
nationally televised for a conference that a year ago was just a
figment of seven schools' imagination.
No coach in college basketball is as polarizing as
Kentuckyâ€™s John Calipari. In Lexington
heâ€™s nearly a deity. He restored Kentucky
basketball to the top of the college game after half a decade in
As the Tar Heels awaited the results of a joint review by the
university and the NCAA on the many travails of junior guard P.J.
Hairston, this was a team without an alpha dog and therefore a team
without an identity.
For DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell, who comes into
down-on-their-luck basketball programs and turns them into
something special, his reputation is as a turnaround artist, the
Mitt Romney of college basketball.