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Lucky Number…..12?


The title of this post explains itself. If you’ve been following the NCAA March Madness Tournament so far you’re well aware of the notorious 12-5 seed upsets in the round of 64!  This season three of 12 seeds have upset 5 seeds. I admit, I’m rather surprised. It’s not a surprise that at least one 12 seed usually pulls off an upset in the round of 64, it happens almost every year since the tournament expanded to 64 teams (now the tournament has been expanded to 68 with four play-in games to kick off the tournament). 

I’ll start this by stating that I saw the Harvard > Cincinnati upset coming. As soon as I saw the bracket I looked at my roommate, who doesn’t care at all about college basketball or even sports in general, and said, “Harvard is going to upset Cincinnati in the “first” round. I’m calling it now”. 

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Now, I haven’t been able to watch as much college basketball as I’d like. I live in Marine Corps barracks and share a lounge with 300+ Marines so it’s tough getting to the TV in time to catch a game. Last year at this time I was in bootcamp getting slayed as we call it lol.  Basically, I had very, very little to go off with this prediction.  So, why did I call this upset so quickly? Harvard is obviously a roster filled with intelligent players. Typically, and I say typically, intelligence practices discipline.  From what I caught from the few minutes of watching the UC Bearcats was a group of sloppy, at times, and undisciplined team. I felt with Harvard’s great shooters and discipline to take good shots they would be able to handle their own. I literally know nothing about either team other than those few opinions.  That’s how I based that decision. 

Harvard will be facing Michigan St. in the third round.  I personally enjoy watching Big Ten basketball. The style and toughness is my thought of how basketball should be played.  Though Harvard may stay hot I feel their hopes for a Cinderella story will end here.  Tom Izzo is a great coach and the Spartans have been playing extremely consistent, high caliber basketball lately.  Sorry Harvard, but I don’t see brains beating brawn here…..and no, I’m not saying Michigan St. is stupid. They’re far from it with great coaching from Tom Izzo. 

 

How about North Dakota St.! I did not see that coming at all! One of the few Oklahoma games I watched this season was against my beloved Jayhawks and they played extremely well.  I thought they were a pretty tough team. They play a tough schedule and posted a 20 win season.  I honestly thought they could handle the mid-major Bison of North Dakota State.  I should’ve considered how consistent mid-major schools are starting to draw attention to themselves.  The Bison have now won 26 games on the season. I don’t care what conference you play in that’s impressive.  Though I didn’t see the Bison winning this game I’m not all that surprised. They played well, really well in fact.

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The Bison will be playing 4th seed San Diego St. in the third round. The Bison are tough, they have great size and terrific athletic ability. I’m going with the Bison advancing to the Sweet Sixteen!

 

The third 12 seed to pull off the upset is Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.  I didn’t completely agree with VCU getting a 5 seed so even though I picked VCU to win I’m not surprised by this so called “upset”.  This upset win brings the Lumberjacks to a 32 win season.  That’s pretty dang impressive at any level.  To be that consistent and doing what it takes to win games is hard to overlook.  I went back and forth with this pick and after flipping a quarter I picked VCU.  I was unable to watch this game due to work responsibilities so I don’t know what Stephen F. Austin is all about.  However, their 32 W’s are eye catching to say the least. 

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I don’t know enough, and even if I did it’s March Madness; anything can happen, to make a “good” pick on their upcoming game against UCLA.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! As always don’t be surprised if they pull off another upset and solidify their spot in the ever sought after Sweet Sixteen!

 

I simply wanted to write about the lucky number that is 12 in this years tournament.  Give some of these smaller schools some recognition for their outstanding play and success thus far.  They deserve it! Hope y’all enjoyed this post and as always feel free to start a discussion in the comments section below! I look forward to hearing from anyone and everyone!

 

Bucket List: pt. 1


Good morning everyone! It’s been over 2 years since I last posted, but I’m ready to get back into doing what I Love and that’s writing about college basketball. Yes, I realize March Madness is right around the corner and I’ve literally missed writing about the entire regular season. But, I can’t think of a better time to pick back up!

In case any of you are wondering it’s been a wild 2 years. Last January (2013) I left for Marine Corps bootcamp, followed by combat training, and eventually landed in California.  (due to security and force preservation reasons I shouldn’t post my whereabouts here, if you really care it’s not that hard to find out lol) Since joining I’ve been pretty busy with my job, but I want to write while the opportunities are here! Before that I was working two jobs and sleeping literally 2-4 hours a day. I didn’t have much time to write….hahaha?

This first post isn’t going to jump right in with my thoughts on the upcoming conference tournaments and who I think will win and why like I usually write about. Honestly, I haven’t had the opportunity to watch that many games up to this point.  So, I thought to get the wheels rolling again I’d start a sporadic, yet personal series of stadiums (campuses) I really want to visit and watch a game. Heck, I’ll even throw in the opponent of the home team I’d like to watch, just for kicks.

1. Allen Fieldhouse (The Phog)

This stadium is at the top of my list.  Not only does this stadium hold many interesting and historic values and stories but the atmosphere created by the fans, especially the student section, is remarkable.  If you’ve read any of my past posts you’ll know I’m a Kansas Jayhawks fan. No, I’m not from Kansas, but I became a fan at a young age because I liked their mascot. I was kid, what did I have to go off of?

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The Phog was opened in 1955 and Kansas’ already rich history has grown substantially in Phog Allen Fieldhouse. ESPN has rated The Phog as the loudest college basketball stadium in college basketball. Who wouldn’t want to witness that? The “Home-court” advantage the Kansas Jayhawks feed off of is hard to ignore.  Kansas is the second most winning-est team in college basketball, behind Kentucky.  Kansas also holds some of the longest home winning streaks in the nation.

Phog Allen Fieldhouse is dedicated to Dr. Forrest C. “Phog” Allen.  Allen coached the Jayhawks in the early 1900’s for 39 years.  Allen also played for the Jayhawks under James Naismith, aka the creator of basketball and the only KU head coach with a losing record, Ironic? Being the history nerd that I am I would love to visit this arena and learn everything I could about it and the tradition that continues to collect outstanding high school recruits such as Andrew Wiggins, and posts impressive season after impressive season.

If I had the choice of who I could watch Kansas play in Phog Allen I’d definitely have to go with the Texas Longhorns. Kansas has a few rivalries to talk about. Such as, Kansas St. and Missouri (If you still call Missouri a rivalry after leaving the Big 12).  The Texas vs. Kansas games are always a must watch for me.  Some of the best games I’ve ever watched were between these two teams and I can’t think of any other team I’d want to watch play against the Jayhawks in Phog Allen.  There would be almost too much rich history in one building to handle, but it would be an experience of a lifetime!

I’m keeping this post short and sweet. Don’t want to get too lengthy and lose potential followers! Plus, this is simply a bucket list of places I want to see college basketball played.  I enjoy interaction with my readers so I’d really like to hear from all of you! Leave a comment on where you’d like to see a game and who the home team would be playing if you could choose any team.  Thanks for reading and look for new posts to come soon!


The first State Farm Champions Classic has been filled with emotion and excitement. The first game ended with Coach Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils finishing off the Michigan State Spartans 74-69.  This game was significant in more ways than just one. Not only did this game start  the 3 year 4 team rotation that will be known as the State Farm Champions Classic but, it also set a new all-time record. As many of you know already Coach K has set the coaches win record surpassing Bob Knight with 903 career wins.

In my opinion Michigan State played a much better game than expected.  They really made the game exciting and Coach K’s victory that much more special.  Bob Knight and Jay Bilas were  in attendance at the game as commentators.  Coach K played his college ball under Bob Knight and coached Jay Bilas during Bilas’ college playing days.

As I sit here typing up this post the Kentucky/Kansas game is taking place and Kansas looks awful. Currently losing 48-37 with 12:55 left to go in the second half.  As I watch this game I think of what’s on the line for each team that is participating in this event.

Duke:

Duke seems to be the only team expected to give North Carolina a challenge. Well, at least everyone I’ve talked to thinks so.  Yes, North Carolina is going to be tough to beat but, so is Duke.  Duke has a lot of experience coming back and even though they lost some very very valuable and important assets from last season Duke brought in Austin Rivers, the highly talented freshman recruit and others.  It’s still very early on in the season and I expect freshman for any team to struggle a bit, which was Rivers’ case tonight against Michigan State. With Coach K in charge and the return of many talented players I look for Duke to make a Final Four appearance this season.

Michigan State:

This is undoubtedly a big ole question mark of a season for the Spartans and their loyal fans.  So far, they’re 0-2 but, they’ve played both North Carolina (Carrier Classic) and Duke.  Two extremely solid and talented teams.  Not the typical start of the season as most teams around the same caliber as Michigan State have played scrub teams.  It’s tough to say how well the Spartans will do this year but I think their fortunes will be much better than what I previously thought.  With two good showings this early in the season against top notch opponents I see this Spartan team to hit it’s stride right around Big Ten Tournament play and surprise some teams.

Kentucky: 

Kentucky is completely dominating this Jayhawks team. This team is very intense and solid. Though they started out a little sloppy and seemed to be overly selfish in the first half they’ve come out in this second half and have played exemplary team basketball. They’ve began sharing the ball and getting the KU defenders out of place and most importantly have hit their open shots that they’ve earned.  On the defensive end on the floor they’ve played outstanding team defense! If a KU ball handler gets by his defender he’s almost immediately cut off by help side D.  I think this is good news and will just keep UK fans running their mouth about how awesome UK is.  Little do they know, Calipari will have screwed them over like he did Memphis when the NCAA finds out he cheated…..again.  Overall? Should be a solid season for UK but I see Vanderbilt surprising this team and making the SEC interesting.

Kansas:

Simply looks terrible. Not the KU team fans are used to seeing in Lawrence.  If Kansas can’t find a few more options to lean on throughout the season it’ll be a long season for KU fans.  If Elijah Johnson continues to believe he needs to be the leading scorer, assist man, and the team KU could be in trouble.  Let’s hope they learn from this loss and can turn it up a ton of notches and compete in the Big XII.  If not, Baylor just may run away with it this season on the Big XII.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge


As a fan of the Big Ten the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is something I strongly look forward to each year! It gives me some perspective on how tough the Big Ten will be in their out of conference play and also gives me something to look forward to when conference play begins. 

 

It’s a well known fact that the ACC has dominated this challenge. Winning 10 out of the 12 challenges.  The Big Ten’s only two victories have been won by only a single game and have taken place the last two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11).  This is the first season where this challenge could end in a tie (12 games will be played between the two conferences. Six on November 29th and six more on November 30th). 

I’m going to lay out my picks for the ACC/Big Ten matchups game by game and add some notes for games I think are bigger and that will be of more interest to viewers. 

Date/Time

Away

Home

Victor

Record(s)

11/29/11 7pm EST

Michigan

Virginia

Michigan

Big Ten 1-0

11/29/11 7:15pm

Northwestern

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech

Tied 1-1

11/29/11 7:30pm

Illinois

Maryland

Maryland

ACC 2-1

11/29/11 9pm

Miami

Purdue

Purdue

Tied 2-2

11/29/11 9:15pm

Clemson

Iowa

Clemson

ACC 3-2

11/29/11 9:30pm

Duke

Ohio State

Ohio State

Tied 3-3

11/30/11 7:15pm

Indiana

NC State

Indiana

Big Ten 4-3

11/30/11 7:15pm

Penn State

Boston College

Boston College

Tied 4-4

11/30/11 7:30pm

Florida State

Michigan State

Michigan State

Big Ten 5-4

11/30/11 9:15pm

Virginia Tech

Minnesota

Virginia Tech

Tied 5-5

11/30/11 9:15pm

Wake Forest

Nebraska

Nebraska

Big Ten 6-5

11/30/11 9:30pm

Wisconsin

North Carolina

North Carolina

Tied 6-6

I strongly believe this season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge will end in a draw.

Games of Note:

Michigan @ Virginia. I think this will be Michigan’s chance to show the nation what they’re made of this year.

Duke @ Ohio State. This will be a great game to watch no matter who the victor is.  I think Sullinger will be a handfull down low in the paint and will also have a dominating presence on the defensive end of the floor and lead the Buckeyes to victory.

Florida State @ Michigan State. The Spartans will win in a close matchup but will have the opportunity to prove all the doubters wrong about projected misfortunes this season.

Wisconsin @ North Carolina. Not many people see North Carolina losing a game this year. I project NC to win with the help of home court advantage but it’ll be a close game regardless. Don’t be surprised if the Badgers and Bo Ryan pull off the upset. 


The frist ever game to be played on a ship will take place this Friday! The game will be on a Navy carrier on Veterans Day in support of the duties and sacrifices all service men and women give freely to this great country, America. 

The first ever Carrier classic is between, highly favored to win the National Championship, North Carolina and Michigan State.  Needless to say this should be an interesting season for the Spartans. Having lost almost all of their starters and leading scorers from a season ago should lead to a frustrating season for Spartan fans.  But, never count Tom Izzo out. He’s one of the best NCAA coaches and has potential to surprise the doubters, which includes me. 

Let’s take a look at this matchup.  The Tar Heels have a loaded team.  They literally lost just under 10 points per game from a season ago (Justin Knox and Larry Drew II who together averaged 9 ppg).  They also have an incredible freshman class coming into Chapel Hill this season.  With Barnes and Zeller teaching the young guys what it means to be a Tar heel and to lead this team NC fans will have a lot to cheer and brag about.

Now compare that to the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans had a promising team last season and high expectations but, they didn’t perform well and lost a few games in non-conference play and were slaughtered by a Purdue Boilermaker team that was hosting the College Gameday staff.  On top of that disappointing season the Spartans also lost practically their entire team. Draymond Green returns, which should give some light and hope, to lead this dwindled down group.  The Spartans, in their entire returning class, have a lousy 38% of their scoring returning.  Compare that to the Tar Heels who have 93% of last years scoring coming back. 

With many unanswered questions on this Spartan squad this is not the way I would want to start the 2011-2012 season.  Taking on this tough and favorable North Carolina team could lead to a beat down.  I see the Tar Heels walking away with the first Carrier Classic Trophy: ( Pictured Below). 

 


In this post I’m going to give you, the reader, my picks for the SEC this season. You may be wondering, “Does this guy know the division is split?”. Yes, I do. I’m going to format who I believe will win the SEC East and the SEC West. Then, I’ll predict the SEC Championship matchup and overall champion of the SEC in 2011-2012. 

SEC West

1. Alabama Crimson Tide—> The Tide have 3 of their most dangerous players returning and are adding two ESPNU 100 recruits.  Remember, Alabama was royally  screwed last season being one of the tougher bubble teams that was excluded from the NCAA tournament. They’ll have some fire and a chip on their shoulder and will win the SEC West outright!

2. LSU Tigers—> Tigers have 4 of their top scorers returning and are adding a tough power forward (Johnny O’Bryant PF ESPNU 100).  They’re experience will help them beat most teams this year and should give Alabama good, tough competition.

3. Arkansas Razorbacks—> Razorbacks have their second leading scorer returning and are bringing in an outstanding recruiting class that includes three ESPNU top 100’s.

4. Mississipi State Bulldogs—> Once you get passed the first three teams in the SEC West the bottom three are a toss up. When I compare them with who they have returning and who they’re bringing in against Auburn and Ole Miss I see Mississip State being the front runner of the group. 

5. Ole Miss Rebels—> Losing their top two scorers/leaders should show some problems, flaws, and weaknesses in this lineup.  They’re above Auburn simply due to their superior recruiting class. 

6. Auburn Tigers—> Auburn loses their two leading scorers from a season ago. But, they could be the team that upsets and surprises a few teams around the league, however, I don’t see them having too much success this season.

SEC East

The East undoubtedly includes the toughest teams in the SEC this season.  Vandy, Kentucky, and Florida should be fun to watch this year as they battle it out.  Here’s how I believe it’ll play out.

1. Vanderbilt Commodores—> Vanderbilt is not only returning a stunning 7 top scorers but are also bringing in two ESPNU 100 recruits.  The Commodores were a team last season that had a shot to win the SEC.  Their experience and talent should be a great combination to lead them to hold the SEC East crown at the end of conference play.

2. Kentucky Wildcats—> Kentucky is losing Knight, Liggins, and Harrellson. Three main guys from last years team. But, they’re bringing in one of the nations best recruiting classes that consists of 4 ESPNU 100’s.  Terrence Jones and Lamb look to lead this squad to an extremely successful season. However, Calipari’s past shows that he’s unable to lead great teams to championships (Memphis lost the lead in 2008 National Championship).  I see him not leading this team to the SEC Championship game. 

3. Florida Gators—> Florida will be that sleeper team. Good experience coming back and some talented recruits. I don’t see them containing the necessary consistency it takes to win the SEC East this year.

4. South Carolina Gamecocks—> Returning their top scorer and bringing in two extremely talented recruits should allow them to finish in the middle of the pack in the SEC East.

5. Georgia Bulldogs—> Losing very talented and experienced players, including two leading scorers, and are only bringing in 1 extremely valuable recruit. I expect this to be a rebuilding season for the Bulldogs.

6. Tennesse Volunteers—> Losing much of their squad from last year and accomplishing to bring in promising talent will lead to an extremely frustrating year for Volunteer fans.  Rebuilding is one word to describe how this season will be for Tennesse.

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

I see this matchup coming down to Alabama and Vanderbilt.  I think Vanderbilt’s experience, talent, and desire to win to be the victor of this meeting.  Though, I wouldn’t count the Crimson Tide out. They still have that chip on their shoulder from not making the NCAA tournament last season. It’ll be a very fun and interesting game to watch nonetheless!


The ACC is set to have an epic season battle for 1st place.  Too bad this battle will only be between two teams this year, North Carolina and Duke.  Although, Virgina and Virginia Tech have chances to pull some upsets against these two teams to make things interesting.  The rest of the ACC? Honestly, it’s one huge toss up to see who will finish between 4th and 12th.  Here is how I see it playing out in the ACC.

1. North Carolina

The Tarheels are ranked  #1 in all of the preseason polls.  I hate to follow the mainstream here but it’s hard to argue that North Carolina has the best team on paper.  Some would argue for Ohio State but lets get real.  North Carolina is returning all of their top 7 scorers from a year ago. This includes both Plumlee brothers and Tyler Zeller.  They’re also bringing in 2 ESPNU 100 recruits to add support. 

                                                                                                     2. Duke Blue Devils

I see Duke being an extremely difficult team to beat this season. They’ll definitely give North Carolina a run for their money.  The only set back Duke has? Losing Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler.  However, Duke is bringing in 5 extremely high quality recruits. Did I mention those 5 recruits were high quality? Try having the pleasure of bringing in 5 ESPNU 100 recruits in a single season. Good things are bound to happen. 

 

3. Virginia Vavaliers

Virginia has a pretty solid team this season. They’ll battle every game and give Duke and the Tarheels some nail biters! Though the Cavaliers lost Mustapha Farrakhan (second leading scorer with 13.5 ppg last year) they’re bringing in two ESPNU 100 recruits.  Experience and young talent will allow them to compete in the ACC this year.

4. Virginia Tech Hokies

The loss of Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen will really hurt the Hokies this year. But, they’re bringing in 3 ESPNU 100 recruits that’ll help them suceed this year.  Due to the lack of talent and experience elsewhere in the ACC this year I put the Virginia Tech up this high.

5. Miami Hurricanes—-> The Hurricanes have solid experience coming back to lead this bunch.

6. Maryland—-> Maryland lost many keys to success from last season but they have a stud returning in Terrell Stoglin. He’ll be able to carry this team to at least a 6th place finish in the ACC this year.

7. Boston College Eagles—> Losing most of their staff from last season they’ll struggle early on.  But, I see their recruiting class catching stride late in the season and pulling the Eagles out of the depths of the ACC.

8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons—> The Deacons are losing some good talent from last year.  Luckily Travis McKie is returning and looking for a breakout season.  They should be alright but will struggle with ACC oponents this year.

9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets—> The loss of Iman Shumpert will hurt the Yellow Jackets significantly.  They do have 1 ESPNU 100 recruits coming in but, it won’t be enough to catapult this team into the top half of the conference.

10. Florida State Seminoles—> Losing one of the most feared defensive players and rebounders in the league from a season ago, Chris Singleton, should have a huge negative impact on this Seminole team.  Antwan pace (ESPNU 100 recruit) should be able to put points on the board but his lack of defensive and overall college experience will keep him from having the same impact as Chris Singleton had.

11. North Carolina State Wolfpack—> Not much going for the Wolfpack this year.  They’ll struggle throughout the entirety of the season.

12. Clemson Tigers—> The Tigers only have one double-digit scorer per game returning from last season. They’ll struggle just like the Wolfpack this season.


I’ve been on a short hiatus.  Sometimes work and life just keep you from doing things you’d rather be doing. But, I’m back again with some more predictions.  This time I’m going to touch on the Big XII.  Later this week, hopefully later tonight or tomorrow I’ll have ACC predictions for this season. These predictions will be similar to the Big East predictions, however, I’ll have a quick explanation for my picks. 

1. Baylor Bears

I think Baylor has a really good chance at winning the Big XII this season. Yes, they’re losing a very key player in LaceDarius Dunn but, They’re bringing back some experienced talent in Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy (Who’s looked upon to fill Dunn’s absence).  Baylor is also bringing in some raw talent in their recruting class.  Quincy Miller could play a vital role for the Bears this season at the Power Forward position and give them an added lift.

2. Kansas Jayhawks

I’m well aware of the fact that Kansas is losing pretty much their entire team from last season (Morris twins, Tyrel Reed, Josh Selby, Brady Morningstar, and Mario Little).  The Jayhawks are bringing in two ESPNU 100 recruits, Ben McClemore and Naadir Tharpe.  They also have some good experienced talent coming back, just not as many players as Baylor has coming back though.  Don’t count Bill Self out either.  Since being at Kansas Self hasn’t won the Big XII only once.  He always has his team ready to perform and kansas may very well jump back on top and assume control over the Big XII. 

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys

This may seem like a surprisingly high pick for the Cowboys, and I’d have to agree. But, I like who they have coming back and they seem to bring a battle with them every game.  Look for them to win many close games and climb towards the top of the Big XII this season.

4. Missouri Tigers—> There’s been much talk about the Tigers leaving the Big XII this year. Who cares? They’r bringing back all 5 of their top 5 scores from a season ago, all of which averaged 10.0+ ppg.   Experience + Talent = promising season.

5. Texas Longhorns—> Some may want the Longhorns finishing higher, as would every fan, but I don’t see them having the success they’ve had in the recent past. They not only lost a ton of talent with all that left but they also lost a ton of experience. Yes, the Longhorns are bringing in some good talent but they’re inexperienced. I put Texas up this high only due to the lack of depth, talent, and experience in the Big XII. 

6. Kansas State Wildcats—> K State lost Jacob Pullen, arguably the best player Kansas State has seen in the past 25 years.  Curtis Kelly also left the Wildcats. Leaving them without two of their top three scorers. The Wildcats are bringing  in a big and talented class but they’ll need more than that in order to be successful in the Big XII this season.

7. Oklahoma Sooners—> The Sooners are only losing their top scorer from last season and Nick Thompson who earned solid minutes last season. Losing Cade Davis could prove to be huge but with Oklahoma relying solely on experience this coming season I think they’ll do alright.

8. Texas A&M Aggies—> The Aggies are bringing back their top two scores from last season and are bringing in an ESPNU 100 Point Guard, Jamal Branch. This combination will allow them to win some games they may have lost a few years ago.

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders—> The Red Raiders are losing 4 of their top 5 scorers from last year. This will prove to be a huge problem. They’re bringing in a good recruiting class but the lack of experience and leadership will prove to be too much to handle for Texas Tech this year in the Big XII.

10. Iowa State Cyclones—> The addition of Korie Lucious, from Michigan State, (if he’s eligible this season) won’t be enough for immediate success this year.  The Cyclones lost a bunch of talent, leadership, and experience and it will take some time to get back to where they once were, which wasn’t all that impressive to begin with.


I’m moving out of my beloved confort conference zone this post.  I’m going to put out there who I think is going to win the Big East and how I think each team will finish. Now, I’m warning you. It’s a little different than what the ESPN experts have to say. But, nobody really knows exactly how things are going to play out. I mean who really predicted that Uconn would win 10 straight games, all in tournament play, and walk away with the NCAA Tournament Title? I know I didn’t. After watching a game of Uconn’s in December last year I put up a post stating I wouldn’t be surprised if Uconn won it all. Don’t believe me? Check my older/beginning posts. 

Also, these predictions aren’t going to be as in depth as my Big Ten predications. That would take forever given the boat load of teams in the Big East.  Also, I’m doing this in hopes of hearing some comments and sparking a little more conversation on my blog. I want to hear what others think….that’s part of why I write!  Without further ado here’s my Big East predictions!

  1. Syracuse Orangemen
  2. Cincinnati Bearcats
  3. Connecticut Huskies (Uconn)
  4. Louisville Cardinals
  5. Marquette Golden Eagles
  6. Pittsburgh Panthers
  7. Georgetown Hoyas
  8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  9. West Virginia Mountaineers
  10. St. John’s Red Storm
  11. Villanova Wildcats
  12. Depaul Blue Demons
  13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  14. Seton Hall Pirates
  15. South Florida Bulls
  16. Providence Friars

This is how I feel the Big East will play out in the 2011-2012 regular season.  If you have any questions at all as to why I put a team where they’re at leave a comment and I’ll answer for you!

Thanks for reading everybody!


A long while ago I posted my Big Ten 2011-2012 predictions.  Well after looking at them recently knowing for certain whose still at their school and what each school is bringing in, recruiting classes, I’m more or less dumbfounded at who I picked to finish where.  I gave some schools way too much credit and really slapped other teams in the face with my rankings.  So, I’m here today to share my revised Big Ten 2011-2012 mens basketball predictions.

1.  Ohio State Buckeyes

I still think it’s hard to argue that the Buckeyes are going to fall off the top.  Yeah so they’re losing one of the best 3 point shooters to ever play the game in Jon Diebler and a very solid defensive play in David Lighty.  But, the Buckeyes are returning their two top scorers and are bringing in 5 freshman that all received a 91 or higher grade from ESPN, including 4 ESPNU 100 players!  This team is going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.  They play games for a reason so we’ll see how they do.  Still expect high expectations from this squad as we all know Thad Matta is going to.

2. Wisconsin Badgers

I’ve moved Wisconsin up dramatically since my last rankings.  The Badgers are losing two of their top three scorers from last season but Jordan Taylor was only .3 ppg away from being the leading scorer for the Badgers….as a point guard.  Other than that the Badgers are bringing back a solid assortment of players including Josh Gasser, Mike Bruesewitz, and Ryan Evans.   As well as their recruiting class that’s pretty decent.  I don’t expect Wisconsin to lose many games at home this season, they do host the Buckeyes which will be very exciting to watch!

3. Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines also received a very favorable boost since my last rankings.  After looking over their roster and incoming freshman I realized Michigan didn’t lose much.  Well, they lost Darius Morris but, are replacing him with Trey Burke.  Burke is a freshman but has the ability to distribute the ball more than effectively.  If you’re going to judge a player that hasn’t played yet at the point guard position look at Aaron Craft from Ohio State. True freshman last year for the Buckeyes. He was deadly and gave teams much difficulty.  Michigan is also bringing in shooting guard Carlton Brundidge (I see Carlton and instantly think of Fresh Prince of Bellaire).  Brundidge should be a valuable addition to the already decent shooting back court consisting of Zack Novak and Stu Douglas.  The Wolverines are going to surprise a lot of basketball fans that are expecting the same old no good, pushover Wolverines.  They’ll definitely be a fun team to watch!

4. Purdue Boilermakers

I’ve dropped Purdue down two spots. My reasoning? Simple, they lost two of Purdue’s all-time top 5 scorers! With JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore heading to the NBA due to graduating the Boilers are going to need some support players to step up big! Ryne Smith and D.J. Byrd to be exact. The Boilers do regain Robbie Hummel, whose been out due to knee injuries for most of the past two seasons.  I look for Lewis Jackson and Terone Johnson to step up and pick up the scoring loads that were lost from a season ago.  Defensively? I’m not worried about Purdue. They’ve always played tough, in your face, man-to-man defense that forces a ton of turnovers and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  This season for the Boilermakers is filled with many many question marks.  We’ll see how this squad performs but I still see them finishing with a moderate but successful season.

5. Indiana Hoosiers

Cody Zeller. IU's hot commodity

The Hoosiers also fall back a bit.  Let’s be honest. IU can’t do any worse this season than they did last year.  They’re not losing any of their top 5 scorers from last year and are bringing in an outstanding power forward Cody Zeller.  Zeller should help the Hoosiers out defensively and should be a factor on the offensive end of the floor as well.  Jordan Hulls returns and always seems to fire the Hoosiers up with his hustle play, which is underrated in my mind.  I love hustle players that produce as well.  I don’t see the Hoosiers going on the road to any of the top 4 on this list and beating them, except possibly Purdue due to their rivalry.  Expect good, not great, things out of the Hoosiers this season.  It’s almost a guarantee they’ll be much better than in seasons past.  Cheer up Hoosiers and enjoy a good season!

6. Illinois Fighting Illini

Yes, I realize the Illini are loosing 3 out of 3 of their top scorers from last season.  They’re also loosing Jereme Richmond to the draft.  Richmond had a lot of talent and even more potential to become and Illinois great, but left early for the draft. This could hurt the Illini. However, Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson are coming back and look to lead this team.  The Illini are also bringing in an NCAA top 15 recruiting class according to ESPN.  This class includes 4 ESPNU 100 recruits.  Not only are they ESPNU 100 recruits they also fill positions the Illini needed to fill! They’ll be tossed into the mix early but one can expect them to learn and handle it well.  This will absolutely be more of a learning season for Illinois but it’ll still be more successful than the other half of the conference, no doubt.

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Gophers creep up just a little bit and possibly tie with Illinois or IU.  I believe the former is bound to happen though.  But, for this post I have them ranked at 7.  Minnesota returns their leading scorer Trevor Mbakwe but lose Blake Hoffarber.  Al Nolen is also gone from the mix but thankfully Ralph Sampson III is returning too.  The Gophers are returning a decent lineup but are adding two ESPNU 100 incoming freshman. Both play shooting guard and should split Blake Hoffarber’s spot last season.  They won’t be quite the leader Hoffarber was but they’ll split his scoring and be valuable 3rd option scorers.  I still think the Gophers have much growing to do but think they’ll be alright this coming season.

8. Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans dropped significantly from my last prediction post.  I didn’t realize how many players Michigan State lost (Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Korie Lucious, Delvon Roe, and some others).  The fore mentioned players were all valuable to the Spartans, and they still somehow accomplished underachieving dramatically last year.  Tom Izzo is bringing in a small class as well, but it does include an ESPNU 100 shooting forward Branden Dawson.  I predict it’s going to be a very stressful, learning season for the Spartans and their fans.  What makes it worse is that it starts with the Carrier Classic against #1 ranked North Carolina on November 11!  Get ready Spartan fans, this could be a long season for you.

9. Northwestern Wildcats

John Shurna will undoubtedly lead this team.  With Michael Thompson gone whose going to fill the distraction + productive role for the Wildcats? Drew Crawford? Incoming freshman PG Tre Demps? Honestly I have no idea.  I do know one thing though, Northwestern always seems to play teams extremely tough at home.  Including an upset against Purdue a couple seasons ago.  We’ll see how they finish but I don’t expect them to make the NCAA tournament but could see them having a presence in the NIT.

10. Nebraska Cornhuskers

They’re losing their top scorer from last season, Lance Jeter, who averaged 11.7 ppg.  That’ll force Jorge Brian Diaz to step up and put up bigger numbers for the Cornhuskers.  Losing 2 of their top 3 scorers + only a decent recruiting class + playing in a new conference = very moderate/disappointing season.  I still like their odds compared to Penn State and Iowa though!

12.  Iowa Hawkeyes and Penn State

I skipped to 12 because this is a tie to me.  Both teams have very little talent returning from last season. The talent they do have returning can be great team leaders and producers but in this conference it takes more than just one guy for a team to finish high.  Mix in the inexperienced incoming freshman and you have recipes for disaster.  Again, I don’t have much hope for these two teams, unfortunately for Iowa and Penn State faithful.  Even more unfortunate I’m probably correct with these assumptions.

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