The NCAA Tournament is less than two months away.. the Final Four will be here before you know it. That much we know.. but who will make the Final Four? According to the AP Poll, there's a pretty clear top 4 at this point. Florida, Wisconsin, UCLA, and UNC are ranked in that order and all 4 received first place votes. Obviously though, the odds are slim that all 4 of those teams, or whichever teams get seeded one through 4, make it all the way to Atlanta.
I'll leave it to the bettors to quantify teams Championship chances as being 200 to 1, or 1,500 to 1 or whatever the odds may be. Instead, I'm going to rank the Top 10 teams based on their chances of reaching the Final Four.
Biggest win on Saturday? New Mexico State upsetting #13 Nevada in a key WAC battle. This should probably be a two-bid league this year and the Aggies are the team fighting for the 2nd bid. After losing a close OT game against Louisiana Tech, NMSU bounced back for the big (huge really) win behind 29 points from Justin Hawkins. Making things better for the Aggies, they now have games against conference bottom-feeders Idaho and San Jose State coming up which should leave them at 17-4.
The MWC should also be a two-bid league, but no one besides Air Force is really locked in. The Falcons picked up a big win over San Diego State yesterday, rebounding from their 2nd loss. SDSU is now 13-6 and their hopes of an at-large bid are basically done. UNLV is the likely 2nd bid, but the Rebels are just 3-2 in league play. Home wins this week against SDSU and New Mexico are musts.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.. have the top 6 teams in the country ever lost on the same day? With the exception of #2 Florida who rocked South Carolina.. the other top teams were in serious danger of losing on Saturday. #1 UNC obviously ended up losing by 6, #3 UCLA won by a point, #4 Wisconsin won by 6 in a poorly played game at Northwestern, #5 OSU won by 2, and #6 Kansas won in overtime. UCLA, Wisconsin, and Kansas all were down at half before pulling out close victories.
But what separates a team like UCLA from a Washington is the ability to win close games on the road. The #24 Huskies by the way are in a tailspin, having lost 5 of 6 games.. the last two which have come down to the wire. Even UCONN can now claim to have accomplished something Washington hasn't.. winning a game away from home. The #22 version of the Huskies beat St John's in the Garden, while the #24 version lost in overtime at California.
Gary Ervin is the SEC Player of the Week.
This season’s edition of the Kansas Jayhawks’ is a NBA scout’s dream come true. Go to a Jayhawks’ game and it’s one stop shopping - you can scout six potential NBA players on their roster alone (Arthur, Chalmers, Collins, Kaun, Rush & Wright). North Carolina, Florida and Ohio State are just a few of the other teams with rosters stacked with pro prospects this season. Over the past two decades there have been a handful of NCAA teams that have had similiarly pro packed rosters. Here are the top five in terms of quality and quantity: