So this week TB asked me if I would be interested in participating in SBNation's Power 16, and of course I said, "Sure," since I fancy myself something of an aficionado of college basketball in general.
Little did I know what I was getting into.
Just to recap, here's all the ranked teams that lost since the last polls came out — throwing them into utter, convoluted chaos:
- Charleston 82, No. 9 North Carolina 79 (OT)
- Georgia 73, No. 20 Georgia Tech 66
- San Diego State 74, No. 15 New Mexico 64
- Marquette 62, No. 12 Georgetown 59
- No. 10 Michigan State 54, No. 17 Wisconsin 47
- Arizona State 68, No. 24 Washington 51
- No. 12 Georgetown 72, No. 13 Connecticut 69
- No. 20 Georgia Tech 71, No. 5 Duke 67
- Mississippi State 80, No. 14 Ole Miss 75
- Missouri 74, No. 11 Kansas State 68
- UNLV 74, No. 15 New Mexico 62
- Notre Dame 70, No. 8 West Virginia 68
- Oklahoma State 81, No. 22 Texas Tech 52
- No. 17 Wisconsin 73, No. 4 Purdue 66
- No. 16 Tennessee 76, No. 1 Kansas 68
- Arizona 87, No. 24 Washington 70
- Maryland 77, No. 18 Florida State 68
Yeah, quite the mess to clean up — clearly not a task for the faint of heart.
Anyhow, follow the jump for my first attempt.
Duke Blue Devils
West Virginia Mountaineers
Kansas St. Wildcats
Michigan St. Spartans
- Baylor Bears
I'm not dropping Purdue at all because Madison is a damn tough place to play, and I'm still so impressed by that beatdown of West Virginia that I expect the Boilermakers to be a No. 1 seed and a Final Four team when it's all said and done.
BYU might seem questionable, but its resume speaks for itself. Like their conference football brethren, the Cougars suffer from an affliction I like to call "Westofthemississippitis," whose symptoms include underrating due to games not being televised on ESPN. Just ask Lon Kruger if he thinks BYU is legit.
I think Missouri is better than the pollsters do, so I'm keeping us where my gut tells me we should be, based on talent level, coaching and quality wins. A lot of good teams are going to lose in Columbia, including perhaps Kansas and Texas.
I don't buy Tennessee as a Top 10 team, and I think the voters are setting the Volunteers up for a fall. It's still a woefully depleted team for which everything came together magically on Sunday. Plus, I think the Jayhawks are a little overrated, so it's hard for me to justify a seven-spot jump like the AP had just because Tennessee beat 'em at home.
With this many one- and two-loss teams still available, there's no way in hell that I'm placing Michigan State in the Top 10. And North Carolina? The Tar Heels will be lucky if they ever sniff my ballot. No Roy broken-arm sympathy here, thank you very much.
I couldn't really come up with a worthy No. 16 right now, so I'll rep the Big 12 and throw a pity vote to Baylor, a team I still think is being undervalued even though the Bears finally moved into the polls this week. Ekpe Udoh is a one-man wrecking crew, and it's allowing LaceDarius Dunn to become possibly the scariest guard in the league not named Jacob Pullen.
Thoughts? Disagreements? Please feel free to comment below. Challenging my picks will help me refine my process.