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Hello all and happy Monday! Sorry we haven’t posted in a few days, both Zach and I have been quite busy, but we’re back on track now and exited to give to you today’s Play by Play. There’s a lot of discussion and talk throughout the college basketball world about which conference is the best. Depending on the day, strong arguments could be made for many different conferences. Here’s our take on it:
Zach, in your opinion, what is the best conference is college basketball today?
I am in love with college hoops and absolutely love to watch most any basketball game I can because it is so very exciting. Allow me a two to three sentence tangent about how only in college basketball is there a constant tradition of classy coaches, magical arenas and a more spread out dominance from year to year. On a college football field, while the sport is great, the SEC is dominant every single year. I have lost that loving feeling towards football, and college basketball has gained a whole lot of my admiration. To me the question of which conference is the best really comes down to two: The Big 12 and Big 10. Next in line would be the ACC in my book, but to me there is a notable drop off between the first two and the third one. Right now I am of the opinion that it will be a Big 10 team that wins the tourney at the end of March/early April. With that being said, the conference from top to bottom that I believe is the best is the Big 12. Now, I think as a viewer and judge of the two conferences, we are really just splitting hairs and it’s a matter of game to game when comparing the two. The top teams of the Big 10 look more geared towards NCAA tournament dominance but right now in the regular season of basketball, I give the nod to the Big 12. Any team in the Big 12 is capable of beating the other, when it comes time for the Big 12 tourney, I think it will be next to impossible to predict the winner. My bias leads me to believe that Iowa State will win that one, but lets not count out Oky State or Kansas or Baylor or Texas or… You get my point! I believe this week, the RPI agrees with me that the Big 12 is the best, but heck for all we know the Big 10 could take over that next week. Either way, there is no better sport than college basketball!
What conference do you think reigns supreme, Chase?
Well, its been a little over a week since I did my homework on this one, but the numbers haven’t changed that much and I still stand by my argument.
The ACC is always in the conversation. Syracuse, Virginia, Duke, UNC, always powerhouses. But the B1G and the Big 12 are by far better top to bottom. Big 12 – Kansas, K State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas. Big 10- Michigan, MSU, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin. All great teams. By team record, the Big 10 is better top to bottom. By ranking, Big 10 has 5 in top 25(MSU#9, Michigan#15, Iowa#16, Wisconsin#21, Ohio State#22) vs Big 12 having 3 in top 25(Kansas#9, ISU#11, Texas#19). So if all you look at is the rankings the Big 10 is the better conference. However, I’m still going to say the Big 12 is better overall. After those top 5 teams in the Big 10, it immediately drops off to teams who are mediocre and have no chance of making it far in the Big Dance. In the Big 12, almost everyone except TCU has a chance of beating the other, or better yet being the dark horse of the 2014 NCAA tourney. If we go off of ESPN’s BPI rankings, Big 12’s average is 75.72. Big 10’s average BPI ranking is 75.525. Very close, but even with the Big 10’s top 5 power teams, they still come up short. That’s with TCU scoring an underwhelming 47.9. Both conferences, though, powerhouses in college basketball and make the game what it is: incredible.
We’re half way through February and we are quickly approaching the most exiting month in sports! March Madness will be here before we know it. Who will be the lucky teams to make it to the Final Four? Here’s Zach and Chase’s take on that.
Chase, if you had to pick a final four right now with not having seen any sort of bracketology, who would they be?
This is a tough question. Especially with college basketball when almost any team can beat any other team. Although, I don’t expect to see “South-West Montana Technical Institute Upsets Duke” in the headlines anytime soon. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Syracuse is a no brainer. They are by far the best team in college basketball today and as long as their entire team doesn’t eat some bad seafood during the NCAA Tourney, they shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Duke is a team people love to write off, but if anyone can rally their troops, Coach K can. They have a legitimate chance, especially if their bracket placing is well for them, to go all the way. Kansas is a good team. They are every year. No questions asked. As much as I absolutely despise them, they win. And that’s what it takes. Finally rounding off the top four I am going to choose Villanova. Average over 80 points per game, 16.5 assists, and almost 38 boards; that’s a recipe for any team to go all the way.
Zach, what is your take on the Final Four?
Looking at the landscape of the NCAA basketball, I would really love to believe that this year we will have representatives from four different conferences. That being said, my logical side tells me otherwise so I will give you two different scenarios. If we are so fortunate as to have four different conferences represented in the final four I would say this Big 12- Kansas, Big 10- Wisconsin, ACC- Duke, Missouri Valley- Wichita State Shockers. My other, more logical scenario looks a bit more like this, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Notice the only real difference is putting Michigan State in instead of Wichita State. The Big 10 is stacked solid this year no doubt, and Izzo is never to be doubted, same with Coach K. Also, notice how I don’t have Syracuse or Arizona in my Final Four. While I have a great respect for Coach Boheim and his program, I just do not see them hanging on until the end. Also, I am not a believer in Arizona. In my belief their competition has not been equal to those in the Big 12 and Big 10 have had to face. But, I will leave that discussion for tomorrow when we give our opinions on the best conferences in basketball.