Buckeyes and Tar Heels Offer Reminders: Weekly Rankings and Championship Week Thoughts

New Flash: Harrison Barnes and the Tar Heels are still really good.


1. Kentucky (30-1)

2. Syracuse (30-1)

3. Kansas (26-5)

4. North Carolina (27-4)

5. Duke (26-5)

6. Ohio State (25-6)

7. Michigan State (24-7)

8. Missouri (27-4)

9. Marquette (25-6)

10. Wichita State (27-5)

11. Georgetown (22-7)

12. Michigan (23-8)

13. Baylor (25-6)

14. Wisconsin (23-8)

15. Indiana (24-7)

16. Temple (24-6)

17. UNLV (25-7)

18. Murray State (30-1)

19. Memphis (23-8)

20. Creighton (28-5)

21. Florida State (21-9)

22. New Mexico (24-6)

23. Gonzaga (25-5)

24. Florida (22-9)

25. St. Louis (24-6)

Frantz Massenat and Drexel might be left out the NCAA Tournament if they lose to VCU tonight.


– Since most of this week’s match-ups are still to be determined, I’ll fore go the games of the week section for some random thoughts:

– When Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Tyler Zeller, Kendall Marshall, Jared Sullinger and William Buford all decided to return to college for one more year, the expectations for North Carolina and Ohio State shot through the roof. Most people expected to see two of the best college basketball teams of the last 10 or 15 years. While they came into the season with immense hype, both squads seemed to slip under the radar after some high profile slip-ups (UNC got blown out by Florida State on the road and blew a double-digit lead to Duke at home; Ohio State lost at home to Michigan State and Wisconsin). But this past weekend, the Tar Heels and Buckeyes reminded us all why we all placed such high expectations on them in the Fall. North Carolina avenged their loss to Duke by blowing out the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor, clinching the outright ACC regular season title. Ohio State got payback on the Spartans, coming back from a double-digit first half deficit to beat Michigan State and earn a share of the Big Ten regular season crown. It was a nice way of saying, “don’t forget about us, America.”

– I’ve seen a lot of college basketball writers say the loser of tonight’s CAA championship game between Drexel and VCU will still make the NCAA tournament. I’m really not sure about that. While I’d like to see both teams in the NCAA tournament, I’m not sure the loser of tonight’s game will have the resume to make it in as an at-large. No one seems to think Middle Tennessee or Iona will make the NCAAs after they got knocked out of their conference tournaments on Sunday and both those teams have incredibly similar resumes to Drexel and VCU.

Drexel: 27-5, 16-2; RPI: 67 SOS: 282 Vs RPI Top 50: 0-1 Vs RPI Top 100: 4-2

VCU: 27-6, 15-3; RPI: 63 SOS: 234 Vs RPI Top 50: 1-1 Vs RPI Top 100: 4-4

Middle Tennesee: 25-5, 14-2; RPI: 45 SOS: 207 Vs RPI Top 50: 0-1 Vs RPI Top 100: 3-3

Iona: 25-7, 15-3; RPI: 46 SOS: 157 vs RPI Top 50: 1-1 Vs RPI Top 100: 5-3

Personally, I’d much rather see all these successful mid-majors be rewarded with tournament berths over mediocre high-major teams like Seton Hall, Texas and Miami. But, the chances of that are slim-to-none.

-You can jump off the Wichita State bandwagon if you want, but I’m staying on for the long haul. I still like the Shockers to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, barring an awful placement in the bracket (i.e, an early round match-up with Kentucky or North Carolina).

– Power Conference Tournament Picks:

ACC: North Carolina

Big 12: Missouri

Big East: Marquette

Big Ten: Indiana

Pac-12: Washington

SEC: Kentucky

– These are the best two weeks of the sports year, enjoy ’em.

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