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The 'Bag is back (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday November 15, 2006 4:53PM; Updated: Thursday November 16, 2006 9:40AM
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11. Ohio State. Even if Oden's wrist heals by January, I have a hard time seeing the Buckeyes live up to the media's wild expectations of Big Ten and Final Four glory.

12. Duke. Can Josh McRoberts make up the ground he lost to Hansbrough last season? With Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick graduated, he's certainly got the opportunity.

13. Marquette. Tom Crean's guard-heavy crew didn't get the message that big is back, which should make for some fun match-ups in the Big East this season.

14. Pittsburgh. We think the Panthers will be hurt more by Carl Krauser's loss at the point than UCLA will be by Farmar's departure. But with 7-footer Aaron Gray down low this team will still be awfully good.

15. Washington. New-age big man Spencer Hawes is already coming through in the clutch for the Huskies. We think the breakthrough that should have come in the NCAAs against UConn will arrive this season for Lorenzo Romar's crew.

16. Wichita State. Kyle Wilson was one of the revelations of the Shockers' NCAA tournament run, and he's got a ton of support on the perimeter this season. (BTW, has anyone seen the now-infamous CBS screen shot of the WSU cheerleader flashing the Shocker that's been floating around the Internet? Someone has to find a way to combine that with WSU alum Xavier McDaniel's equally infamous cameo in Singles.)

17. Texas A&M. We'll go back to LSU's Brady for his take on the Aggies: "You can tell whether a coach is getting a team to play or not by how hard they play defensively, and Billy Gillispie's team was as sound defensively as any team we saw last year -- including UCLA."

18. Connecticut. We love how some pundits are calling the Huskies "a surprise team to watch this season." The 'Bag wishes to remind everyone any Jim Calhoun-coached team has forfeited the right to be called a surprise.

19. Louisville. Success is a choice, right, Rick Pitino? After a down year we think the 'Ville will choose to succeed again.

20. Southern Illinois. Chris Lowery's defensive grinders will be a chore for anyone to play this season in a Valley that's just as good as it was last year.


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