Posted: Thursday February 23, 2006 1:35PM; Updated: Friday February 24, 2006 3:45PM
You can forget about Curtis Sumpter rejoining Villanova for the stretch run. He hasn't even been cleared to practice yet, much less compete in games.
Have you ever seen an athletic director bungle a situation worse than Mike Alden bungled Quin Snyder's firing? There's no sense speculating on who the next coach at Missouri is going to be, because right now there's no guarantee Alden is going to hang on to his own job.
Gotta give props to ESPN's Jay Bilas for calling the Redick-Morrison duel the McGwire-Sosa of college hoops. I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like this again.
I tell you what, all these Big Ten teams losing on the road tells me the league is going to have a really disappointing tournament.
I don't like it when coaches call timeout in the closing seconds of a close game to draw up a play. The play always breaks down anyway. As Bob Knight always said, if your kids don't know what to do in that situation by now, you haven't done your job the last four months.
Sure, Cal forward Leon Powe gets most of the love out west, but his frontcourtmate, 6-foot-11 sophomore DeVon Hardin, is one heck of an exciting talent.
Michigan State forward Matt Trannon's broken jaw is about as significant an injury as you'll see to a "non-star" player. The Spartans do not have a lot of defensive toughness, and Trannon gave them what little of that they had. It was easy to see how much Trannon's absence cost Michigan State in Wednesday night's loss to Ohio State.
Interesting to see Kentucky doing better as coach Tubby Smith limits the role of point guard Rajon Rondo. Let's face it, Rondo has been a chemistry-killer all season.
I just love the trend of having fans all wear the same color T-shirts.
I have never seen anything like this Notre Dame thing.
Thank you, Tyler Hansbrough, for making it so easy on those of us who have to vote for national Freshman of the Year.
You can say all you want about Chris Rodgers' offense, but his return has turned Arizona from a good defensive team into a great one. If he stays committed to playing this way, it will make a big difference for the Wildcats.
1. Duke 2. Gonzaga 3. Illinois 4. George Washington
1. UConn 2. Tennessee 3. Pittsburgh 4. Florida
1. Villanova 2. Ohio State 3. Michigan State 4. North Carolina
1. Memphis 2. Texas 3. Iowa 4. UCLA
Comments: It's hard to remember a year in which the No. 1 seed picture looked this clear this early. Even if Villanova loses at UConn this weekend, the Wildcats will retain their place on the top line. Memphis, meanwhile, might be able to lose in the final of the Conference USA tournament and still be a No. 1. That's partly because the Big 12 championship game is played on the afternoon of Selection Sunday, so it will be too late to incorporate that result into the bracket. That could work against Texas' chances of getting a No. 1 seed.
I had Northern Iowa as my four-seed in Minneapolis until the Panthers lost at home to Bradley on Wednesday night. Thus, I promoted North Carolina, which, after sweeping N.C. State, is now 5-3 against teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI. What an amazing job coach Roy Williams has done with this team. I also dropped GW from a No. 3 to a No. 4, but that is still higher than most other bracket-makers have them. I repeat: If this team has only one loss on Selection Sunday, there is no way you can justify giving them a No. 5 seed or lower.
Finally, because I am not constrained by the same boundaries that real committee members are, I have taken the liberty of placing Gonzaga in the same region as Duke, even though my "S-curve" would mandate putting them in Minneapolis. As I've said before, if I were in the committee room and saw Gonzaga on the two line and Duke on the one, I would argue to match them up so we could have J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison meeting in a regional final. Then I'd deny to my grave that I did it.