Ten storylines in the second half
After several teams took their turn at No. 1, UConn may be there to say
Arizona's streak of 24-straight NCAA tournament appearances may come to end
Oklahoma's Blake Griffin is running away in the Player of the Year race
1. Will anyone beat UConn again? The Huskies, whose only loss was on Dec. 29 against Georgetown, officially established themselves as TTTB (The Team To Beat) with their pasting of Louisville this week. Of their final five regular season games, they have two games against Pittsburgh and a road date at Marquette.
2. Will anyone challenge Blake Griffin for national player of the year? Challenge? Maybe. Eclipse? Not gonna happen.
3. Will any other coaches lose their job before the season ends? Let's hope not, but the way things are going, it is more likely than not.
4. Will the mid-major at-large pool get any bigger? So far, it's looking like a down year for Cinderella. The possible at-large candidates may have gotten smaller now that St. Mary's guard Patty Mills has been lost for a month with a broken wrist.
5. Who will win the ACC? Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest are waging a marvelous tussle and the top. Since Wake already has wins over the other two, the Deacs could have the inside track.
6. Will Arizona's NCAA tournament streak come to an end? It's very likely. The Wildcats have the nation's longest active streak at 24 years, but right now they are one game under .500 and in sixth place in a mediocre Pac-10.
7. How many NCAA bids will the SEC get? Could be three. Could be six. I think it will be closer to three, with potentially no entries from the SEC West.
8. Whither Tubby? Tubby Smith is in a good spot at Minnesota and he's doing a great job this season. He's also really, really cold. His will be the most intriguing of the potential replacements during the annual spring coaching carousel, but it will take a minimum salary of $2 million to pry him loose.
9. Will Notre Dame make the tournament? It seems like every year you can count on three things: Death, taxes and Notre Dame on the bubble. It seemed like this year would be different, but the Irish have suffered a major losing skid to put their tourney hopes in jeopardy.
10. Who will be the final shot on One Shining Moment? There is nothing like the NCAA tournament, and with so many teams in the mix, this year's should be an especially fascinating journey to find out who will be the last team standing in Detroit.
Seth Davis' book, When March Went Mad: Magic, Bird and the Game That Transformed Basketball, will be published by Times Books in March, 2009. Click here to preorder a copy.