It's getting closer to tourney time,and there are quite a few teams that have grossly underacheived this season.Among the biggest busts this year:
North Carolina-They belong at the top of this list.There was going to be a dip in the win column this season,but no one saw this avalanche coming.Coming off a championship season,no one expected them to win it again.There were a few holdovers from last year's squad and Roy Williams brought in a monster recruiting class as usual.But something wasn't right with the brew.For some reason,everything didn't mesh.Even good ol' Roy didn't have the answer. Also,with Larry Drew becoming a turnover machine at point gurd didn't help.They'll be back next year,so this was the year to pick them off.
Oklahoma-The prognosticators had the Sooners finishing in the top half of the Big 12.With player of the year candidate Willie Warren back,along with freshman Tommy Mason-Griffin and Keith 'Tiny' Gallon trying to replace the inside void left by Blake Griffin.Just like North Carolina,coach Jeff Capel jsut couldn't put a finger on what was wrong with his team.From the outside looking in,Warren never developed as a leader and it seemed that he had an eye on the NBA.There was a late season arrest of two players to make matters worse.Capel is promising to lay down the law for next season and there might be some unhappy campers in Soonerland.
UCLA-Everyone knew UCLA wouldn't be the team that has ruled the Pac-10 the last few seasons.The folks around Westwood didn't expect losses to the likes of Long Beach State,Portland,or Cal-State Fullerton.True they didn't have the talent they had in previous years,but they fell off the map.The freshman this year will use this as a learning experience and they should be back to playing the kind of ball that UCLA fans are used to seeing.You know Ben Howland is seething.
Michigan-Where do i begin? For one,they were overrated.I thought they were a top 30 team at worse.I just didn't think they'd put up a stinker of a season.They rely too much on three pointers,no one except Manny Harris can get there own shot or take it to the basket and they're not athletic enough.Also,they don't have enough size inside to battle with some of the rugged teams in the Big Ten.John Beilein is a good coach,but he green lights far too many three's.Later in the season it seemed that teams backed off and dared them to make one,since they were so abysmal from the outside.Some of their posessions reminded me of the Tommy Amaker era.Running down the shot clock and taking a rushed shot.There were 11 games in which they didn't break 60 points.4 games they didn't break 50 points.That is unacceptable.The Wolverines fell well short of the NCAA tournament and barring a run in the Big Ten tournament,won't make the NIT.Not even the ghost of Kevin Pittsnogle could've saved this team
Cincinnati-Mick Cronin had an experienced team that fell short of the NCAA's last year and were primed to make a run at the tournament with the addition of super recruit Lance Stephenson.Unless they win the Big East tournament they'll also be NIT bound.Just like the Bob Huggins led teams from years past,they have no snipers on the team.Translation,no one that can hit a consistent jump shot.Stephenson needs to stay in school and they need to get a bonafide shooter on this team to get them to the next level.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
A 32 point thrashing of rival North Carolina gave Duke a share of the ACC regular season title.The win also should give them a top seed in the NCAA tournament.The argument only becomes stronger if they win the ACC tournament.Even though everyone says the ACC is having a down year,you have to give the Blue Devils their due.Only because North Carolina tanked severely this season,everyone says the ACC is down and that maybe Duke shouldn't get a number one seed.I'm not the biggest Duke fan,but who else are you gonna put alongside Kansas,Kentucky,and Syracuse.Exactly.To me the ACC is still a formidable conference this year.Even though the mighty Tar Heels are down,the rest of the conference has stepped up its play this year.for the most part duke has taken everyone's best shot like always and is standing at the top of the hill.Also,Mike Krzyzewski has done this with limited depth.They've done this without a lot of hype and hoopla of past Duke teams.Don't hate on the Blue Devils.They deserve a number one seed and you know they'll be a tough out in the tournament like always.