Monday, January 31, 2011

Bosco's Top 10 (NCAA Road 2 March Madness) Edition 1

Hello everyone, welcome back to the best unknown sports blog on the web!

Today I have an edition of Bosco's Top 10. This top 10 will run weekly through selection Sunday and be posted on Monday afternoons from today on. This Edition of Top 10 will be who I believe has the BEST shot to get to Final Four weekend and win the NCAA Tournament. I will rank the teams 1-10 with a little note about each one and their previous rank. (This is different from years past where I have posted my own Top 25 weekly rankings, which normally didn't differ much from the coaches or AP polls.) The other big difference will be that I won't be using rankings to make my decisions, it will be based upon records, rpi, and the good old "eye test", since I do watch A LOT of college ball.

1. Ohio St Buckeyes
- The only undefeated team remaining in the country, and with "Super-Frosh" Jared Sullinger getting better by the game, they are scary good. The Buckeyes have as good of a shot as anyone to win it all, and not having a loss puts them ahead of the rest.
2. Texas Longhorns
- The Longhorns are arguably the hottest team in the country. But the key is can they maintain this play all the way through March? As of right now, you have to say yes and think they have a legit shot to get to the Final Four and win it all. That is because of the play of Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson. Both youngsters, as Hamilton is a sophomore and Thompson a freshman, but both are playing like they are ready to be helping NBA teams out next year. And they might be,  but I'm sure they would like to win a NCAA title first.
3. Kansas Jayhawks
Another Big 12 school? Yes, and one of the best teams in the country. Yes, I realize that they had their 69 game winning streak at home snapped last week. But that loss was to Texas! This team can jump on the backs of the Morris twins and ride to the Final Four. They will need freshman Josh Selby to continue to grow to win it all though due to the lack of depth at the guard position.
4. Duke Blue Devils- As a huge Duke fan, I will be the first to tell you that I don't think they can repeat without Kyrie Irving making his way back into the lineup. But I also can tell you that I wouldn't doubt them being able to get back to the Final Four. They will have to rely on seniors Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler to step their games up like they did last year even if Kyrie Irving were to make a miraculous return. The Plumlee brothers will also need to toughen up as Brian Zoubek did last year from right around this point in the season, and carry it through the "Big Dance".
5. Pittsburgh Panthers- Pitt is having another great defensive season, which will keep them in most games. The problem is if Ashton Gibbs has a really off game they might struggle to keep up with some of the potent offenses they will see come tourney time. I do think that they can battle with any team on the glass which could be huge as well.
6. San Diego St Aztecs- SD St is having an amazing season so far. Lead by former "Fab 5" coach Steve Fisher and double double phenom Kawhi Leonard, this team can make a run from national obscurity to everyone's Cinderella story. I understand that they will most likely be a 2 or 3 seed for the Tournament but Butler was considered a Cinderella story last year, so can SD St.
7. Uconn Huskies- Uconn is having a surprising season so far based on preseason predictions by most of the analysts. Kemba Walker has been the best player in the country and has been able to lead his team to huge wins all year. And anytime you have a coach as experienced as Jim Calhoun combined with a National Player of the Year candidate like Walker, the results could be dangerous.
8. Villanova Wildcats
- Nova has been a consistent squad for years now. And I think most would say that is because Jay Wright is one heck of a recruiter. Especially at the guard position, I like to call them "Guard U". They have the two senior Corey's (Fisher and Stokes) who average 15 points a game, who both have 3 prior tournaments of experience to rely on. Since Nova isn't high on everyone's radar, I wouldn't be surprised if this is the year they make it back to the Final Four.
9. BYU Cougars
- Jimmer Fredette is all I have to say. If you don't know who this guy is, you sure will come March. He can score with the best of them, and I mean the BEST of them. Even the best scorer in the NBA, Kevin Durant tweeted last week that Fredette was the best scorer in the world! He is averaging a cool 27 points per game, but also has a lot of help, from the rest of his talented team including Jackson Emery who can also score! They have a classic March Madness game against the Kansas St. Wildcats last year to look back on, and try to make a deep run to the second weekend and beyond.
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Yes, Notre Dame is now as much of a basketball school as a football school. Especially lately, including this season. They are currently ranked in the top 10, while playing in the best conference in the nation (Big East). I just have a funny feeling that they will ride the coat tails of Ben Hansbrough, just as UNC did two years ago with his brother Tyler. Ben seems to have that same "IT" factor as a player, and wants the ball when the games on the line. He proved that last week in Pittsburgh when he hit every big basket he could to end the Panthers extended home winnings streak.

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