Checking in on… the Big 12.

Posted by rtmsf on January 9th, 2008

Continuing our midseason check in with the BCS conferences… next, the Big 12.

Big 12 Midseason Check In

F4 Caliber. Kansas would be another huge disappointment if they’re not playing in April this year. Texas and Texas A&M both have the talent to make the F4 if things broke right, although we’d say the Horns have the better shot. Neither team is a favorite to make it, though.

Most Likely to Collapse. Kansas St. This team has seemed shaky in the nonconference schedule, and the rugged Big 12 is no place for teams to get their sea legs. Michael Beasley is awesome, but the rest of the team doesn’t seem to understand what they’re supposed to be doing.

Most Likely to Rise. Missouri. The Tigers have better talent and coaching than their record indicates. If Anderson can get his 40MoH style clicking, Mizzou could be considerably better by late February/early March.

Biggest Surprise. Baylor. One of the biggest in the nation in our eyes. The Bears have several solid wins on neutral courts and played Wazzu and Arkansas very tough in their only two losses. Let’s see if they can improve upon consecutive 4-12 finishes in the Big 12.

Biggest Disappointment. Oklahoma St. Sean Sutton’s tenure hasn’t been marked with the same tenacious defense that his father’s teams were notorious for. A third straight NIT appearance won’t be handled very well in Stillwater.

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Checking in on… the ACC.

Posted by rtmsf on January 9th, 2008

Since we’ve pretty much reached the halfway point of the regular season, and conference play is beginning across the land this week, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a moment to briefly check in on the six BCS conferences to see how its roundball citizens were doing this year.

Let’s start with the venerable ACC (who has had a great non-conference slate):

ACC Mid-Season Check In

F4 Caliber. Really only North Carolina, and they may end up cutting the nets down this year if Wayne Ellington can have a masterful March from the perimeter. Duke is what it is – they’ll win 10-12 ACC games buoyed by the CIS advantage, and get a #2-#4 seed in March. But they are completely withouth any inside presence (esp. now that Zoubek is injured again), and that won’t play very well in March. The rest of the league are pretenders when it comes to the F4.

Most Likely to Collapse. Is there really any question? Clemson. Their recent history of monumentally epic nosedives, plus their heartbreaking loss against UNC on Sunday night, may conspire to psychologically destroy a fairly talented team. We’ll see. Their RPI is good at this point, so even a 7-9 ACC record could get them in.

Most Likely to Rise. Wake Forest. Largely because we don’t know what to expect from this excruciatingly young team. The moxie shown in Wake’s December comeback ACC win against Virginia Tech, in addition to last night’s dismantling of a solid BYU team, shows that this team has some promise. We predict an NIT finish, but maybe Dino Gaudio’s team is this year’s Virginia?

Who Else? Miami (FL), NC State and Virginia are all conundrums. Miami has looked the best so far, but none of these three have looked great. Yet all have enough talent to make a run to the NCAAs this year. If we were betting we’d say Virginia > Miami (FL) > NC State, but we really have no clue.

Biggest Disappointment. Maryland, Maryland, Maryland. This team has played uninspired ball all season long, and should really be a borderline NCAA team with the talent they have on the floor. Vasquez, Gist and Osby alone should have this team doing better than losing to the likes of American and Ohio at home. Get it together, Gary.

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