Is it just us, or has college hoops halfway through the season been almost completely devoid of big upsets so far this year? Last night’s UNC-Clemson game was exciting on many levels, but it failed to deliver in the one key area that makes the college hoops regular season so great – the big upset (leading to a home team RTC, of course).
On the Horizon – More of This?
In the aftermath of the wild and wacky college football season that saw several teams out of the national title hunt/back into the picture/out/then in again, as well as some eye-opening early college basketball losses (ahem, Gardner-Webb, Mercer), pundits wondered aloud whether we were in store for another zany hoops season where a new #1 team would last about as long as it takes to hang the banner (sup, Carolina fans).
This may all become completely irrelevant as conference play begins in earnest, but this is one of the quietest pre-conferences we’ve seen in many years. It turns out that the Kentucky loss to Gardner-Diego wasn’t that much of an upset as anyone with a starting five can beat UK this year, and the few other eyebrow-arching intra-top 25 losses (e.g., Texas over UCLA and Tennessee) aren’t what we’re talking about. Don’t agree?
- Consider that we’re two months into the season and the AP top 10 consists of nine of the same teams as the preseason poll (Louisville has been replaced by Duke).
- Consider that those preseason top ten teams are a combined 127-9 and four of those nine losses are accounted by Rick Pitino’s injury-prone Louisville squad.
- Of the five other losses, two of them came against other preseason top tenners (Georgetown against Memphis; Michigan St. against UCLA), and two of them were against Texas (#15 preseason). The other top ten loss was Indiana against Xavier.
So this means one of two things. Either we can expect an oligarchy of about 6-8 power teams this year running roughshod through their respective conferences; or, none of this analysis means a damn thing and we’ll have a brand new top 10 in a couple short weeks of conference play. Let’s lace em up and find out.