|Connelly’s Top Ten: Less Than a Week to Opening Day!||Why 2014 Should Make Red Sox Fans Smile||Former Bruins Player Carol Vadnais Dies||John Farrell’s Second Season Unlike his First|
I would be remiss if I did not mention UK’s obliteration of #8 Florida last night. They are just amazing. Almost too much talent, if that’s possible. Last week Anthony Davis averaged 7.5 blocks per game. Blocks! That’s absurd. Chad Ford has four of the team’s starters ranked in the top 30 for this year’s draft. Do you think they make fun of Doron Lamb (37th in Ford’s rankings), because he’s the only starter not expected to be drafted into the first round?
Fab Melo is important. That’s what we’ve learned.
Up 51-50 with 3:39 to go against #21 Wisconsin, the Buckeyes proved that they can close out good teams. That will be important in March (next month!). They may not be as talented as Kentucky, but their experience playing together is really showing.
The way the Tigers closed out against Kansas last weekend changed my perception of them. Sure, they were at home, but they looked entirely comfortable in the types of late-game situations that can cause many teams to unravel. With multiple elite free throw shooters, their ability to close games out could also have them playing late into March.
The Tar Heels continue to stomp the ACC. I don’t think the game against #10 Duke will be that close. They’ve been that locked in since the loss to #15 Florida State.
9. Murray State
I’m calling it right now: Murray State will be a #8 seed and will play #1 Kentucky in the second round of the tournament. There, they will learn that the Wildcats are undoubtedly the state’s best team.
11. Michigan State
13. San Diego State
15. Florida State
SDSU and UNLV play this week. The Aztecs won the first meeting by 2, but this game will be in Las Vegas. No matter what happens, this is progress for the Mountain West. They may not be as strong as the Missouri Valley was a few years ago, but as mid-majors go, they are exceptionally competitive.
16. Saint Mary’s
20. Mississippi State
Mississippi State is still here! Ridiculous.
This same sort of pattern often emerged with the football rankings, where Big Ten teams clumped towards the back of the rankings. The difference here is that Ohio State is #3 and Michigan State is #11. Still, the Big Ten seems to clump together far more often than any other conference. I don’t know what this means.