It’s that time of year again, when pollsters and coaches and media members throw logic to the wind and vote for which teams they think are going to succeed in the upcoming college basketball season – without a single game even being played! For the most part I don’t have any problem with in-season polls. They are fun, they make for lively debate, they don’t really MEAN anything. But the ones that I can’t stand are these preseason ones. Even with my team perched (unanimously in the APs case) atop them both, I still can’t believe who is retarded enough to vote some of these teams as high as they are. So let’s break down these lists shall we? With what I think are the good, bad, and the MOTHEROFGOD DICK VITALE YOU CANNOT VOTE 700 TIMES!
AP: 1) UNC, 2) Connecticut, 3) Louisville, 4) UCLA, 5) Pittsburgh, 6) Michigan State, 7) Texas, 8) Duke, 9) Notre Dame, 10) Gonzaga
ESPN/USA Today: 1) UNC, 2) Connecticut, 3) Louisville, 4) UCLA, 5) Duke, 6) Pittsburgh, 7) Michigan State, 8) Texas, 9) Notre Dame, 10) Purdue
Obviously, the Top 10 for each list is pretty similar.
(Excuse me for a moment, GO HEELS!!!… sorry about that, first ever unanimous AP preseaon number 1 fills me with school pride and whatnot)
North Carolina sits at number 1 for returning consensus POY Tyler Hansbrough along with the entire Final Four reaching starting lineup from last season. They have also added some high quality freshman that should add even more depth. Stupid Hansbrough had to use all the grit, determination and toughness to work his shins into a “stress reaction” which apparently is the precursor to a stress fracture. Sit still for awhile big guy, and then you better be back on the floor for the Kentucky game!
Connecticut is riding high at the number 2 spot on the large, muscular shoulders of Hasheem Thabeet.
Louisville is returning an experienced starting line-up, although they are missing one hot piece that will be sorely missed, by the team and by me. I’m talking about David Padgett. I miss you already David. Enjoy the NBA, if you made it there that is…
No complaints about UCLA, they are a perennial threat to make it to the Final Four and this year they are infinitely better looking now that Kevin Love has taken his hideous facial hair to the pros.
The number 5 slot is where I start to get a WEE BIT PO’d. The AP takes a safe choice in Pittsburgh. They had a good season last year, didn’t have any sort of mass exodus to the NBA. But ESPN/USA Today have clearly been sipping on the sauce again with their pick of Duke. Now look, I don’t think they are ranked too high because I hate them with fury of a thousand hell-beasts. I think they are ranked too high BECAUSE THEY ARE! Does ESPN have amnesia from last March? Even the AP might have eaten some questionable brownies before they listed the Blue Devils at number 8. They lost in the first weekend 2 years in a row! They lost one of their highest scorers to obscurity and didn’t add any new players of note. They have no quality big men; Brian Zoubek is usually the best player on the OTHER team. They usually have a good regular season record, bolstered by a string of cupcake match-ups prior to the ACC schedule. Something tells me a senior roster of Greg “Anemia Posterchild” Paulus and David “Who???” McClure are gonna do much damage. Although, I hear Gerald Henderson wields a mean forearm…
6/7) It’s weird to see Michigan State on a preseason list without Drew Neitzel. How will they fare without their All American shooting guard?
7/8) Texas. Hmm, I actually don’t know much about Texas basketball. I know that the stupid Charlotte Bobcats drafted former Texas point guard DJ Augustin over one of the Lopez twins in last years draft. I don’t remember which twin, but I do remember the shocked look on his face as apparently he had been told that was his spot. But yeah, I got nothing.
9) Notre Dame, another team hoping to hop on the back of their Preseason All American big-man and ride him all the way to the Final Four.
10) Purdue/ Gonzaga – I have a soft spot in my heart for Gonzaga. Having grown up in Washington they were the only basketball team that ever made any noise come March and so it was quite the conundrum when Washington State (my alma mater) finally started to win some games. Every year WSU and Gonzaga would play, and the WSU players used to get really pissed when students would come decked out in Gonzaga gear. Anyways… the Bulldogs look to go far with center Josh Heytvelt returning to form and senior guard Jeremy Pargo rejecting the NBA draft to come back to school.
Oh yeah, and Purdue. The Boilermakers always seem to be a threat come March, often giving me pains when filling out my bracket. Mostly because I never even think about them and so I have no idea what to expect. This year? Well apparently they are winning exhibition games by 32 points (over Florida Southern). Does this indicate future performance? I have no idea.
USC – holding strong at number 18 and 21 based solely on the acquisition of Demar Derozan or Lil Romeo? I think we know who Master P picks!
Kansas, the reigning national champs, took a nose dive to 23 and 24 respectively, due to losing almost their entire roster to the NBA draft. I can’t say I feel bad about this, for personal reasons of course.