Sunday, January 27, 2013

Temple vs Butler Overview

Saturday I made my first trip ever to "Historic" Hinkle Fieldhouse.  It was, well, interesting.  I witnessed a pretty good game played by two pretty good teams.  Here are some bullet point thoughts on the game, the teams, Temple players, and the Butler atmosphere as a whole.  Enjoy.

- Temple got out to a good start, which is something they haven't been doing lately.  Was nice to see, actually got to cheer a little bit.  Also, they were down 13 and came all the way back, that was fun.

- Felt bad for Dileo.  Gets the second start of his career.  When I saw he was in the starting lineup, I thought, wow, what a smart move, just have him shadow Clark.  And he did that.  He never left his side, then Andrew Smith sets a moving screen on him and sticks his leg out, Dileo turns his ankle and is done for the game.  Not that calling a foul would have saved his ankle, but cmon, that needs to be called.  I'm sure all week Dileo was pumped for this chance and wanted to show he could do it, three minutes in, all for not.

- Wyatt also came out wanting to take over.  He has that ability and he had it in him Saturday, in the first half at least.  In the second half they put Roosevelt Jones on him.  That guy is bigger, stronger, and quicker, he shut Wyatt down.

- Hinkle Fieldhouse is old and just gives off a generally weird vibe.  You definitely feel like you are watching a high school game.  We walked around the lower section and you pass a bunch of rooms with kids eating pizza, and families just hanging out.  We passed the dance team just stretching and chilling in the hall way.  All of the seats are just benches, not like actual seats.

- The bathrooms are just the troughs instead of urinals.  I think there are probably two bathrooms, but I could only find one.  You can tell there have been no updates since it was bult in 16 hundred whatever.  Which is fine and all, it gives off that vintage feel.  I just think that if you are basically telling everyone that you aren't putting any money into it, then how can you have a 4 dollar slice of pizza and 15 dollar parking?  Rip off right?

- One huge thing that I'll never forget about my Butler experience. I've been to a LOT of college basketball arenas in my day. Usually I am rooting for the away team so I am always amazed by the home teams fans. However, I can say this with 100% truth, Butler fans are the whiniest, most pathetic crybaby fans I have ever heard in my life. Not even a question. (And I'm sure my Dayton friends can't believe I'm saying that, don't worry, your fans are still second.) They are so mad at everything. I think they think they are entitled or something. I couldn't believe it. And Stevens makes it worse. When there is a bad call, wait, when there is a call that they believe to be bad, they boo with so much hate it's uncomfortable, but if Stevens yells at the ref, it gets twice as loud. Did you know Wyatt travels EVERY SINGLE TIME HE GETS THE BALL?!?! Well, did you ever wonder why the refs never call it? Oh wait, maybe because he isn't traveling.

- I've read a few articles about how Butler's fans are so intelligent.  Could have fooled me.

- Back to the game.  I walked out of that game with the same feeling about the Temple team as I always do.  They have the players, they have the talent, they show flashes, but as a whole, they just can't quite figure it out.  Knocked down some threes, some nice passes, some good D, some blocked shots, played under control.  Then in the blink of an eye, Butler is dunking, hitting wide open threes.  Temple is taking fall away shots, passing the ball out of bounds.  I guess all you can say is, God damn college kids!!!

- Which brings me to a new topic that I haven't discussed in awhile.  Is Dunphy a good in game coach?  Temple comes back from 13 down to tie the game with under 8 minutes to go.  And Rahlir takes one to the hole and gets blocked.  Next possession he shoots a jumper, miss.  Then two turnovers.  Then Lee shoots some running hook, next thing you know it's a ten point game.  I mean, does he call these plays or do the players just not do as he says?  And during that run Butler got two easy dunks and a couple wide open threes.  So, is it Dunphy or is it the players choking?  I'm leaning towards both.

- But just to state my opinion here, Dunphy is still the right choice at Temple.  I've been reading people lately saying he should be gone.  Cmon, he's taken them to five straight tourneys, won three A10 tourney titles, two regular season titles, and they have beaten a top 10 team five straight years.  You can't say he is a bad coach and then point out all the good things.  He's a good coach, I don't doubt that one bit.

- I'm fully on the bandwagon to have QDC get all of Pepper's minutes.  You can tell they have the same athletic ability, QDC just plays harder and wants it more, time for the transition.

- Anthony Lee brings it every game, I like that kid.  He might leave as a better player than all the big men we've had in the last 15 years other than Lavoy.

- Could Scootie possibly be turning the corner.  He still missed a lot, but he hit a couple of big shots.  It's not his ability we are worried about, it's his confidence.  So hitting a few big shots could help him snap out of it.

- One good thing I have to say about Butler.  They are good.  Clark and Dunham are great shooters.  Smith and Jones can rebound and play D with the best of them.  They have a pretty deep bench.  They don't make too many mistakes.  They have more athletic ability than you think, and they are big.  I don't like them, but they have a good thing going there.

- Interesting that your favorite player has played like 15 games in his career for your school though, get off Rotnei's nuts.

- Always love the fans that yell about a call from the other side of the gym. HE WAS ON THE LINE!!! HE DIDN'T TOUCH HIM!!! Well kind sir, I'm going to believe the ref that is three feet from the play, and not you who is sitting about 50 yards from the play.

- And Stevens, I personally can't stand the guy.  He's that quiet arrogant type, like coach K.  I hope someday they get busted for some NCAA violations.  Ha, ok, just kidding, kind of.  Oh and one more thing, you could get away with saying a lot as an opposing fan, but I feel like if I said something aloud about Stevens I might get beat up and thrown out of there on the spot.  He's like a God there, creepy really.

- Overall, I enjoyed the experience.  Nice arena, good game, and somewhat happy the way Temple played as a whole.  I hope this team starts getting on a roll and makes the tourney again.  Personally, I think they will and this season will end up being a good one.

Any thoughts on your least favorite fans or arenas?

Thanks for reading.


Butler's Khyle Marshall has his shot blocked by Temple's Jake O'Brien during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anyone Understand This Team?

Just some bullet thoughts on tonight's game and this Owls team in general.  What in the hell are we watching?  Does anyone know?

- 52, 64, and 55 points in the last three games.  Need to score more points.  Sounds simple and lazy to say, but it's the truth.  This team needs to find a way to score more points, somehow, someway.

- Need to run more plays for Anthony Lee, but Anthony Lee can only turn to his right and use his left hand.  He made a move in the Xavier game where he turned to his right hand, and he literally paused for like two seconds because he had no idea what to do.  I like him as a player, but he needs to get more post moves.

- Rahlir.  Love this guys intangibles.  Hustles, plays smart D, rebounds.  On offensive he cuts, gets himself to open spots, but he CANNOT score.  If only we had a guy that did all the things Rahlir does and could shoot, he'd be first team all conference.  When Rahlir shoots a jumper, it's just like a turnover.  I hate saying that, but it's true.

- What was Pepper doing taking that three late in the game against GW?  Did he think it was going in?  Because I'm sure no one else did.

- Wyatt.  I've said the same thing a million times, I love how the guy wants to take the big shot, I appreciate that, someone has to be willing to do it.  But could you please take a normal shot?  Just once?  When Temple was down 10 and cut it to six, Wyatt did some step back, one footed, lean back three.  I mean cmon man, just shoot the damn ball, it's not that hard.  5-18 isn't going to cut it.  Neither is five points at Xavier.  If you are a POY contender, then show it when your team needs it, against not high profile teams. 

- He did hit some big shots tonight though.

- O'Brien, needs way more minutes.  I haven't noticed him as a defensive liability, so there is no reason he shouldn't be getting more minutes.

- When Wyatt isn't on the floor, Temple has zero players that can create their own shot.  Cummings could, but he doesn't want to shoot, which is fine.  So what do you do?  Can Fran draw up some shots to get layups?  I don't think he can.  It's just a passing game and whoever feels like taking the tough jumper, does, and it's usually Scootie.

- Speaking of Scootie.  I believe he'll come around.  He still plays good D and you can see that he has a good basketball IQ and tries to be a leader out there.  I think he got into his slump because like I said earlier, no one can create a shot and he has the balls to take shots.  It has hurt him, but I can't totally fault him for it.

- Under 25% again from three tonight, has to get better.

- Does this team not do something right on road trips?  What is with these slow starts?

- Was that not the worst officiated game you had ever seen?  When the game was over I yelled at the ref through the tv, I said, "Dude, why aren't you running off the court, you are going to get killed, get the hell out of there, please!"

- Where do you guys see this team at the end of the regular season?  I'm thinking Temple loses at least four conference games.  I mean I hope not, but how can you see them going better than 10-3 the rest of the way.  I could see them losing at Dayton, at Butler, at St. Joes, at Charlotte, at Umass, and maybe even home vs. VCU and LaSalle.  Again, I don't think they'll lose all of those, but I think I would take 12-4 right now.  Figure they beat Detroit and Penn and that's 24-7, I would take that for sure.

- The big debate is whether or not the freshman should get more time.  Look, when I watch these guys struggle, I wonder what the freshman could do if they were out there.  But the bottom line is, we haven't seen them play, we don't watch them in practice.  If Dunphy doesn't think they can help right now, then I trust him.  When Temple was down late against GW or Xavier, do you think throwing Dingle out there would have helped?  Do you really?  I doubt it.  So ya, maybe mix them in the game in a low pressure spot, like first half against the Bonnies or Fordham and see what they can do, but I for one am not begging for them to get a bunch of action.

- Quick summary here, I think Temple will be fine, but I have lowered my expectations a little bit.  This team is frustrating to watch, mostly because they can't score, but the reason why that is so frustrating is because we know they have the players.  So if and when this teams gets hot and gets rolling, I think they can do some damage.  Let's hope it's soon, some big games coming up in about ten days, starting at Butler. 

Anyone have any quick thoughts?  Love to hear them.  I'm out.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dr. Brackets Second Edition

Mr. Mike Witte, aka Dr. Brackets has come out with his second edition of Bracketology.  He said that this is where the teams would be seeded as of today, with a little bit of future forecasting.  How it does both, I don't know, but whatever.  I won't add any insight on where I think the teams will finish up this go around.  Instead I'll write down the first player that comes to my mind for each of these schools.  Not looking at any Internet to help me out, so some may be blank, or wrong.  Let us know what you think on the rankings and players.  Enjoy.

Here is Dr. Brackets seeds.....

1. Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Indiana
Greg Paulus, probably the worst college basketball player I ever had to watch play, over and over.
Mario Chalmers hit that big shot, I liked him for awhile until he went to the Heat.
Francisco Garcia was solid.  Not from America I'm guessing.
Calbert Chaeney, dude could score.  And he played well on Blue Chips.

2. Syracuse, Michigan, Florida, Arizona
Devendorf, we yelled Devendork at him at the USF games, so clever.
Dugan Fife, the not Fab Five dude.
Teddy Dupay, he's friends with my friends cousin or something, so it's kind of like we knew him.
Jason Terry, rocked the long socks.

3. NC State, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Minnesota
Anthony Grundy, I think he played on that team that was like an 8 seed and took them to the ACC title game some year.
Dan Dickau, dude made shots without looking at the rim sometimes, had a smokin' hot girlfriend I remember.
Lawrence Funderburke, way underrated, just played during a down time in Columbus.
Voshon Leonard, didn't get the credit because Bobby Jackson was the man at the time.

4. Kansas State, Creighton, Michigan State, New Mexico
Beasley, could have went 30 and 20 every game if he wanted to, what happened to that dude?
Doug McDermott, my friend from high school is named Doug McDermitt, not as good at bball though.
Mateen Cleaves, probably my most hated college basketball player ever, overrated doesn't even begin to describe him.
Didn't Kenny Thomas go there?  He was cool.

5. Butler, Cincinnati, Missouri, Notre Dame
Gordon Hayward, always thought it was funny that he got drafted by Utah, of course he did.
Nick Van Exel, Nick the Quick, Nick at Night, Slick Nick.  Liked the Lakers when he was there.
Kareem Rush, dude was smooth, too small to make it in the NBA though.
Chris Thomas, what happened to that dude? 

6. Illinois, Temple, San Diego State, Oregon
Kiwane Garris use to dominate the Big Ten.
Lynn Greer, my favorite college basketball player of all time.
Kwami Leonard, ripped Temple's heart out a couple of years ago.
Aaron Brooks, short, quick, good shooter.

7. Memphis, Oklahoma State, Baylor, VCU
Penny Hardaway, when they were Memphis State, one man band when he was there.
Doug Gottlieb, dude averaged like ten assists, and shot under 50% from the line, ha.
Perry Jones III, cost himself a lot of money by not trying.
Ed Nixon, watched him played at the state semi's in Florida.

8. UNLV, Georgetown, Miami (FL), Wichita State
Stacy Augmon, Plastic Man, great nickname.
Allen Iverson, loved watching him play.
Jimmy Graham, made the right choice.
Can't think of anyone off the top of my head but I'm sure he's glad he was a Shocker.

9. Kentucky, Ole Miss, Iowa State, UCLA
Travis Ford, always remember when he duped the ref into thinking he got fouled so he could shoot free throws instead of a shitty player.
Damn, feel like I should know someone but I can't think of anyone, Dexter McCluster?
Marcus Fizer, another bust.
Toby Bailey, he was the man. 

10. UNC, Boise State, St. Louis, Wisconsin
Vince Carter, best dunker in the history of basketball.
No clue, they are good this year though.  Can't think of the dudes name that just beat Wyoming.
For whatever reason I'm drawing a blank right now, so Kwamain Mitchell, cut his dreads.
Devin Harris, use to just take over games. Dropped 40 on Temple once.

11. Oklahoma, Iowa, Colorado, Marquette
Hollis Price, what happened to him?
Rick Rickert, did he even play in the NBA?
Chauncy Billups, probably the best Buff in history.
Dwayne Wade, biggest bitch in the NBA.

12. Davidson, Florida State, Texas A&M, St. Mary's, Colorado State, Utah State
Steph Curry, doesn't have to worry about his brother being better, Seth sucks.
Bobby Sura, starred on the same team as Charlie Ward and Sam Cassell
Drawing another blank but the Middleton dude that got drafted last year was good when I watched.
Davendola, ugliest dude in basketball, and he's been there since the 90's.
Not sure, but they have had some good teams the last few years.
Damn, they had a good dude a couple of years ago when they beat Duke, but I can't remember.

13. Valparaiso, Bucknell, North Dakota State, Harvard
Bryce Drew, one of the most memorable shots in NCAA history.
Bison, no clue, where the hell is Bucknell anyway?
Have you ever met anyone from North Dakota?  Like honestly?
Ryan Fitzpatrick, did he play basketball?  Are you sure?  I bet you don't know that for sure.

14. Middle Tennessee State, Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, George Mason
My friend Bonnie went to school there, she didn't play basketball though.
Brandon Hunter, could have been really good, huge dude, couldn't shoot.
No idea.
Mike Morrison, went to school at Lakewood in St. Pete, my friend Jeff likes to text him like he knows him.

15. Long Beach State, Stephen. F Austin, Iona, UNC Asheville
Don't know, but I wore a LBSU hat for like three years, one of my favorite hats ever.
Was he a president?  Congressman?  Porn star?
Not sure, but I thought they had a dude that transferred from Arizona, I wanna say Machado or something.
Kenny Gregory, what was he 7'3" or something?

16. Weber State, Stony Brook, Mercer, Southern, Robert Morris, Norfolk State
Did they have Damian Lillard of the Blazers?  I think so.
Stony Brook?  Ricky Rubio
Mercer?  World B. Free
Southern?  Manute Bol
Robert Morris? Don't know, but they beat OU two years in a row now.
Norfolk?  Probably some dudes from the team that upset Mizzou last year.

Anyone care to help me out on some of these?  Thanks.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Atlantic 10 Preview

In a couple of months it will be the end of an era.  No longer will I care about schools like Fordham, St. Bonaventure, and Rhode Island.  No longer will I worry about a UMASS home game against St. Louis.  No longer will I have the gamecast up to see if Dayton blows another home game against a conference bottom feeder.  I've always been a huge A10 fan, only conference I care about from the top to the bottom, but as I said earlier, that will come to an end.  But for one last year, it still matters.  So here we go, your A10 preview for the 2013 season.  We have some new blood and some new "contenders", some usual suspects and a few that will not heard be from this year.  So, so long A10, its been real, it's been fun, it's been really fun (sometimes).

16 teams this year, a conference high.  We have broken these teams down into five categories with a few notes on each.  Also, the order they are in is my predicted order of finish in conference play.


VCU -  These guys are fast, these guys can score, and they have experience.  They have 10 guys that average over 10 minutes a game so they just keep coming at you.  Most of their big games are at home, so right now I give them the edge even though this is their first year in the A10 and they'll have a few more tough games then in their previous conference.

BUTLER - Everyone knows about Butler, it is well documented.  This is their first year in the A10.  They play so smart, they play great D, and they don't beat themselves.  At times they struggle scoring, but Rotnei Clark is now a threat on the outside.  With wins over Indiana, Marquette, and North Carolina they deserve their top 15 ranking.  I would make them the favorite right now, but St. Louis, St. Joe's, and VCU are all on the road, they might come up a win short.

TEMPLE - This team struggles at times to score but the effort is always there.  With Khalif Wyatt on the team, every time they step on the court they have a chance to win.  Wyatt is probably the best scorer in the conference and can carry the team if it is needed.  With Anthony Lee, Hollis-Jefferson, and Randall playing defense and rebounding the way they have been, they can beat anyone in the league.  However, they will have some off shooting nights and will probably drop a few games they should win.


ST. LOUIS - This team is obviously playing with a purpose this year due to the loss of Rick Majerus.  They have experience with 10 juniors and seniors.  They play great defense and have already held 10 teams under 60 points.  Defense travels well so they will be in every game.  Kwamain Mitchell is now back and they hope he can carry them further this year.

UMASS - The minutemen will be a tough out this year.  They can light it up from downtown and Chaz Williams is a game changer.  If they get hot they can steal some games, but as we all know, sometimes you are cold.  They'll lose enough games to not be at the top in the end.

LASALLE - Pretty much the same as UMASS.  LaSalle can score and they have some experience but they seem to go cold a lot and won't play consistently enough to make a run at it.  Galloway is their Chaz Williams.  You know they'll steal some games that you don't expect them to.

ST. JOSEPH'S - Picked as the preseason champ by the coaches, this team isn't living up to their expectations right now.  They returned pretty much their whole team so we know they can put it together.  Jones, Galloway, and Aiken can all score and control the game.  Fortunately for the contenders this team always seems to lose winnable games under Martelli.  Expect the same this year.


DAYTON - Kevin Dillard is a stud, and if there weren't so many great guards in this conference, he would be a first teamer.  Like a few of these teams I've already mentioned, this team struggles to score at times and just never seems to win any road games.  They take care of business at home because they get every call so they will always be in the middle of the pack with home wins.  I have Devin Oliver as a first team all conference player, let's see if he makes me look smart.

RICHMOND - Darien Brothers is still there? How old is that guy?  This team is small, they currently are 328th in division one in rebounding, that won't get the job done in this league.  They are a solid team, but the Spiders won't be stealing any road games and making themselves a threat in the league.

XAVIER - The Musketeers are young but talented.  They only have two seniors on the roster and they are really hurt by the losses of Lyons and Wells.  They scare me as a Temple fan but when you can't beat Wofford at home, you can't be taken seriously.

CHARLOTTE - Nice nonconference record but not one of those teams is in the RPI top 100.  In fact six of the 12 wins are against teams top 200 or higher.  Braswell is a good player and might be able to win some games by himself, but not enough.


DUQUESNE - Young team, only two seniors.  Not much to talk about here.  They'll win some games only because some of these other teams are terrible.

ST. BONAVENTURE - They can drill the threes and they play well at home.  Same as above, they can beat the teams below.


GEORGE WASHINGTON - Only one guy averaging over 10 points a game.  Zero wins against a team better than 200 in the RPI.  Just nothing to like.  Cupcake city.

RHODE ISLAND - Jim Baron knew what he was doing when he got the hell out of Rhodey.  The cupboard is bare, RPI of 177, lost to Norfolk State.  This is like a team scrimmage when you play them. 

FORDHAM - Boy am I going to miss these scheduled wins every year.  See ya Rams.

There are a large number of huge games to look forward to this season.  But as we all know, in a few weeks, these games may no longer be huge due to a team or teams laying eggs.  Then again a few big games could pop up due to a team playing above their potential.  Anyway, here are 10 huge matchups that I am looking forward to.

Butler at St. Joseph's (1/9)
Huge game for both.  Butler needs to win these kind of games to win the conference.  St. Joe's needs this to really show if they are going to contend or not.

UMASS at. St. Louis (1/10)
Early contender or pretender matchup.

St. Louis at Temple (1/12)
Temple needs to hold at home and St. Louis needs to steal one.

Temple at Butler (1/26)
Same as above, Butler needs to hold at home, Temple needs to steal one.  I'll be attending this game, can't wait.

Dayton at Xavier (1/30)
This may be one of Dayton's best chances ever to break the unbreakable hex.

Butler at St. Louis (1/31)
Depending on the standings around this date, this game could put one of the teams really behind the 8 ball.

Temple at St. Joseph's (2/2)
Huge rivalry game, Temple seeks revenge from last year.  Only matchup for first time in a long time.

VCU at St. Louis (2/19)
First big road game for VCU in the A10.

Butler at VCU (3/2)
Newcomers collide, if predictions are correct, this could be for the one seed.

VCU at Temple (3/10)
If you ask me, this will be for the conference.  Either way, huge test going into tourney play.

All CONFERENCE TEAM: Khalif Wyatt (Temple), Chaz Williams (UMASS), Devin Oliver (Dayton), Juvonte Reddic (VCU), CJ Aiken (St. Joe's) 

I think five teams make the tourney: VCU, Butler, Temple, St. Louis, UMASS

So there you have it, my final prediction for the Atlantic 10 Conference.  I'll miss it, but I hope I am left with some good memories.  How do you all see it shaping up this year?  Love to hear your thoughts.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading.


Thursday, January 3, 2013


Non conference games are in the books, conference season is now upon us.  This is where rivalry games are aplenty, fraudulent teams are exposed, and big time players come out and shine.  Before it really gets going I need to give my thoughts on who I think will win a few of the conferences.  We also welcome back our guest blogger, Jeremy Fiser, for his views on a few of the "major" conferences.   Feel free to comment below so that you have proof for later when one of your predictions is correct.
JEREMY:  Big Ten Regular Season Conference Champs: Indiana

 The Big Ten is easily the best conference in the nation and the hardest to handicap heading into the conference season. There is a chance that a 2 or 3 loss team wins the Big Ten this year. What was originally just supposed to be Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State on the top of the league has now become those three plus an improved Illinois and a surging Minnesota; all five of these teams are top 11!. Indiana has two things two their advantage: 1) Assembly Hall is the best home court advantage in the Big Ten and 2) Indiana has a balanced attack that will cause problems for other Big Ten teams. Ohio State proved it has a serious weakness on the inside versus Kansas. Michigan will challenge the Hoosiers and could potentially tie for the conference championship, but I give the Hoosiers the edge due to Cody Zeller.

CURT: Big Ten Regular Seasons Champs: Michigan
Right now the Big Ten is the best conference.  It is going to be very hard to win a road game anywhere in that conference.  To me, the best way to win big road games is to have playmakers that can score.  Michigan has more of those players than any other team in the Big Ten.  Burke, Hardaway, and Robinson can all score at will and they have other shooters on the outside.  If Zeller gets in foul trouble, which he will on the road, then Indiana will have to fight for some wins.  I just think Michigan has what it takes to win the conference.  OSU is not good, they will finish outside of the top 3.  Illinois is a fraud and will finish around .500.  My sleeper to maybe get a bye in the tourney is Wisconsin, they don't lose at home.
JEREMY: ACC Regular Season Conference Champs: Duke

This pick shouldn’t come as much of a surprise –Duke has already knocked off Ohio State, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Louisville, with the last three played away from Cameron. Duke will easily walk through the ACC with Mason Plumlee averaging double-doubles each night and will most likely still be the number one team at the end of the year – primarily due to a relatively weak ACC.

CURT: ACC Regular Season Conference Champs: Duke
Not even sure what to say on this one.  Is there even a contender?  FSU is underachieving, Miami is suppose to be good but they always choke.  UNC has talent, but then I saw them lose to possibly the worst team I have seen all year, Texas.  If Duke doesn't win this conference it will be because three of the their starters are out for the year.
JEREMY: Big East Regular Season Conference Champs: Louisville
Like the Big Ten, there are a lot of choices here. Cincinnati will probably fade. Syracuse will step outside of their Carrier Dome comfort zone and find difficulty. Georgetown is good – not great. Louisville is a good team that flattened Missouri earlier this year and played Duke to the wire. Look for them to end the season on top.
CURT: Big East Regular Season Conference Champs: Syracuse
I agree with Cincinnati fading, they don't have a post presence or a deadly shooter.  Georgetown can never score enough.  Notre Dame will be exposed as a fraud, as will Seton Hall and Marquette.  I like Louisville but whenever I watch them they always seem to have some of the dumbest players in the NCAA.  Their bonehead plays always hold them back.  Will they be good? Heck ya, but I just see them slipping up a little too much.  Syracuse to me has the bigs, the shooters, the slashers, and MCW.  If they continue to improve, to me they have the best team in the conference.

JEREMY: Additional Thoughts:

- If Kansas plays the way they did against Ohio State, they will present difficulties to a lot of teams. Very balanced approach with a strong presence in the middle.

- Butler knocking off Indiana earlier this year will not be the last time we hear the Bulldogs name this year. Sidenote – the gigantic 16 team Atlantic Ten will send three teams to the Dance this year.

- Notice the discrepancy between the AP top 25 and Ken Pom’s Top 30 – I generally trust Ken Pom. Significant number of non-powerhouse conference teams in Ken Poms top 30, including Colorado State, VCU and big bad Belmont with St Louis and Wyoming (Wyoming?) ranked 31 or 32. 
CURT: Extra Thoughts:
-The Big 12 is going to be sneaky good this year.  Kansas is the real deal, OK State is good, Mizzou is there, K State always brings it, and Baylor has talent like crazy.  And their records will all look good because the rest of the conference is trash.
-I'll have an A10 preview later this week, but ya, it's going to be a crazy year.  8 teams legitimately have a chance to not only dance, but win a game when they get there.
-PAC12 will also be a good conference to watch, finally.  Arizona is the class there, they have two huge wins already on the slate.
-Gonzaga looks really good, possibly their best team they have had.
-Mountain West is really top heavy, they could get five teams in.  Wyoming is still undefeated by the way.
-How about that Temple win over Syracuse?  They have Kansas Sunday, that'll probably be a massacre.
-Oh, and one last thing, my Bobcats are strugglingly, mightily.  Hopefully the conference schedule can get them going.
As a lot of you know, I like to keep track of what teams are still in the running for the National Title.  Here is a quick rundown as of today, January 3rd.
347 teams in Division I
17 already eliminated
330 can still dream the ultimate dream
ELIMINATED: Connecticutt, UC Riverside, UNC Wilmington, Towson, Toledo, Jacksonville State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Mississippi Valley State (ACADEMICALLY INELIGIBLE)
Cal State Bakersfield, New Orleans (INDEPENDENTS, NOT GETTING AN AT LARGE BID)
Chicago State, Houston Baptist, NJIT, Texas Pan American, Utah Valley (GREAT WEST, NO AUTO BID, NOT GETTING AN AT LARGE BID)
'Til next time.....