Memphis vs. The Field? Maybe.
1. Memphis, 22-0. Are they the best team? Until someone beats them, yes. They are the only squad with a big fat zero in the loss column, but could they sustain that without Dorsey? I say no, but Dorsey isn't going anywhere yet. And neither is Memphis from the #1 spot. However, I retain my suspicions about a team whose conference schedule consists of teams like SMU, Rice, and UA-B. Putting the hurt on a Mike Davis team doesn't say much.
2. Duke, 21-1. Any questions I had about this team being a legit contender were answered when the went into the Dean Dome and dominated. Pardon my alliteration. But seriously, it looks like Greg Paulus has decided to play during Duke's conference schedule, something he barely did for the first part of the season. Shrewed coaching, multiple threats on the floor, the demeanor that comes from having the DUKE target on your back and STILL continuing to win...this team has it all.
3. Kansas, 23-1. Much like Duke, this team has weapons at all positions. Any one (or more) of their players can have career nights during any given game. They Gayhawks sit atop what is arguably the nation's toughest conference this season, and as a result are highly-battle tested and will be formidable deep into march. If they can emerge from their remaining schedule (plenty of road games and three games against Top 25 teams) unscathed they will be tough to beat or to pick against.
4. North Carolina, 21-2. Yeah yeah, they lost at home to Duke. Guess what? So has every other team that has played basketball over the last twenty years. Two things suggest that the Duke victory is no reason to drop this team out of the top five: the TarHeels' floor general Ty Lawson didn't play in the Duke game, and they still have Tyler Hansbrough. He's knarsty.
5. Tennessee, 21-2. A close win against a reeling LSU program gives me more reason to doubt the Vols as a serious contender. That they only scored 47 points against an LSU team which allows an average of 76 points to its opponents is cause for concern, but with the wide open pack of teams trailing the top four, I'm calling the Vols the best of the rest.
6. UCLA, 20-2. Sure they are a great team. Yes Love and Collison are spectacular. But I have watched several of the Bruins' games this season and don't see them as an intense, inspired team that can make the tourney their playground and win the damn thing. Call me a hater. You will be right.
7. Xavier, 18-4. The Musketeers are emerging as the cream of a legit A-10 crop. They have a half-dozen players averaging double-figures per game, and Drew Lavender is a special talent on this very dangerous team. However, great wins over Indiana and K-State are tainted by losses to teams like Miami(OH), Temple, and Arizona St.
8. Texas, 19-4. The Horns continue to roll through the Big 12, as Augustin and Abrams are as good as advertised. A mild scare at Iowa State today is no cause for concern, as road wins in BCS conferences are never easy to come by. Back-to-back losses to quality Big Ten teams Michigan St. and Wisconsin raise questions about how they would fare during the long road to the Final Four, but the most serious concern is the lack of a post presence to compliment Connor Atchley.
9. Indiana, 19-3. Yeah, I said it. So what? Their game at Illinois proves the Hoosiers can win in the most hostile of environments, and no one can deny that they have all the pieces: prolific scorer(Gordon), post presence (DJ White), speedy point guard (Bassett) and a whole host of dangerous, quality supporting cast members (Crawford, Ellis, Stemler, Thomas). Can they put the pieces together to play their best b-ball in the spring? Only time will tell. But upcoming games against Purdue and Michigan State will be very telling.
10. Butler, 21-2. A.J. Graves is the shit. Today's win against Wisconsin-Green Bay isn't. Much like Xavier, Butler has shown they can dominate their lesser-than-worthy competition, but can they do it against the name-brands they are sure to face in the tourney?
Also receiving votes: Georgetown, Stanford, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Purdue