As the conference tournaments start, there are several teams who need to make a lasting impression if they have any hope on Selection Sunday.
As I watched the last few months of college basketball, I would think this or that team deserved to be one of the 68 in the NCAA tournament. With Wichita State rolling along at an undefeated pace, I think they could grab the title just as easy as anyone else.
I believe it’s a wide open field, yet Florida – with its undefeated regular-season in-conference record, is being pitched by a lot of folks. The SEC is such a top heavy league that even with only two losses (one to Wisconsin) Florida looks vulnerable.
Now Creighton, with player of the year nominee, Doug McDermott, seems focused and ready to challenge. The Big Ten is supposed to be all that, yet the last time they produced a champion was way back in 2000.
Villanova, coached by Jay Wright, looks dangerous and plays the ultimate team game. Duke lives and dies by the sword with its 3-point land style, but Jabari Parker is playing like a seasoned vet. There are also some dangerous contenders who have built up cache like Memphis, Cincinnati and Rick Pitino’s Louisville defending champs.
My list of pretenders is Arizona, Syracuse and Kansas, but they will be in the mix. My pick: the Wichita State Shockers.
And I’m sticking to it.
Mike North has been in sports radio 20-plus years. He is heard weekly on the national FoxSports Radio network, writes a twice-weekly column for the Daily Herald newspaper and does videos for their website three times a week. Listen to his podcasts at http://www.foxsportsradio.com/media/podcast-fox-sports-daybreak-fsrdaybreak/. Follow him on Twitter @North2North. Contact him at [email protected]