Even Steven Seven
My thoughts on UConn haven't changed much since their tremendous run to the Maui title. The team will hit some snags, some bumps in the road over the next couple of months. Freshman mistakes will hurt them, as well as the inevitable games when Kemba Walker is asked to do too much but can't quite do it all. But the win at Texas furthers my belief that the Huskies will be right in the mix all season long, a tough out for anyone. And, more importantly, I see this as a very good tournament team.
With Walker leading the way and Jim Calhoun on the sidelines, no one will out-will UConn. Oh, they'll out-talent them (although the talent pool isn't particularly deep anywhere this side of Durham, N.C., this season -- and the Dukies are lessened by the absence of Kyrie Irving). But no team will out-will UConn. What more could you want from a team in the NCAA (and Big East) tournament?
Elsewhere, while I've noticed several Internet columns urging people to "jump on the BYU bandwagon now," I'm proud to say I've been there all season. Had the Cougars ranked No. 11 to start the season, much higher than most, and have kept them no lower than about 15 most of the way, even while others started voting them out. You may have missed it since it was a 10 p.m. EST start, but that win over UNLV last week was pretty impressive. (And no, I'm not Mormon -- even though my brother helped Mitt Romney on his presidential campaign a few years ago).
Michigan State, UNLV and Memphis get jettisoned this week. Sorry, Spartans, but 10-5 at this point isn't top 25-worthy. I've added Wisconsin, Baylor and Temple.
2. Ohio State
6. San Diego State
9. Brigham Young
13. Texas A&M
14. Notre Dame
17. Kansas State
24. Central Florida