View Full Version : Contenders vs. Pretenders

02-16-2008, 01:12 PM
With Stanford, G'town, and Indiana losing this week...

There is only one 3 loss team: UCLA

There are three 2 loss teams: UNC, TENN, and Kansas

Duke is the only 1 loss team in the country.

Memphis is still undefeated.

Not sure what my point is except maybe we are starting to see who is for real and who is just pretend.

02-16-2008, 01:16 PM
I intentionally did not add Butler and Drake to the list because I just don't see them on the same level as the teams I mentioned.

I know some will say Butlet is for real, but I just don't buy it.

02-16-2008, 02:21 PM
I think there is a handful of teams that have separated from the rest of the pack, though there are any number of teams that have the ability to put together four wins and get to the Final Four. While the clear-cut Final Four favorites aren't way better than everyone else, they have played at a higher level more consistently. There is no powerhouse, but we know who has shown the ability to play like a national champion and who has not.

You have to consider Memphis, Duke, and UCLA as the elite of the elite. They all have a number of victories over good teams in multiple venues and rarely have letdowns. UCLA lost at Washington, but they have been good enough against everyone else to deserve consideration as the best team around.

The next group of teams that are better than almost everyone, but have definitely raised concerns are UNC, Kansas, Tennessee, and Texas. UNC still doesn't have a big-time victory and has struggled in the ACC against mediocre competition. Kansas has put up big numbers against decent competition, but struggled with USC and Arizona and lost its only two legit conference tests at K-State and Texas. Tennessee has a bunch of good wins and losing big at Texas isn't the worst thing, but losing to Kentucky and beating LSU 47-45 are definite red flags. Meanwhile, Texas will have more elite wins than anyone entering the NCAAs after beating Kansas, UCLA, and Tennessee, but have a couple Big 12 losses because they don't play defense.

This is where it starts getting tricky. Where these teams are at changes as games go by, so it is hard to differentiate between them all. Those top seven I listed are pretty clearly the teams that are ahead of everyone else and there is very little separating any of them. Once you get past those top seven teams it is difficult to break down all the up-and-down teams that make up the rest of the Top 25.

After those top seven teams there are some wannabe elite teams that have looked great at times and horrid at others. Think about teams like Stanford, G'town, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana, UConn, A&M, Washington State, Marquette, Pitt, etc. How do you divide all these teams up?

Anyway, I think there is a little division right now with the truly elite teams. I count those seven as the best in the country with the top three having fewer question marks.