Quick, which team is the best team in the state of Washington? I bet you answered Gonzaga. You may be correct, but they have a serious challenger in the form of the Washington Huskies. Lorenzo Romar has his team tied for first in the Pac-10 with wins over USC, UCLA and Arizona St already.
Led by Isaiah Thomas, Jon Brockman, and Justin Dentmon, Washington is poised to make a run at the Pac-10 regular season and tournament titles and an opportunity to play close to home in the NCAA tournament. They have four very winnable games upcoming before they go on the road to play the Los Angeles schools.
I know they’re games air late on the East coast, but if I were you, I’d make sure I’d catch a UW game soon.
Stock Up: Kansas. It’s amazing. They’re the defending national champions, but no one is talking about the Jayhawks. They’re rolling right now after a very tough start which included a loss to UMass. Cole Aldrich is one of the most improved players in America and Sherron Collins is playing out of this world basketball right now. This team is well on its way to moving out of the shadow of last year’s squad.
Stock Up: Penn St. Now THIS is how you get over the Rose Bowl. This is clearly the best Penn St team since they went to the tournament eight years ago. That team made it all the way to the Sweet 16. I don’t know if this team has that kind of success in it, but it could be on it’s way to a tournament berth.
Stock Down: St. Mary’s. Unfortunately Patrick Mills broke his hand last week. He’s going to be out for a month and that’s going to destroy the Gaels at-large chances. This is just not a tournament team without him on the floor. It’s a shame too, because he’s clearly one of the best guards in the country.
This week’s Bracket Projections:
Last Four In: Michigan, Providence, Georgetown, Texas A&M
Last Four Out: BYU, Baylor, Cincinnati, San Diego St
Sorry Wake Forest fans, as the last #1, you got stuck with the Fri-Sun games because of the play-in game.
This bracket is good for games played through Sunday, February 1, 2009.
1.North Carolina16.Long Beach St Greensboro, NC
5.Washington12.Georgetown Portland, OR
6.Gonzaga11.Florida St Portland, OR
7.Ohio St10.Tennessee Minneapolis, MN
2.Marquette15.East Tennessee St
1.Oklahoma16.Holy Cross Kansas City, MO
5.Illinois12.Providence Philadelphia, PA
6.Missouri11.Siena Miami, FL
3.Clemson14.Stephen F. Austin
7.USC10.Penn St Kansas City, MO
1.Wake Forest16. Morehead St/Alabama St Dayton, OH
5.Texas12.Michigan Miami, FL
6.UCLA11.Kentucky Boise, ID
7.Utah St10.Boston College Dayton, OH
1.Connecticut16.Morgan St Philadelphia, PA
5.Minnesota12.Virginia Tech Boise, ID
6.West Virginia11.Texas A&M Minneapolis, MN
3.Michigan St14.North Dakota St
7.Dayton10.Florida Greensboro, NC