The college basketball world has its eyes focused on Kentucky in the SEC, but it’s another team in that league that has quietly been having an outstanding season. The Arkansas Razorbacks have begun to distance themselves from everyone in the league not named Kentucky.
With play reminiscent of the Nolan Richardson days, the Razorbacks play an exciting brand of trapping and pressing that is finally paying dividends. The “fastest 40 minutes in basketball” is forcing over 16 turnovers per game giving them 11th most possessions per game nationally.
Coach Mike Anderson is back home and it looks like he’s bringing the old days back. Mark Feb. 28 on your calendars folks. That’s the day the Hogs invade Rupp.
Stock Up: Valparaiso. This team is dangerous. While the country was expecting Green Bay to have a big season in the Horizon, it’s been 24-4 Valpo who’s running away with league title.
Stock Down: George Washington. The Colonials had a really bad week last week. Losing at Duquesne and home to Briante Weber-less VCU made GW’s RPI plummet to the 70’s. Going to be an uphill climb for the Colonials the rest of the way.
Stock Up: SMU. Last year on Selection Sunday, the committee took exception to the Mustangs strength and schedule and road record. That will not be an issue this year. SMU took care of business on paper and is now doing it on the court.
Stock Down: Old Dominion. A once promising at-large resume is faltering in the unfavorable light of being 7-5 in Conference USA.
On to the bracket.
Last Four In: Stanford, St. John’s, Colorado St, NC State
Last Four Out: Pittsburgh, Tulsa, Miami (FL), Oregon
This is good for games through 2/15
1.Kentucky16.St. Francis(NY)/Bucknell Louisville
5.Northern Iowa12.Valparaiso Louisville
6.San Diego St11.Michigan St Seattle
3.Notre Dame14.North Carolina Central
2.Arizona15.Florida Gulf Coast
1.Virginia16.South Dakota St Charlotte
5.SMU12.Colorado St/St John’s Columbus
6.Oklahoma St11.NC State/Stanford Pittsburgh
6.Butler11.Texas A&M Columbus
3.Iowa St14.UC Davis
1.Wisconsin16.New Mexico St/Alabama St Omaha
5.Baylor12.Murray St Jacksonville
3.Utah14.Stephen F. Austin
2.Kansas15.William & Mary