Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Who Will Be No. 1?


College basketball is always one of the most exciting sports to watch because it redefines the phrase 'anything is possible'. Unranked teams often beat Top 5 foes and no one is safe during March Madness. Although I feel death every time I watch the Baylor men's basketball team (the Kansas game wrecked me), I'm inspired by the dunks, buzzer beaters and half court shots. Obviously I'm rooting for Baylor to be No. 1 in the regular season (which they were for one day!) but I wanted to discuss the main contenders for the victory spot.

Villanova:

The defending national champions currently boast a 22-2 record with losses to then-ranked No. 18 Butler and Marquette. Four of their last six games are away, which will be a tough way to end the season. Luckily they have experienced starters such as seniors G Josh Hart and F Kris Jenkins (the player with the buzzer beater to win the national championship). With only a few unranked opponents left to play, Nova is posed to be another first seed in the NCAA tournament.

Kansas:

Kansas has been one of the top teams in the NCAA for a while and it doesn't look like they'll go away any time soon. PG Frank Mason III is one of the best players in the nation and freshman G Josh Jackson has been unstoppable as of late. The Jayhawks infamously down three's with ease (ew I hate myself for rhyming), but their remaining schedule is a tough one with the end of the round robin Big 12 plays.

Gonzaga:

Ah, the only undefeated team left in the nation. The Zags play in a fairly easy conference, but they just keep winning. With a remaining schedule of foes such as BYU, San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Pacific and San Diego, the Bulldogs' greatest test will be their rematch against Saint Mary's. If they win that one, I'm guessing they'll remain undefeated for the 2016-17 season.

Baylor:

The team with the strongest resume and RPI in the nation is undoubtedly Baylor (also I'm not biased at all). Although the Bears dropped contests at West Virginia, at Kansas and against Kansas St, their victories include wins over top 5, top 10 and top 25 ranked opponents. They started the season with a 15-0 record and victories over Oregon, Louisville, Michigan State and Xavier before falling to their first opponent. Their most difficult remaining foes are Kansas and West Virginia, but watch out for all of the Big 12 teams because this conference is insane.

Arizona:

Arizona has been quietly making their way up the ranks with a 21-3 record including wins over Michigan State, Butler and UCLA. Their ending schedule is the most difficult you'd expect in the Pac-12 but with sophomore G Allonzo Trier and a full, healthy team, the Wildcats could be a top contender for the No. 1 spot.

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