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Condo’s Power 16

Posted by Condo on January 29, 2008

I’ve been away for a while after being lost in “Historic Gallagher-Iba Arena” looking for the Sutton’s secret stash of booze. After being unsuccessful in my adventure, I came back to realize that we are midway into conference play in college basketball and felt that a “Power 16” list was in order. The idea is to list the Top 16 teams in the land based on performances to this point in the season. I will try to update this list weekly until Selection Sunday, at which point I will then list my Final 4 picks and ‘sleepers’ for those of you who may need help filling out your brackets.

But, without further ado, here is “Condo’s Power 16”

1. Memphis (19-0)
Last Week:
Won @ Tulsa 56-41 (1/23), Won vs Gonzaga 81-73 (1/26)
This Week: @ Houston (1/30), vs UTEP (2/2)
You could make a case for Kansas in the #1 spot as well, but I have to commend Coach Calipari for his scheduling of the non-conference this season. Knowing that the selection committee would need to see some tough games on the schedule considering the C-USA is anything BUT strong, he went out and put Arizona, USC, Gonzaga, UConn on the non-conference schedule and so far it has paid dividends. Hopefully this will help lead Memphis to a #1 seed this season and it has put Memphis in the #1 spot in my power 16 for the mean time.

2. Kansas (20-0)
Last Week:
Won vs Iowa State 83-59 (1/23), Won vs Nebraska 84-49 (1/26)
This Week: @ Kansas State (1/30), @ Colorado (2/2)
As I previously said, you could make a case for Kansas at #1, especially the way the team is destroying their opponents. Coach Self has this team on a “National Title or bust” campaign it seems after last season and they are responding. Big game Wednesday vs freshman phenom Michael Beasley and the K-State Wildcats.

3. Duke (17-1)
Last Week:
Won @ Virginia Tech 81-64 (1/24)
This Week: Won @ Maryland 93-84 (1/27), vs NC State (1/31), vs Miami (FL) (2/2)
Duke is only one crazy night at the MSG (Thanks Isaiah) from being unbeaten, falling at the hands of ‘pre-injury’ Pittsburgh in OT. This team lacks an inside presence and has to rely on slashing and shooting to win, but so far, they’ve been up to the task. Leading the ACC at any point in a season is always tough, and Duke looks to stay atop until a big match-up vs UNC in Chapel Hill on Feb. 6.

4. North Carolina (19-1)
Last Week:
Won @ Miami (FL) 98-82 (1/23)
This Week: vs Boston College (1/31)
North Carolina got back to their old-selves by putting up 98 at Miami last Wednesday. The Heels look like the college version of the Phoenix Suns with their run-and-gun style. That may be fun to watch, but it can also get you in trouble if shots don’t fall and your defense is lacking (see Maryland). They may be the most talented team in the country, though.

5. UCLA (18-2)
Last Week:
Won @ Oregon 80-75 (1/24), Won @ Oregon State 85-62 (1/26)
This Week: vs Arizona State (1/31), vs Arizona (2/2)
Kevin Love and the Bruins are another team that have had a couple of close calls this season that they came up on the wrong end of. But this is a very talented team that is the class of the Pac-10 it appears and should keep playing that way. Freshman Forward/Center Kevin Love has been the star of the team, but point guard Darren Collison is the engine that really makes this UCLA team go.

6. Tennessee (17-2)
Last Week:
Lost @ Kentucky 72-66 (1/22), Won vs Georgia 85-69 (1/26)
This Week: @ Alabama (1/29), @ Mississippi State (2/2)
This team is the one team on the list that you can almost read like a book. If their big men score points and help out the shooters, they win, if the big men seem to be M.I.A that night, they’ll lose. Fortunately, the big men have been doing their job all season for the Volunteers except for vs Kentucky & Texas. Big matchup this weekend with SEC leaders Mississippi State. This is a team that if they get hot, you do not want to get in their way.

7. Michigan State (18-2)
Last Week: Won @ Northwestern 78-62 (1/24)
This Week: Won vs Michigan 77-62 (1/27), vs Illinois (1/30), @ Penn State (2/2)
Ok, I’m giving them a pass for their horrendous performance @ Iowa a few weeks ago. (both teams looked awful) Outside of that matchup, they lost by 5 early in the year to a very strong UCLA team on a neutral site when Drew Neitzel was still sort of M.I.A. They beat the same Texas team that has defeated both UCLA & Tennessee and have played the rest of their schedule well. This is another dangerous team come tournament time with Raymar Morgan & Drew Neitzel.

8. Georgetown (16-2)
Last Week:
Won vs Syracuse 64-62 OT (1/21), Won @ West Virginia 58-57 (1/26)
This Week: @ St. John’s (1/30), vs Seton Hall (2/2)
This Georgetown team would be higher if they didn’t feel the need to basically ‘sneak by’ teams in almost every game they play. Won both games last week by a combined 3 points and have a tough loss to a ‘post-injury’ Pittsburgh team coupled with the loss to Memphis. If it were the pre-injury Pittsburgh team they lost to in Pitt, they may be much higher in my rankings. However, until Hibbert starts establishing himself as a physical force on the block more consistantly, expect the Hoyas to continue with close games.

9. Indiana (17-2)
Last Week:
Won vs Iowa 65-43 (1/23), Lost vs Connecticut 68-63 (1/26)
This Week: @ Wisconsin (1/31), vs Northwestern (2/3)
This Indiana team is another good team that may deserve to be higher in my rankings than they are. But I’m not totally impressed with the quality of their wins thus far and lost a game at home to a UConn team who was missing two scholarship players, one of which was their leading scorer. Granted, UConn is a good team, but not the elite status they once were. IU is still unbeaten in Big 10 play however and that does count for something.

10. Washington State (17-2)
Last Week:
Won @ Oregon 69-60 (1/20), Lost @ Arizona 76-64 (1/24), Won @ Arizona State 56-55 (1/26)
This Week: vs California (1/31), vs Stanford (2/2)
Washington State is another team that’s schedule outside of the conference did not impress me. They do have a win versus a tough as nails Gonzaga squad, but Zaga’ is not the same team they’ve been in years past. The loss at Arizona was not too surprising, but hopefully Coach Bennett keeps up his winning ways this week as he has two big games at home and needs to make sure they protect their home court.

11. Texas (16-3)
Last Week:
Won @ Oklahoma State 63-61 (1/21), Won vs Texas Tech 73-47 (1/26)
This Week: @ Texas A&M (1/30), vs Baylor (2/2)
Texas started the season off strong with the big wins over Tennessee and UCLA. Then hit a rough patch where they lost to Michigan State, Wisconsin, and the Big 12 opener to Missouri. Since then, they have picked it back up and played very well. DJ Augustin is arguibly the best point guard in the country and Rick Barnes has assembled a strong group of players in Austin. Kevin Durant who? The Longhorns appear to be OK without him.

12. Butler (19-2)
Last Week:
Won vs Loyola-Illinois 63-50 (1/24), Won vs Illinois-Chicago 73-57 (1/26)
This Week: No Games
Butler is really starting to turn themselves into the level that Gonzaga has brought themselves to where they really aren’t even considered a ‘mid-major’ team anymore. They’ve got ANOTHER new coach and yet they still continue to win at an amazing clip. Two conference losses to Wright State & Cleveland State keep the Bulldogs from being any higher in this poll, but are a very good team to watch out for none the less.

13. Drake (18-1)
Last Week:
Won @ Creighton 68-60 OT (1/22), Won vs Northern Iowa 58-54 (1/26)
This Week: vs Creighton (1/30), @ Indiana State (2/2)
First year coach Keno Davis has Drake on an unbelivable run so far this season. At 18-1 and unbeaten in the Missouri Valley Conference, this will most likely will be Drake’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1971! They are getting it done much like the team ahead of them, Butler has gotten it done for several years. Tough, hard-nosed, never say die basketball. They have a tough one at home vs Creighton coming up, but none the less, the Bulldogs deserve this ranking.

14. Stanford (16-3)
Last Week:
Won @ California 82-77 (1/26)
This Week: @ Washington (1/31), @ Washington State (2/2)
The Cardinal have been playing very good basketball of late and have made the climb into this kind of ranking after starting out the season without one of the Lopez twins (Brook) due to academic issues. They are making the annual trip to Washington to face the Washington schools and if they come out of that with two wins, that would make cause for the Cardinal to move up the rankings even more.

15. Wisconsin (16-3)
Last Week:
Won vs Michigan 64-61 (1/22), Lost @ Purdue 60-56 (1/26)
This Week: vs Indiana (1/31)
The Badgers suffered a setback this past weekend losing at Purdue in a close, hard fought game. They also had to escape Michigan at home earlier in that week so you could say you knew the loss at Purdue was coming. As usual, the Badgers and Coach Bo Ryan don’t have a stand out player and are getting it done with play that is usually seen out of a mid-major conference team. A huge game at Indiana looms and a win would help vault them back up the rankings.

16. Kansas State (14-4)
Last Week:
Won @ Colorado 72-56 (1/23), Won vs Iowa State 82-57 (1/26)
This Week: vs Kansas (1/30), @ Missouri (2/2)
Michael Beasley, Bill Walker and the rest of the Wildcat crew have really flipped the switch with an 85-25 victory vs their last non-conference opponent and an undefeated start to conference play since being blown out by Xavier on New Year’s Eve. It appears as though the team has settled in and is playing fantastic ball. Beasley is as advertised, a beast as seen by his 25 point, 13 rebound average per game. The real test will be how they handle their game vs Kansas Wednesday, a win would be their first at home vs KU since 1983!

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2 Responses to “Condo’s Power 16”

  1. […] Condo wrote a fantastic post today on “Condoâs Power 16″Here’s ONLY a quick extractThe Heels look like the college version of the Phoenix Suns with their run-and-gun style. That may be fun to watch, but it can also get you in trouble if shots don’t fall and your defense is lacking (see Maryland). … […]

  2. Matt said

    Good work as usual, C.

    -Matt

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