The weekly college basketball evaluation where I won’t whine about the demise of Christmas tournaments and instead look forward to the good non-conference matchups.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats won a rock fight over arch-rival Xavier, showing some exceptional toughness, and now they’re 12-0.
Kansas: It’s hard to keep the Jayhawks out of the Final Four projection, but I can’t find a reason to take another team out. They’ve been crushing people while winning nine in a row, including an impressive one at Ohio State Saturday.
UMass: Quietly, the Minutemen have won four straight, including a nice one over Ohio and are now 7-3. They could win their next three to get to 10-3 before opening A-10 play at Saint Louis.
Tulane: The school that will be forever known as the one that forced the Catholic 7 to detach itself from the Big East has actually won seven of its last eight and is 10-3.
Utah State: The Aggies have won eight in a row, including a couple of road games (they don’t play many of them). They’re 10-1.
Illinois Chicago: The Flames were burning brightly at 8-1, but couldn’t sustain it and lost to Western Illinois and Miami of Ohio.
Saint Joseph’s: The Hawks were the preseason pick to win the Atlantic 10, but are now 5-4 after an inexcusable home loss to Fairfield Saturday.
Texas A&M: The Aggies are 8-3, but had an inconceivable home loss to Southern of the SWAC Saturday.
Wisconsin Milwaukee: The days of Bruce Pearl and NCAA tournament upsets are in the past. The Panthers have lost nine of their last 10.
Xavier: First, the Muskies got overpowered by Cincinnati in a big rivalry game, but even worse followed that up with a home loss to Wofford.
One falling and rising: Temple, the Owls lost at home to Canisius, but then rebounded to upset Syracuse, handing the Orange their first loss.
This week’s George Mason (best mid-major): Murray State. I’m still a big Racers fan despite the tough road loss to Dayton.
This week’s Final Four: Indiana, Michigan, Duke, Creighton
This week’s national champion: Indiana
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell