So, another part of these whole BlogPoll shenanigans is this Roundtable. Basically, there is a different host each week (this week it's SBN blog A Sea of Blue, one of the better blogs out there: honest), who poses question to the assortment of college basketball blogs to answer. I'm running a day-or-so late on this, but late's better than never, right? So, here are my answers. Feel free to leave your own in the comments; these are good ones, so they should generate plenty of conversation. Particularly the last one, considering we're a Kansas blog.
1) Who really looks like the best team in college basketball this season?
Despite his suddenly potty-mouthed press conferences, I'm going to have to go with Roy's Boys up in Chapel Hill. It's funny. Coming into the season, all anyone could talk about was the glut of talent and athleticism in Chapel Hill, and there were more than just whispers about a potential undefeated season. No one could contain themselves, really, from openly treating the Heels as the 31st NBA team. But, somehow, their two consecutive losses completely slid them under everyone's radar, as ESPN and the other bandwagon-jumping members of the MSM fell for the Flavor of the Week; four times. First, it was UNC-slayer Wake Forest who drew all of the attention. Then, Pittsburgh. Then, Duke. And now, finally, it was Connecticut. But now, with the Huskies' loss Monday night, everyone's gearing up to jump on to the Boomer Schooner and Blake Griffin's back.
Still, the best team in the country never really changed. It was UCONN and UNC on their own level, but then Jerome Dyson went down for the season and Calhoun's team fell down into the second tier. And don't get me wrong, the second tier is still loaded (Pitt, UCONN, Memphis, Duke, Oklahoma, maybe UCLA or Arizona State), but they aren't on the same level as North Carolina. After spending oodles of time hating on the Heels just because everyone was so convinced they were going to be the greatest team in CBB history, I'm almost favoring them. They were so overrated for so long, that when they fell off the pedastal, for whatever reason, they became underrated. Vastly, vastly underrated. They certainly aren't a lock to win it all, of course, and I'm not evey saying they're going to win. But, they have the best team in the country, talent-wise, and it isn't particularly close.
The rest of the answers after the bump...
2) Is Blake Griffin the Player of the Year already, or can somebody catch him?
No, there is no more contest. Plenty of players have made little runs, from Luke Harangody waaaaay early on to Hasheem Thabeet lately (with little splashes made by Stephen Curry, Tyler Hansbrough, James Harden, among others), but it's Griffin's to lose. And, I don't think 40-and-23 lines are going to lose anybody anything, ever. Dude is incredible. If they do much of anything in March beyond the first weekend, it'll be because of Blake. No doubt about it. Without the beast, they are on the level of, I don't know, maybe Texas? A slightly better Texas? Slightly worse? Whatever the case, not quite the same team, to say the least.
So, yeah, Blake Griffin, you're the player of the year. You should be the Big 12's third straight National Player of the Year, but Michael Beasley was robbed last year. Robbed, I tell you.
3) What currently ranked team is the biggest disappointment so far this year?
Currently ranked...well, just cause this is the BlogPoll Roundtable, we'll go off the more intelligent, awesome-r BlogPoll. Still, the question is very relative. Basing disappointment on preseason expectations, it absolutely has to be Purdue. I understand they've had to deal with injuries, and I understand that they still aren't out of the Big 10/11 Title Race. And, also, I think they're one of the better teams in the country. But, they aren't as good as expected. Coming in, they were a Top 10 team that was making noise as a Final Four contender, potential Big 10/11 Champion and, hell, maybe even a sleeper pick to cut down the nets in Detroit. Expectations they haven't met, needless to say.
Not that they aren't good, anymore, just that nearly every real "disappointment" isn't ranked, anymore.
4) Predict the next team to beat Oklahoma.
Ah. The fun one.
Honestly, this one is tough for me. Because, while I'm growing more confident (if not completely irrational) that we beat them, the question asks the "next team" to beat 'em. And, Texas could beat them tomorrow. They have the desperation, they have the homecourt advantage, they have Damion James and A.J. Abrams. But, they don't really have an answer for Blake, and I don't think that the Longhorns will come out on top. A close game throughout, no doubt, but in the end, Boomer Sooner stays ahead.
So, I'll have to go with Kansas. I think they lose in Paige, too, and I'm even more confident about that one.
That's all, just four questions. It'd be fun to get everyone's own personal opinion on the questions, and there really doesn't have to be long explanations. It's fun to write it, but simply listing your answers is fine.