April 7, 2:45 p.m.: Just got back from Detroit, where North Carolina pulverized Michigan State on Monday night. It’s never too early to look ahead at the 2009-2010 season. Now, I’m not ready to post a 65-team bracket for next season just yet. And a lot can and will obviously change based on who declares and remains in the NBA draft. So this list remains extremely fluid. But here is a very early top five for next season.
If Sherron Collins returns, the Jayhawks will be strong. Add in the legitimate possibility of adding recruit Xavier Henry and Kansas will have a chance to win a second national title in three season.
A lot hinges on whether guard Jonny Flynn returns to the ‘Cuse. Eric Devendorf, who seems like he has played for the Orange for eight seasons, should be back.
3) Michigan State
Goran Suton and Travis Walton are gone, but expect Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan to raise their games.
Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson will no longer be patrolling the front court, but Coach Jay Wright brings in two high school all-Americans to assist Scottie Reynolds.
If Robbie Hummel is at full strength all of next season, the Boilermakers could make a deeper run in the NCAA tournament because Coach Matt Painter’s team is expected to return the majority of his top scorers.
Kentucky: If Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson return to school, and if Coach John Calipari can lure former Memphis commitment DeMarcus Cousins and recruit John Wall to Lexington, the Wildcats could make a case for a top three spot in preseason polls. But those are big ifs.
Each week, the D.C. Sports Bog's hand-picked panel of voters selects the top 11 Division I teams in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Analysis of this week's poll results -- and pith -- can be found on the Bog.
Also receiving votes: St. Mary's 58, Virginia 57, Navy 25, James Madison 22, Richmond 13, Coppin State 5, Norfolk State 1, William & Mary 1. * - FPV = First-place votes
Team W-L Points FPV* 1 Maryland 17-9 595 51 2 Va. Commonwealth 19-9 447 4 3 Virginia Tech 16-10 394 4 American 19-7 389 5 5 George Mason 18-9 371 6 Georgetown 14-11 291 2 7 Old Dominion 18-9 272 8 VMI 20-7 151 9 Morgan State 18-10 124 10 Radford 17-10 105 11 Liberty 20-9 71
Also receiving votes: St. Mary's 58, Virginia 57, Navy 25, James Madison 22, Richmond 13, Coppin State 5, Norfolk State 1, William & Mary 1.
* - FPV = First-place votes
Each week in Seeding the Field, Eric Prisbell will project which schools will make the 65-team field for the 2009 NCAA tournament. His top four in each region as of Feb. 1:
East: 1. Connecticut, 2. Michigan State, 3. Wake Forest, 4. Butler.
Midwest: 1. Pittsburgh, 2. Clemson, 3. Memphis, 4. Purdue.
South: 1. North Carolina, 2. Louisville, 3. UCLA, 4. Gonzaga.
West: 1. Oklahoma, 2. Duke, 3. Xavier, 4. Marquette.
The Better Team Won
Detroit Free Press
UNC Not Perfect, but Ending Is
Hoops Weiss: No Bailouts for MSU
New York Daily News
A Deceptively Tough Run
A Gamble for Memphis
Memphis Commercial Appeal