The Takeover of the ACC?
Keep in mind, not that we’re into inter-conference play and things can change very quickly, but at the moment there’s only 2 teams from the ACC in the top 25 as Syracuse leads the way as the #2 team in the land and Duke is off to a somewhat slow start as the #15 team in the land and has already suffered a loss to one of the incoming ACC teams in Notre Dame.
The ACC has always been Duke’s stomping grounds, but with C.J. Fair and the Syracuse Orange in their conference, there could be a changing of the guard. Inter-conference play will be the best barometer for how good some of these teams really are.
That said, Duke might have the best natural talent in freshman Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, but we might only get to see these superstars for one season at the collegiate level.
The Highly Competitive Big-Ten
With Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State manning the 3 through 5 spots in the AP top 25 with a combined record of 43-1, we might have to say that right now, the Big-Ten is the best conference in college basketball.
The Big-Ten also features Iowa and Illinois in the AP top 25. Even though they’re the only team with the loss on their resume in regards to the top 3 schools that I recently mentioned, the Michigan State Spartans are the 2nd favorite to win it all at 13/2. This is due to the difficult schedule and the enormous amount of experience on their team with their top 3 players in Gary Harris, Adreian Payne, and Keith Appling. When the dust settles come March Madness, I do expect Michigan State to be one of the last few teams standing.
Packed With Talent
With Arizona as the number 1 team in the land, there’s no denying that the Pac-12 is one of the best conferences in college basketball. Teams like UCLA aren’t in the top 25, but we have to remember that they’re facing teams in their own conference. Just yesterday, Arizona managed to remain unbeaten with a 4 point victory on the road against the Bruins.
While the Wildcats are the elite team in their conference, the Pac-12 also features top 25 teams such as Colorado and Oregon. The USA Today Coaches Poll has Jordan Adams and the Bruins as the 25th ranked team in college basketball. This conference couldn’t compete with the Big-Ten, but Arizona gives it creditability.
Quality Not Quantity
The Big-12 Conference might very well be the best conference when it comes to depth as 5 out of 10 teams are ranked in the AP top 25. This is also a case of teams beating teams in their own conference as the undefeated Iowa State Cyclones are coming off of a recent victory over the #7 ranked Baylor Bears. Senior, DeAndre Kane, is one of the superstars in the Big-12 as he’s coming off of a near triple-double against Baylor as his statline read 30 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals; it doesn’t get much better than that.
Even though they’re not at the top of the conference, let’s not forget freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins and the Kansas Jayhawks. He’s one of the most highly touted freshman in the nation and it will take time for him to live up to his full potential. The Big-12 doesn’t have 3 top ranked teams in the top 10 like the Big-Ten, but this is the most deep conference “pound for pound”.
As I’ve stated several times, inter-conference play will have a great effect on which conference is the elite conference and we’ve only just begun. If a team knocks Arizona off of their perch, the Pac-12 will plummet in status.