A few days ago, Jeff Hathaway, the committee chairman of the NCAA Tournament, basically said that Kentucky and Syracuse are the two best teams in college basketball. Hathaway all but said that Kentucky and Syracuse already have two #1 seeds in the tournament. Are Kentucky and Syracuse really the two best teams in college basketball in 2012?
I'm a Syracuse fan and so I might be biased here. One way to take out that bias though is to look for college basketball teams that have defeated the most teams this season who are likely to be in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Here are the top eight ranked teams in the latest AP college basketball poll and how many likely tournament teams they have already defeated this season.
Wins Over Likely NCAA Tournament Teams
The Kentucky Wildcats have wins over Kansas, North Carolina, Loyola (MD), and Louisville, out of conference. Kentucky also beat Alabama once, and Vanderbilt, and Florida in the SEC twice each. That's 9 wins over teams likely for the NCAA Tournament.
Syracuse Orange - 11
The Syracuse Orange have wins over Florida, Marquette, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville twice and UConn three times this season. All those teams are likely to end up in the NCAA Tournament. That's 11 wins over likely NCAA Tournament teams, with a note though. The third win over UConn was in the Big East Tournament.
Kansas Jayhwaks - 10
The Kansas Jayhawks have wins over Georgetown, South Florida, Long Beach State, and Ohio State out of conference. Kansas also beat Iowa State and Missouri once each, and Kansas State and Baylor twice each in the Big 12. That's 10 wins for Kansas over teams likely for the NCAA Tournament.
North Carolina Tar Heels - 7
The North Carolina Tar Heels have wins over Michigan State, UNC-Asheville, Wisconsin, Long Beach State, Duke, and Virginia twice. That seven wins over teams likely in the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
Missouri Tigers - 7
The Missouri Tigers have wins over California, Notre Dame, Kansas, and Iowa State and Baylor twice. That's seven wins over likely Big Dance teams.
Duke Blue Devils - 9
The Duke Blue Devils have wins over Belmont, Michigan State, Davidson, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado State, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida State.
Ohio State Buckeyes - 7
The Ohio State Buckeyes have wins over Florida, Duke, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue and Michigan State.
The Michigan State Spartans have wins over Florida State, Gonzaga, Lehigh, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, along with beating Wisconsin and Purdue twice. That's 10 if you count Purdue as a tournament team.
So what do we have? Syracuse has 11 wins, while Kansas and Michigan State each have 10 wins this season over teams likely to be in the NCAA Tournament in 2012. To be fair, Syracuse really has 10, since we beat UConn once in the Big East Tournament. Kentucky, along with Duke, each have nine wins over likely Big Dance teams.
Are Kentucky and Syracuse the two best teams in college basketball? We will all find out in a few weeks who the best two teams are.
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Syracuse Orange