In full disclosure, I did not follow college basketball like I have years ago. For example, I used to be able to tell you the top 10 or 15 players in NCAA basketball. Today, the only All Americans or top draft picks I know about are the Purdue center, Edey and the Alabama forward, Miller, who just got in trouble. My NCAA picks (below) are basically wild hunches based on only a cursory study or familiarity of the teams. I am picking Purdue to win at all even though I have only seen a few of their games. Two of the games were against Rutgers. Rutgers beat Purdue in the regular season and barely lost to them in the Big 10 tournament.
Speaking of Rutgers, I was one of those people who were a bit disappointed that they did not make the NCAA tournament. However, I can’t feel too bad for Rutgers today. Last night, as the number 1 seed, and playing in their gym, they lost to Hofstra in the first round of the NIT. Rutgers did not exactly bolster their objection into not getting into the field of 64 or 68.
No Big Five team (Villanova, Saint Joe’s, Temple, Penn and La Salle) made it into the NCAA tournament. This was the first time since 1977 that a Philadelphia-based school failed to play in the tournament. Penn actually came the closest to playing in the tournament with their semifinal game in the Ivy League tournament against Princeton, which they lost. Not sure that any team will play in next year’s tournament either…
I have not seen a lot of Big Five teams play. However the two best players in the Big Five for this year are Jordan Dingle for Penn and Erik Reynolds for St Joe’s. I’m not sure that either of those players or NBA caliber or will be drafted. However they impressed me more than Cam Whitmore of Villanova who probably will be picked early this year in the year’s NBA draft.
One of the best ideas that I have read on Twitter of all places is that Dawn Staley should replace Aaron McKee as head coach of Temple’s men’s basketball team. If any woman could succeed in coaching men’s basketball at a major college level, it is Dawn Staley. It would be nice to see her back coaching in Philadelphia!