Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Men's College Basketball Preseason Rankings, 21-25 -- Election Day Special!

Since my predictions are always so...what's the word? Ah, yes. Wrong.

Since my predictions are always so WRONG, I thought I'd change things up and use the ESPN/USA Today preseason rankings 21-25 to predict the winner of today's election.

(21) University of Southern California (Blue State)

A crushing blow to John McCain to be down 55 electoral votes immediately. Lucky for him, that Orange Juice and Mayonnaise kid left for the NBA. A tough early schedule may knock USC right out of the top 25, but some resilience could vault them very high in the rankings.

The Trojans head to Puerto Rico in November for the San Juan Shootout. If they get past Seton Hall in the first round, they likely have Memphis in the next round.

A very tough trip into Oklahoma is on tap for mid-December, and Georgia Tech visits So Cal just before Christmas.

USC is better than Arizona State this year, but the teams only square off once in the regular season--at A-State. Having the home court does crazy things for some teams.

(22) Wisconsin (Blue State)

The Badgers actually tied for number 21 in the poll, but since California is worth 55 electoral votes and Wisconsin is only worth 10, they'll have to settle for number 22.

I'm not a fan of Bo Ryan's style of play, nor am I a fan of the Big Ten. Like in college football, Big Ten teams conform to a style of play that sets them up to win the conference, NOT on a national scale. This was evident last year when Duke blew them out, and Marquette beat them in their own house.

To give Wisconsin some credit, they beat a very good Texas team last year, but the mediocre offense doesn't quite complement the suffocating defense.

Wisconsin will win at Virginia Tech, but will lose to Marquette and Texas this season. I like the Big Ten to be competitive and Wisconsin to finish second.

That's Obama with 65 electoral votes and McCain with none.

(23) Kansas (Red State)

Sometimes all you need to do is get on the board. McCain will take those six electoral votes, and be damn proud about it.

However, the defending national champs have lost almost everything. The good news is that their head coach is Bill Self. He's shown he can recruit, put a competitive team on the floor year-in and year-out, and he's also shown that his team isn't always going to be a one-game wonder in the NCAA Tournament.

Depending on their seeding, they may be a nice, juicy steak in the eyes of a hungry 11th, 12th, or 13th seeded mid-major in the Big Dance.

Early tests include Washington and Florida/Syracuse in the College Basketball Experience Classic, but these are virtual home games for the Jayhawks. Kent State and UMass are dangerous mid-majors on the schedule, and the big games before conference play starts are against Tennessee and at Michigan State.

This team will be prepared come March.

65-6, Obama leads.

(24) Wake Forest (Red State)

North Carolina is still up in the air, but for the sake of competition, we'll give it to McCain.

When you play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, you really don't need early-season tests to prepare you for March. You need them to prepare you for conference play.

With that said, Wake Forest will be ready for the NCAA Tournament, but will susceptible to an arduous January and February. The Carolina directional schools won't prepare the Demon Deacons for the nationally ranked Carolina schools.

65-21, Obama still leads. McCain needs a Texas school to be tied with a Tennessee, Missouri, or Indiana school to emerge victorious in my election.

Drumroll, please...

(25) Villanova (Wait, who is going to win Pennsylvania???)

That was anti-climactic. Does it not matter who wins Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes?

'Nova has a breezy non-conference schedule, except for the Jimmy V Classic game against Texas at Madison Square Garden on December 9.

The Wildcats can hope for students to forget about finals and hop on a train to NYC to give them the home court feeling, but Texas plays at the Garden more often than you think. Rick Barnes will have his team ready to go.

Villanova's Big East schedule is balanced. The only team in the preseason rankings 'Nova has to face twice is Marquette. The Wildcats are at UConn and Notre Dame, and hosting Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Georgetown.

Due to Sarah Palin's not-so-warm welcome from Philly fans when she dropped the puck there, I'll take the liberty of giving Pennsylvania to Obama.

86-21. Neither party achieved the 270 electoral votes required to win the Presidency.

I hereby nominate Dick Vitale to sit in the oval office. IT'LL BE AWESOME, BABY!!!

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