College hoops roll into conference

The top 25 college rankings by ESPN show Duke at number one once again. The pre-season always holds difficult key match-ups for college teams every where. After the preseason is over, if any teams are still undefeated, they deserve all the props they can get. Duke has achieved that accomplishment. The only team in the top 25 to stay undefeated thus far is Duke.

They are for real, once again. Last year, I felt they were the strongest team in college hoops, but every team has an off night. And for Duke it happened to come against a hungry Indiana squad that took advantage in the big tournament.

In 2003, Duke has risen to the top, only to be trailed by number two Arizona, which has only lost once. Arizona will have a difficult time keeping only one loss to its name when it play the rest of their challenging Pac-10 schedule.

Arizona’s leader is Luke Walton, but I feel like he’s a little overrated. I do respect Jason Gardner, who’s always making big plays when ‘Zona needs them.

Duke has Chris Duhon running its team. He is leading the nation in assists per game so far this season. That gives us an idea of what the team can count on every night from the point guard position. They have an incredible freshman class that plays their roles on the floor and Dahntay Jones to bring 16.1 points every night.

Pittsburgh is currently ranked third and looking tough. Page, Knight and Lett all average around 11 points per game for a nice balance inside and out. They’ve beat quality teams and stand at 12-1.

Texas is fourth; Oklahoma is fifth; Connecticut, despite losing Caron Butler to the NBA, still ranks among top teams in NCAA hoops at sixth in the nation. We gotta’ give them some props, because the Big East is no cake-walk either.

Some other teams to look for toward March Madness are Kansas, Oregon and Louisville. Kansas sits at the 12 spot, and Oregon dropped from 12 to 19 this week. Louisville is ranked 18th and shows only one loss, at 10-1. Oregon is going through a tough stretch right now, with two straight losses on the road. However Oregon will bounce back and has the potential to make it back into the top 10 as the season progresses.

I see more losses coming in the top 25 in the near future. Right now there are too many teams out there that only have one loss to talk about. Teams have reached their conference games now, and these are the ones that count toward making it to postseason play. One thing I always love about college hoops is how intense each team takes it to each other every night. That’s why it really never gets old.