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DICK'S PICKS

 

2019 - 2020 Season

January 20, 2020

 

1-Gonzaga

2-Baylor

3-Kansas

4-florida State

5-San Diego State

6-Louisville

7-Duke

8-Seton Hall

9-Michigan State

10-Villanova

11-Dayton

12-Kentucky

13-Butler

14-Auburn

15-West Virginia

16-Oregon

17-Maryland

18-iowa

19-Memphis

20-Texas Tech

21-Houston

22-Illinois

23-Liberty

24-Penn State

25-Arizona

November 4, 2019

One of the things that excites me about each new college basketball season is the arguments about the creme de la creme. Who is the best of the best?

There are always debates, like who is the preseason Player of the Year, the premiere diaper dandy, or the best conference in America?

I love these discussions and have strong opinions. It is never easy to do this and I’m sure fans of several conference will disagree with my choices.

Do you rank a conference based on the top teams? Do you go from top to bottom to determine strength? Do you evaluate the conference’s star power? It is a combination of factors which leads to great conversations, baby! Remember, this is a preseason evaluation. As the year goes on, we will get a true indication of how teams progress. There will be shocks, players coming from nowhere who become PTP’ers, prime time players.

In reality, the true evaluation of conferences come in the postseason. You take all the facts together and analyze the strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s have some fun as I give you my thoughts on the top 10 conference in America, with a breakdown of each one.

  1. ACC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Jordan Nwora, Louisville

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Cole Anthony, North Carolina

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Duke at North Carolina, Feb. 8

What I’m watching: This conference has four of the top 11 teams in the ACC preseason poll. Duke and North Carolina always get the spotlight, but keep an eye on a talented Louisville team. Chris Mack has done a great job rebuilding and this team is loaded and deep. You know a league is strong and deep when Syracuse is picked eighth in the league preseason poll.

  1. SEC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Kerry Blackshear, Florida

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Kentucky at Florida, Mar. 7

What I’m watching: With the addition of transfer Kerry Blackshear, Florida will challenge Kentucky in the SEC race. The ‘Cats have reloaded with Khalil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey. How will Tennessee fare without Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield? Auburn should be tough again with good size up front. Georgia will be improved under Tom Crean as diaper dandy Anthony Edwards shine. Mississippi has a pair of veteran stars and could compete as well.

  1. Big Ten

Vitale’s PTP’er: Cassius Winston, Michigan State

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Rocket Watts, Michigan State

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Michigan State at Maryland, Feb. 29

What I’m watching: While the Spartans are preseason #1, Maryland will be on Michigan State’s heels. Anthony Cowan will have a solid season. This league is deep with eight contenders for NCAA bids. Illinois will be much improved. Purdue will be solid despite losing Carsen Edwards. Wisconsin will be fine despite losing Ethan Happ. Penn State could break through with a lot of experience returning.

  1. Big 12

Vitale’s PTP’er: Uduoka Azubuike, Kansas

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Jahmius Ramsey, Texas Tech

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Kansas at Baylor, Feb. 22

What I’m watching: Texas Tech lost a lot of talent from last year’s Final Four team. Can they rebuild and contend again? Kansas fell from the top spot in the league standings and is hungry to return to the top. Azuibuike’s return, along with Devon Dotson makes them the favorites. Baylor will be tough with Tristan Clark returning from an injury-plagues season.

  1. Big East

Vitale’s PTP’er: Myles Powell, Seton Hall

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Villanova at Seton Hall, Mar. 4

What I’m watching: After earning just four NCAA bids last year, this league will be a lot stronger. While many have Seton Hall and Villanova battling for league supremacy, keep an eye on a dangerous Xavier team with Naji Marshall leading the way. Marquette returns Markus Howard, and Georgetown, Providence and Creighton can all make noise.

  1. AAC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Jarron Cumberlad, Cincinnati

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: James Wiseman, Memphis

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Memphis at Houston, Mar. 8

What I’m watching: Penny Hardaway’s young Memphis team has created a buzz with Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. Houston will be right up there with Quentin Grimes, the transfer from Kansas, declared eligible. Cincinnati will be in the mix under first-year coach John Brannen as Mick Cronin left for the UCLA job. South Florida has a lot of returning talent and could surprise.

  1. Pac-12

Vitale’s PTP’er: McKinley Wright, Colorado

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Nico Mannion, Arizona

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Oregon at Arizona, Feb. 22

What I’m watching: The league will bounce back. Arizona has reloaded with several diaper dandies, including starters Nico Mannion and Josh Green, plus transfers Max Hazzard and Jermarl Baker. Washington has top-flight diaper dandy Isaiah Stewart. Oregon has Peyton Pritchard back and will contend. All eyes will be on Mick Cronin at UCLA. USC added a pair of diaper dandies and could surprise.

  1. WCC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Jordan Ford, St. Mary's

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Anton Watson, Gonzaga

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Gonzaga at St, Mary’s, Feb. 8

What I’m watching: Once again, it is a two-team race between favorite Gonzaga and St. Mary’s. The Zags may be a little bit deeper, though Killian Tillie is already hurt again. This is a league with a lot of individual talent that does not get enough national respect. BYU’s Yoeli Childs is a star. Ford is an outstanding all-around players. Charles Minlend of San Francisco is worthy of praise. The Gaels and Zags battle for #1.

  1. A-10

Vitale’s PTP’er: Kellan Grady, Davidson

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Jameer Nelson Jr., George Washington

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Davidson at VCU, Feb. 7

What I’m watching: Davidson and VCU are the favorites in the league. Both have experienced starters returning and that makes a difference. Kellan Grady should average 20 ppg. this season. A dangerous sleeper is Dayton, which returns forward Obi Toppin, last season’s A-10 Freshman of the Year.

  1. Mountain West

Vitale’s PTP’er: Sam Merrill, Utah State

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: KJ Hymes, Nevada

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Utah State at San Diego State, Feb. 1

What I’m watching: Utah State is the clear-cut favorite and Craig Smith’s team could go to the Sweet 16. Sam Merrill is on numerous All-America lists and he can flat-out shoot the rock. San Diego State, Nevada, Boise State and Fresno State figure to be competitive but are probably shooting for second in the conference standings. Keep an eye on Steve Alford in his first season at Nevada.

Week of January 20, 2020

 

Each week I’ll write about the world of sports:

*The Super Bowl should be special as the Chiefs are in for the first time in fifty years. The Niners were so impressive against the Packers. The QB battle will be exciting too. Miami will be rocking and rolling.

*Alex Cora out as skipper of Boston is only the start of the soap opera involving ⁦the CHEATING scandal .

MLB MUST protect the integrity of the game. Wish MLB would make

The Astros vacate title a la NCAA in hoops . ⁦

*It’s a special time to be a fan of LSU football as they rule college football. I wonder what USC fans think when they see ED ORGERON with the championship trophy. LSU says THANK YOU Trojan bosses.

*No way I believe with Uncle Mo on the side of Arkansas that John Calipari would with intent want to give the Hogs four free throws and the ball with eight minutes to go. It did change the momentum and let’s not forget that Coaches Payne, Barbee and staff made solid decision to go to the zone.

*To show the wackiness and unpredictability of the 2019-20 hoop season in D-1, I was just told that the top five teams this week have combined for six losses.

Week of January 20, 2020

 

Up

LSU won the national football championship.

The Niners and Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl.

Joe Burrow threw for 463 yards and five TD?s vs. Clemson.

Paul Tagliabue, Harold Carmichael and Winston Hill were among the Centennial Hall of Famers.

The Twins signed Josh Donaldson.

The Panthers hired LSU?s passing coordinator Joe Brady.

Arizona State gave football coach Herman Edwards a contract extension.

Missouri State hired Bobby Petrino as its head coach.

The Hawks acquired Jeff Teague.

Baylor hired Dave Aranda as football coach.

Brandon Ingram had a 49-point game.

The Giants named Jason Garrett offensive coordinator.

Cassius Winston became the Big Ten all-time assist leader with 817.

Myles Powell became the fifth Seton Hall player to score 2000 points.

Baylor hoops won its 15th straight game.

Gonzaga got its 20th win of the season.

 

Down

The Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.

The Red Sox and Alex Cora parted ways.

The Mets and Carlos Beltran parted ways.

 The Golden Knights fired coach Gerald Gallant.

Doubles star Robert Farah tested positive for steroids.

The Bruins waived David Backes.

Auburn, Butler and Duke lost two straight games.

UNC fell to 8-9.

Vandy saw its streak of three-pointers end at 1080. They went 0-25 in a loss to Tennessee.

The Celtics lost at home to Detroit and Phoenix.

More Articles ...

  1. Weekly Awards

Quote of the Week

"Kansas City goes to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. Andy Reid goes for the second time.”

-Dick Vitale