With the tournament now in view, projections and such are going up all over the place. There's also a billion dollar bracket offer for anyone who nails everything.
Fool's gold. There are too many variables and no one can know enough about every team to figure it all out. But what you can do is to spot teams on the decline or on the rise, completely hopeless or Cinderella candidates. So let's give that a shot, based on current bracketology.
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Syracuse. Injuries are taking a real toll on the Orange.
Kentucky. The wheels may not be falling off, but the lug nuts aren't real tight, either.
Kansas. This one deserves an asterisk, but if Joel Embiid continues to have back trouble, it'll complicate things.
Michigan State. Injuries are killing what was a hugely promising season for Tom Izzo and company.
Virginia. The Cavs have won enormous respect and are getting it the old-fashioned way - they're earning it.
Florida. Though Billy Donovan doesn't think he has a first round draft pick on the team, the Gators are playing together and very well.
UNC. Like it or not, the Heels are as hot as anyone around, and more and more players are finding roles.
SMU. Let's face it, Larry Brown is a brilliant coach. His team could make a run.
Creighton. That's one funky offense Papa McDermott has going on.
Wichita State. The last time the Shockers lost was to Louisville in last year's tournament. Yes, there's a weak schedule, but there's also talent and top-flight coaching.
Baylor. Right? Anyone have faith in this team?
Arizona State. Herb Sendek coaches with the risk aversion nature of an actuary.
Belmont. Duke and UNC fans know exactly how dangerous this team is.
Davidson. Like Creighton, Davidson is exploring three point shooting on a different level. If you can shoot around, say 42% like Davidson, then you're a threat.
NC Central. No we're not being nice to the neighbors. Central has an excellent team.
This assumes Central wins the MEAC tournament. If that happens, Lavell Moton has put together a solid team that's capable of playing with just about anyone. Doubt us? Ask Cincinnati, State, or Wichita. The Eagles are more than capable of knocking off any number of teams.