ESPN's Andy Katz continues to update the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Pre-Season Top 25. An honorable and worthy goal indeed, but apparently quite difficult. (It seems the landscape isn't a picture of clarity 6 months before practice starts!) But no matter, Andy's still trying. And he is trying hard.
Unfortunately, and maybe just to stir the pot a little bit--you know, create controversy to induce a greater volume of readership--Andy's latest poll has the Bruins running second in the Pac-10. Apparently the loss of Afflalo was the straw that broke the camel's back, and UCLA could not hold the Pac-10's top spot. Instead, the Washington St. Cougars, one nice year under their belt and young Tony at the helm, have claimed the Pac-10's "best in the west" title.
As it is my opinion that its too early to say who will be #1, I guess it's too early to get to fired up over this controversy-leads-to-greater-readership kind of article. But I will say this.
To expect Washington St. to have another great year next year is, in my opinion, to expect too much. But even if they have another stellar year, I don't see how anyone can pick them over the Bruins. To pick WSU discounts the fact that UCLA beat them twice last year, it discounts (and frankly ignores) the addition of the # 1 high school recruit, and it just plain forgets that we have everyone's favorite Uncle Ben Howland at the helm. I mean, since when has back-to-back final fours been so under-appeciated??
About the only the the article does get right is that by being controversial and crazy, it inspired me to write about it and encourage others to do the same--Yes, I'm encouraging everyon to read and dismiss the article as fun, but irrational. In that spirit, here's the link! . . .and Go Bruins!
p.s. By the way, the Pac-10 has 6 teams in Andy's top 16. (#5-Washington St; #6-UCLA; #12-USC; #13-Arizona; #15-Stanford; and #16-Oregon)