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2019 - 2020 Season

March 9, 2020

 

1-Kansas

2-Dayton

3-Gonzaga

4-Baylor

5-Florida St

6-San Diego State

7-BYU

8-Kentucky

9-Duke

10-Maryland

11-Oregon

12-Creighton

13-Louisville

14-Villanova

15-Virginia

16-Michigan State

17-Seton Hall

18-Auburn

19-Wisconsin

20-Ohio State

21-Stephen F. Austin

22-East Tennessee State

23-Illinois

24-Iowa

25-Richmond

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 August 10th, 2020

 

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

*Luka Doncic put on a special performance vs. the Bucks. He went for 36 points, 19 assists and 14 rebounds in an OT win over Milwaukee. Who would be a young player in the NBA that you would take over him? I would say nobody, baby!

*Michael Porter Jr. is putting up big numbers in the NBA. He is showing the ability that people talked about in college before injury woes. The Buggets took a chance and it is paying dividends.

*Not shocked after reading ⁦Chrstine Brennan’s column that Texas Tech fired women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings. Whoever hired her should be fired too. She and her assistant Nikita Lowry Dawkins had major problems at New Mexico State. Yes, Brennan said it best; where was the homework done in hiring Stollings in the first place.

*Excited to see Clemson and Notre Dame are scheduled to play on the gridiron in November. I hope that games are played, that should be on of the top contests this season.

*I would NEVER EVER count ⁦Tom Brady out, especially with weapons the ⁦Bucs will surround him with. ⁦

*Think of young stars that have made impacts immediately like Juan Soto of the Nationals. I wish the Rays would bring up youngster Wander Franco. Everybody in baseball I have spoken to, and that includes three scouts, all say he can be a factor now.

Week of August 10th, 2020

Up

Collin Morikawa eagled 16 en route to winning the PGA Championship.

The Flyers dominated the early NHL postseason.

The Suns continued to shine in the bubble.

The Falcons signed Darqueze Dennard.

The Niners signed TE Jordan Reed.

Damian Lillard scored 45 vs Denver.

TJ Warren has been on fire for the Pacers.

 

Down

Grizzlies F Jaren Jackson out for the season (meniscus tear).

Braves P Mike Sorotka out for season (Achilles)

Ben Simmons has a partially dislocated kneecap.

The Rangers were swept by the Hurricanes.

The Bucks were upset by the Nets.

Texas Tech women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings was fired first abusive behavior.

Astros P Roberto Osuna may need season-ending surgery.

Magic F Jonathan Isaac suffered a torn ACL.

The Jets waived WR Quincy Enuwa.

Martin Kaymer went from leaderboard to missed cut at PGA with an 82.

Pittsburgh, Edmonton and Nashville were ousted in NHL playoff upsets.

RB Derrius Guice released by Washington.

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-Dick Vitale