Bill: The Big 10, The ACC, and the Big 12 are the major conferences that have my attention so far; they are the major conferences. I was going through the teams trying to determine who’s been high in the ranks and who’s lacking. I had a bias about the teams that are one and done, the teams that recruit potential-NBA players for one year but move on seem to be lacking the most.
The teams that have more juniors and seniors seem to play the best and surprise everyone by how good they are. Looking at the Big 10, Wisconsin has the edge because they have five starters coming back.
Initially I thought that The Big 10 was going to be the winning conference but as the season has gone on I feel that the ACC is going to take that title. For example, Indiana lost to Ft. Wayne and there’s no telling what that’s going to mean later for this conference; it’s discouraging to see a team this loaded lose a game in this way.
In any case, Villanova is proving to be a really dominating team this year as they were last year. In the West, it’s looking pretty weak except watching UCLA and Oregon come forward, but for me it’s clearly within the Midwest and Southeast, where the real powerhouses are.
Russell: For me it’s too early in the season to pick a good conference. Everytime I pick a team, they lose. When I was thinking about Indiana, they lost to Ft. Wayne, so I’m not getting wrapped up in anything yet. But Villanova is really working this season, I feel they would be able to repeat their success from last year. My favorites thus far would have to be The Big 10 because I’m from the area and the ACC; they have a lot of great teams in that region.
Bill: Russell, do you think that the ACC is the minor leagues for the NBA?
Russell: I do, but I pick other conferences that I expect to end the season with a win and they lose. The teams that I am sticking with- North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville and Syracuse- are my favorite teams and they always will be. Kansas is another team that I feel could do it, but it will be a long shot.
John: As far as conferences go, when it comes to the ACC the biggest question I have is, "does Virginia have enough offense to go against Duke or North Carolina?" My answer would be "no" because both teams have super-strong players with more offense.
In the East, even though Villanova is good, it’s not set in stone that they will repeat the same success they did last year. Xavier, The [Butler] Bulldogs and of course North Carolina are the teams that Villanova needs to watch out for. The one conference that is not doing anything in basketball is the Big 10. How many times can they play a huge schedule? They lack the talent needed to defeat the ACC and The Big 12.
In the Pac 12, UCLA has been dominating the conference. They had a losing record last year and have risen to #11 which is very impressive. I don’t see any other conference making it aside from ACC and the Pac 12; my last choice would have to be the Big 10.
Bill: The weaker conferences have a disadvantage because they do not play as often as popular teams; so when they do play against teams that are powerful they learn but they aren’t able to execute their skills as often. This is where the ACC and the Big 10 have the advantage because they don’t have easy games after the conference starts.
Whether or not a team loses or wins, it depends on how close the game was because the better team is decided when the teams play again. It’s important to lose and win to the right teams to determine strengths and weaknesses and ways that the team can improve their offense and defense.
Russell: I agree when I think about the teams in the Big East, the games that they play seem to define them without them considering that they will play the team again.