BOZICH | I Was Wrong (and so were others) about this college bas - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | I Was Wrong (and so were others) about this college basketball season

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – I was wrong.

Hey, I didn't promise to share breaking news this morning. Better to make you smile and laugh, right?

So I'll say it with authority: I was wrong.

Wrong about Maryland, Notre Dame and Northern Iowa. Those three solid teams were missing from my pre-season ballot in the AP college basketball poll. So were seven other programs that registered in the Top 25 posted Monday.

I hit .600, identifying 15 of 25. I love baseball. Any baseball player would take a .600 average.

But this is basketball. I was wrong.

Wrong about Florida, Texas and Nebraska. Those three teams made my Top 15. You don't have to look it up. I already did.

The news cycle always strains to look ahead. Which teams will join Kentucky on the number one seed line for the NCAA Tournament? Last four in? First four out?

You know the questions.

I don't have the answers. But I do know who was wrong in November before anybody got away with the first flop.

As you consider which sources to follow for the next 27 days, let's look back at the worst -- and the best -- of the pre-season college basketball predictions by The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Ken Pomeroy, Athlon Sports, Basketball Times and yours truly.

THE SPORTING NEWS

AIR BALL: Sometimes being different enables you to trash talk for decades. (As a matter of fact, I did pick North Carolina State to upset Houston in the 1983 NCAA championship game. I even said the N.C. State guards would control tempo.)

But sometimes it's better not to over think it. The Sporting News said Arizona deserved to be the top-ranked team in the nation. TSN could still be proven correct by the NCAA Tournament, but I'm not in love with their chances.

TSN also had Branden Dawson (Michigan State), Aaron Harrison (Kentucky), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville) and Marcus Paige (North Carolina) on its first all-American team – and Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky on the third team? I'll stop there and let that idea marinate.

NOTHING BUT NET: TSN did identify six of the likely final Top 10 – Arizona, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke, Kansas and Virginia. I said .600 was acceptable.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

AIR BALL: Like nearly everybody else, SI fell for the Chris Walker/Kasey Hill hype at Florida, ranking the Gators sixth in America. For the record, Billy Donovan's team finished tied for eighth in the Southeastern Conference.

NOTHING BUT NET: Sports Illustrated believed in Villanova, more than several other publications, ranking the Wildcats eighth. Jay Wright's team has only lost twice, once in overtime.

KEN POMEROY

AIR BALL: Some will point to Pomeroy's pre-season placement of Duke atop his numbers and howl. Understandable. Any rating that does not start with Kentucky is open to debate.

But the Blue Devils are closer to number one than Louisville is to number three – and that is where Pomeroy's numbers had Rick Pitino's team in November.

NOTHING BUT NET: Pomeroy nailed seven of the top 10 before the season – Duke, UK, Kansas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Virginia and Villanova.

ATHLON SPORTS

AIR BALL: If Virginia wants to play the No Respect Card this month, hand the Cavaliers a copy of the Athlon Yearbook.

Turn to page 44 and search for Tony Bennett's team. You'll find them ranked 16th, behind Nebraska, San Diego State and Iowa.

Ouch.

Athlon did not miss as badly as The Sporting News, but it still had Kaminsky on its second all-American team.

NOTHING BUT NET: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Arizona, Duke, 1-2-3-4? I can live with that.

BASKETBALL TIMES

AIR BALL: There is nothing wrong with the headline on BT's pre-season edition: Top Cats.

The problem is the photo. It's a picture of Arizona guard T.J. McConnell. Arizona is a very nice team. But they're not the Top Cats – at least not yet.

Ranking Texas fourth and North Carolina fifth won't be remembered as shining moments at Basketball Times either.

NOTHING BUT NET: Frank Kaminsky, first-team all-American. It wasn't as difficult as picking Mine That Bird to win the Kentucky Derby. Some people simply made it that tough. Basketball Times got Kaminsky right.

RICK BOZICH

AIR BALL: You can blame me – and I'll blame Roy Williams, Rick Barnes, Tim Miles and several others for letting me down.

I had too much faith in North Carolina (fifth), Texas (sixth) and especially Nebraska (14th).

Apologies to Maryland, Northern Iowa and Notre Dame, three lock Top 25 teams that were not on my pre-season ballot.

NOTHING BUT NET: I received grief for not including Connecticut, Michigan and Syracuse in my pre-season Top 25. And I did vote Kaminsky a first-team all-American (with Harrell, Harrison, Page and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson). It wasn't like picking N.C. State to beat Houston. But this season, I'll take it.

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