LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — I was one of eight voters in the Associated Press college basketball poll who did not vote Gonzaga No. 1 on his preseason ballot.
I watched the Zags dismantle Texas Saturday night. I don’t know who had more fun against the Longhorns this weekend — Drew Timme or the Kansas football team.
I expect several voters to dump UCLA and join the Gonzaga coronation after that 12-point knockout.
I’m sticking with UCLA.
Despite needing overtime to beat Villanova. Despite the reminders that the Bruins were actually an NCAA bubble team before they got on that Final Four run last March.
Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jacquez aren’t Timme but their chemistry and versatility is impressive. Myles Johnson was an underrated addition from Rutgers. The Bruins have an experience edge on the Zags.
Hey, Gonzaga and UCLA play Nov. 23, a day after Mick Cronin’s team plays Bellarmine.
1. UCLA (2-0) — Cronin has given Los Angeles a reason to be gaga about college basketball again and college basketball is more fun when the Bruins are good.
2. Kansas (2-0) — The Jayhawks looked a cut above Michigan State. Actually, several cuts.
Here is every bucket Drew TImme scored in the first half against Texas.Was 9-of-10 at the half for 22 points. Currently 11-of-12 for 26.Incredible theatre. pic.twitter.com/Gi9kQZsMdz— Brenna Greene (@BrennaGreene_) November 14, 2021
3. Gonzaga (2-0) — Timme is terrific but Chet Holmgren didn’t play like the best freshman in America to me.
4. Villanova (1-1) — I’m not going to penalize a team for losing in overtime on the road to one of the best teams in the country (UCLA).
5. Purdue (2-0) — Jaden Ivey earned most of the preseason buzz but towering Zach Edey ranks No. 4 in Ken Pomeroy’s early, early, early player of the year ratings.
6. Michigan (2-0) — Kevin Willard and Seton Hall should be a solid test for the Wolverines Tuesday night.
7. Duke (3-0) — The Mike Krzyzewski Farewell Tour is officially underway — with a pair of scary freshmen driving.
8. Baylor (1-0) — Scott Drew has scheduled like a guy who is replacing a lot of talented players.
9. Kentucky (1-1) — According to Pomeroy, Kentucky’s win probability is 98 percent or better in five of its next six games.
10. Auburn (2-0) — Jabari Smith is a 6-10 freshman — and he’s made five three-pointers in the Tigers’ first two games. Tell me more.
11. Tennessee (2-0) — The Vols will take it up a notch by playing Villanova Saturday.
12. Illinois (2-0) — Coleman Hawkins has been a strong early contributor for the Illini, who will be without suspended Kofi Cockburn for another game.
13. Alabama (2-0) — Nate Oats has another good team and an even better recruiting class.
14. Memphis (2-0) — The Tigers have the third-most efficient defense in the nation — after playing Tennessee Tech and North Carolina Central. The Larry Brown Effect.
15. Oregon (2-0) — The Ducks have a test against Mark Pope and BYU Tuesday.
16. Texas (1-1) — Marcus Carr needed 13 shots to get 11 points against Gonzaga.
17. Houston (2-0) — Hofstra took the Cougars into overtime.
18. North Carolina (2-0) — I need more time to accept Roy Williams is not in charge in Chapel Hill any more.
19. UConn (2-0) — The Huskies are playing in the Big East again, remember?
20. Arkansas (2-0) —One of six SEC teams on my ballot.
21. USC (2-0) — The Trojans need a football team their basketball team can be proud of.
EJ Liddell was an absolute scoring machine against Niagara, in a close game it seemed like, Liddell definitely was a difference maker. He scored 29 points and had many great looks from three. He also drove the paint with confidence, and had quite a few good feeds to Zed Key. pic.twitter.com/395VAYlNFV— NBA Draftcast (@NBADraftcast) November 13, 2021
22. Ohio State (2-0) — E.J. Liddell has averaged 27 points and made nearly 63 percent of his 2-point shots.
23. Florida (2-0) — The Gators ended a 7-game losing streak against Florida State — and did it by 16 points.
24. Maryland (3-0) — Louisville could play the Terps in the Bahamas.
25. St. Bonaventure (2-0) — I expected the Bonnies to beat Canisius by more than 9.
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