Mailbag: UK’s point guard, Maui picks, more
by By Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
College basketball came back into our lives last weekend with a bang — fantastic games (including a buzzer-beater on opening night!), mid-major stars and even some drama surrounding UCLA’s top freshman, Shabazz Muhammad.
Now that the sport is here to stay for the next four and a half months, we’ll celebrate by answering your questions. Our college basketball reporters Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell will answer your questions each Thursday.
Here’s a reminder to send in questions for next week’s mailbag to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie Roberts: Usually in college hoops there are a few “great” teams and large contingency of “very good ” teams ranked behind them, but this year (I know it’s early) there seems to be ton of “very good” teams and no “great” team. This usually opens the door for a couple of out of the norm teams to make a run at the title. What surprise teams have the best shot at the title this season? My best guesses are Butler and Gonzaga, albeit these two are staples in March Madness.
Prisbell: Jamie, thanks for the question and the lede for our story heading into March Madness. I think your question essentially sums up this particular season: A lot of very good teams but no great team. Expect chaos in March. So what teams have the best chance to emerge from the heap? Teams with excellent point guards are best positioned, so are veteran teams, as well as teams that author uneven regular seasons in brutal power leagues. I’d keep my eye on a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team as a possible true dark horse. I also like Missouri with Pressey. Let’s see exactly what Le’Bryan and Smart can do as a tandem at Ok-State. Colorado is a team that could really surprise people. Same for Maryland, with Alex Len playing like a beast. Those are some power-league dark horses. And no doubt Butler, Gonzaga are threats to make a run. Watch Ohio as well. I think I named about half the field.
Auerbach: I kind of like it this way. It means what Eric said is incredibly likely — … [For more on Mailbag: UK's point guard, Maui picks, Duke and more, click here.]