Who’s #1

By Austin Fontanella — 02/17/2010
In a season where the absence of traditional powerhouses is mixed with multiple upsets, one question still remains; who is the best team in college basketball? Over the past couple of weeks four teams have made their case as to why they should hold the number one spot. These four teams are; the Kansas Jay Hawks, the Kentucky Wild Cats, the Syracuse Orange, and the Villanova Wild Cats. For the next four weeks I will break down each of these teams by explaining their strengths and exposing their weaknesses. In the end, I will give you my top pick and perhaps shed some insight into your college basketball world.
Christmas came early in Kansas. The Jay Hawks find themselves as serious title contenders in what was supposed to be the second year of a rebuilding stage. At 22-1 Kansas holds the top spot in both the AP and Coaches Poll. Led by lone senior, Sherron Collins, the Jay Hawks have handed defeats to 3 top twenty teams. With a less than difficult schedule Bill Self’s boys could easily end 30-1 or 29-2; both records good enough to give them a number #1 seed come tournament time. If Kansas holds their #1 spot they could theoretically have easy matchups up until the elite 8. From the elite 8 and on height plays an important role in a team’s success. Luckily for Kansas their squad fills this requirement. The average height of a college basketball player is 6’5″ and more than half of Kansas’ team is 6’5″ or taller. Not to mention they have two players over 6’10”. As seen in years past this advantage can prove to be the deciding factor. Not only do the Jay Hawks have the size, but they know how to distribute the ball. Kansas ranks fourth in college basketball with 18 assists per game. By combining both size and ball movement these guys could prove to be the team to beat.
The one knock against Kansas is that they don’t have a star player who can take the reigns when things get tough. Collins would argue that he is that guy; however others are quick to disagree. Collins finds himself outside the top 100 in points, assists and rebounds per game. These are all major categories that could hurt the Jay Hawks later down the road.