I am a little late getting in on this, but there is a blogger roundtable hosted by the Sea of Blue blog (Kentucky); I'm throwing some answers into the ring.
I hope you will see a few more roundtable questions and answers in this space. But for now, the questions and my answers below.
Who really looks like the best team in college basketball this season?
Obviously no team has run away with the title of "best" yet; and part of the problem is that the Big East is really competitive, as is the ACC. The top Atlantic Coast Conference teams are all a little flawed. And the Big East teams have not yet established a standard bearer. I am still going to go with Pittsburgh, even after their loss; I think, even if/ when they lose in the Big East Tournament (...they need to take a few days off and rest before the NCAAs), I would put a little money on them winning it all.
Connecticut may have the best combination of offensive and defensive efficiency numbers, but without Jerome Dyson, I can't say they're the best; and this group of Calhoun's is lacking a little bit of "heart" or "savagery" or whatever propels a team to just squeeze all spirit out of an opponent.
Is Blake Griffin the Player of the Year already, or can somebody catch him?
Who else would it be? It's not going to be Jerel McNeal, because he doesn't get enough pub. It's not gonna be Terrence Williams of Louisville, because he's not an efficient scorer. It's not going to be Tyler Hansbrough, because we all forget he's still in college. Stephen Curry's team would need more signature wins. Luke Harangody's team needs more wins. And James Harden, he plays on the west coast for a team that plays slowdown ball. I wish Patty Mills would get a sniff, but he hadn't played enough marquee games; I think he makes a good St. Mary's team threatening.
What currently ranked team is the biggest disappointment so far this year?
uh, Michigan State for me. A combination of injuries and WTF losses have kept this team out of the "best team" conversations I thought they would be in... I thought they would be North Carolina's competitor this year - with an excellent guard in Kalin Lucas and a great frontcourt rotation... then they got smoked like bacon by North Carolina. Oh well. Texas
Dishonorable mention to the aforementioned Texas - their point guard play has been the story; and North Carolina who may actually still be great, just not "undefeated" great. All the other teams that have not achieved (see: Duke) that are in the rankings had gaping flaws to begin with - Louisville's lack of a reliable ballhandler/ reliance on Edgar Sosa, a kid born with a head full of knuckles... Duke's lack of a post game and reliance on the non-quickness of Greg Paulus... UCLA's youth with Jrue Holliday and unexciting or young post options...
Predict the next team to beat Oklahoma.
Without Blake Griffin? Missouri in the regular season. If Griffin makes it back, Mizzou in the Big XII tournament... or ClemPhis - the 2 seed in Oklahoma's bracket (I am going with Clemson or Memphis as 2 seeds, borrowed from Lunardi's bracketology predictions).