College Basketball’s Top 5 Teams Round Robin

In terms of the standings today, the top 5 teams are Texas, Kentucky, Kansas, Villanova, and Syracuse. In spite of the Longhorns’ loss at Kansas State last night, those five are likely to remain the same. Being that they’re the only “BCS” teams with 1 or less losses (BYU excluded), they’ve done a good job separating themselves from the rest of the pack. The question is, which is the best and worst matchup for each team amongst this group?

Here’s how I see it. I certainly am not predicting anything, but on paper it’s how I assess the situation:

Woah Mama! That's a big boy

Best Matchup: Villanova
Why: Texas is as big and physical a team as any. Villanova is used to those qualities in opponents because of Big East play. Unfortunately, Texas’s post players are about twice the size of their counterparts. Villanova has great guards, but Texas has great guard defenders in Dogus Balbay and Avery Bradley. Who does Nova put on Damion James? Coming from the wing spot, James is a gigantic matchup problem for the Wildcats. Both teams are great in transition and rely on their experience to keep composed.
Worst Matchup: Syracuse
Why: Texas is not a great shooting team or passing team. Those are the best ways to beat a zone. Texas has great size (read: height AND girth), but so does Syracuse. Syracuse’s two bigs aren’t quite as big as Dexter Pittman, but they are better conditioned and are pretty much as close as they can get in width to put a body on him. Syracuse is adept at getting back in transition defense and out in transition offense, similarly to Texas. Both teams have All-American candidates at the wing spot with Damion James (UT) and Wesley Johnson (SU).

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