Number One Seeds And Possible NBA Trades
THE COLLEGE ROUNDBALL REPORT - HERE'S OUR "#1 SEEDS" FOR NEXT MONTH'S NCAA TOURNAMENT
THE NBA NOTEBOOK: TRADES WE'D LIKE TO SEE BEFORE THE DEADLINE
Guess it all depends on the "eyes of the beholder":
After all, some college basketball folks believe that the real cream-of-the-crop teams this year - such as #1 Gonzaga (now 25-0 following last night's 90-60 romp at 17-point pup Loyola-Marymount) and defending champion #2 Villanova - may not be as good as some of those other teams in power conferences.
In other words, is the loaded Pac-12 - a league that includes three top 10 teams right now in #5 Oregon, #9 Arizona and #10 UCLA - better than either/both Gonzaga and Big East member Villanova?
And where do the Big 12 and ACC upper-echelon teams stack up?
Is #3 Kansas a legit numero uno in next month's NCAA Tournament if the season were to end today ... and what about #4 Louisville? Okay, so without any fear of being wrong - the NCAA Tournament Show doesn't air till March 19th...
Drum roll, please, here's our #1 NCAA Tournament seeds at this very moment:
VILLANOVA (23-2, 10-2 Big East) - Jay Wright's gang won't win any beauty awards with the sometimes stunted way it plays the game (grinding out possessions, playing hand-to-hand combat on defense, etc.) but we do believe in our hoop heart-of-hearts that this is the best team in America and a very likely #1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament providing it wins the Big East Tournament (something the Wildcats didn't do a year ago).
OREGON (21-4, 10-2 Pac-12) - Maybe we've been influenced more than a little bit by last weekend's rollicking 85-58 home win against Arizona but these Oregon Ducks can "ball" and Dillon Brooks should be in the conversation for national Player of the Year. Right now - despite blowing a 19-point lead last night in that 82-79 loss-but-cover at 4.5-point favorite UCLA -- we'd have to rate Oregon a slight fav over these next couple of potential #1 tourney seeds.
KANSAS (21-3, 9-2 Big 12) - No doubt the Jayhawks have appeared human the past couple of weeks while losing at West Virginia and home to Iowa State but hear us out: Bill Self's crew is sharing the ball better now than at any time of the 2016-17 hoops season and it's our belief that yet another Big 12 title should automatically get 'em a #1 seed in the NCAAs.
BAYLOR (21-3, 8-3 Big 12) - The athletic Bears were oh-so-close to winning at Kansas last week and those non-league wins against the likes of Oregon, Michigan State and Louisville count for something! It's our opinion that the upper crust of the Big 12 is better than the upper crust of any other league out there - right now Baylor's RPI is 1 and Kansas' RPI is 3 - and so we'll slip a second team from this power conference into out four #1 NCAA seeds.
In case you're wondering, our "#2's" right now would include Louisville, Gonzaga, Arizona and North Carolina.
THE NBA TRADE REPORT
Geez, this Carmelo Anthony Saga can't end fast enough even though we have our doubts as to whether or not this New York Knicks star is ever gonna be traded away from the Big Apple ... maybe Charles Oakley can suit up again and give this current sad-sack Knicks team some real toughness.
Ohh, forget it!
In any event, the NBA Trade Deadline is two weeks away and - while we realize most deals in this league happen based on matching up salaries, here's some moves we believe make perfect sense as long as the teams involved can make dollars-and-sense of it all:
JIMMY BUTLER-to-OKLAHOMA CITY ... No question the Chicago Bulls would love to rid bad-boy Butler from their payroll and perhaps a deal to the OKC Thunder will happen even if it means a few less FG attempts per game by MVP frontrunner Russell Westbrook.
BROOK LOPEZ-to-ATLANTA ... Let's face it, the Brooklyn Nets' season was over by Thanksgiving Day but they still have an All-Star-type performer on the roster who makes a boatload of money and maybe a change of scenery for Lopez and a big man (see 7-feet-1) acquisition for the Hawks makes sense providing Atlanta can deal off underachieving Dwight Howard to a Western Conference contender.
PAUL GEORGE-to-BOSTON ... Keep hearing talk that the Celtics are gonna pull the trigger one of these days on a trade that imports 'em a sound/solid veteran and GM Danny Ainge is hinting he'd rather have this versatile swingman than the likes of Butler or even the aforementioned Mr. Anthony.