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January Madness?

NC State fans after beating Duke
Sure, over the years in college hoops we've seen big upsets. But, this January we are seeing complete craziness. Duke is losing by 27 to a football school. Syracuse and Louisville are being haunted by Villanova. And, Kentucky is still looking like a NIT team. So what does this all mean? Here are some thoughts from this crazy month for college basketball:

  • The Big Ten is still as good as we thought it was when Ohio State, Michigan and Indiana were all ranked in the top five. Sure, Minnesota looks like they are collapsing and Illinois already has, but Indiana still looks like a title contender. Wisconsin appears to be a very scary team after escaping with a victory over Minnesota, which means just more teams to watch battle it out in March.
  • We knew coming into the season that Kentucky and UNC weren't going to be as good as last season. But, this? Kentucky is 13-6, but has had close wins over Maryland, Vanderbilt and LSU and has fallen to Alabama this season. The Tar Heels appear to be in a little better shape but the ACC appears tougher than we originally thought. Sure, there is time to fix the disaster that is both of these teams but we know neither are title contenders right now.
  • Thank goodness the NCAA didn't expand the tournament too much a couple of year ago. We won't be able to see the craziness that should ensue through much of February as teams struggle for a spot in the Big Dance. Among, those bubble teams is Kentucky, Illinois, St. Mary's, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and many more. 
  • Over the years the ACC basketball program has lost some of it's appeal. Duke and UNC was fun to watch and both were championship contenders but it seemed nobody else could stay with them for more than a season. Now it looks as if the ACC might be the third best conference behind the Big Ten and Big East. Duke is still a Final Four threat, Miami could be scary good, NC State continues to improve and we get to see Maryland, UNC and Florida State fight for tournament contention.

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