And Then There Were Five…

By Richard Kent
Updated: January 25, 2009

CONNECTICUT — The men’s college basketball season started with maybe 20 teams who could win it all. Now it is down to five and they are five great ones.

UConn is coming off of a big win at Notre Dame, snapping the longest home winning streak in the nation. Coach Jim Calhoun has his team playing great defense as always.

Hasheem Thabeet is tough to stop underneath. Jeff Adrien is a monster off of the boards while A.J. Price and Jerome Dyson are one of the top guard combos in the country.

UConn is deep and talented and Calhoun has the experience in the Final Four. They have to avoid getting beaten up physically in the Big East Tournament in March.

Teams winning that Tournament have not fared well in the NCAA Tournament.

Pittsburghis as physical as any team in the country under Jamie Dixon. They looked a bit vulnerable against Louisville, but that may be more of a function of the strength of Louisville and the Big East.

North Carolinawas the best team in the country until they fell to Boston College and Wake Forest in the same week. Tyler Hansbrough in the top college player, Ty Lawson the top point in the country and Marcus Ginyard is a very good one.

Duke just dismantled Maryland by 41 this past Saturday. Kyle Singler can shoot it, Gerald Henderson is more athletic than your typical Duke player and Jon Scheyer can drill it. The Blue Devils have not been a factor nationally for a few years but this could be their year.

Louisville is playing great basketball right now. They are deep and talented with as many as four First Round NBA picks on their team. Edgar Sosa can handle the point well.

That was a big concern for Louisville entering the season.

There are other teams like Wake Forest, Gonzaga and Marquette who can contend but look to these five.