This is TBB's fifth year of yakking about college hoops and it has pretty much done the same thing for five years: view teams equally regardless of polls, star players, coach, conference, TV exposure, fan base, or any other factors, through the lens of the NCAA Selection Criteria. When surveying the daily hoops landscape for the GOI (Games of Import), a battle for the top seed in the MEAC conference tourney is just as important (nay, moreso, because they only get one bid!) as a titanic match up between ACC powers.
I also do not do "preseason brackets." There are scads of them around and some of them are well-done. But, those are based on paper and fantasy. TBB deals in actual performance and evaluation based on the criteria. It is impossible to do that before any games are played and past performance in previous seasons means zero. So, I cannot do my thing until some games have been played. Hence, there are no brackets here until at least New Year's Day.
What will happen here during the first couple of months is this:
1. Tracking games in which a Big 6-type team goes on the road against non-power conference team. It is rare and interesting.
2. Tracking the Sun Belt. Why would any sane person doe this? Because the geography of this league is high comedy. Because we put TWO teams in the Dance last year. And, well, because I...
3. Follow the WKU Hilltoppers. Coming off a Sweet 16 run and near toppling of UCLA in that round, the Toppers will be a great lesson in what success and its aftermath means at a non-power school. Of course, I follow them no matter what, but it should be interesting for everyone who cares about schools outside the Big 6. Some teams rebuild. Some teams reload. Some teams hire a 30-year old alum in hopes that he will stay for a long time, suffer through some terrible defense watching the young coach figure things out, watch that coach break through to the Sweet 16, and then lose that coach, his entire staff, an NBA wing player, a pro PG, the 4-yr glue guy, other role players, and hire a first-time head coach to start over again.
Should be interesting. First GOI comes on Monday.