Monday, November 24, 2014

Poll Dancing: TBI's College Basketball Top 25 (Nov. 24 Edition)

Not really much time for a witty intro or pretty pictures on this week's Poll Dancing, we're just going to hit up the Faceplants and get on with it. Strap in.

Faceplants: #17 Colorado, #20 UConn, #25 SMU
--Despite the amount of respect I have for what Larry Shyatt's building at Wyoming (and the massive mancrush TBI harbors for Larry Nance Jr.), I can't keep CU in the top 25 after the sheer ineptitude it displayed in Laramie. For UConn, it boils down to the head-to-head. I can't leave the Huskies in and keep West Virginia out...yet. As for SMU, they miss Markus Kennedy quite a bit, but they miss last year's Nic Moore just as much.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Poll Dancing: TBI's College Basketball Top 25 (Nov. 17 Edition)

We're only three days into the 2014-15 college basketball season, so why the hell not throw together a brand new Top 25 full of snap judgments and overreactions?

None of my Top 25 lost on the opening weekend, thank Buddha, but one did look very shaky against a motivated opponent at home on national TV. Of course, that team was ranked No. 25, so it's been replaced for now, but expect it to be back.

All in all, there's not much change, and I won't bother explaining the ones that stayed stable. After all, most of these teams were gobbling cupcakes over the weekend. However, I will share the rationale behind the few moves that were made, starting with our inaugural Faceplant of the new season.

All that after the jump.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

TBI's College Basketball Opening Weekend Extravaganza: Preseason Bracketometry

Welcome back to the third post of the series that may represent the most prolific this blog gets in three months, thanks to a lot of other stuff demanding some time. We've already talked about my Top 25 picks and my All-American selections, so now it's time to jump to the real important news that will come out in March: the bracket.

If you read my conference previews (Part 1 here and Part 2 here), you'll remember that I projected the teams that I expected to make the NCAA tournament from each league. This is where we put them all together into a tournament format and determine who exactly I'm tabbing as my Final Four picks. Because unlike all those other chicken-droppings bracketologists, Bracketometry will go the extra mile and project some winners. And not just going according to seed, either (I see you out there, Athlon). There will be upsets.

Trust me, you'll all disagree with several picks. I absolutely know it. But before we get to who'll be standing on the final weekend, let's look at the other 64 who'll join them at the party after the jump.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

TBI's College Basketball Opening Weekend Extravaganza: The All-Americans

Most outlets may give you only two teams' worth of All-Americans. Some will give you three. Here at The Back Iron, much like at noted college basketball bible Blue Ribbon, I drop four.

One thing you don't get here that you get literally everywhere else is the unrelenting hype for incoming freshmen. Writers get their All-American ballots confused with an NBA draft board and throw a bunch of one-and-dones on their teams, ignoring the dangerous precedent that was set when they anointed Harrison Barnes back in 2010. Barnes scuffled through his freshman year, bowed by the weight of the expectations, and was forced to return for a second year to salvage his draft stock.

Since then, TBI has had a strict no-freshmen policy on its All-American teams. While Jahlil Okafor, Myles Turner and Karl Towns may show up and dominate the game, I prefer to give a little dap to those guys who've proven they can perform at this level.

You'll surely have some other suggestions, and you're encouraged to supply them below. Rest assured, however, that if I left your team's favorite player off, it's not because I "dont know nothin bout ball" or some other unintelligible rant. The more vituperous you get in your rant, the more assured I am that I've watched more basketball games than you've had hot meals. Be civil or be gone.

Now, 20 of the game's best--and a few controversial omissions--await after the jump.

Friday, November 14, 2014

TBI's College Basketball Opening Day Extravaganza: Top 25 Picks

I hate Christmas music, but the sentiment behind this song is valid for today. College basketball's opening day beats the living hell out of Christmas for me because 2 things:

1) There's a metric ton of hoops to watch;
2) No stressful shopping experiences.

As we prepare to tip the season off in some style (Texas Southern v. Eastern Washington = two potential conference champions opening the campaign), sit back and observe TBI's up-to-the-minute preseason top 25 and All-American picks after the jump.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

TBI's Conference Calling 2014-15 College Basketball Conference Previews (Part 2)

Back for more, eh? Expecting that the new guy over at BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's finest stop for all your Big Ten basketball needs, will mindlessly anoint his favorite conference as America's best?

If you expect that a guy who's glossed himself The Professor for the better part of a decade will do anything mindlessly, you obviously haven't passed through here much.

So let's check out Part 2 of TBI's conference rankings and see if the Big Ten does, in fact, reign supreme once more. (BTW, this is also post No. 100 in the sporadic history of this slightly-above-mediocre college basketball repository. So, yay me, I guess.)