You want the inside scoop? You got it. Well, actually Seth Davis has it. I'm just passing it along.
Last week, the SI writer had his conference breakdowns from coaches and assistants regarding the ACC, Big East, Big Ten and SEC. This week, he did the same thing for the Big 12, Pac-10, Mountain West and A-10.
It's obvious you should read the whole thing here. For those pressed for time, the best snippets are below. Any comments from me follow in italics.
KANSAS: Xavier Henry has also been better. He has been having his ups and downs because he always had his butt kissed in high school. In AAU ball, his team quit a lot, and his high school team vastly underachieved. Physically, he can do anything. He's the key to their team, because when he's making threes, they're very difficult to beat.
Simply put, if Henry is hitting 3s and Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich are getting theirs, nobody's beating Kansas. Nobody.
KANSAS STATE: They're one of the best teams in the country at getting to the free-throw line, but one of the worst at putting their opponents there. Their philosophy is, we're gonna beat the hell out of you and the refs are not going to call a foul every possession.
This is similar to what worked for UCLA during the 2006, 2007 and 2008 tournaments. Hand-checks on perimeter players tend to get overlooked in March.
BAYLOR: They may be the most athletic team in our league. They are night and day from last year because of two guys -- Ekpe Udoh and Tweety Carter.
MISSOURI: Their style of play makes it difficult in a one-game scenario in the NCAA tournament. If you haven't seen that pressure before and all the different spots it comes from, it's hard to prepare for.
CAL: Offensively, for some reason, they have a lot of trouble with zones, which is why they lost to Oregon State. They're just hoping against a zone that Jerome Randle and Theo Robertson will knock down 25-footers. It's hard to live and die with that.
DAYTON: I'm very confused by them. Of all the teams in our league, they have the best players.
The Flyers may not even get in the NCAA tournament. If they do, they're going to be this year's version of Arizona. A double-digit seed that underachieved, then gets hot and reaches the Sweet 16.
BYU: And you may think they're a bunch of slow white guys, but they are very athletic. If you see them in person, they're flying. You may think you're going to run by them and dunk the ball, but they're going to answer with a three.
NEW MEXICO: They don't have much size, but they overcome that because you can't defend them with bigs. Who's going to chase Roman Martinez? Who's going to chase Darington Hobson?
Saturday gave the rest of the country time to come around on the Lobos. They're not the most efficient team, they just win. They're going to be a tough team to gauge in March.
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