Originally Published: Dec 23, 2009 8:14 AM CDT
I was watching Texas vs. Michigan State Tuesday night and was reminded of one of college basketball’s greatest recruiting tool lines: Every player who has played four years for Tom Izzo at Michigan State has been to a Final Four. Imagine dropping that line in the homes of high school kids. Despite their loss to Texas, I still think this season’s Spartans can make the Final Four.
Best 5 teams I’ve seen this season:
1. Texas. I’m not sure if they can continue to shoot the ball as well as they have, but Damion James is a national player of the year candidate and his decision not to go to the NBA is paying off.
2. Kansas. Jayhawks are super deep in the front court. Putnam City fab freshman Xavier Henry has been great at times, but hasn’t been involved consistently at others.
3. Syracuse. They lost four guys off of last year’s team, including lottery pick Johny Flynn, but are even better this year. They defend and are ultra-long with their classic zone defense. The addition of Iowa State transfer Wesley Johnson was huge.
4. Kentucky. Amazing how much difference a coach and the players he was going to take with him to another school can make. John Wall is sensational. Calipari rode Derrick Rose to within a Mario Chalmers (of Kansas) shot of winning it all two years ago at Memphis. He could make a similar run with Wall.
5. Michigan State. Still very experienced at the guard spots and will defend and rebound with anyone in the country not named Texas. I worry about their long-range shooting.
On the verge: Villanova, North Carolina, Purdue,