These are the key things for teams to know to pave their way to an NCAA title, while shutting down other teams along the way. It’s important to remember that every team has a weakness, and finding that weakness is the key to success. The AP top 5 college basketball teams are Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Villanova, and Oregon. These teams can all be great this year, but they also have their weaknesses. This is what will make or break these teams this year.
- Duke- Duke’s basketball program always manages to have one of the best recruiting seasons out of all teams. In my opinion, that’s why they’re ranked number one. However, this is also a bad thing. Duke may have some of the best freshman in college basketball, but their experience on the court won’t match those of other college teams. In conclusion, the pro about Duke is their recruiting class, but their con is the level of experience these young players have.
- Kentucky- There’s no doubt Kentucky has a great college basketball program. They have an amazing defense. They also have many experienced players who are fast and aggressive. Kentucky won’t allow very much penetration into the paint, and should make each shot hard by limiting passing. However, the Wildcats have lost sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis. He will be hard to place, therefore making ball handling and passing hard. Therefore, a pro for Kentucky is their defense, but they’ll need it while their con is ball handling and passing.
- Kansas- Another phenomenal team. This season Kansas is one-sided. They have the best defense in the country. Seven phenomenal defensive players allow players to be switched out so there are always well rested players ready to play. On offense, however, Kansas isn’t looking too well. They lost four big offensive players, including Perry Ellis. This will make the offensive game hard. So a big pro for Kansas is their defensive options, but who knows if that’ll make up for their lack of offensive players.
- Villanova- Villanova is a very versatile team. This is their biggest strength for sure. They can give any player on the court the ball and that player can play any position. This leads to confusion for the other team, catching them off guard for easy attempts right under the basket. This will be a key to their game this year, and will make them hard to beat unless a team has this Villanova strategy figured out with a counter for it. As versatile as Villanova may be, they’re missing a key part of their plan to pave their way to another NCAA title. Omari Spellman, a freshman center Villanova picked up, hasn’t been cleared to play yet. Even though Spellman is just a freshman, Head Coach Jay Wright has intentions to start him despite Spellman’s lack of college experience. This makes Villanova’s pro versatility, and their con the eligibility of Spellman.
- Oregon- I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too. Oregon? Where’d Oregon come from? Oregon’s blocking was third in the nation last year. The seniors rarely blocked shots, so losing two players didn’t have as much of a sting as it did on other teams. However, not all of their blocking was good. Oregon allowed 36% of attempted three pointers against them last year. And this problem didn’t just pop up. It’s been there for the past eight years, where Oregon has ranked below 115th in three point defense seven times. If Oregon can regulate opposing three point shots this year, they’re defense could be flawless. So Oregon’s pro is shot blocking, but their con is three point defense.