Every year there are teams that have a shot at making the tournament but don't get in. I’m not sue anyone though SMU was a bubble team. How do they not get in?
So we’re going to have the North Carolina State/SMU argument, huh? (Laughs) I sort of think NC State got in because of TJ Warren and because the committee ignored that the ACC had a down year.
Who are your sleeper teams in the tournament?
I had Harvard beating Cincinnati. With the history of at least one 12 always beating a five, they have so much depth and are battle tested. Head coach Tommy Amaker has done a great job with them. New Mexico has one of the best post scorers in the country in Cameron Bairstow and a great pick and pop shooter in Alex Kirk. Then you add that to reigning Mountain West Player of the Year, Kendall Williams. I don’t think Kansas will be able to withstand the Lobos without Joel Embiid. and even if he does play, a back injury is so tough to overcome. I’m going with New Mexico.
I’m with you on Embiid, but I think him being out sort of sets the stage for Andrew Wiggins to be superman. No discredit to Bill Self, who’s one of the best coaches come March, but I felt his system stifled Wiggins a little bit.
There were a couple games where Wiggins shot was struggling and I thought, for a second, maybe he’s not up for the spotlight. The thing with him is he’s very coachable. Observing him in practice and reading his body language, he’s always mentally checked in to what his coaches are saying, he wants to get better and they love that about him. We know the consensus is that he’s a one and done after this year, but he doesn’t function as if he’s checked out.
His shooting percentage has gone up and I think he’s really ready to shine. That said, he’s still a guard and there’s only so much he can do without Embiid in the front court.