CBS has come out with their latest preseason picks for the upcoming college basketball season. The Kentucky Wildcats are littered throughout the 5 “experts” picks, an individual honor for Nerlens Noel, and one expert has the Wildcats going all the way.
When it comes to the SEC, Kentucky was almost the unanimous selection. The only person to leave Kentucky out as regular season SEC Champions was Doug Gottlieb. I’ve heard rumblings that Gottlieb is quite the hater when it comes to the defending champs, and his picks seem to reflect that.
When it comes to the ‘Cats making another Final Four run, only one person has them making it to Atlanta. Gary Parrish believes that UK will make it to the Final Four along with Indiana, Louisville and Michigan State. Parrish is also the only “expert” to pick Kentucky to win the National Championship.
When it comes to individual awards, Matt Norlander picks our very own Nerlens Noel as Freshman Player of the Year. There is no mention of Alex Poythress or any other Kentucky Wildcat in the picks. As far as Coach of the Year candidates, John Calipari is shut out by the likes of Roy Williams (UNC), Bob Huggins (W.Va), Sean Miller (Arizona), Frank Haith (Missouri), and Mark Gottfried (NC State).
Some of these picks really baffle me. I understand going against the grain in an attempt to get bonus points. You always want to be that guy who picked someone out of the blue and nobody else duplicated your pick. The best feeling is when that pick comes through and you look like a genius. Let me guide you through a few picks that are seemingly guaranteed, and then some surprises.
5 teams in total have been picked as the overwhelming favorite by all five “experts:
Indiana (Big 10)
Kansas (Big 12)
UNLV (Mountain West)
Creighton (Missouri Valley)
UK was picked by 4 out of the 5 experts to win the SEC. Doug Gottlieb piked the Missouri Tigers.
The Atlantic 10 Conference looks to be a big toss-up between UMass, Butler, VCU, and St. Louis. 3 out of 5 “experts” have different picks for the conference crown. VCU was the team that was picked the most.
Here are some surprises:
Jeff Goodman and Matt Norlander have put Gonzaga in their Final Four. Gonzaga was relevant back when they had Player of the Year Adam Morrison, and haven’t been heard since. The Bulldogs are always a force out west, but have long been forgotten because of the Butler’s and VCU’s of recent memory.
Except for Gary Parrish, no “expert” has UK making the Final Four. However, Gonzaga was picked twice and Michigan was picked by Doug Gottlieb. The last time the Wolverines were relevant was in the mid-90′s and that team doesn’t even have a banner of any kind hanging around due to scandal. UNLV also makes an appearance in the Final Four by two “experts”. Jeff Borzello and Matt Norlander have the Runnin’ Rebs going to Atlanta. The last time UNLV was relevant was 1991 when they made a Final Four appearance after winning the National Championship in 1990.
And finally, all five guys have different picks to win the National Championship.
Goodman (Louisville), Gottlieb (Arizona), Parrish (UK), Norlander (Mizzou), Borzello (Indiana).
If you wish to analyze the list and picks yourself, head on over to CBSSports.com.
Filed Under: Basketball
About the Author: Writer for StraitCats.com, lifelong UK fan, college sports enthusiast. Twitter: BrianLewis_SP