NCAA Hoop Time
February 16, 2017
The Super Bowl has come and gone and that means my, along with many other sports fans, eyes turn to college basketball.
The older I get, it seems like I do not even pay attention to college hoops until football is over. If that is the case with you, let me spend some time getting you caught up.
Did you know that Gonzaga is the number-one team in the nation? Well they are though few believe they could actually beat the likes of Villanova, Duke, UNC, and Kansas with any consistency.
The Zags probably deserve the top billing. They are undefeated after all, though their schedule is quite easy compared to the remainder of the top-ten.
I feel Gonzaga could go deep into March Madness, but do not see them beating three or more good teams in a tournament setting on a neutral court.
Josh Perkins & Nigel Williams-Goss - Gonzaga Bulldogs
Whether it’s the second week of the tournament or the Final Four, the NCAA tournament requires teams to win two very difficult games in three days, something the Zags, over the years, have not been able to do when they advance a team such as this year’s roster to the Big Dance.
Another school up there in the State of Washington likely has the best player in the nation. (You did know that Gonzaga is in Washington, right?) And he is only a freshman. Get used to the following name. Markelle Fultz of the Washington Huskies.
Even though it looks like his team will not make the tourney, Fultz is working his way up the NBA draft board and may end up being the top choice this summer. He is averaging 23.2 points (fourth in the country), 6.0 assists (second in the Pac-12), 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals.
Markelle Fultz - Washington Huskies
He’s even ranked 10th in the Pac-12 in blocks at 1.3 per game. And he is efficient. Fultz is shooting 47.9% from the floor and 42.1% from three point land.
Yes, Duke was impressive in beating North Carolina last week. But all it did for me was prove that neither team is good enough to win it all this season. The Blue Devils do not have a quality point guard and that is a necessity in tourney play.
One local team that is frustrating its fans is North Carolina State. How is it that the Wolfpack have a top-10 NBA draft pick in Dennis Smith, a seven-footer in Omer Yurtseven who will likely play in the NBA, and own a road win at Duke is just 3-10 in the ACC?
Where Will Romo End Up?
It gets reinforced year after year that you have to have a top quarterback if you are going to win a championship. This year, it was Tom Brady and Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl. Ryan was the league MVP and Brady was his runner-up.
It is also been proven that if you do not have a top quarterback, it is hard to obtain one. And that is why the Tony Romo sweepstakes will be a hot story this summer.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is not tipping his hand yet, but it seems hard to believe that Romo will be back in Dallas. The Cowboys probably don’t want to spend that much money on a backup, they don’t want Dak Prescott having to deal with the constant speculation about Romo getting his job back, and Romo clearly doesn’t want to be a backup. The issue right now might be finding a perfect trade partner. That’s not an easy question to answer.
The Denver Broncos seem to be the most obvious solution, because they need to fix their offense and they’ve been down a similar road with Peyton Manning. And we know that worked out well.
Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboys
The Houston Texans seem like a possibility, though it’s hard to admit a huge monetary mistake and stick Brock Osweiler on the bench. There aren’t many other playoff-caliber teams that need a quarterback and why would Romo want to play for a non-contender?
I suppose he could make the Buffalo Bills a contender and it has been years since they had a quality signal-caller.
The New York Jets, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers are among the teams that will be looking for a new quarterback, but they’re all among the worst teams in the league. There’s also the issue of fair trade compensation for Romo, who will be 37 next season and has barely played the last two seasons due to injuries.