We’re back from our business trip to New Orleans where the weather was grand, the food was spectacular and the Happy Hours at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone were relaxing. A shout out to the team at JKS Communications, the staff at Arnaud’s, the French Toast at Brennan’s and the staff at the Wyndham French Quarter.

New Orleans is on the road to recovery. The street performers are back, the line at Acme Seafood is long and the streets are crowded with visiting conventioneers looking silly in color-coordinated golf shirts. All good news for one of our favorite places to visit!

After a week away, we’ve now posted the up-to-the-minute college basketball rankings at www.nemosnumbers.com/basketball-rankings/. Note that even without Marvin Bagley III, Duke has beaten good teams and retains the #1 spot in the rankings. This week we added Michigan at #16 after back-to-back wins over Ohio State and Penn State. As a result, we’ve dumped Oklahoma off the bottom of our list. Opposing teams have learned how to deal with Trae Young and that spells the end of an overhyped season for the Sooners.

Now that the season is nearly over, a comparison to the polls is meaningful. RPG likes Duke, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Wichita State, and Tennessee better than do the polls. We don’t like Virginia, Kansas, Xavier, or Texas Tech nearly as much as the polls do. Look for the teams RPG likes to be under-seeded in the tournament and to upset teams wrongly seeded above them. Look for the teams RPG likes less to be over-seeded and either the victims of what the media will falsely call upsets or the recipients of high seeds with easy paths to late rounds. Last year Gonzaga was over-seeded in a weak bracket and then was rewarded with a semifinal matchup against the low-seeded survivor of a blown-up bracket. The Zags leveraged mistaken seedings and made it all the way to the title game. Last year Wisconsin was grossly under-seeded and defeated over-seeded Villanova in a game wrongly-labeled an upset. Look for more of the same this year.

Tomorrow Texas Tech meets Kansas with a chance to dethrone the perennial Big 12 champs. As mentioned above, RPG doesn’t rank either team as highly as writers and broadcasters do but the game is interesting because the conference will either usher in a new era or fans will get same-old, same-old. Kansas has an up arrow while Texas Tech has a down arrow so we’re picking the Jayhawks. Bill Self has figured out how to win with average talent.

Another coach who has figured it out is Roy Williams of North Carolina. Watch out for the Tarheels because they are coming. Coach Williams figured out how to win without a dominant inside game and how to adapt to his talent rather than imposing a system the players don’t fit. Kudos to Roy.

We’ll be back on the regular schedule next week, meaning a blog post and new rankings on Monday afternoon.  

Have a great weekend1