Question of the day: Which are your top four college basketball teams for this season? [Updated]
Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times
In honor of the passing of John Wooden, I am going with Purdue as the top college basketball team this season. (What, you thought I might pick UCLA?) Wooden’s alma mater is loaded after JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore spurned the NBA draft for another year in West Lafayette.
Next up is Duke, because what is a top four without the Dookies? Kyle Singler returns for what seems like an eighth year of eligibility as the Blue Devils bid for a second consecutive title.
Checking in at No. 3 is Michigan State, about as safe a bet to contend for a national title as Joey Chestnut is to be in the mix at the Coney Island Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest.
Kansas rounds out the top four. With five key players returning, chants of “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” will be heard reverberating throughout Reliant Stadium in Houston come April.
[Updated at 12:38 p.m.:
David Teel, Newport News
The first half of Friday's quiz was easy. Duke and Michigan State are no-duhs as college basketball’s preseason elite. Both advanced to last season's Final Four -- the Blue Devils left with the bling -- and are exceptional on the perimeter with Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving, and Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers, respectively. Oh, and coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo aren't bad either.
For the back half of our Fab Four, I'll take Ohio State and Pitt. The Buckeyes lost national player of the year Evan Turner to the NBA, but little else, and added acclaimed, home-grown (Columbus, Ohio) freshman Jared Sullinger. Similarly, led by guard Ashton Gibbs, the Panthers return seven of their top eight and rate as the favorites in the barbed-wire-nasty Big East.]
Photo: E’Twaun Moore. Credit: John Terhune / Associated Press