Found February 08, 2013 on Fox Sports South:
Some call it parity, although that's being kind. Some chalk it up to the pressure, but that, too, doesn't tell the whole story. Some call it the curse of the one-and-done's, saying this was as predictable as the next full moon. Whatever you call it and whatever the cause, the truth of the matter is college basketball isn't very good right now. Want proof? Name the five best players on the NCAA hardwood. Heck, name the best four. Cody Zeller probably makes the cut, and Kentucky fans will yell Nerlens Noel. Beyond that, there is a homer bias to every list and no consensus No. 1 team to be found anywhere. Just as it looked as though Zeller and Indiana had finally reached the pinnacle and would remain there for a healthy stretch, the Hoosiers blew an eight-point lead to Illinois. They lost the game by giving up an uncontested layup, one of those miscues where no Indiana player was within 10 feet of the winning basket. Bobby Knight would have thrown the entire scoring table across the court. It was that bad. But it was not unexpected. For five consecutive weeks, the No. 1 team in the country has lost the game immediately following their rise to the top. This has brought new meaning to the term "one and done," and it has a lot of casual college basketball fans turning away. After all, why watch when nothing matters until tournament time? The losses by Indiana, Michigan and Duke all teams that spent precious little time at the top of the polls should have opened the door for Florida, which got off to a slower-than-expected start before reeling off almost two months worth of victories to climb to No. 2 in the polls. The Gators looked unbeatable throughout January and displayed one of the toughest defenses since their back-to-back championship runs. But they didn't even make it to the top spot before embarrassing themselves. On Tuesday night in Arkansas, Billy Donovan's squad looked like they didn't belong in the top 10 as they fell to the Razorbacks 80-69 in a game that wasn't that close. "Sometimes you need a reality check to let you know you can be beat," Florida guard Kenny Boynton said after the drubbing in Fayetteville, a game in which the Gators trailed by 23 in the first half. "Better now than later." Perhaps that's the attitude everyone in college basketball is taking these days. Better get those losses out of the way now before tournament time. It's still early. Mailing it in for a game or two won't matter as long we play well in late March. Unfortunately, modern college basketball players, many of whom don't stay on campus long enough to learn the alma mater or find the second floor of the library, have never heard Vince Lombardi's "winning is a habit" speech. "Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in awhile and you don't do things right once in awhile. You do them right all the time." Of course, going to school is not a sometime thing, either. Unless, of course, you are today's college basketball player. Then everything's fleeting and temporary. Like being No. 1.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

HD Video: Hoosiers preview trip to Champaign

Associate head coach Tim Buckley, Cody Zeller and Jeremy Hollowell met with the media on Wednesday afternoon to preview No. 1 Indiana’s Thursday showdown with Illinois in Champaign. Watch both press conferences in the embedded media players below:

HD Video: IU players react to loss at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Christian Watford, Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls met with the media following No. 1 Indiana’s 74-72 loss to Illinois on Thursday at Assembly Hall. Watch and listen to their postgame comments in the embedded media player below:

The Minute After: Ohio State

Thoughts on a 81-68 win over the Buckeyes: Backs against the wall after Thursday’s slipup in Champaign, and the Hoosiers put it together for a full 40 in Columbus. There would be no building of a lead only to see it wilt away. There would be no nitpicking about Indiana still missing a quality road win on the resume after this one. The critics have been silenced, and maybe Indiana’s...

Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After leading by 14 points on two separate occasions, Indiana couldn’t hold on Thursday night at Assembly Hall and the No. 1 Hoosiers dropped their second conference game 74-72 to Illinois. The loss moved IU into a three-way tie with Michigan and Michigan State for the Big Ten lead. Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s loss to the Fighting Illini: ·...

College Basketball Plays – 2/7

While there is less games on Thursday the quality is a lot better. Check out who I like. Must Plays: Christian Wofford and Cody Zeller (Indiana) – Both Wofford and Zeller are must plays against an Illinois team that lacks post presence. Wofford is Mr. consistent; he has scored in double figures in 12 straight games. He is coming off a double double in the win over number 1 Michigan...

Buckeyes face tough test

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Desperate teams. Brutal scheduling. Plenty at stake. That's the state of the Big Ten just past the midpoint of a conference race that's lived up to its billing. That's Indiana at Ohio State Sunday. An early February game doesn't get much bigger. No. 1 Indiana comes in off a shocking loss Thursday night at Illinois. No. 10 Ohio State comes off an overtime...

No. 1 Indiana wins at No. 10 Ohio St.

Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 26 points, Cody Zeller added 24 and Christian Watford 20 to lead No. 1 Indiana back from a demoralizing loss to a huge road win in beating No. 10 Ohio State 81-68 on Sunday. The Hoosiers (21-3, 9-3 Big Ten), who dominated the second half, were coming off a stunning collapse that might have caused the undoing of many teams. On Thursday night at...

IU at Ohio State Postgame Show

It was another milestone victory for the Tom Crean era at Indiana. Crean’s Hoosiers have made amazing strides since he took over, but no Crean team – and no IU team at all since 1993 – had beaten a top 10 team on the road. That came to an emphatic end today in Columbus, Ohio. Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, and Christian Watford all played like NBA players today, each scoring...

tBBN LiveBlog: Indiana at Ohio State

  This is a Hoosier Fresh off a heartbreaking loss to The Fighting Illini, Cody Zeller and company come into Columbus a little downtrodden. It’s really too bad they can’t have any of the sweets that Ohio State football coach Mike Vrabel is bringing in tomorrow morning to MattaritaVille. If this gets 500 retweets, @mattaritaville will get Krispy Kreme donuts. #specialdelivery...

After loss at Illinois, Hoosiers prepare for another road test at Ohio State

Two days after Indiana’s disappointing loss at Illinois, Tom Crean still felt like his team had wasted a great opportunity for a conference road win. But Crean knew it was important for his team to immediately shift its focus to Sunday’s opponent, Ohio State. The No. 1 Hoosiers practiced longer than usual on Friday and also had a lengthy team meeting to discuss what went wrong...

No. 1 Indiana Upset by Fighting Illini

Does anyone want to be No.1? Over the last five weeks the No. 1 team in the nation has fallen. Last week it was Michigan courtesy of the Hoosiers. This week the Hoosiers were looking to buck that trend, but first things first--they had to make it by the Fighting Illini. Looking at Illinois you would think that shouldn't be a problem. The Illini were 15-8 overall and just...
College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.