It’s finally here! After a week off, Boeheim’s Army will play in the Super 16 in Brooklyn this Thursday and attempt to win two more games to reach the semifinals in Baltimore.
Boeheim’s Army have never made the semifinals, and the rest of the field features plenty of teams with star power looking to do the same. John said a power rankings post would be cool, and I’ve been loving this tournament from the start to next week’s finish.
So, here are you unofficial power rankings of the remaining 16 teams in the Super 16. (If you’ve ever read The 30 by Jonah Keri, you can see where I get my formatting.)
16. NC Prodigal Sons
15. Team Fancy Ryu
I’m sure one of these teams has some tie to Clemson I’m not seeing and my @’s will be filled with #DISRESPEK but I’m sorry: these two teams are not only the lowest seeded teams, but their respective roads have been filled with close games.
Let’s focus on Team Fancy since I’m a little more familiar and they’re Boeheim’s Army’s next opponent. ICYMI or don’t want to read my preview (jerk), they’re a solid team that makes use of what size they have for effective scoring. Why should this matter? Well, that sounds like the perfect team to beat Syracuse (at least in my limited experience as a fan of this group), but it also minimizes the crazy factor of the TBT. They’re not likely to be beaten by a big run. That said, it also minimizes their chances at making a big run.
I honestly wanted to rank both higher initially, and then you see the rest of the field. These guys are in the top 16 of the TBT and that’s something. It’s just not as much as everyone else in a subjective ranking.
14. Tampa Bulls (USF)
13. Armored Athlete
12. Team FOE
I’m not going to lie, these are the teams I don’t know what to do with. So I dig into them and see AA has a bunch of Xavier players listed including Tu Holloway (who looks like he’s yet to suit up) and Jalen Reynolds. That made me think of the infamous Crosstown Shootout brawl which I forever remember because I watched live as my bud was in the front row and attempted to throw a punch. Anyways, with Reynolds and fellow Muskie Mark Lyons in tourney (facing Boeheim’s Army on Team Fancy), I went down memory lane and got reminded about why I love this tournament so much.
Anyways... whole bunch of nothing for three teams I’d love to see move on, but I can’t see beating who’ve they matched up again. I expect plenty of DMs when they go 3-0 and I look even more ridiculous.
10. Purple and Black (Kansas State)
9. Golden Eagles (Marquette)
So remember Hoya Suxa’s ode to the TBT? Here are the squads I’m dubbing the “chaos” teams. Both P&B and Golden Eagles have had solid opening rounds. They’ll play in the 16 eliminating one and probably giving the other their best game so far. That leaves Challenge ALS.
They’ve had two really good opening games. The first featured 45(!!!) bench points that needed an 8-0 run in the final minutes to ice the game. Their second game was less dramatic, but still had solid scoring all the way around. If you haven’t gotten the idea yet, in order to reach this spot, most teams will have some consistent scoring or depth. Challenge is going the depth route, but has a tough matchup to go any further.
However, if anyone is going to “Cinderella” this tourney, I’m going with the 6-seed that has 45 bench points to call on.
8. Always a Brave (Bradley)
7. A Few Good Men (Gonzaga)
6. Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse)
5. Ram Nation (VCU)
4. Team Colorado (Colorado)
The alumni group is big and deep and they’re all kinda the same with various shades of “slightly better” here and there, but no one standing out as “elite.” So, that means we’ll look at our favorite team in the tournament.
Boeheim’s Army is, in my opinion, the best iteration of this alumni team ever. There’s scoring from deep, down low and in between. Is the defense amazing? No, but no one really has an over the top defensive scheme in TBT. We’ve seen teams in the past slip into that old hive mind 2-3 zone for variety sake, so that’s something.
But let’s talk about the X-Factor: Donte Greene. The one issue this team has had in the past in this tournament is inconsistent scoring. As the tournament wears on, we start to see some reminders of what these players were as 20-year olds at the Dome; missed steps, sloppy dribbles, a half a twitch late on a play that used to come so easy. Greene is, and always has been, an athletic freak. While it may not have ever perfectly translated in the NBA, it’s on full display in a tournament lacking anyone outside the “undersized big man” from the stereotypical roles.
To this point, Deshonte Riley plus the young blood of John Gillon/Trevor Cooney at the point, and this team may have just enough to make it the next round a trip to Melo’s hometown.
2. Scarlet and Gray (Ohio State)
These are the teams that you get actually worried about playing. The hallmark of the TBT is organized chaos: a 15-point lead disappears while you’re letting the dog out, that guy you vaguely remember from the NIT is dropping 20 on you, etc. These are the three teams where chaos ends. They are the closet things to locks.
While Scarlet and Gray is getting all the headlines, Overseas Elite is still the defending champion of this thing. Untouchables boast more depth than anyone. The first two Overseas Elite games weren’t anything special, but they won and it was never really in doubt. They are the constant in this field and that makes them the favorites by a pretty clear margin.
So there you have it. Been following the tournament and have a different opinion? Who would you most want to face? Let us know in the comments!
You can buy your tickets for the game here. Use “SUinNYC” for 25% off your entire order.