Dan Bonner: ‘I Will Be Very Surprised If Kansas Is Anywhere Close To A No. 1.’
John Feinstein’s NCAA Tournament bubble could also be described as “mediocre teams from the Pac-12.” He feels that Arizona State, Colorado and Stanford could be among the last four in, but he doesn’t think any is a lock.
“The thing with Colorado has always been a little bit puzzling to me because they’ve had a really good season, but they’re only average without (Spencer) Dinwiddie,” CBSSports.com college hoops Dan Bonner said on The John Feinstein Show. “If you’re looking at the entire season, then Colorado ought to be in. But if you’re only looking at them without Dinwiddie, then I’m not sure they deserve to be in.”
Dinwiddie, who tore his ACL in January, averaged 14.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 17 games this season. He shot 41.3 precent from three-point range, 85.7 percent from the line and remains Colorado’s leading scorer. Josh Scott (14.5 points), Askia Booker (13.9) and Xavier Johnson (12.1) have stepped up in his absence, but Colorado is 8-8 since Dinwiddie’s injury.
“I keep saying to people – even though we’re right down to the end now – that there’s still a lot of basketball left to be played, and I think this thing is still going to be decided on the courts. I think that those teams would be highly advised to not lose at the front end of their (conference) tournament.”
Colorado and Stanford won their opening games against USC and Washington State, respectively, but they’d be advised to win a few more.
“I’m not sure those wins had a giant effect,” Bonner said. “Those wins did not really come against high-quality opponents.”
Colorado (22-10, 10-8) plays Cal (19-12, 10-8) at 5:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, while Stanford (20-11, 10-8) plays Arizona State (21-10, 10-8) at 11:30 p.m. EST.
The SEC, meanwhile, is looking at a down year in terms of depth.
“I think they will get three (in the tournament),” Bonner said, referring to Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. “They could get as many as four – Arkansas might sneak it – (but) I think three is probably a good number.”
If it were up to Feinstein, however, the SEC would get one team in the NCAA Tournament. That would be No. 1 Florida (29-2, 18-0). Feinstein, of course, was taking a shot at unranked Kentucky (22-9, 12-6), which has beaten just one ranked team, Louisville – at home, no less – and is 1-3 in its last four games and 3-4 in its last seven.
“I think in the reality of the situation that unless Kentucky is really, really bad like they were last year, then Kentucky’s in the NCAA Tournament,” Bonner said. “And I think they have established a brand over the years where they probably deserve that kind of consideration.”
In the Big 12, Oklahoma State (21-11, 8-10), which has won five of six, could really help its cause with a win over Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday.
“I think that they’re playing well,” Bonner said of Oklahoma State, “and I think that’s one of the things – even though they don’t admit it – that the committee looks at.”
Bonner added that Kansas, which will be without Joel Embiid until the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, will see its seed suffer without a healthy center.
“I will be very surprised if they’re anywhere close to (a) No. 1,” Bonner said.