Dykes: Kansas Is The Best Team, But Tourney Is Wide Open

There are typically 10 to 12 teams with a legitimate shot of getting to the Final Four, Jimmy Dykes says; this year, there are 25 to 30

Tiki and Tierney
March 06, 2020 - 9:36 am
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The general consensus is that this year’s NCAA Tournament is wide open, that any number of teams could get to Atlanta and cut down the nets. 

But right now, who’s the favorite? Who’s the best team in college basketball?

“I would say Kansas,” ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes said on Tiki & Tierney. “If you played [this tournament] 10 times, they would win it more than anyone else. But that is no guarantee at all. There’s so much evenness. I was doing the Kentucky game Tuesday night, and Joe Lunardi came on with us. He had his projected 1 seeds up there and the 2-seeds, and I said afterwards, ‘You could flip the 1s and the 2s right now and make a great case to do it because there’s really no separation amongst those top teams.’ I like Kansas because the Udoka Azubuike kid is just different. He’s a monster around the rim. Other teams that haven’t seen that type of size and athleticism are going to [have a hard time dealing with that].”

Kansas (27-3) is ranked No. 1 in the country, with Gonzaga (29-2) at No. 2.

“They are the best offensive team we have in college basketball,” Dykes said of the Zags. “The numbers that I look at, and my eyes, tells me how good they are offensively.”

Dykes is also a big fan of No. 8 Seton Hall (21-8).

“They’re a real team, man,” he said. “They got length, they got toughness, they got a mean streak in them, they’ve been battle-tested, we know how good the Powell kid is – it’s going to be hard to put them away.”

Senior guard Myles Powell is averaging 21.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists for Seton Hall.

Dykes also likes No. 3 Dayton (28-2), No. 4 Baylor (26-3), and No. 18 Iowa (20-10). Dayton and Iowa are led by Obi Toppin, who is averaging 19.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, and Luka Garza, who is averaging 23.7 points and 9.9 rebounds, respectively. Baylor, meanwhile, started the year 24-1 and is known for its tough defense.

Any of those teams could reach the Final Four.

“That tournament, man, I’m telling you, it is wide open this year,” Dykes said. “I was talking with [John] Calipari on Tuesday, and he and I agreed that normally at this time fo the year we would all say, ‘These are the five or six teams that have the best chance to win it, and these are the 10 or 12 that have the best chance to get to Atlanta.’ This year, there’s easily 12 to 15 teams that I think could win it and 25 to 30 that could get there. That number is double how I see it normally in college basketball.”