The MLK holiday is one of my favorite days of the year. Not only is it one of obvious historical significance, but, like much of America, I have off from my "regular" job. So Monday gave me the perfect opportunity to spend the day reviewing how we thought the college basketball season would unfold and compare that to actual results with the NCAA tournament exactly eight weeks away.
Here are some of the biggest outliers, good and bad, as compared to our preseason evaluations. Along with that are my annual Buy/Sell/Hold recommendations for those teams' respective "stocks" for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign.
Wichita State Shockers (+53): The Shockers are No. 20 on the current S curve after starting the season at No. 73. Losing four senior starters from a 27-win team was supposed to bring on a rebuilding season in Wichita. Instead, Greg Marshall & Co. are tied with prohibitive favorite Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference. They also appear headed to a fourth straight 25-win season and second straight NCAA tournament appearance.
Oregon Ducks (+51): The Ducks may have lost football coach Chip Kelly to the NFL, but basketball coach Dana Altman is doing what everyone expected in Eugene -- only much sooner than they hoped. The Ducks are No. 17 on the current S curve after opening the season at No. 68. They lead the Pac-12 outright and already own victories over preseason favorites Arizona and UCLA (the latter on the road), plus UNLV (also on the road). Oregon's five-year NCAA drought is about to end.