each year, i find a team in college hoops that totally captivates me. and by captivates me, i'm talking about being well coached, experienced, tough and poised. of course, they should also be talented - even if not the most talented. and this team gets me excited for me to watch them, and i quickly jump on their bandwagon, set the tivo and try to catch all their games. it also helps that my own personal teams suck (st. john's, stony brook and wagner), so i could use some rooting interest.
three years ago, it was oklahoma state.
two years ago, it was illinois.
last year, west virginia.
so, ladies and gentlemen, i give you my 2007 team:
the texas a&m aggies.
they are extremely well coached - in fact, one of the best coached teams i've seen in years. it's a pleasure to see how they play as a team, five acting as one. they intuitively know where to make the extra pass, when to make it, how to set everything up, how to rotate on defense, when to speed it up and when to spread them out. it's quite magical, especially in a growing basketball world where the emphasis is on isolations and pure physical ability.
they're the best defensive team i've seen this year, and they execute mercilessly on offense by playing as five together. they don't milk the clock; they just use the clock until they find a shot they like. they've got a busheload of upperclassmen, and they just won at phog allen. and they've got a great guard and a good big man - two big essentials.
yep, they hit all the criteria.
and they have a star - point guard acie law iv - who owns the best stat i've heard all year: in the last five minutes of big 12 games, law's been averaging 7.5 points. a&m's opponents? 7.1. so he's been personally outscoring his opponents in the most crucial time of the game. he's a human dagger.
now, keep in mind that they are not the most talented team i've seen this year. they're not as talented as north carolina, ohio state or florida. but on a neutral court, i'd take my chances with them. they've got it.
of course, all those teams i've thought had it didn't win it. so...i don't know what that means.
others receiving votes: wisconsin, air force, georgetown.