- Ky McKeon
It's holiday time, which means Christmas movies will be played on repeat in the McKeon household. In honor of this yuletide tradition, let's compare the current top 12 teams to some of the best Christmas movies of all time... because we can.
1. Villanova (It's a Wonderful Life)
"It's a Wonderful Life" is widely considered to be the best Christmas movie of all time (we're talking from a critics perspective here gang, calm down). The Cats are the undisputed kings of the season thus far, winning every game by at least 8 points and 9/12 by double digits. As the famous line goes, "Every time a buzzer rings, a Jay Wright gets his win(gs)".
2. Michigan State (Elf)
In this stretch of an analogy, Miles Bridges is Buddy the Elf, but instead of looking for his Dad, Miles seeks the elusive National Championship. Like Elf, Sparty is a joy to watch this season and has eviscerated its competition since the PK80. Plus, Miles loves to smile; smiling is his favorite.
3. Arizona State (Gremlins)
There's three rules you must follow when caring for your mogwai... 1) no water, 2) no food after midnight, 3) no bright light. Bobby Hurley ignored all those rules when caring for his mogwais and now the Sun Devils are wreaking havoc on the national landscape. ASU boasts arguably the best resume in the country and was the recent feature of our latest deep dive.
4. Duke (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
Coach K stares down from Mount Crumpit on his Whos down in Whoville, plotting to steal the championship and joy of basketball fans outside of Durham, NC (and, oddly, one particular member of the 3MW). His dog, Max (Grayson), is his partner in crime - actually hang on, Max is likable, so let's make him Marvin Bagley. Grayson is the Grinch's estranged son also hellbent on Who domination.
5. Purdue (Die Hard)
"Haas... boubie... I'm your white knight!" Matt Painter exclaimed as he tried to talk the big friendly giant into splitting time with another 7'3" monster. Vince Edwards (aka John McClane) has buried the hatchet in this version of Die Hard, teaming up with Hans (Haas) to create an unstoppable basketball force. The Boilers have a sparkling resume highlighted by wins over Marquette (A), Arizona (N), Louisville (H), Maryland (A), Northwestern (H), and Butler (N), and have one of the best young PGs in the country in Carsen Edwards. Yippee ki-yay...
6. Texas A&M (The Santa Clause)
Kentucky fell off the SEC roof, so now it's up to Texas A&M to put on the big red coat and deliver presents to college basketball fans. Everyone is jolly down in College Station thanks to the play of twin towers Robert Williams and Tyler Davis and junior stud DJ Hogg.
7. Xavier (Christmas Vacation)
When Clark Griswold (Chris Mack) invited his crazy cousin Eddie (JP Macura) to his house for the holidays, he wasn't optimistic about the coming days. But old Eddie came through for Clark, kidnapping his boss and winning Clark a fat Christmas bonus check (aka pissing off Mick Cronin and winning the Crosstown Shootout). Would I be surprised if Xavier misses the Big Dance? If I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet, I would not be more surprised than I would if that came to be.
8. Oklahoma (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)
Trae Young is Rudolph guiding Lon Kruger's sleigh through the skies at night. The freshman point guard is the early favorite to win National Player of the Year thanks to his retarded stat line: 28.7ppg, 10.4apg (57.0 assist rate), and .571/.411/.860 from the floor, and has a really good shot at impressing the girl reindeer with his basketball antics.
9. North Carolina (A Christmas Carol)
Roy Williams was visited by three ghosts this Christmas... The Ghost of Christmas Past (his 2017 Natty Title Team); The Ghost of Christmas Present (an embarrassing loss to Wofford at home); and the Ghost of Christmas Future (a successful ACC run if he can develop his bigs in a hurry).
10. West Virginia (Bad Santa)
Jevon Carter has been a bad man this year, putting on his opposing team's jersey and stealing their basketballs... how else can you can explain his national leading 3.7spg and 5.9% steal rate?
11. Virginia (A Christmas Story)
Like "It's a Wonderful Life", "A Christmas Story" is a holiday classic, a movie from which you know what you're going to get when you watch it. It's the same ole, same ole in Charlottesville this season, as Tony Bennett has the Hoos in Hoo-ville playing the #1 defense in the country, frustrating opponents in the process. Also, the BB gun is the National Championship.
12. Wichita State (Trading Places)
A couple of billionaires (the Koch brothers) made a deal, shifting the Shockers from the relative rags of the Missouri Valley to the relative riches of the American. With Markis McDuffie coming back to a lineup that's already achieved some big wins this season, the rich should only get richer in Wichita. UConn plays the role of the formerly rich business man suddenly waking up to find he's a hobo wandering the streets of Storrs.