On the latest episode of T’d Up, Mark Titus and Tate Frazier counted down the 20 most watchable teams in college basketball. At the top of the list: The best teams with the biggest stars in the sport. This is the duo’s top five.
Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.
Mark Titus: They have the best backcourt in the country, for me at least. They’re at least the most exciting backcourt with [De’Aaron] Fox and [Malik] Monk.
Tate Frazier: And Bam Adebayo. Don’t you think Bam Adebayo looks like Dwight Howard? I just will say that, he looks like Dwight Howard.
Titus: He looks exactly like Dwight Howard.
We really don’t need to sell anybody on Kentucky. Like, if you’re watching college basketball at all —
Frazier: You’re watching Kentucky.
Titus: I am 100 percent in on Gonzaga, I think they’re actually a really good team. I think they’re a great team, even. I think they have a really good chance of going undefeated in the regular season.
Frazier: Yeah, I’ll watch them if they go undefeated.
Titus: You’ll watch them if they go undefeated, but [what] if they don’t?
Frazier: I will never watch them.
Titus: So [if] they lose at Saint Mary’s, you’re done?
Frazier: Yep, exactly. I’m out.
Titus: Best offense I maybe have ever seen in college basketball. So much fun, so many players that are fun to watch, that can do things. They all play fearless and they all play like it’s a pickup game and there’s nothing on the line and [with] a “who cares if we miss this shot, I’m going to put it up anyway, there’s nothing at stake here” [attitude].
Frazier: I watch, [but] they’re in the Pac 12 — that’s the reason that they’re [only] no. 3. I have to watch them play against some crappy teams and I don’t want to watch them play Washington, sorry.
Titus: My second-favorite backcourt in the country behind Kentucky’s. Running the four-guard lineup, Landen Lucas is coming around. We shit on Landen Lucas earlier in the season.
Frazier: It’s called motivation Titus. It’s motivation.
Titus: We need to retract our Landen Lucas hate and say, Landen Lucas, shout-out for coming around. Kansas to me is definitely watchable, they always are. The blue bloods are always watchable but this team in particular, [Frank] Mason, [Devonte’] Graham, Josh Jackson, those dudes are super fun to watch. So, definitely watch Kansas.
Frazier: Same. All in.
Titus: The Villanova Wildcats, your defending national champions, now ranked no. 1 again for the second time this year. Is that enough for you to care about them and watch them?
Titus: If they play Marquette, do you care?
Frazier: Yes. I will watch them play. I will watch them because Josh Hart is the national player of the year, I believe, at this point in the season. My rule of thumb in college basketball: If there’s a guy who is at the top of the list to be the national player of the year, you have to watch him. It’s like watching Buddy Hield play Iowa or whoever it is. You’ve got to watch those guys when they’re playing games, and Josh Hart is worth watching, Villanova’s fun to watch. I think they’re the exact same makeup of last year’s team. They’re just missing a big man. They shoot more 3s than they did last year, which is crazy.
Titus: They do, that’s fun too. And then there’s already the chance that Jalen Brunson is going to go nuts.
Part of what makes a team so watchable to me is if you have a player who can just go for 40 and they have that in Josh Hart. [And] like Brunson can go for 30-something on any given night, which is exciting. Kris Jenkins could score 40 and all he does is shoot 3s, so he’d get there faster by making 3s. He’d get to 40 points faster than the other two guys. Yeah, Villanova is definitely watchable.
I mentioned it last week on the podcast that I’m kind of taking [the Wildcats] for granted and their story is not as interesting to me, because I think about so much of what made them fun was [that] we didn’t know if they could ever take their great team [and] make some sort of run [in March] and now that they’ve done that they’re not really quite underdogs — but they’re not quite blue bloods like Kentucky and Kansas and Duke and all that.
But as far as a team and “are they fun to watch?” The answer is yes. I do think they deserve the no. 1 ranking and they are definitely one of the best teams in the country, so that’s that.