November 24, 2017

POLLitically Incorrect – 1/31/17

There’s always a week, every year, that chaos rules college basketball. Last week was that week.

The top-25 teams lost 16 times last week, and the top-10 went just 11-9. The top-10 teams lost nine times! In a week! That’s why we love college basketball. Sure we all get sick of reading about and watching the blue bloods and the same usual suspects, but every year college basketball delivers chaos. This past week delivered the first full size helping of chaos, and here’s to hoping that it happens again because it always leads to some…interesting rankings. Let’s go.

#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs [46] (LW: 3) – Remember when I said the top-10 went 11-9 last week? Well three of those wins came via the Bulldogs. So really the other nine teams went just 8-9. Woof. (Yes that’s a bulldog pun)

#2 Baylor Bears [6] (LW: 6) – I wasn’t sure we’d be having a Baylor/Kansas debate again this season. I’m not sure anyone predicted Baylor would have held onto this start for this long, but we’re here and part one of the battle for the Big 12 lead happens on Wednesday night. The two teams are actually separated by one single place (1,504 points to 1,503), so really this week’s rankings are meaningless. The loser of tomorrow night’s matchup will fall and we’ll learn more about how these two teams stack up against one another.

#3 Kansas Jayhawks [9] (LW: 2) – The Jayhawks got squashed at West Virginia last week before trouncing Kentucky in Rupp Arena in primetime on Saturday. Kansas has looked less than impressive outside of Allen Fieldhouse this season, but Saturday was the exception. If you ask me, that game said more about Kentucky than it did about Kansas. Hell of a win though.

#4 Villanova Wildcats [4] (LW: 1) – Losing at Marquette really isn’t that big of a deal, but blowing a 17-point second half lead is a little concerning. Beating Virginia was apparently enough to still warrant some first place votes after the chaotic week that was, but as someone who hasn’t been overly impressed with Virginia, winning that game did less to help ‘Nova than losing it would have done to hurt them.

#5 Arizona Wildcats (LW: 7) – Arizona was able to avoid the chaos by playing two of the Pac 12’s three worst teams without having to leave the comfort of their home gym. Bold strategy.

,#6 Louisville Cardinals (LW: 13) – Louisville won at Pitt by 55 points. No seriously, they won a road game by 55 points. Do you think Pitt fans miss Jamie Dixon? Even if the ‘Ville had lost at home to NC State, I still would have moved them up for two reasons:

  1. They won a conference road game by 55 points
  2. Duke has shown that apparently losing at home to NC State is ‘cool’ and enough to stay ranked

#7 West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 18) – Talk about an overcorrection to an overcorrection. The previous week the Mountaineers lost a top-50 game and a top-150 game – and dropped 11 spots. This week, the Mountaineers won a top-50 game and a top-150 game – which was apparently enough to move them back up 11 spots.

#8 Kentucky Wildcats (LW: 4) – The Wildcats lost two non-conference home games in the same season for the first time in…well…a long time. I now have no reason to believe they won’t win out and take the national title because that would be some on #brand Calipari shit.

#9 Virginia Cavaliers (LW: 12) – The ‘Hoos had a brutal week, playing Notre Dame and Villanova on the road. They did very well to get a split and I’m certainly in favor of bumping them a few spots. If they’d just stop losing at home they’d be fine.

#10 Wisconsin Badgers (LW: 15) – LMAO what the fuck is Wisconsin doing in the top 10? I understand they didn’t lose last week, but they won a home game with Penn State and at Madison Square Garden against Buttgers in overtime. The Badgers are just 4-3 in top-50 location adjusted games and haven’t played a current top-25 team since November 23rd. How many times did they could Dan Dakich’s ballot?

#11 UCLA Bruins (LW: 8) – Well the Bruins still haven’t learned how to defend. 130th in adjusted defense?

#12 North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 9) – After last week’s collective national ACC orgasm, UNC did their part as the top teams lost to teams that needed big wins to get tournament eligible. Miami thanks you UNC. As does Georgia Tech for your earlier loss there. I get you have to do your part, but your seed is going to take a serious hit if you keep losing these games.

#13 Oregon Ducks (LW: 10) – We knew the winning streak wouldn’t last forever, but after winning 17 in a row, the Ducks had to go and lose to Colorado who was tied for last in the Pac 12 earlier in the week? Perhaps all these teams are just conceding the Pac 12 title to Arizona at this point.

#14 Cincinnati Bearcats (LW: 19) – Well here we have a team that just keeps winning. The streak is now up to a dozen for Cincinnati and while their conference won’t give them many marquee wins, it was good to see them knock of their city rival, Xavier this week.

#15 Florida State Seminoles (LW: 6) – Florida State was the team that pushed the collective ACC orgasm last week. All they did was lose to Georgia Tech and Syracuse this week. Shame on all of the voters for propping up the Seminoles for winning all those ranked games at home and neglecting the fact that they hadn’t been tested on the road. Perhaps the rise was too meteoric.

#16 Butler Bulldogs (LW: 11) – Butler just continues to confuse. Winning at Seton Hall was supposed to be a harder game than beating Georgetown at home. Guess which one they lost? They’ve only lost four times, but Indiana State, St. John’s and Georgetown are not good losses. Good thing they beat good teams, I guess?

#17 Maryland Terrapins (LW: 22) – The Terrapins keep feasting on the bottom half of a bad B1G. They beat Rutgers at home and won a decent game at Minnesota, but Maryland has yet to play Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern or Michigan State and only have to play each of those teams once. I’ll go ahead and chalk them up as an overseeded team in the NCAA’s that loses to a double digit seed.

#18 St. Mary’s Gaels (LW: 21) – Just don’t lose to anyone not named Gonzaga and the Gaels will be fine. Shouldn’t be hard in the WCC.

#19 South Carolina Gamecocks (LW: 23) – The Gamecocks got to avoid the Big 12/SEC Challenge and instead played at Missouri. Talk about a gift.

#20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (LW: 14) – Notre Dame was the other actor in the ACC kink film with Florida State that caused the collective national orgasm. Now they’ve lost three in a row if you count the Duke game last night, including two at home. If they lose at UNC on Saturday will they still be ranked next week?

#21 Duke Blue Devils (LW: 17) – I’d actually be ok with Duke being #21 if the rankings came out after winning at Notre Dame last night. The reality is they lost to NC State at home and barely beat Wake Forest on the road. In a week where everyone lost and fell, I can’t believe they only fell four spots. Oh wait, did you say Duke? I get it now.

#22 Creighton Blue Jays (LW: 16) – Whew. Last week I chastised the voters for dropping Creighton so far on a small sample size. Well they weren’t much more impressive this week. You don’t get credit for beating DePaul at home. At Butler and home for Edmond Sumner-less Xavier this week. Probably need a split at best to sniff the rankings next week.

#23Purdue Boilermakers (LW: 20) – Another good team that inexplicably lost to Nebraska. Purdue is also 4-3 in top-50 location adjusted games, but is 13 spots behind Wisconsin. I could write more about how Wisconsin is overrated, but instead I’ll just say stop losing to the Nebraska’s and Iowa’s of the world.

#24 Florida Gators (LW: 25) – In a week where everyone else was losing, the Gators won two road games (albeit against bad teams) by a combined 67 points last week. Seriously. 67 points – and they moved up a single spot. LOL.

#25 Northwestern Wildcats (LW: UR) – Welcome to the rankings Northwestern! What’s it been, like 7 years? Yes, yes it has. Northwestern should get its first NCAA bid in school history barring an epic collapse in a down B1G. They didn’t lose to Nebraska. You see how easy that is Purdue? Indiana? Maryland?

We’ll try again next week.

Tom Danielson 67 Articles

Managing Editor

Every family needs an adult figure. That’s Tom’s job on this ship. After graduating from Iowa State University, Tom headed down the ‘failed professional golfer’ career path before heading back to his calling as an engineer in the great white north (Minnesota). He got his start in blogging, and continues to contribute at the critically acclaimed site, Wide Right & Natty Lite.  A student of the ‘you can’t fail if you don’t try’ philosophy, there’s no better way to describe Tom than a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’.

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