August 21, 2017

POLLitically Incorrect – 2/7/17

Did I say last week was chaos week in college basketball? Well it carried over to this week. Kentucky can’t defend, three top-10 Big 12 teams lost at home to unranked opponents, Arizona forgot how to basketball, Virginia disease caught up with Virginia, and Maryland finally played a ranked opponent…and subsequently lost.

Is anyone really good anymore? Maybe Gonzaga and Villanova. That might be about it.

#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs [59] (LW: 1) – Gonzaga strengthened their chokehold on the #1 spot, winning their two games by an average of 22.5 points this week.

#2 Villanova Wildcats [6] (LW: 4) – Villanova took all the votes of people who just refuse to believe Gonzaga is actually the best team in the country. They’re not a bad choice for #2 as the Wildcats are 6-2 in top-50 location adjusted games, whereas the Bulldogs are only 5-0. How do you not give the nod to the undefeated team though?

#3 Kansas Jayhawks (LW: 3) – I guess you build up enough goodwill by winning at Kentucky and beating Baylor that losing at home to Iowa State doesn’t matter.

#4 Louisville Cardinals (LW: 6) – This is after the rankings came out, but Louisville just lost at Virginia. Virginia owns the Cardinals. I hope the Cards don’t get punished too much for being Virginia’s bitch.

#5 Oregon Ducks (LW: 13) – Oregon barely beats Arizona State and then HOUSES Arizona at home. They eight spot move is directly the result of everyone else loses, but this is still the same Ducks squad that lost to woeful Colorado just over a week ago.

#6 Baylor Bears (LW: 2) – The Bears were due for a clunker like they had at home to K-State. The problem was it came on a day where they were handed a golden opportunity to jump back into a tie for first with Kansas with one game remaining against the Jayhawks in Waco. Why do you do what you do, Baylor?

#7 Wisconsin Badgers (LW: 10) – Oh yeah baby. Wisconsin stays benefitting from other teams actually playing good teams by winning at Illinois and home against Indiana. The Badgers have played one ranked team since Thanksgiving…and they lost. B1G BASKETBALL BABY!

#8 North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 12) – The win at home against Notre Dame is solid, the 2-point win at home against Pitt might as well have been a loss. The Tar Heels are superbly average on the road, so forgive me for not fully jumping on board the hype train yet.

#9 Arizona Wildcats (LW: 5) – My lord. Talk about a beating. The ‘Cats took one on the chin in Eugene, but I’m not scared. They split the two hardest road games in the Pac 12. I wouldn’t be shocked if Arizona runs the table in the Pac 12 from here.

#10 UCLA Bruins (LW: 11) – The Bruins swept their way through the state of Washington last week. All you need to know about how impressive that was is that they only moved up one spot with everybody else losing.

#11 Cincinnati Bearcats (LW: 14) – Cincinnati’s toughest remaining game is at SMU on Sunday. I’ve said for a couple weeks now that Cincy could run the table in the down AAC. We shall find out. Either way, the Bearcats are extremely improved offensively and have won 14 in a row now.

#12 Virginia Cavaliers (LW: 9) – You and your stupid Virginia disease. The Kenpom darlings lost again this week, this time at Syracuse. This is only furthering my conspiracy that the ACC’s top teams continue to lose these road games to help the conference bubble teams rack up quality wins.

#13 West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 7) – The Mountaineers last four weeks by ranking – 7, 18, 7, 13. Perhaps people will stop overreacting to a loss here or there in the nation’s toughest conference. Sure they lost at home, but they also won at Iowa State last week. The Cowboys have won five in a row and are a top-20 Kenpom opponent. Maybe WVU is just a top-15 team and we should leave them there?

#14 Florida State Seminoles (LW: 15) – Florida State seems to have bounced back after a disastrous prior week. Good for them. Now they get five consecutive unranked opponents. Maybe the ACC just isn’t as good as everyone thinks? The ‘Noles schedule was largely front-loaded and they did well. Now their task is to not fall off the wagon.

#15 Kentucky Wildcats (LW: 8) – Kentucky is a home OT game against Georgia away from losing their last four. There’s no shame in losing in Gainesville or to Kansas, but the ‘Cats are just 5-5 in top-50 location adjusted games. Woof.

#16 Purdue Boilermakers (LW: 23) – I’d love to think Purdue is the best team in the B1G as they’ve beaten Wisconsin and won at Maryland last week. But they also lose to average teams like Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. Stop doing that please.

#17 Florida Gators (LW: 24) – I don’t mean to startle anybody, but the Gators held a players only meeting after losing at home to Vandy. Since then, they’ve won their last four by an average of 32 points! WHY AREN’T MORE TEAMS HOLDING PLAYERS ONLY MEETINGS?!

#18 Duke Blue Devils (LW: 21) – Speaking of players only meetings, I’m not saying Duke’s 3-game winning streak is directly a result of their meeting, but I’m also not saying it isn’t.

#19 South Carolina Gamecocks (LW: 19) – The SEC has three good teams. The only way to move up is to beat one of them, they only way to move down is to lose to anyone else. Way to not lose, South Carolina.

#20 Saint Mary’s Gaels (LW: 18) – I’d just like to point out that the Gaels won 71-27 at San Diego last week. That’s all.

#21 Maryland Terrapins (LW: 17) – Maryland, you finally had the chance to play a ranked team. YOU BLEW IT. Thank you for proving me right. I know you played well and only lost by one and blah, blah, blah, but being the third best team in the B1G isn’t enough to be ranked in my opinion. You’re lucky you’re here.

#22 Butler Bulldogs (LW: 16) – WOOOOOOOOF. Losing home games to Georgetown and a Mo Watson-less Creighton team is bad. Go to your room, Butler. Don’t come out until you find the team that’s 7-2 in top-50 location adjusted games.

#23 Creighton Blue Jays (LW: 22) – Win at Butler and lose at home to Xavier. Sounds about right for the Big East. Look, the Big East isn’t bad, but they’re losing a lot of players to injuries. At some point you wonder if the wins and losses while these teams are figuring out life after stars, are really worth anything.

#24 Xavier Muskateers (LW: UR) – Welcome back, we’ve missed you. You’re just 3-5 in top-50 location adjusted games and now you’re down a star player. I don’t think you should be back yet just because you won a road game against another team missing a star, but you’re back anyway. Try not to blow it.

#25 SMU Mustangs (LW: UR) – As if we needed more proof the AAC is down, SMU’s only conference loss is at Cincinnati. They get the Bearcats at home this week and a win would go a long way for a team that has just one top-50 location adjusted win this season.

We’ll try again next week.

Tom Danielson 65 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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