RTC Top 25: Week TwoPosted by KDoyle on November 21st, 2011
North Carolina still sits atop the rankings, but they have a partner with them this week as Kentucky has slipped into the top spot as well. The Wildcats were impressive in posting wins against Kansas, Penn State, and Old Dominion to move to 4-0 on the young season. On the whole, very little change in the Top 10 other than Pittsburgh predictably dropping out after their loss to upstart Long Beach State. The Quick ‘n Dirty after the jump…
- While Kentucky may struggle at times throughout the year with their youth, the talent that John Calipari has compiled on his roster is unparalleled. Kentucky struggled against Kansas and Old Dominion for a portion of these games, but their supreme talent prevailed in the end. What does this all add up to? A perfect 3-0 week and a spot with North Carolina at #1.
- High Risers and Big Droppers—Although untested, Florida State had little trouble with their three opponents this past week, moving to 4-0 and up seven spots in the Top 25 up to #19 as they enter the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Because the ‘Noles only have two marquee non-conference games on their schedule — Michigan State and Florida — taking advantage of their opportunity down in Atlantis is imperative for bolstering their resume. As previously mentioned, Pittsburgh dropped eight spots to #16 with their loss to Long Beach State. Four consecutive games against in-state rivals — La Salle, Pennsylvania, Robert Morris, and Duquesne — should get the Panthers back on track.
- Where to rank Michigan?—Two of the pollsters still are not “beilievers” in John Beilein and his Wolverines. Understandably so, as Michigan has yet to play any team that can serve as a benchmark of where they stand, but this will all change in Hawaii over the course of the next few days. Test one: Memphis.
- Four new faces—Mississippi State rebounded in a big way following a home loss to Akron with crucial wins over Texas A&M and Arizona in New York. Senior guard Dee Bost is one of the SEC’s best and will ultimately decide how far the Bulldogs travel this season. Joining Mississippi State is Florida State, Missouri, and Purdue. Despite losing to Alabama in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Purdue had a nice run down south with solid wins over a very talented Iona squad and veteran Temple team. Missouri and Florida State have both been hovering on the outside of the Top 25 and finally made their way into the poll as teams ahead of them lost and dropped out.
Top 25 Games of the Week:
- #13 Memphis vs. #14 Michigan—The only first round game of the Maui Invitational that features two ranked teams against each other—although there will surely be others as four teams ranked in the Top 25 are competing in the prestigious tournament—this is a golden opportunity for both Memphis and Michigan to prove themselves early in the season. Many are sold on Memphis being an elite team as they have ostensibly matured and grown quite a bit since last season, but the jury is still out on the Wolverines.
- Potential games between #4 Connecticut and #19 Florida State (Battle 4 Atlantis) and #18 California and #22 Missouri (CBE Classic) loom on the horizon in their respective tournaments.
- Also Receiving Votes—Many formidable teams—11 to be exact—are teetering on the outside of the Top 25. Notable mid-major teams who have been impressive over the first few weeks to garner votes include: Creighton, Harvard, St. Mary’s, and Iona.
- Conference Call—Big East (5), SEC (5), Big 10 (4), Big 12 (3), ACC (3), Pac-12 (2), Atlantic 10 (1), WCC (1), Conference USA (1)