RTC Top 25: Week Five

Posted by KDoyle on December 12th, 2011

After one of the most extraordinary weekends of college basketball in recent memory — for good and bad reasons alike — there is a real logjam with the top three teams in the RTC poll as Ohio State, Kentucky, and Syracuse are all bunched together. The Buckeyes have a slim edge as our pollsters deemed that a road loss to Kansas without Jared Sullinger did not warrant Syracuse jumping past them into #1 position. Two teams from the Big Ten made a splash into this week’s Top 25 in a big way as Indiana and Michigan State have joined the party after posting big wins.

The Quick ‘n Dirty after the jump…

QnD Analysis:

  • High Risers and Big Droppers — In what was undoubtedly the game of the year to date, a buzzer-beating three by Christian Watford gave the Hoosiers their biggest win—perhaps a program-changing win—as Indiana knocked off previously #1 Kentucky. After the unfortunate and embarrassing ending to the Xavier-Cincinnati game, college hoop fans were reminded of why we love this game so much with Watford’s heroics just a few hours later. With the win, Indiana jumped all the way up to #17 after having not been ranked the prior week. Michigan State joins Indiana in the poll this week after an impressive road win at Gonzaga thanks in large part to the stellar play of Draymond Green. Green has done it all for Sparty this season as he leads the team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals per game. Michigan State moves from the also receiving votes category to #18 in the poll with the win. Alabama dropped the furthest in the polls as their 12-point loss at Dayton moved them six spots south to #21. The Crimson Tide finished the week on a positive note with a win over Detroit, but two straight losses to Georgetown and then Dayton has caused ‘Bama to go from potentially a Top 10 team to nearly out of the Top 25 altogether.
  • Where to rank Mississippi State? — The Bulldogs have been a bit of an enigma for much of the season. They have rebounded in a big way after falling to Akron early in the season, but three of our eight pollsters are not completely sold on Mississippi State just yet. Their next big test comes at Baylor in a crucial non-conference game, and a win there would make a believer out of all of us.
  • Three new faces — As previously mentioned, Indiana and Michigan State both made their way into this week’s poll, and joining them is an undefeated Murray State squad who is fresh off of a big road win against Memphis. When scrutinizing Murray State’s remaining schedule, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Racers run the table as their most challenging contest the rest of the way comes, according to KenPom, at Austin Peay. Austin Peay, by the way, currently has a 2-9 record. Put this under the for what it’s worth category.

Top 25 Games of the Week:

  • #22 Illinois vs. #23 UNLV — With final exams looming on the horizon, this week’s slate of games is relatively uneventful as the Illinois-UNLV tilt is the lone Top 25 game of the week. The Illini will put their perfect 10-0 record on the line against a UNLV team that is in need of a win, having lost two of their last three.

Also Receiving Votes — A dozen teams litter the receiving votes category this week as pollsters cannot seem to grasp who should be in and who should be out in those final spots. Some disappointments that continue to receive votes are Vanderbilt and Memphis as both of these teams were highly regarded in the preseason.

Conference Call Big Ten (7), Big East (6), SEC (4) Big 12 (3), ACC (2), Atlantic 10 (1), Mountain West (1), Ohio Valley (1)

KDoyle (99 Posts)

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3 responses to “RTC Top 25: Week Five”

  1. […] 25 teams. At least these guys didn't fall into that trap. Here are the RTC rankings in full: Source Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next […]

  2. John says:

    This poll exhibits the same head-scratching logic that the AP and Coaches’ polls do. Who could possibly justify not changing Kansas’ ranking? Sullinger’s absence from the game on Saturday was certainly a factor, but to discredit a win over the previously undefeated, second-ranked team in the country that still retained four of its starters and a talented bench simply on the basis of his absence and the home-court advantage of Allen Fieldhouse is downright unjust. While I believe that Ohio State has every reason to remain in the Top 3, I can’t justify a move UP the rankings after a loss, however shorthanded. The fact is they lost, and there is no evidence that they wouldn’t have still lost even with Sullinger in the lineup. Give me Syracuse at #1 (simply because they have managed to win all of their games, despite the favorable lineup) with Ohio State at #2 and Kentucky at #3. I do believe that OSU is superior to Syracuse with Sullinger on the court, but a loss is a loss, and no amount of subjectivity can mitigate that fact.

    Even if you were unwilling to allot Kansas its full due for the victory over the OSU, why not at least move them up the polls on the basis of their success against quality teams? They remain the only loss for (by your rankings’ estimation) the #1 and #15 teams in the country, while their only losses have been respectable efforts against two of the top five teams. In the meantime, Baylor and Florida (whom you rank 7 and 3 spots above Kansas, respectively) have only wins against unranked Northwestern and unranked Arizona on their résumés. Florida has failed both of its tests against top five competition, while Kansas has excelled in at least one of those tests. Given that Baylor is undefeated, I can understand its placement above Kansas, but Florida? Even UConn lost to a mediocre UCF team, while its only quality victories came against marginal Top 25 teams, neither of whom you even rank. Additionally, as UNC and Pittsburgh can attest, a victory over Long Beach State is no small feat. Kansas took care of business this week and somehow isn’t being recognized for it.

  3. BOtskey says:

    John, 7 of the 8 pollsters moved Kansas up from where they had the Jayhawks last week. That’s just a case of the numbers shaking out differently. The mean rank for Kansas was 11.63 this week (12.50 last week). That just happens to be the 13th best mean rank.

    The idea of a poll is to see people’s opinions. If we’re ranking resumes, everything would be the same because it’s purely subjective. Leave the resumes for the Selection Committee come tournament time.

    For example, I ranked Kentucky above Syracuse despite one team having a loss and one being undefeated. Why? It’s simple. I believe the Wildcats would beat the Orange on a neutral court. That’s the question every voter should ask him or herself. That’s the beauty of polls, everyone has a different opinion.

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