RTC Top 25: Week SixPosted by KDoyle on December 19th, 2011
With final exams taking places at many colleges throughout the nation, it was a relatively quiet week in the college basketball world as there were only a handful of games. One major change in this week’s poll is Syracuse’s elevation to the #1 team in the country as they garnered five first place votes. Meanwhile, Xavier has fallen out of the Top 10 after dropping their first game of the season against Oral Roberts—mind you, the Musketeers were without the services of Mark Lyons and Tu Holloway. You may have heard that they were in a minor altercation with Cincinnati not too long ago. As 2011 winds down, so do many of the marquee non-conference games leading into league play as no Top 25 games grace the slate this week.
The Quick ‘n Dirty after the jump…
- High Risers and Big Droppers—Creighton and Murray State continue to elevate in the polls as both are on the verge of cracking the Top 20. There was no letdown for the Racers after their road win at Memphis as they throttled Lipscomb and Arkansas State to move to a perfect 12-0. Creighton rebounded nicely following a road loss at St. Joe’s—their first of the season—by defeating Houston Baptist with ease. Both teams are putting together nice resumes that appear worthy of at-large consideration assuming either falters in their conference tournament. Xavier took the biggest dive in this week’s poll dropping six spots. Expect the Musketeers to return to their winning ways once Lyons and Holloway return, but without them they are nothing more than a middle-of-the-pack Atlantic 10 team.
- Where to rank Mississippi State?—The Bulldogs continue to be an enigma for our pollsters; it has been this way for much of the season. Although they stand at 11-1 with wins over Texas A&M, Arizona, and West Virginia, the jury is still out. There is little doubt that Dee Bost is one of the top players in the SEC—Arnett Moultrie is not too shabby in his own right, either—but two of the eight pollsters still do not have the Bulldogs ranked. Moreover, their ranking ranges from #16 to #23 for those who do have them ranked. Their date versus Baylor in Dallas on December 28 will provide us all with many answers.
- Three new faces—Creighton, Stanford, and Harvard all join the Top 25 this week, although the Cardinal is the only true new face as Creighton and Harvard frequented the poll earlier in the year. Stanford has been solid all year with their only loss coming against #1 Syracuse by just six points. In a down year for the Pac-12, Stanford is beginning to emerge as the team to beat.
Top 25 Games of the Week:
- A slow week for Top 25 games as none appear on the docket, although here are some games to keep an eye on: #6 Missouri vs. Illinois, #8 Connecticut vs. Fairfield, #9 Florida vs. Florida State, #15 Georgetown vs. Memphis, and #24 Stanford vs. Butler.
- Also Receiving Votes—Nine teams picked up Top 25 votes this week with Virginia and St. Louis right on the cusp of entering the poll. Of note is that Vanderbilt and Memphis did not get any votes for the Top 25—my oh my, how far these teams have fallen since the preseason.
- Conference Call— Big East (6), Big Ten (5), SEC (3) Big 12 (3), ACC (2), Atlantic 10 (1), Mountain West (1), Ohio Valley (1), Ivy League (1), Pac-12 (1), Missouri Valley (1)