RTC Top 25: Week EightPosted by KDoyle on January 2nd, 2012
All of our pollsters are in complete agreement that the top two teams in the nation are Syracuse and Kentucky, but after that the waters get murky, as usual. Ohio State has dropped from their spot in the top three with a loss to Indiana. Meanwhile, the Xavier Musketeers are in absolute freefall having gone from as high as #7 to out of the poll altogether this week. The Quick ‘n Dirty after the jump…
- High Risers and Big Droppers—It took some time, but Tom Crean has something good brewing in Indiana. The Hoosiers have knocked off the #1 and #2 teams in the country—first Kentucky and most recently Ohio State—to elevate themselves to #10 in the rankings; mind you, IU was not even ranked in the preseason. In Manhattan, Kansas State is proving they are an elite team in the Big 12 as they have finally reached the Top 25, checking in at #21. It will be important for KSU to maintain current form this week as they do battle with Kansas and Missouri. On the other side of the coin, Wisconsin and Xavier both slipped in grand fashion this past week. The Badgers were shocked at home against a very average Iowa team, while Xavier continues their slide, having lost four of their last five games. The Musketeers couldn’t use the we-were-without-Lyons-and-Holloway excuse against Gonzaga since both of their stars were back in action for that contest. Chris Mack and Co. must right the ship soon as league play is upon them.
- Where to rank Murray State?—Murray State has befuddled pollsters for much of the year. In our latest poll, the Racers are unranked by three pollsters, but are as high as #13 by another. Currently, Murray State stands at 14-0 and they have already begun play in the Ohio Valley Conference. According to Pomeroy, the Racers’ most difficult game the rest of the way is an away game against a 3-12 Austin Peay team. Could it happen?
- Two new faces—Kansas State makes their first appearance in the Top 25, as noted, while Gonzaga returns after a brief hiatus. After consecutive losses to Illinois and Michigan State, the ‘Zags have run off six straight wins and are peaking at the right time as they enter conference play. As for the Wildcats, they too have won six straight games entering arguably their most brutal stretch of the year: at Kansas and then home against Missouri and Baylor.
- Where is the A-10?—In the preseason, the Atlantic 10 placed Xavier and Temple in the Top 25. Just a few weeks into the year, St. Louis made a splash into the poll as well. However, recent struggles by Xavier, losses by St. Louis to Loyola Marymount and New Mexico, and three setbacks by Temple have pushed all three out of the Top 25. Make no mistake about it, though — those three squads will all be in at-large discussions for the NCAA Tournament barring any serious collapses in the Atlantic 10.
Top 25 Games of the Week:
Crucial weeks for Marquette, Kansas State, Michigan, and Wisconsin as all of their games come against ranked conference foes.
- #17 Marquette at #1 Syracuse
- #17 Marquette at #9 Georgetown
- #21 Kansas State at #13 Kansas
- #6 Missouri at #21 Kansas State
- #5 Baylor at #21 Kansas State
- #15 Michigan at #10 Indiana
- #12 Michigan State at #18 Wisconsin
- #18 Wisconsin at #15 Michigan
Also Receiving Votes—Nine teams grace the ARV category in this week’s poll as there is still much debate for which teams are most deserving for the final spots in the Top 25.
Conference Call— Big East (5), Big Ten (5), Big 12 (4), SEC (3), ACC (3), Mountain West (1), Ohio Valley (1), Ivy League (1), Missouri Valley (1), West Coast (1)