RTC Top 25: Week Nine

Posted by KDoyle on January 9th, 2012

The first week of 2012 was quite the week in the college basketball world as 15 Top 25 teams fell, and seven of these losses came to teams ranked outside of the Top 25. Needless to say, the contenders are beginning to separate themselves from those who were pretenders for much of the non-conference. The top five teams remained identical from the prior week, but there was a good deal of movement throughout the rest of the poll. Syracuse picked up seven of the eight first place votes with Kentucky nabbing the other. The Quick ‘n Dirty analysis after the jump…

QnD Analysis:

  • High Risers and Big Droppers—Just two weeks ago, Gonzaga was nowhere to be found, but now they have elevated themselves to #16 after running off eight straight wins following back to back losses to Illinois and Michigan State. Although the ‘Zags have only beaten three teams ranked in the Top 100 according to Pomeroy, they have benefitted from the floundering of several teams ahead of them. Michigan State continues to impress as they have not lost since dropping consecutive games against North Carolina and Duke to start the year. An overtime win at Wisconsin and thoroughly defeating Indiana has the Spartans all the way to #7 — remember, they were not even ranked in the preseason. At the other end of the spectrum, Connecticut has plummeted to #14, dropping seven slots in the poll. The state of New Jersey was not kind to the Huskies, having lost games to Seton Hall and that shocking result versus Rutgers last week. Perhaps even worse than Connecticut, though, are the Wisconsin Badgers, who have dropped out of the poll altogether having lost three straight games. The Badgers are still somehow ranked #2 according to Pomeroy—a real anomaly.
  • Where to rank?—Pollsters still cannot come to a consensus as to where Murray State and Virginia should be ranked. The Racers are one of three teams still undefeated — it is hard to see them losing another game in the regular season in the Ohio Valley — while Virginia has lost just one game. Murray State is ranked as high as #11, but is not ranked in two polls. Similarly, Virginia peaks at #15, but is not ranked by two pollsters. The Cavaliers would make believers of everyone with a win at Duke this week.
  • Three new faces—Seton Hall, Alabama, and St. Mary’s all find themselves in our poll this week with the Pirates and Gaels ranked for the first time this season. Alabama was ranked as high as #11 earlier in the year, but losses to Georgetown, Dayton, and Kansas State pushed them out.
  • Still No Atlantic 10—After Xavier’s recent struggles in dropping five of seven games and St. Louis losing two of three, the A-10 does not have a representative in the Top 25 for the second straight week. It looked as if Temple would have a chance to squeak into the poll after knocking off Duke, but they fell to upstart Dayton in the following game. The Atlantic 10 race is definitely one to keep tabs on as league play progresses.

Top 25 Games of the Week:

Four Top 25 games highlight this week’s slate of games, each game in a different conference. Without a doubt, Sunday’s game in Columbus between Ohio State and Indiana is the one everyone is looking forward to as the Buckeyes have an opportunity to redeem themselves after their tough loss at Indiana. Many critics have clamored that Indiana needs to win a road game before they can be truly seen as a legitimate contender come March. Well, here’s their opportunity. Gonzaga and St. Mary’s — two of the best teams out West with the Pac-12 in shambles — is certainly a matchup to keep an eye on, as well.

Big Ten

#4 Ohio State vs. #6 Indiana

Big 12

#5 Baylor @ #18 Kansas State

ACC

#8 Duke vs. #19 Virginia

West Coast

#16 Gonzaga @ #24 St. Mary’s

Also Receiving Votes—Seven teams make up the ARV category in this week’s poll. Many of them once graced the Top 25 but hit rough patches and fallen out — looking squarely at you, Wisconsin. Harvard and Mississippi State are two other teams that were recently ranked but suffered setbacks and are now on the outside looking in.

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

KDoyle (99 Posts)


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5 Responses to “RTC Top 25: Week Nine”

  1. BOtskey says:

    I have to take issue with my fellow voters. Who is still ranking Harvard? Never thought they deserved a spot but they lost to freaking Fordham. I don’t have a problem with any of the other teams. I almost put St. Mary’s in and I considered Murray State. I realize their schedule sucks but Murray State has to beat someone good. They haven’t. If they keep winning they’ll find their way onto my ballot eventually if a spot opens up.

  2. Chris P says:

    Lets see they walloped Dayton who had some good wins. They beaten a goon Souther Miss team and a decent Memphis team. And they are 16-0. You don’t just become 16-0 as a mid major unless you have a pretty talented team. Both of you voters that have them NR are a disgrace to college basketball writers. Apparently the Coaches and AP poll have it all wrong. No way should Harvard still be ranked either. Their only good win was to a mediocre FSU team and they lost to Fordham

  3. BOtskey says:

    I guess you didn’t read what I wrote, Chris. I said I don’t have a problem with Murray State being ranked but I’m not ready to put them on my ballot.

  4. Chris P says:

    Yeah and I was asking why. And gave good reasons as to why they should be. They have had a tougher schedule than Missouri, Baylor and Kentucky.

  5. BOtskey says:

    I appreciate your perspective but every opponent, aside from the three you mentioned, has been no better than #155 in the KenPom ratings. Murray State has 3 non-D1 wins as well. I realize they can do nothing about the conference they’re in but some teams on the fringe of the top 25 would also be 16-0 against that schedule. That’s exactly where I have Murray State. They’d be 26 to 28 if I extended my rankings past 25. That’s still a very good team. Steve Prohm has done a commendable job after losing Coach Kennedy to A&M.

    Southern Miss isn’t bad and neither is Dayton. Murray State’s best win is a road (always good) win over unranked Memphis. When you compare that to a team like West Virginia (who I voted for but didn’t make it in our poll, it’s clear the Mountaineers have an edge based on the schedule and quality of wins they’ve had.

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