RTC Top 25: Week 11Posted by KDoyle on January 23rd, 2012
With five teams in the Top 10 losing last week — Syracuse, Baylor, Duke, Michigan State, and Indiana — there was a good deal of movement in this week’s Top 25. Indiana fell out of the Top 10 and seems to have lost their mojo having lost three of their last four games. Even worse than the Hoosiers, however, is last year’s National Champion, as Connecticut is close to sliding outside of the poll after losing four of six. Non-BCS teams — UNLV, Creighton, St. Mary’s, San Diego State, Murray State, and Wichita State — all continue to escalate through the poll. The Quick ‘n Dirty after the jump…
- High Risers and Big Droppers — Consecutive victories over UNLV and New Mexico has San Diego State jumping in the poll up from #23 to #15; what a job Steve Fisher has done with the Aztecs. A year after one of the most successful seasons in San Diego State history, Fisher has the Aztecs in prime position once again in the Mountain West Conference. All of this without the services of Kawhi Leonard, Malcolm Thomas, and Billy White. Back east, Connecticut is in a downward spiral, getting off to a 4-3 start in Big East play and losing two straight games. The lack of production from Alex Oriakhi has really hurt the Huskies down low, but, more than anything, their youth is beginning to show. Connecticut had the luxury of leaning on Kemba Walker last season, but that is obviously not the case now. Remember, there is only one upperclassman on this squad that receives significant minutes — the underachieving Oriakhi.
- Where to rank Murray State? — The Racers have made big believers of two of our pollsters, believers of four others, but the final two pollsters are not yet sold on Murray State. Ranked as high as #9 and not ranked in two polls makes them a real enigma. Considering the rest of Murray State’s schedule — all games coming within a weak Ohio Valley Conference — it will be difficult for them to secure a statement win. However, if the Racers simply continue to win, it will be impossible to ignore their success, even if these wins don’t come until the OVC Tournament and beyond. In the “for what it’s worth” category, Pomeroy gives Murray State a 45.5% chance of going undefeated for the regular season. Their toughest game the rest of the way comes in the final regular season contest against Tennessee Tech.
- Three new faces — West Virginia, Florida State, and Wichita State all make a splash in the poll entering in consecutive order: #22, #23, and #23. West Virginia slips into the Top 25 for the first time this season as they are out to a 5-2 start in the Big East with wins over Georgetown and Cincinnati. The Seminoles have been, without question, the best team during ACC play, having sprinted out to a 4-1 start with wins over North Carolina and at Duke. Lastly, Wichita State, a team that had enjoyed a good deal of hype in the preseason, enters the poll for the first time since the opening weeks of the season. After getting off to a 2-2 start, the Shockers have won 15 of 16 games.
Top 25 Games of the Week:
A slow week for games pitting Top 25 teams against each other. Syracuse looks to bounce back after their surprise loss at Notre Dame, while Ohio State does battle with Michigan. The Wolverines have hit a rough patch having gone 3-3 over their last six games, but a win in Columbus would certainly turn things around in a big way.
- #2 Syracuse vs. #22 West Virginia
- #4 Ohio State vs. #19 Michigan
Also Receiving Votes—Seven teams—all of whom have been in the Top 25 at one point this season—are in the “ARV” category this week.
Conference Call— Big East (5), ACC (4), Big Ten (4), Big 12 (3), Missouri Valley (2), SEC (2), Mountain West (2), West Coast (2), Ohio Valley (1)