RTC Top 25: Week 13Posted by KDoyle on February 6th, 2012
With the Super Bowl now behind us and the NBA being, well, the NBA, it is college basketball from here on out for the next two months. There was not a whole lot of movement inside the top five as Kentucky retained its position as the #1 team in the nation, while Missouri jumped to #4 after posting a win over Kansas. You may have missed it with the Super Bowl festivities, but a surprise loss at home to Miami (FL) has Duke outside of the Top 10 for the first time this season. The Quick ‘n Dirty after the jump…
- High Risers and Big Droppers — Florida State continues to impress and has taken the ACC, and the nation, by storm. After 15 games, the Seminoles stood at 9-6 and were blown out by Clemson in their opening game in the ACC, but they have rebounded in a major way, reeling off seven straight wins. Blowing out North Carolina and eking out three-point wins over Duke and Virginia has Florida State up to #14 in this week’s poll. Duke, on the contrary, has dipped to #12 after a surprise home loss to Miami (FL) in overtime. The Dookies will have to recuperate fast as they travel down the road to North Carolina this Wednesday. Duke hasn’t lost back-to-back games since the 2008-09 season when they fell to North Carolina and Boston College.
- Where to rank Georgetown? — Pollsters are split as to where the Hoyas deserve to be ranked. Three of them have Georgetown sitting at #8, while three others have them right in the latter half of the poll right around #15. Despite dropping a game at Pittsburgh recently, Georgetown is 8-3 in the Big East — whether that is meaningful or not is up to you, considering how up-and-down the league has been thus far — and 18-4 overall. Needless to say, a win at Syracuse this week will have all pollsters placing Georgetown firmly within the Top 10 in the next poll.
- Believers in St. Mary’s — There are always debates between pollsters as to where a team deserves to be ranked, but the general consensus with St. Mary’s is that the Gaels are a borderline Top 10 squad. All seven of this week’s voters have them slotted between #11 and #14. St. Mary’s can defend their high ranking by going on the road and leaving The Kennel with a win over rival Gonzaga.
- Tracking Murray State — Murray State sure has a pretty-looking page on Kenpom.com. Nothing but green, green, and more green. The Racers have to go on the road three more times during conference play — their game at Tennessee Tech in the regular season finale figures to be the most difficult — but the game Steve Prohm ostensibly has circled on his calendar comes against St. Mary’s during BracketBuster weekend. Even with an unblemished record, some still question how legit the Racers are, and it is fair for them to do so considering 16 of their games come against relatively weak Ohio Valley competition. Knocking off the Gaels will further legitimize them, and greatly help their seeding come Tournament time.
- No Atlantic 10 or Pac-12 — Sorry fellas, but no room for you in this week’s poll. Temple narrowly missed the cut as they were the only A-10 team to garner votes, while the Pac-12 missed out altogether. With continued strong play for the rest of the regular season, Washington may find their way into the Top 25 as they have won five straight and are 9-2 in the conference.
- One new face — It seems like Mississippi State has been in and out of the Top 25 for much of the season. This week, they find themselves just on the inside as they check in at #24. Although it appears the Bulldogs won’t be truly tested until they welcome Kentucky to town on February 21, they should be wary of in-state rival Ole Miss this week whom they already lost to earlier in league play.
Top 25 Games of the Week:
There is quite a week of college basketball ahead of us, so brace yourselves. Amazingly, eight conferences have games that pit Top 25 teams against each other. Crucial weeks, especially, for Baylor and North Carolina who go up against top teams in their respective conferences. Be sure not to overlook the non-Power Six match ups as well — all six of those teams will be big time players come March.
- #1 Kentucky vs. #8 Florida
- #2 Syracuse vs. #10 Georgetown
- #3 Ohio State vs. #9 Michigan State
- #4 Missouri vs. #6 Baylor
- #6 Baylor vs. #7 Kansas
- #5 North Carolina vs. #12 Duke
- #5 North Carolina vs. #20 Virginia
- #11 St. Mary’s @ #24 Gonzaga
- #12 UNLV vs. #15 San Diego State
- #15 Creighton vs. #19 Wichita State
Also Receiving Votes—Seven teams comprise this week’s “ARV” category. After running off four straight impressive wins, Notre Dame just missed the cut (Mike Brey is clearly up to his old tricks once again). Harvard and Temple are just on the outside as they return to the ARV section. Picking up votes also is Southern Mississippi as they look to be the favorite in Conference USA.
Conference Call— Big East (4), ACC (4), Big Ten (4), Big 12 (3), SEC (3), Missouri Valley (2), Mountain West (2), West Coast (2), Ohio Valley (1)