RTC Top 25: Week 1Posted by KDoyle on November 19th, 2012
Week one is in the books. There is already a fair amount of movement within the rankings, as well as a few teams making appearances in the Top 25 after not being on the radar in the preseason. The big story is, of course, Shabazz Muhammad is eligible to play for UCLA. As such, the Bruins rose in the rankings despite a near-miss performance against UC Irvine. Meanwhile, NC State took a significant hit after a blowout loss to Marcus Smart and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys make an appearance in the Top 25 after not even receiving votes in the preseason poll.
This week’s QnD after the jump…
Quick ‘n Dirty Analysis.
- Stability at the top—Indiana disposed of its three opponents to begin the season without hardly breaking a sweat. Not surprisingly, the Hoosiers stayed perched atop the rankings. They’ll have their first major test of the season in the Legends Classic against either UCLA or Georgetown (we are breaking a cardinal rule of sports, but assuming they will defeat Georgia tonight.)
- High Risers and Big Droppers—Duke had perhaps the best and most impressive win to begin the season by beating Kentucky in Catlanta. The Blue Devils demonstrated why they are a dangerous team — their depth and experience — while exposing a Kentucky team for their extreme youth. NC State dropped eight spots after a convincing loss at the hands of Oklahoma State. Our pollsters, for the majority, were skeptics of the Wolfpack entering the season, and the early loss has made many even more skeptical.
- Where to Rank…Connecticut?—Over in Germany, Kevin Ollie made a favorable first impression on Husky nation by defeating Michigan State in his first game as head coach succeeding Jim Calhoun. Since then, Connecticut has won three more games to begin a perfect 4-0 (although a double-OT win over Quinnipiac causes some hesitation). However, are the Huskies a legitimate top 25 team? They check in at #24 in this week’s poll, but only three pollsters have them ranked. Connecticut is a team to keep tabs on going forward.
- Where is the Atlantic 10?—Regarded as one of the deepest and most competitive conferences entering the season, the A-10 doesn’t even have a team represented in the “ARV” category. A league of parity? Probably? But, of mediocrity? Still way too early to say. St. Joseph’s impressed in its victory over Notre Dame this weekend, but faltered against Florida State the following night. The Hawks were the best chance for the A-10 to have a representative in this week’s 25.
Games of the Week.—How about, the entire Battle 4 Atlantis tournament? The tournament down in the Bahamas features Louisville, Duke, Missouri, and Memphis. That’s four teams in the Top 25. There will most assuredly be some tantalizing games down south. Not to be outdone is perhaps the match-up of the week, if the chips fall correctly, between Indiana and UCLA. Endless story lines in that one.
Keep Tabs On—#3 Syracuse vs. Princeton, #13 Arizona vs. Long Beach State, #18 Creighton vs. Wisconsin, #20 Baylor vs. College of Charleston, and #24 Connecticut vs. New Mexico.
Three new faces—Oklahoma State, Connecticut, and Kansas State all join the Top 25 after posting solid weeks. The Cowboys and Huskies garnered national headlines with their wins, but K-State flew under the radar without any notable victories. They’ll have an opportunity to change that this week in New York against Delaware, and then either Michigan or Pittsburgh.
Also Receiving Votes—13 teams received votes this week, compared to 12 in the previous poll. A diverse group of teams, to be sure, ranging from Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Georgetown to St. Mary’s, Bucknell, and New Mexico.
Conference Call—Big East (4), Big Ten (4), Big 12 (4), SEC (3), ACC (3), Pac-12 (2), Mountain West(2), Missouri Valley (1), West Coast (1), Conference USA (1).