RTC Top 25: Week 10Posted by KDoyle on January 21st, 2013
If there was ever a day that could be used as prepping for the Thursday and Friday games of the NCAA Tournament, this past Saturday was that day. With 154 games taking place beginning at 11 AM and not wrapping up until much later in the evening with the magic that took place inside Hinkle Fieldhouse as Butler topped Gonzaga and some more games out west to round out the night, Saturday had it all. Saturday also had many implications for the RTC25 as there was a fair amount of movement in all directions. Michigan has climbed all the way back up to #1, Butler is a Top 10 team — after not even receiving votes in the preseason — two teams from the Missouri Valley are in the thick of things, and a total of eight teams are in the “ARV” category ranging from Cincinnati (once a Top 10 team itself) to Bucknell.
A whole lot to touch on…the Q n’ D after the jump…
Quick n’ Dirty Analysis.
- Consecutive Weeks with a New #1. Duke and Michigan both posted a win this past week, but the Wolverines were much more impressive in the eyes of our voters. Of the 10 #1 votes, Michigan earned eight of them this week. There was no doubt that Louisville would be falling from its spot at the top after losing to Syracuse over the weekend, but the only question was who would take their place. RTC welcomes Michigan to #1… the first time in the history of the RTC25 that they have been the top team in America.
- High Risers and Big Droppers. Oregon had the most impressive week in terms of movement within the RTC25 as they elevated eight spots from #25 to #17. For a team that was on the fringe for several weeks, the Ducks have cemented themselves as a legitimate Top 25 team as all 10 voters have them ranked this week. Wichita State and Butler both jumped six spots with impressive home wins against Creighton and Gonzaga, respectively. You may have heard about Butler’s win against Gonzaga over the weekend. San Diego State nearly found itself outside of the RTC25 this week after dropping games to UNLV and Wyoming. Such is life in the ultra-competitive Mountain West where it seems any team on any night can win. While the league may lack a truly dominant team on a national level, the balance and depth of the MW is unparalleled. The Aztecs will have an opportunity to rebound this week as they travel to Nevada and host New Mexico in a critical tilt this weekend.
- How to Rank Notre Dame? Even when Notre Dame was 14-1, the jury was still out on the Irish as not all of the pollsters were sold on Mike Brey’s team. Now, after dropping two of their last three games to middle-of-the-road Big East teams (Connecticut and St. John’s), there is even more disparity with where Notre Dame falls in the RTC25. Five have the Irish on the outside looking in, while five have them ranked anywhere between #16 and #21. Notre Dame has a favorable schedule upcoming that they must capitalize on with Georgetown, South Florida, Villanova, and DePaul as its next four games.
- Defending Their Poll: Question posed to Brian Goodman (BG): Michigan is ranked #1 by eight of the voters and #2 by one other, but you have them slotted all the way down at #7. What have you seen from the Wolverines that you don’t particularly like?” BG: The thing to remember about the top tier of teams right now is that each of the top seven teams has a legitimate case for the #1 spot. At 17-1, the Wolverines own an excellent resume and their dates with Indiana will likely decide the Big Ten regular season championship. However, while their defense is better than it’s been in previous seasons under John Beilein, it still leaves something to be desired, especially when you look at how they stack up compared to the other teams in the mix for the top spot in the polls.
Game of the Week. #4 Kansas at #16 Kansas State. Quietly, Kansas State has risen up the RTC25. Since their loss to Gonzaga, they have won eight straight including a win over Florida — I guess Bruce Weber still knows a thing or two about this game as the Wildcats are now 15-2 and legitimate Big 12 contenders. You can bet that Manhattan will be rocking on Tuesday night as rival Kansas comes in town for the evening.
Keep Tabs On. #2 Duke at Miami (FL), #7 Indiana vs. #12 Michigan State, #8 Arizona vs. #24 UCLA, #10 Minnesota at Wisconsin, #19 New Mexico at #24 San Diego State, #22 UNLV vs. Wyoming.
One New Face. Wichita State was in the RTC25 not too long ago, but a bad loss to Evansville had the Shockers depart for a brief time. Their latest big win against Creighton over the weekend has pollsters recognizing Wichita’s legitimacy — the Valley isn’t just a one-team race this year.