RTC Top 25: Week 11Posted by KDoyle on January 28th, 2013
Six of the 10 teams in the top 10 of last week’s RTC25 tacked on a loss to their resume, or in Louisville’s and Minnesota’s cases, multiple losses. Fortunately for these two, Duke garnered much of the attention as they were absolutely thrashed by an upstart Miami team by 27 points. Duke rebounded with a win over Maryland though, unlike the preceding two teams who seem to be in a state of free fall as the Cards have lost three straight (after being ranked #1) and the Gophers four straight. Despite defeating two top 10 teams, Villanova didn’t even get a whiff of the RTC25— probably due to prior losses to Alabama, Columbia, and Providence — it has been that kind of year. Just another week in the world of college hoops where the only thing that is predictable are storylines surrounding the brand of backpack that Shabazz Muhammad carries around the UCLA campus.
The Quick n’ Dirty after the jump…
Quick n’ Dirty Analysis.
- Michigan a Near Consensus #1. About the only thing that remained status quo was Michigan retaining its ranking atop the RTC25 for the second straight week. The Wolverines had little trouble with Purdue and Illinois last week, beating both by double digits, but this week figures to be more challenging as they travel to Bloomington for a Saturday evening GameDay date with Indiana.
- High Risers and Big Droppers. The biggest story of the week was, of course, Miami (FL) embarrassing Duke and then following that up with a sound beating of Florida State. The Hurricanes have announced themselves to America as a legitimate threat to challenge anyone, and perhaps as the top team in the ACC. The senior frontcourt trio consisting of Kenny Kadji, Reggie Johnson, and Julian Gamble is a handful — a rather large handful, literally — for any opponent to handle. Meanwhile, Minnesota and Virginia Commonwealth struggled mightily last week. The Golden Gophers may be coming back to earth just a bit after overachieving for the first half of the season. VCU dropped games to Richmond — a stark rival of theirs — and then La Salle to fall 4-2 in the ultra-competitive Atlantic 10.
- How to Rank Cincinnati? The RTC25 has been a revolving door for the Bearcats — in one week, out the next. After beginning the season 13-1, Cincinnati is 3-3 in its last six games. A home win over Marquette looks good, but a home loss to St. John’s, not so much. As such, Cincinnati is unranked in five polls, and ranked anywhere from #13 to #23 in the others. They will have to take care of business in their next three games against Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Providence to legitimize themselves as a Top 25 team.
- Defending Their Poll: Question posed to Zach Hayes (ZH): “There is some dispute amongst pollsters whether Mississippi should be ranked. They’re 17-2 with some nice wins, but the SEC is down this year; what are you seeing in the Rebels to rank them #19?” ZH: During a season with so much upheaval, there is something to be said about Mississippi beating the teams they should on their schedule. Their two losses are both by one possession to solid mid-major teams in Middle Tennessee and Indiana State, and the Rebels haven’t lost since before Christmas. If you look beyond the record, Ole Miss does have the makings of a very solid squad, ranking 46th in offensive efficiency and 27th in defensive efficiency. Andy Kennedy’s best team since he arrived at Oxford also ranks in the top 10 in both three-point percentage defense and turnover percentage, and Marshall Henderson is one of the most electric scorers in the country. Even though Laurence Bowers was missing from the lineup, the Rebels’ throttling of Missouri opened my eyes. Despite the weak nature of the SEC “West,” Ole Miss can only play the games on its conference schedule, and so far those have all landed in the win column.
Game of the Week. #1 Michigan at #4 Indiana. Prepare yourself for this one — a 9:00 PM tilt on a Saturday at Assembly Hall between the #1 and #4 teams in the country. Endless storylines and match-ups to analyze between Michigan and Indiana. Will Michigan’s spot at #1 for the first time in two decades be short-lived? Will they cement themselves as the clear top team in the country? How about Indiana: Will they re-enter the discussion of the top team in America?
Keep Tabs On. #3 Florida vs. #24 Mississippi, #5 Syracuse at Pittsburgh, #8 Louisville vs. Marquette, #12 Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, #13 Miami at #16 NC State
Three New Faces. Miami (FL) and Mississippi makes appearances in the RTC25 for the first time this season after sitting in “ARV” category for a few weeks while Cincinnati returns after a brief hiatus.
Conference Call. Big Ten (5), ACC (3), Big East (3), Mountain West (3), Pac-12 (3), SEC (2), Big 12 (2), Missouri Valley (2), Atlantic 10 (1), West Coast (1).