RTC Top 25: Week 12Posted by KDoyle on February 4th, 2013
The fourth different school in the past five weeks appears at the top of the RTC25 and it is not Indiana, despite their big win at home over the previous #1, Michigan. Rather, the Florida Gators are your new #1 team. A top 10 team since the preseason, the Gators are playing their best basketball of the season and look untouchable in the SEC. Further down, there are four new teams making a splash in this week’s RTC25. After spending many weeks on the outside, Pittsburgh finally jumps into the rankings after their home win over Syracuse.
The Quick n’ Dirty after the jump…
Quick n’ Dirty Analysis.
- A New #1. Many assumed that the victor of the Indiana vs. Michigan game on Saturday evening would be the #1 team come Monday. While three pollsters see the Hoosiers as the #1 team, it is the Florida Gators who check in as the top team with five first place votes. While the SEC is no doubt having one of their weakest seasons as a conference in recent memory, it is remarkable what Florida has been doing to their competition — defeating eight conference foes by an average of 26.5 points, and allowing just 48.6 points per game.
- High Risers and Big Droppers. A big week for the Big East as Georgetown rises back into the middle of the rankings after looking like a borderline Top 25 team through their first five league contests, and Pittsburgh checks in at #17. The Pomeroy rankings have loved Pittsburgh all season, but many pollsters were skeptical of the Panthers — their win over Syracuse is starting to win them over. Oklahoma State had the win of the week by going on the road and beating Kansas. After a rough stretch losing four of six games, the Cowboys are finding their groove again by winning three straight over West Virginia, Iowa State, and now Kansas. Conversely, NC State has fallen flat on its face after a resounding home win over Duke. Losing four of six games — the Wake Forest loss sticking out like a sore thumb — has the Wolfpack doubters resurfacing, and rightly so. NC State has a critical game at Duke this week. Wichita State is another team who had a rough week, dropping both of its games to Indiana State and Northern Iowa. After checking in at #15 in last week’s RTC25, the Shockers picked up just one vote (#25) this week.
- How to Rank Mountain West Teams? Is there any other conference in America that is as unpredictable as the Mountain West? San Diego State’s loss at Air Force over the weekend is evidence of this notion. Who would have thought, that after seven league games, San Diego State and UNLV would both be 4-3, and Colorado State and Air Force both 5-2? The only team in the MW that seemingly all pollsters can come to terms on is New Mexico — the Lobos are 19-3 and a legit Top 25 team. But, for all others, it is an ongoing debate weekly who from the MW is Top 25-worthy. In the 10-team conference, there may be as many as five teams receiving a bid to the NCAA Tournament, but which ones belong in the Top 25?
- Defending Their Poll: Question posed to Shane Connolly (SC): “Many have been skeptical of Pittsburgh for much of the season; they played a relatively weak non-conference schedule and began Big East play 1-3 with a loss to Rutgers. But, the Panthers have come on strong with their win against Syracuse over the weekend, and have found their way into seven of eight polls as a result. What don’t you like about Pitt and why didn’t they make your Top 25?” SH: Pittsburgh’s win over Syracuse was important for them and showed why they are such KenPom darlings. However their resume is pretty lackluster other than this win and their win at Georgetown. Last week I ranked them in the low 30s. Beating a team missing two key players at home was nice, but not worth a 10 spot bump in the rankings. If they take care of business during the week and knock off Cincy on the road next weekend then I will be sitting right next to Mr. Pomeroy at the front of the Panther bandwagon.
Games of the Week. #2 Indiana at #12 Ohio State and #3 Michigan vs. #12 Ohio State. What a week the Buckeyes have ahead of themselves taking on the #2 and #3 teams. A tall task for Thad Matta and his group.
Keep Tabs On. #3 Michigan at Wisconsin, #6 Michigan vs. #21 Minnesota, #7 Louisville at Notre Dame, #8 Syracuse vs. Notre Dame, #14 Creighton at Indiana State, #17 Pittsburgh at #18 Cincinnati, #20 New Mexico at #25 UNLV
Four New Faces. Georgetown, Oklahoma State, and Marquette all return to the RTC25, while Pittsburgh makes an appearance after being on the outside since Week Six.
Conference Call. Big East (6), Big Ten (5), Big 12 (3), Mountain West (3), ACC (2), Pac-12 (2), SEC (1), Missouri Valley (1), Atlantic 10 (1), West Coast (1).