Sunday, March 1, 2009

Basketblogpoll #4

Submitted for your approval.

1 Connecticut27-2 1
2 North Carolina24-3 1
3 Pittsburgh25-3 2
4 Memphis26-3 1
5 Oklahoma26-3 1
6 Louisville23-5 8
7 Duke24-5 4
8 Michigan St.23-5 2
9 Kansas24-5 7
10 Villanova23-6 4
11 Wake Forest22-5 3
12 Gonzaga23-5--
13 Missouri24-5 4
14 Butler25-4 3
15 Xavier23-5 5
16 Washington22-7 7
17 Florida St.22-7 1
18 Clemson22-6 11
Louisiana St.25-4 6
20 Marquette23-6 7
21 UCLA22-7 5
22 Purdue22-7 3
23 Brigham Young21-6 3
24 Arizona St.21-7 9
Illinois23-7 4

For your reference, here is last week's ballot.

Dropped Out: Utah (#22), Syracuse (#24), Dayton (#25).

Welcome! Louisiana St. (#20), UCLA (#22), Brigham Young (#24)

Waiting Room Utah, Dayton, and any other bubble Big East team with a sub-par conference record and ridiculously high computer numbers. Here's looking at you, Syracuse and West Virginia!

By Conference: Atlantic Coast 5, Big East 5, Big XII 3, Big Ten 3, Pac 10 3, Conference USA 1, Atlantic 10 1, Horizon 1, West Coast 1, Southeastern 1, Mountain West 1

Biggest Winners
  • Louisville - The 'Ville jumps 8 spots this week after taking care of Georgetown and Marquette. Pitino's boys wrap up the regular season with manageable games at home against the Hall and on the road vs. West Virginia. If Connecticut trips up in their regular season finale at Pittsburgh, the 'Ville will win their first Big East regular season title.
  • Kansas - You can't count out the defending champs (This is the same mantra that BC hockey fans are hoping holds true for the next few weeks as the regular season of college hockey wraps up). I watched Kansas absolutely manhandle Missouri at Allen Fieldhouse today. After jumping out to a 21-5 lead, the Jayhawks didn't look back and tamed the Tigers 90-65. With a win over Texas Tech or Texas, the Jayhawks - and not Oklahoma - will win the Big XII regular season title.
  • Washington - No team probably helped themselves more over this past week than Washington. The Huskies took care of both Arizona State and Arizona and are poised to win the Pac 10 regular season title with a win on March 7 against Washington State. Washington gets cannon fodder Lehigh and Seattle U. at home before wrapping up their Pac 10 regular season against the Cougars. UW jumps 7 spots this week.
  • LSU - No, they aren't just good at football... Finally, an SEC team has answered our call and put together an impressive enough resume to get some Top 25 love from Jeff and I. The basketball Bayou Bengals have put together 10 straight wins and dispatched fellow SEC NCAA Tournament hopefuls Florida and Kentucky. Still, with a strength of schedule that just crept below the triple digits, nothing get too excited about. And the reliable kenpom shares out skepticism, ranking LSU #34.
Biggest Losers
  • Clemson - A rough week for Jeff's Tigers. After getting upset by the Hokies 80-77 at Littlejohn on Wednesday, the Tigers followed that up with a 73-66 road loss to Florida State. Clemson falls to 5th in the ACC standings and will currently miss out for receiving a first round bye in the ACC Tournament. To make matters worse, the Tigers finish the season with a tough road game against Wake Forest. Clemson could fall to the number 6 seed (or worse) if they get tripped up by Wake and BC beats both NC State and Georgia Tech.
  • Arizona State - An even worse week for the Sun Devils. After getting a Ted Miller ESPN tongue bath on Wednesday (a good read with the added bonus of an NC State dig in there), the Sun Devils dropped both back-to-back overtime games in Washington ... 73-70 at Washington on Thursday and 51-49 at Washington State on Saturday. ASU went on their Washington road trip with a chance to lock up the Pac 10 regular season title. Instead, the Sun Devils will have to regroup, and regroup quick, finishing their regular season at home against Cal and Stanford. We drop ASU 9 spots this week.
  • Marquette - I believe we had this one right. The Golden Eagles went 0-for-Elite Big East team this week, falling to both Connecticut at home and Louisville on the road. Two tough games for Marquette remain - at Pittsburgh and at home vs. Syracuse. Marquette is certainly a NCAA Tournament lock at this point, but their seed may tumble if they go 0-4 to finish the regular season and make an early exit in the Big East tournament.
  • Mid Majors - We started this year's basketblogpoll with 6 mid majors in the Top 25. We are down to 5 (Dayton and Utah out) with another new entry (Brigham Young) probably a loss away from exiting our poll. The mid-major mainstays will probably remain - Memphis, 'Zaga, Butler and Xavier - but the margin for error down the stretch grows smaller and smaller each week for mid-major teams.
Comments, corrections and/or suggestions welcome.

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