College Basketball: Top 25 Commentary

    
March 3rd, 2009

The Story: The Connecticut Huskies have reclaimed the top spot in the nation this week. The Huskies will have a much anticipated rematch against Pittsburgh this Saturday. Pittsburgh won the first match-up, which enabled the Panthers to grab the No. 1 ranking last week. Pittsburgh lost their very next game to Providence, which has dropped them to No. 4/3 this week. The only other team receiving first place votes besides the Huskies in both polls is Memphis. Memphis has continued to dismantle every Conference USA team in sight (56 consecutive Conference USA wins including the postseason) and sit at No. 3/5. ACC leader, North Carolina, has jumped up to No. 2.  Oklahoma, No. 5/4, fall a few spots from their previous No. 3 ranking after losing a game to Kansas without Player of the Year candidate Blake Griffin.  The win by Kansas and their most recent home blowout win against Missouri have enabled them to crack the top ten, jumping six spots to No. 9. LSU, the SEC leader, also makes a significant jump to No. 11/12. Texas is the only team to drop off both polls after losing at Oklahoma State. No. 25 Syracuse replaces the Longhorns in both polls with two straight Big East victories. 

 

AP Top 25


1. Connecticut (67) 27-2 1,792
2. North Carolina (3) 25-3 1,678
3. Pittsburgh (1) 26-3 1,612
4. Oklahoma 26-3 1,576
5. Memphis (1) 26-3 1,543
6. Louisville 23-5 1,462
7. Duke 24-5 1,340
8. Michigan State 23-5 1,302
9. Kansas 24-5 1,190
10. Wake Forest 22-5 1,158
11. Villanova 23-6 913
12. LSU 25-4 894
13. Marquette 23-6 860
14. Gonzaga 23-5 837
15. Missouri 24-5 795
16. Washington 22-7 704
17. Xavier 23-5 629
18. Clemson 22-6 564
19. Purdue 22-7 545
20. UCLA 22-7 497
21. Arizona State 21-7 347
22. Butler 25-4 302
23. Illinois 23-7 287
24. Florida State 22-7 272
25. Syracuse 21-8 99


Others Receiving Votes
Creighton 52, Brigham Young 41, Utah 22, Saint Mary's 13, Dayton 11, West Virginia 10, Davidson 9, Texas 9, California 8, South Carolina 7, Providence 7, Washington State 4, Arizona 3, Oklahoma State 2, Boston College 1, Rhode Island 1, American University 1, Utah State 1.

ESPN/USA Today Poll


1. Connecticut (27) 27-2 769
2. North Carolina 25-3 711
3. Memphis (4) 26-3 698
4. Pittsburgh 26-3 667
5. Oklahoma 26-3 653
6. Louisville 23-5 630
7. Duke 24-5 597
8. Michigan State 23-5 557
9. Kansas 24-5 509
10. Wake Forest 22-5 480
11. LSU 25-4 420
12. Missouri 24-5 377
13. Washington 22-7 346
14. Gonzaga 23-5 339
15. Marquette 23-6 327
16. Villanova 23-6 324
17. UCLA 22-7 295
18. Xavier 23-5 260
19. Clemson 22-6 219
20. Purdue 22-7 211
21. Arizona State 21-7 189
22. Butler 25-4 168
23. Illinois 23-7 107
24. Florida State 22-7 67
25. Syracuse 21-8 37


Others Receiving Votes
Saint Mary's 26, Utah State 17, Texas 15, Creighton 13, Brigham Young 12, Utah 10, Dayton 9, California 6, Providence 4, Boston College 4, West Virginia 2.

 

Ryter’s Block: The roller coaster year for No. 1 teams continues. It seemed as if Pittsburgh took a night off in Providence and paid for it. You can’t take a night off in the Big East, the conference is too deep. Memphis deserves to receive some first place votes, however, I like them more at No. 5 in the AP rather then No. 3 in the Coaches’ poll. Marquette is a tricky team to rank at this point. They have lost Dominic James for the year and two straight games, albeit to the top two teams in the Big East. It doesn’t get any easier as they close out the regular season with another two tough games at Pittsburgh and home against newly ranked Syracuse. With the loss of James and the remaining games, look for them to slide down a few more spots next week. LSU and Villanova should swap spots in the AP poll. LSU only has one conference loss, while Villanova is coming off a loss to Georgetown at home. This week is do or die for many teams vying for a tournament bid. Conference tournaments begin this week and Selection Sunday is only a few weeks away (March 15). It will be fun to see how things pan out. What teams will fall? What teams will rise to the occasion?

 

As some conference tournaments begin this week, here are some other games to watch that will be sure to change the polls…

 

Monday, March 2:                  No. 16 Villanova at Notre Dame

 

Wednesday, March 4:                        No. 15 Marquette at No. 4 Pittsburgh

                                                No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 12 Missouri

 

Saturday, March 7:                 No. 1 Connecticut at No. 4 Pittsburgh

                                                Texas at No. 9 Kansas

                                                California at No. 21 Arizona State

 

Sunday, March 8:                   No. 7 Duke at No. 2 North Carolina

                                                No. 19 Clemson at No. 10 Wake Forest