College Basketball: Top 25 Polls & Commentary
The Story: The No. 1 team in the land, Pittsburgh, will stay atop both polls this week after beating St. John’s. The only other team receiving first place votes, Wake Forest, remained unbeaten after beating North Carolina yesterday. Wake, No. 2 in this week’s AP Poll, beat UNC for the first time in four years. Meanwhile, North Carolina now has two losses on the year and has dropped to No. 5 in the AP poll and fell to No. 6 in the Coaches’ Top 25. Duke remains at the No. 2 spot in the Coaches’ poll this week but with Wake surpassing them in the AP, Duke falls to No. 3. The only other unbeaten team, Clemson, has moved into the top 10 in both polls. The Tigers are No. 9 in the Coaches’ poll and sit at No. 10 in the AP. Purdue fell five spots to No. 19 after losing at Penn State; however they bounced back with a win yesterday at home against Wisconsin. After a No. 17 ranking and beating the Tar Heels last week, Boston College has fallen out of the rankings completely after losses to Harvard and Miami (FL). West Virginia is the only other team to drop from both polls. Tennessee fell out of the Coaches’ poll but remains No. 24 in the AP poll. California and Villanova are the newcomers in both polls; while St. Mary’s replaces Tennessee in the Coaches’ poll.
AP Top 25
ESPN/USA Today Poll
Ryter’s Block: Every team wants to bring their “A” game against the UNC’s of college basketball. This week proved that. How can you beat arguably the best team in the nation one week and then lose to Harvard the next? Teams get more excited to play the big name schools and think they can just overlook the smaller schools. To steal a line from Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.” That’s the beauty of college hoops, there’s always upsets. It’s great to see Wake Forest at the No. 2 spot in the AP poll; they should be No. 2 in the Coaches’ as well. I thought they deserved that spot last week. California, 15-2 overall record including 4-0 in conference play, should be ranked higher. I think that they should be above No. 19 Purdue. No surprise that the AP and Coaches’ poll can’t get on the same page. Conference play is now in full swing and things should start shaking up and the better teams will emerge on these polls whereas the pretenders will fall.
Here are the games to look out for this week:
Monday, Jan. 12 No. 11 Texas at No. 5 Oklahoma
Monday, Jan. 12 No. 13 Notre Dame at No. 20 Louisville
Wednesday, Jan. 14 No. 8 Syracuse at No. 12 Georgetown
Thursday, Jan. 15 No. 17 Minnesota at Wisconsin
Saturday, Jan. 17 No. 1 Pittsburgh at No. 20 Louisville
No. 12 Georgetown at No. 2 Duke
No. 3 Wake Forest at No. 9 Clemson