How swiftly the crown falls.
Seeing as most of the top-10 suffered an L in the past week, it’s going to be a lovely little massacre in the poll come Monday.
Waiting is for the foolish, so lucky for you, here’s the dish on my Top-10, with bonus coverage of the top-25.
Believe it people, the Pac-10 is back in the Top-10.
The Wildcats are storming through the conference with gusto, and are poised to finally break their meager tournament seeds of recent past with a run through the Pac-10 tournament.
9. NOTRE DAME
It was a good run while it lasted, and considering they barely escaped Louisville recently, moving one spot back is by the grace of the Major.
Ben Hansborough can’t do it all, but he might just have to.
Call them the Giant slayers. Go ahead and try to argue me they don’t belong here after vesting both Wisconsin and Ohio State in the same week, especially after the Badgers dismantled the Buckeyes. Granted both wins were on home turf for the Boilermakers, still, they’ve got the talent and the tenacity to belong within the top 10, and ahead of Notre Dame simply due to the Irish’s collapse in Morgantown.
Look, when you lose to your in-state rival on the day you’re crowned, you’re out of my Top 5, it’s that cut & dry.
Besides, I’m not a big Jayhawk believer anyway. Their schedule is supremely suspect and the Morris twins need to find more consistency on both ends of the floor. There’s one thing you don’t do in Kansas if you’re a Jayhawk, and it’s lose to the Wildcats.
Losing to Nebraska was just ugly, but I’m going to say they got bushwhacked and simply overlooked a competitive conference foe on the road.
The Big 12 isn’t all that impressive, and the Cornhuskers are pretty good at home. I like the Longhorns a lot more when we’re talking tournament potential, but after tanking their chance to grab #1 with KU’s loss last Monday, I’m thinking they let the prospect of being on top get the best of them.
I don’t like putting them here, but this is likely where they should be considering their loss total and the return of Ashton Gibbs did nothing to help the Panthers fend off St. John’s.
The Big East is starting to really get murky and I’m not willing to put them higher than the mid-majors that are still rocking opponents night in & out.
4. OHIO STATE
Like I said last week, the Buckeyes are going to ride on cruise control for the rest of the regular season now that perfection is off the table. If that means they are a sleeping giant, so be it, but they aren’t Top 3 anymore after dropping two straight road games.
They are good, but they’ll wait and show the big guns come March, even if that means dropping one or two more before tourney time.
You wanted Jimmer, you got him. Simply put, just two losses overall (yes, they do play in the Mountain West, and no I haven’t forgotten that loss to UCLA) so I’m giving them the respect their record deserves.
Sure, there’s beef to find with this, but save it for my next trick.
2. SAN DIEGO STATE
How’s this for meaty? For all the talk of going “undefeated” between the Aztecs and Buckeyes, SDSU still has only one loss, and to me, that counts a hell of a lot more than what conference they play in compared to OSU, KU & UT.
We get the Cougars/Aztecs rematch on Saturday. Consider me officially pumped.
Back where they belong. I’m probably aiming for the stars with my #2 & #3’s, but even I can recognize a deserving #1 team when I see one. Duke’s two losses were at the hands of likely tournament Cinderella’s FSU & St. John’s, and to me those are worthy losses.
Coach K will have his hands full with Temple Wednesday, but if Nolan Smith & Kyle Singler can push the Blue Devils through the Owls, there’s a good chance they end the season right where they started it, even with the danger of UNC in Chapel Hill looming at regular seasons end.
The rest of the Top-25 after the jump.
25. UTAH STATE
21. TEXAS A&M
18. NORTH CAROLINA