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College Basketball MacRankings – February 21st, 2010

February 21, 2011

I was sick this whole weekend, so while I followed all the scores across college basketball, I didn’t put much thought into my rankings until tonight. On top of being sick, this has been the toughest week to update with all the top teams losing and all the parity in college basketball in general. Not much commentary this week but I felt like I owed some explanation to the top spots.

TOP 25:

1. Kansas (25-2)
Key Wins: Arizona, UCLA, Memphis, USC, @Cal, UNT, @Michigan, @Iowa St, @Baylor, @Colorado, KSU, Mizzou, Colorado
Key Losses: Texas, @KSU
Last Week: #2
Comments: Wait… Kansas lost and moved up to #1? Seems weird, but who else do you put here? Ohio State, Texas, and Pitt all lost. Duke’s a candidate and will probably get votes, but I personally can’t put them #1 with a SoS of 39th and playing against a weak ACC. BYU or San Diego State? It’s getting close, but the world isn’t ready for a Mountain West team at the top of the rankings yet. Kansas is #1 in RPI, top ten in strength of schedule, and have 15 wins over top 100 teams–more than anyone in the country. Enough said.

2. BYU (25-2)
Key Wins: Utah St., St. Mary’s, @Vermont, Arizona, UTEP, @UNLV, @Colorado St, SDSU, UNLV
Key Losses: @UCLA, @New Mexico
Last Week: #6
Comments: Call me crazy, but BYU deserves to be here. They may play in the Mountain West, but they rank higher in strength of schedule than Pitt, Duke, and Ohio State. And they have more than twice as many wins against top 50 teams than San Diego State. And they have the best player in the country.

3. Duke (25-2)
Key Wins: Marquette, Kansas State, MSU, Butler, Miami, UAB, Maryland, @NC St, BCU, @Maryland, NC St, UNC, @Miami
Key Losses: @FSU, @SJU
Last Week: #5
Comments: I wouldn’t be surprised if Duke was #1 tomorrow, but I don’t think it’s justified. The ACC doesn’t compare to the Big 10 or the Big East or the Big 12 this year… or even the Mountain West. If Kyrie Irving had been healthy all year, Duke would probably be #1. But he’s been out and they’ve lost a couple games and their resume doesn’t quite stack up to BYU’s or Kansas’. Look at those quality wins… pretty good, but only one win over a currently ranked team.

4. San Diego State (27-1)
Key Wins: @Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, Wichita St., @Cal, UNLV, @New Mexico, Colorado St, @UNLV, New Mexico
Key Losses: @BYU
Last Week: #7
Comments: The only team in the country with one loss… so how could they possibly be #4? Well, for one, they lost to BYU, and two, their strength of schedule doesn’t
compare to the other teams. I think the biggest difference between BYU and SDSU has been how well their out of conference opponents have performed. BYU beat St. Mary’s, Utah State, Arizona, UTEP, and Vermont. St. Mary’s, Utah State, and Arizona have all been top 25 teams for the past couple weeks, Vermont has 22 wins, and UTEP is first in Conference USA. SDSU had some great wins out of conference, but Gonzaga isn’t the team we expected and Wichita State is good, but struggling to win its own conference, and California is a middling PAC-10 team. Doesn’t quite match up. I’ll take BYU for now, but we’ll see what happens when the two teams square off again on the Aztecs’ turf.

5. Ohio State (25-2)
Key Wins: @Florida, @FSU, South Carolina, Oakland, Minnesota, @Michigan, Penn St, @Illinois, Purdue, N’western, @Minnesota, MSU
Key Losses: @Wisconsin, @Purdue
Last Week: #3

6. Texas (23-4)
Key Wins: Illinois, @UNC, @MSU, Arkansas, A&M, @Kansas, @Ok St, Mizzou, @A&M, Baylor, OkSU
Key Losses: @Pitt, @USC, UCONN, @Nebraska
Last Week: #1
Comment: I gave Texas a pass on the USC loss and put them @ #1 last week even though they had three losses. Well, losing to Nebraska in February isn’t the same as losing to USC in November. It was a startling loss, but the Cornhuskers aren’t nearly as bad as they were supposed to be. Regardless, with four losses, including a recent one to a relatively weak team, Texas has to drop. I’d still take them in my top 2 picks if I was drafting for the NCAA tournament though. Don’t sleep.

7. Pittsburgh (24-3)
Key Wins: Maryland, Texas, UCONN, Marquette, @Georgetown, Syracuse, Cincy, @WVU, @Villanova
Key Losses: Tennessee, NDU, @SJU
Last Week: #4

8. Purdue (22-5)
Key Wins: Oakland, @V-Tech, @Michigan, N’western, @Penn St, Penn St, MSU, Minnesota, @Illinois, Wisconsin, OSU
Key Losses: @Richmond, @Minnesota, @WVU, @OSU, @Wisconsin
Comments: Purdue had a monster week. First they beat an extremely hot Wisconsin team and then followed that by toppling Ohio State. Granted, both wins were at home after losing to both those teams on the road, but impressive nonetheless.
Last Week: #13

9. Georgetown (21-6)
Key Wins: NC State, @ODU, @Missouri, Utah State, @Memphis, SJU, @Villanova, L’ville, @Syracuse, Marquette
Key Losses: @Temple, @Notre Dame, @St. John’s, WVU, Pitt, @UCONN
Last Week: #9

10. Florida (21-5)
Key Wins: @FSU, KSU, Xavier, RIU, Ole Miss, @Tennessee, Arkansas, @Georgia, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, @SCU, Tennessee
Key Losses: OSU, @UCF, Jacksonville, SCU, @Miss St
Last Week: #12

11. Notre Dame (21-5)
Key Wins: Cal, Georgia, @Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Georgetown, UCONN, SJU, Cincy, Marquette, @Pitt, L’ville
Key Loses: @Kentucky, @Syracuse, @Marquette, @SJU, @WVU
Last Week: #8

12. Connecticut (20-6)
Key Wins: Wichita State, MSU, Kentucky, @Texas, Villanova, Tennessee, @Marquette, G’town
Key Losses: @Pitt, @NDU, L’ville, Syracuse, @SJU, @L’ville
Last Week: #11

13. Wisconsin (20-6)
Key Wins: @BCU, NC State, @Marquette, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, @Northwestern, Purdue, MSU, OSU, Penn St
Key Losses: @UNLV, Notre Dame, @Illinois, @MSU, @Penn St, @Purdue
Last Week: #10

14. Villanova (19-6)
Key Wins: UCLA, Temple, Cincinnati, Louisville, Maryland, @Syracuse, Marquette, WVU
Key Losses: Tennessee, @UCONN, @Providence, Georgetown, @Rutgers, Pitt
Last Week: #14

15. Arizona (23-4)
Key Wins: @NC State, @Oregon, ASU, @WSU, UCLA, USC, @Cal, WSU, UW
Key Losses: @Kansas, @BYU, @Oregon St, UW
Last Week: #15

16. North Carolina (20-6)
Key Wins: Kentucky, @Virginia, V-Tech, Clemson, @Miami, NC St, @BCU, FSU, @Clemson, BCU
Key Losses: Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, @Georgia Tech, @Duke
Last Week: #16

17. Syracuse (22-6)
Key Wins: MSU, NC State, Notre Dame, @St. John’s, Cincinnati, @UCONN, WVU
Key Losses: @Pitt, Villanova, Seton Hall, @Marquette, G’town, @L’ville
Last Week: #17

18. Vanderbilt (20-6)
Key Wins: UNC, Marquette, Georgia, Ole Miss, St. Mary’s, @Miss St, SCU, Alabama, Kentucky, @Georgia
Key Losses: WVU, Missouri, @South Carolina, @Tennessee, Arkansas, @Florida
Last Week: #18

19. St. John’s (17-9)
Key Wins: ASU, Northwestern, @WVU, @Providence, Georgetown, Notre Dame, UCONN, @Cincy, @Marquette, Pitt
Key Losses: @St. Mary’s, St. Bonaventure, @Fordham, @Notre Dame, Syracuse, @Louisville, Cincy, @Georgetown, @UCLA
Last Week: #21
Comments: Giant killers. Maddeningly inconsistent, but they can beat anyone on any given day, especially at home.

21. Louisville (20-7)
Key Wins: Butler, UNLV, Marquette, SJU, WVU, @UCONN, Syracuse, UCONN
Key Losses: Drexel, Kentucky, @Villanova, @Providence, @G’town, @NDU, @Cincy
Last Week: #20
Comments: I never thought Louisville would last in the top 25, but with roughly four games left in the regular season, I think it’s time to admit they belong here. Peyton Siva has definitely blossomed as a sophomore (Seattle stand up!) and has become a true leader and go-to player for this team.

22. Kentucky (19-7)
Key Wins: @Portland, Washington, Notre Dame, @Louisville, @SCU, Georgia, Tennessee, Miss St, S.Carolina
Key Losses: @UCONN, @UNC, @Georgia, @Alabama, @Ole Miss, @Florida, @Vanderbilt
Last Week: #19

22. Xavier (20-6)
Key Wins: Butler, @RIU, Dayton, Temple, @Richmond, @Georgia, @Duquesne
Key Losses: ODU, Miami (OH), Gonzaga, Florida, @Cincy, @Charlotte
Last Week: #22

23. Texas A&M (21-5)
Key Wins: Temple, Washington, Arkansas, OK St, Missouri, KSU, @Colorado, @OkSU
Key Losses: BCU, @Texas, @Nebraska, Texas, Baylor
Last Week: #23

24. Missouri (21-6)
Key Wins: @Oregon, Vanderbilt, Illinois, ODU, KSU, Iowa St, Colorado
Key Losses: Georgetown, @Colorado, @Texas A&M, @Texas, @OkSU, @Kansas
Last Week: #24

25. Utah State (25-3)
Key Wins: @Nevada, @SMC
Key Losses: @BYU, @Georgetown, @Idaho
Last Week: Unranked
Comment: It kills me to do it, but Utah State has been manhandling everyone they’ve played and they embarrassed St. Mary’s on the Gaels’ home turf… and St. Mary’s has been in the national top 25 for a couple weeks now. So while the Aggies are still mostly untested, that win proves they at least have some reason to be sniffing the top 25 and hints they might be able to win a game or two in the tournament.

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