Monday, January 16, 2006

Picks for CBBA top 25 & What happened last week

The New Poll (1/16):

1. Duke
2. Connecticut
3. Memphis
4. Texas
5. Villanova
6. Florida
7. West Virginia
8. Gonzaga
9. Illinois
10. Pittsburgh
11. Tennessee
12. Syracuse
13. Indiana
14. Nevada
15. UCLA
16. George Washington
17. Wisconsin
18. Michigan State
19. North Carolina State
20. Ohio State
21. Washington
22. Xavier
23. Iowa
24. Oklahoma
25. Louisville

Arizona, Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Vanderbilt

What happened (last week's rankings)

1. Duke (16-0) W v. Maryland, W at Clemson
2. Connecticut (14-1) W v Cincy, W v. Georgetown
3. Memphis (15-2) W at ECU, W v. SMU

Top three clubs win as expected.

4. Villanova (11-2) W at Rutgers, L at Texas
5. Texas (14-2) W at Iowa St., W v. Villanova

Texas squeaks past 'Nova at home and in the rankings, but if these two met in March in the Elite 8, my money would be on the Wildcats.

6. Florida (16-0) W v. Miss. St., W v. Auburn

The Gators still haven't convinced me. They stay put.

7. Indiana (10-3) L at MSU

Understandable loss at Michigan State doesn't really hurt, but DJ White injury creates real doubt.

8. West Virginia (12-3) W v. Georgetown, W v. Marquette

Excepting one week in November, they haven't lost. 10-game winning streak on line at UCLA Saturday.

9. Gonzaga (13-3) W at Santa Clara, W v. Pepperdine

Nothing really proved, but winning is always good.

10. Illinois (16-1) W v. Michigan

Surprisingly narrow win against Michigan at home. Giving up 74 points in win also unusual.

11. Pittsburgh (14-0) W v. ND, W at Louisville

Nice win at Louisville, but until the Cards beat somebody, it's not as big of a scalp as it seems.

12. UCLA (14-3) W v. WSU, L v. Washington

Even despite the loss at home to the Huskies, probably still the Pac-10's best squad, but loss of Josh Shipp puts that in question.

13. Tennessee (11-2) W v. Ga., W at LSU

I don't really believe the Volunteers are this good, but weak SEC could keep them in top 25 all year.

14. Syracuse (15-2) W at ND, W at Cincy

Two good road wins that would've been understandable losses.

15. Ohio State (12-2) W at Purdue, L v. MSU

Loss at home in 2 OT to suddenly-hot Michigan State not a huge cause for concern, but may prove costly in the Big Ten race.

16. Nevada (13-3) W v. Idaho, W v. Boise St.

Chasing Louisiana Tech in WAC standings, but it's early yet.

17. Arizona (10-6) L v. Oregon, L at OSU

The good news is Jawan McClellan is back, but the bad news is much worse. Losing at home to Oregon and at Oregon State may be pointing to a NIT, rather than a NCAA, bid.

18. Oklahoma (10-4) L v.Mizz, W at TA&M

They stay in the top 25, but only on Terrell Everett's fadeaway 3 at Texas A&M. Coach Sampson needs Mike Neal back now.

19. George Washington (12-1) W v. SLU, W v. St. Joe's

This team should be called George Jefferson 'cause it keeps "movin' on up."

20. Wisconsin (14-2) W at Minn., W v. Northwestern

In first place. Great schedule may give Bo Ryan another Big 10 regular-season title with his
weakest squad in a few years. Doubtful to actually reach Sweet 16 in NCAA tourney.

21. Louisville (13-3) W v. UC Davis, L v. Pitt

What is with this team? Losing every big game is no way to prepare for success.

22. Washington (14-2) L v. Wash St., W at UCLA

Hangs in top 25 with nice win at UCLA. If the Bruins falter without Shipp, the Huskies should be right there to snap up the conference championship.

23. Cincinnati (13-4)*L at UConn, L v. Syracuse

Losing Armien Kirkland hurts worse than a loss at Connecticut, especially when you only had a 6-man rotation to start with.

24. Michigan State (14-4) *W v. IU, W at OSU

What a difference a week makes. Porous IU defense just thing to jump-start Mo Ager's confidence, evidently.

25. North Carolina St. (14-2)*W at BC, W v. GT

I was totally wrong about these guys. I had them figured for the NIT, but they are looking like the only other consistent team in the ACC besides Duke.

Just outside:

Alabama-Birmingham UAB (12-3) W v. Tulsa, W at Marshall

Losing Demario Eddins doesn't seem to have affected them yet, but fielding a weaker team in the second half of the season is no way to convince the Selection Committee to give you a NCAA bid. Dropped from the Also-rans for now.

Boston College (12-4) v. NCSU, W v. FSU

Maybe when Sean Williams is worked into the rotation, the Eagles I expected to see will surface. But I don't expect the road in the ACC to be kind to BC.

Colorado (11-3) L v. Kansas, W at Missouri

Good RPI, but home loss to Kansas a set-back. Recovers nicely with victory at Mizzou to stay in top 25 hunt.

(13-4) W at PSU

Just beating Penn State wouldn't normally get you in, but top 25 fared so poorly this week.

Kansas (10-5) W at Col., L v. KSU

Home loss to Kansas State drops Bill Self's team from top 25 contention.

Maryland (12-4) L v. Duke, W v. Wake Forest

Nobody's been able to upset Duke, but good recovery with home win over Wake Forest. Still just outside top 25.

(12-3) W at KSU

The Cornhuskers have a good record, and a decent road win, but the next 5 games (Iowa St., at Kansas, at Colorado, Missouri, at Oklahoma St.) will really show if they're for real in the Big 12.

North Carolina
(10-3) W at Virginia Tech, L v. Maimi

I'm probably the only one not on the Tarheel fan wagon, but really, their preconference schedule proved nothing to me. I would've put them in the top 25 this week if they could've beaten Miami at the Deandome.

Northern Iowa (15-3) L v. Creighton, W at Ill St.

Home loss to Funk-less Creighton no bueno, but not yet having Crawford (1-6 FG, 4 TOs) back on track may be the explanation.

Southern Illinois (13-3) W v. Evansville, W at Drake

Where did these guys come from? Win at Drake a necessary step towards the MVC crown.

Texas A&M (11-3) L at OSU, L v. OU

Losses at Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma's miracle win leave the Aggies without proof of top 25 contender potential. Dropped from also-ran status for now.

Vanderbilt (11-3) W at Kentucky, L at Ark

Would've been in Top 25 if could've pulled win at Arkansas. Still hanging around #26, 'tho.

Xavier 11-2 (W v. EKU, W at Charlotte)

Good RPI, good win at Charlotte. Grabs deserved top 25 spot.


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