Blogpoll: Week 3

 

By Chilltown

This week I cast my first ballot in the College Basketball Blogpoll, run by the excellent blog March to Madness . Let me tell you, its a lot harder to actually make the ballot than it is to criticize others’. This week there was considerable upheaval in the Top 25, as no fewer than 12 of the Top 25 teams lost. Here is my best stab at it, with attempted justifications after the jump.

  1. Memphis
  2. UCLA
  3. North Carolina
  4. Georgetown
  5. Kansas
  6. Duke
  7. Washington State
  8. Texas
  9. Louisville
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Butler
  12. Marquette
  13. Indiana
  14. Tennessee
  15. Michigan State
  16. Southern Illinois
  17. Villanova
  18. Gonzaga
  19. Syracuse
  20. Clemson
  21. Oregon
  22. Xavier
  23. BYU
  24. George Mason
  25. USC

The top is pretty self-explanatory. Memphis has looked the best so far, and has comparable wins to UCLA and UNC. UCLA again has a better win (Michigan State) than UNC does (BYU), even though they have not looked as good doing it. The first real hard choice was Georgetown over Kansas. While Kansas did win in overtime last night, they looked listless and disinterested for stretches at home, and had a hard time running their offense against an Arizona team that has massive defensive flaws. For that reason, I dropped them below Georgetown.

6-8 were fairly easy: Duke, Washington State, and Texas all had quality preseason tournament victories this week. Now, I am on record as liking Louisville, and their loss to BYU (an excellent team by the way) did nothing to change that. Could you argue that they belong below Texas A&M and Butler? Certainly. That’s just my prerogative.

The middle of the teens are filled with teams that all had “quality losses” last week. I ranked them in order of how they looked in their losses; Marquette looked really good in their last two games in Maui, Indiana lost to a very good Xavier team solely because they had a really cold night shooting, Tennessee got swamped by Texas’s hot three-point shooting, and Michigan State looked extremely stilted offensively against UCLA.

I honestly did not see Southern Illinois get blown out by USC and only read the recap, but perhaps Johninho could enlighten me. Until then, I’m willing to give the Salukis a pass. Villanova and Gonzaga both played fairly well in their preseason tournaments, but both lost once. The bottom of the poll is a jumble. How do we evaluate teams like Oregon and Syracuse, who each have lost once? Do we leave them out in favor of undefeateds with borderline wins? They stay in this week, but I won’t lose sleep over dropping them. BYU, Xavier, and George Mason are all mid-majors that have losses, but their wins put them solidly in the top 25.

 

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Blogpoll: Week 3

  1. Johninho

    I didn’t get to see that, either, but here’s how I explain the Trojans over the Salukis:

    Oftentimes your superstar freshman can’t carry the team. But sometimes he can.

    I’m interested to find out what SIU does with its season after this. My understanding is that the MVC is down this year, and that other than Butler, you’re not going to get the usual excellence from the likes of Creighton, SMS, and Bradley. SIU and Butler should rise to the top, this loss notwithstanding.

    But do not make the mistake of thinking for a minute that USC can’t compete with that lineup. That team made a Sweet 16 run just last year, and between Mayo and Davon Jefferson, I’d say they replaced Francis and any other missing pieces. There’s no reason SC can’t make a similar run this year.

  2. chilltown

    Uhh, Butler is in the Horizon, Johninho. But it will be SIU and then a tier below probably Bradley and Northern Iowa. The MVC will be lucky to get two bids this year.

  3. The Salukis offense was exposed in this game for what it is: Hold the ball 20-30 seconds, throw the ball towards the rim (bonus points if it goes in), push/out-muscle everyone out of the way, and then score a layup 🙂

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