The new blogpoll should be up shortly over at March To Madness, so I decided to post my ballot and rationale here:
- Washington State
- Texas A&M
- Michigan State
- Miami (Fl)
- St. Mary’s
Join me after the jump for justifications and an attempt to muddle through teams 10-20.
Memphis will remain #1 until they lose or a team definitively overtakes them. Although UNC and Texas are close, they haven’t proved themselves better than Memphis yet.
Kansas is really 4 by default. They look very good, even without Sherron Collins. Washington State jumped over Duke with its impressive win at Gonzaga, while UCLA held steady at 7. Georgetown looks promising, but hasn’t played anyone yet.
Now the poll gets very debatable. Teams 9-17 could honestly be thrown in a box and picked out at random, and no one could really argue. Texas A&M has been impressive so far, and Indiana surprised me with how good they looked without Eric Gordon. Tennessee is starting to hit their stride, but if I had a do-over, I would put them behind Michigan State.
Pittsburgh has always been a hard to read team in the early season. But after watching them play at Washington, it is clear that this team is extremely talented. However, they have yet to learn how to finish games. Marquette picked up a solid win at the imposing Kohl Center against an admittedly down Wisconsin team.
Now here comes my biggest mistake: I submitted the poll before learning of Derrick Caracter’s suspension. I would put Louisville at about 20 had I known. Oregon looked good dismantling Utah on Saturday, while Butler dropped a tough one at Wright State, where they have lost 7 in a row.
18 and 19 are Clemson and Vandy, two undefeated teams who have yet to have been really challenged. Xavier is staying pat at 20. At 21, I have USC, who looked bad in that ugly loss to Memphis, but has looked better than the other teams that fill out the poll (with the possible exception of St. Mary’s). The poll is rounded out by Gonzaga (boy do they miss Heytvelt), Miami, St. Mary’s, and Arizona.
The next few just outside the poll would be BYU, Villanova, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Next week, I will take a resume-ranking approach, so my poll could be significantly altered. I am intrigued by it and want to do it at least once.