Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hawaiian Punch

I really didn't know if I'd be putting UConn in my top 25 ballot at all this season. Certainly not in the top 10, and most certainly not this early in the season.

But here they are. No. 8. I thought long and hard about it, wondering how high I should rank the Huskies after their extremely impressive run to the Maui Invitational title. Didn't want my opinion to be jaded -- good or bad -- by the fact that I cover the team and know it pretty well. Didn't want to come across as a homer. Could I really rank them that high after not ranking them at all the first two weeks? Is it fair to rank them lower than Michigan State or Kentucky, despite beating them both in Maui?

In the end, absolutely. On the floor, at least, UConn has been as impressive as any team in the country to this point. Any team. And yes, we realize it's not even December yet.

Wins over top-10 teams in consecutive nights (not to mention a win over a good Wichita State team) are simply too impressive to overlook. Had no big issue keeping them behind Michigan State, but had no problem leapfrogging them over Kentucky.

Are the Huskies the eighth-best team in the country and, by my ballot anyway, the second-best team in the Big East? Talent-wise, probably not. But are they as good a team right now as anyone else, a close bunch of good kids who play well together, enjoy the game of basketball and are led by one of the very best players in the country? You bet.

Oh, and their coach ain't too bad, either.

Anyway, here's what I submitted as my AP Top 25 ballot late Sunday night. Goodbye, Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, Temple and Butler. Hello, UConn, UNLV, Louisville and Richmond.

1. Duke 6-0
2. Ohio State 5-0
3. Pittsburgh 7-0
4. Michigan State 5-1
5. Kansas 6-0
6. Kansas State 5-1
7. Missouri 5-0
8. Connecticut 5-0
9. Villanova 5-1
10. Kentucky 4-1
11. Illinois 6-1
12. Brigham Young 6-0
13. Syracuse 6-0
14. Memphis 5-0
15. Florida 4-1
16. Baylor 4-0
17. San Diego State 6-0
18. UNLV 6-0
19. Washington 3-2
20. Georgetown 6-0
21. Minnesota 6-0
22. Tennessee 4-1
23. Purdue 5-1
24. Louisville 4-0
25. Richmond 6-1


Anonymous Anonymous said...

MSU over UCONN? Doesn't make sense....... Please explain yourself. The one thing you have is head to
Head yet you have them 3 spots above us? Odd.

November 29, 2010 at 5:15 PM 
Blogger David Borges said...

It's a fair criticism. On the one hand, I'm ranking UConn so high because of what they did on the floor, not so much by their overall talent. In fact, you could make the argument that I should have ranked them even higher, considering what they accomplished in Maui.

Still, I believe that Michigan State is a better team, talent-wise, and will likely do more damage this year come March. Does that make sense? Probably not. But it's hard to make much sense out of the top 25, once you get past Duke.

November 29, 2010 at 6:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly your comments don't make sense. You're ranking Michigan State higher than UCOON based on future performance?? Since when is that the criteria for ranking teams???

November 30, 2010 at 4:59 PM 

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