Sunday, January 27, 2013

My AP Top 25 Ballot This Week

Another crazy week in college hoops. Another tough Top 25 poll. Fun, though. Always like to switch things up (if warranted), and invite some new teams in.

This week, I've booted five teams (Minnesota, VCU, Cincinnati, Wyoming and UCLA) and invited five new ones (Missouri, Georgetown, Arizona State, San Diego State and Louisiana Tech). Yes, Louisiana Tech. Men's basketball, not women's. The Bulldogs are 18-3 overall, 9-0 in the WAC and have won 10 straight. They are one of only two teams in the country with 10 wins away from home (8-3 in true road games, 2-0 on neutral sites). The latter stat means a lot to me. The mark of a good team is one that wins on the road.

Plus, with so much parity this season, it's time to start ditching the idea of power conferences getting preferential treatment and get more mid-majors into the equation. Villanova, for example, beat Louisville and Syracuse this week, both at home. Great week for the Wildcats, and I'm sure they'll garner some votes. Not from me. For one, they're only 13-7. But also, they beat two Top 10 teams this week because they got the chance to do so. Schools from mid-major conferences don't get these opportunities. Who's to say if Colorado State or UNLV hosted Syracuse and Louisville this past week, they wouldn't have won both games. Maybe they wouldn't have, but unlike Villanova, they didn't get the chance.

I hope that makes some sense. Anyway, here's my ballot (I'm gonna go ahead and assume Creighton holds on to its 18-point halftime lead over Southern Illinois).

1. Michigan
2. Kansas
3. Indiana
4. Duke
5. Florida
6. Gonzaga
7. Arizona
8. Syracuse
9. Miami
10. Oregon
11. Wichita State
12. Ohio State
13. New Mexico
14. Mississippi
15. Michigan State
16. Louisville
17. Butler
18. NC State
19. Creighton
20. Missouri
21. Arizona State
22. San Diego State
23. Georgetown
24. Kansas State
25. Louisiana Tech


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