Sunday, December 22, 2013

My AP Top 25 This Week

Here's my AP Top 25 ballot I'll be submitting for this week. Welcome, George Washington and Illinois. Farewell, Colorado and UCLA.

UConn drops from No. 9 to No. 13. Felt like it might be a lot worse after Wednesday night's loss to Stanford, but the Huskies bounced back with a good road win against a major-conference foe (Washington) on Sunday. (I didn't make the trip to Seattle, the only road trip I'll miss this season).

At the end of the day (did I really just use that annoying phrase?), UConn basically played one bad half of basketball this week. Granted, it was a putrid, awful, fetid half -- 13 points, 5-for-31 shooting, 0-for-12 from 3. But in the end, it was one half, against a pretty good team. Stanford is long, athletic and can shoot, and gave Michigan all it could handle a few nights later in Brooklyn. Had the Cardinal won that game, I would have considered it for the Top 25.

UConn has its flaws, obviously, most notably its lack of production from its big men. But teams are allowed a bad half here, a bad game here. Just this past week, Baylor needed overtime to beat Northwestern State. North Carolina, after losing at home to Texas, needed OT to beat Davidson. Ohio State needed a miracle comeback over the final 90 seconds to survive Notre Dame.

It's funny. I was prepared to drop the Buckeyes a few spots when it looked like they were going to lose to the Irish. Then they pull a rally for the ages, eke out the win, and ... I keep them at No. 4. Is that fair? Should I have flip-flopped them with Michigan State, which beat Texas this week? Maybe, maybe not. Guess that's what makes polls kinda fun.

1. Arizona
2. Oklahoma State
3. Syracuse
4. Ohio State
5. Michigan State
6. Louisville
7. Wisconsin
8. Duke
9. Oregon
10. Wichita State
11. Iowa State
12. Villanova
13. Connecticut
14. Florida
15. Kentucky
16. Kansas
17. Gonzaga
18. Baylor
19. Memphis
20. San Diego State
21. North Carolina
22. Massachusetts
23. George Washington
24. Illinois
25. Toledo


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