Sunday, March 2, 2014

My AP Top 25: Giving Some Love to the A-10

It's truly shaping up to be one of the wildest months of March in recent memory, at least in terms of college basketball. This past week alone, no less than 13 of the AP Top 25 teams lost at least once -- four of them (Saint Louis, Kentucky, Iowa and Ohio State) lost twice. Crazy stuff.

Three teams exit my ballot this week -- Kentucky, Iowa and Texas. (I didn't vote for Ohio State last week). Kentucky drops from No. 14 all the way off, because a.) I've probably been overrating the Wildcats for a while now and b.) they lost at home to Arkansas (second time this year they've lost to the Razorbacks) and at 11-win South Carolina. Buh-bye.

In their places, I give some love to the A-10, but perhaps not the team (UMass) you might expect. I was set to vote for the Minutemen, but then they go lose at Dayton on Saturday (not that that's such a terrible thing). Instead, I'm going with VCU, which beat Saint Louis on Saturday, and St. Joe's, which has won six straight, including wins over VCU and Dayton. I also added Gonzaga, which clinched another WCC regular-season title on Saturday.

As for UConn, it moves up four spots from No. 23 to 19 on my ballot this week. Not because the Huskies' five-point win at lowly USF or six-point slogfest victory over Cincinnati were so impressive. Rather, because so many teams around them lost over the past week, and UConn really had nowhere to go but up.

Unlike last year, the Huskies still have plenty of hoops left this season, including next week's conference tournament and the Big Dance the week after that.

1.       Florida
2.       Wichita State
3.       Arizona
4.       San Diego State
5.       Duke
6.       Louisville
7.       Virginia
8.       Kansas
9.       Villanova
10.   Syracuse
11.   Cincinnati
12.   Wisconsin
13.   North Carolina
14.   Creighton
15.   Michigan
16.   Iowa State
17.   Saint Louis
18.   SMU
19.   UConn
20.   New Mexico
21.   VCU
22.   Memphis
23.   Gonzaga
24.   St. Joseph’s

25.   Michigan State


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