Sunday, December 20, 2015

My AP Top 25 this week. This was a tough one

Really wanted to include Monmouth on my ballot this week. Really badly. Love the whole idea of a MAAC school -- or any low-major, for that matter -- getting some love in the Top 25. And it's not undeserved -- the Hawks have defeated five major-conference teams already this season, including at Georgetown, at UCLA, and over Notre Dame and USC (oh, and Rutgers).

Yes, Monmouth did lose at Canisius. But road losses in conference play happen. If you put, say, a Baylor or a Miami or a Texas A&M or a Gonzaga (or a UConn) in the MAAC this season, I guarantee you they'd lose a game or two on the road in league play at some point.

Ultimately, though, maybe there just wasn't enough room for the Hawks on my ballot. Although four top-10 teams all lost this past week, only four of the 15 teams I had ranked 11-25 lost. And the only one I'm bouncing out is four-loss UCLA.

I had to get Utah in. The Utes are 9-3 and fresh off Saturday's win over Duke at MSG. To get Monmouth in, I would have to drop a team that didn't lose last week, which is something I never do.

Until now.

I had Marquette ranked No. 25 last week after its win at the Kohl Center over Wisconsin that drove Bo Ryan into retirement. But as much as I love road wins, the Badgers aren't very good. Neither is LSU, the only other Power 5 team Marquette has defeated. And the Golden Eagles have lost to Belmont (along with Iowa).

So, I put Monmouth at No. 25 and dropped Marquette (even though it didn't even play this past week). Wanted to get UConn in there, as well, but the Huskies still don't have a real marquee win and misfired on their chances to score big wins over Maryland and Gonzaga. And that Syracuse loss isn't looking so great, either. And let's face it, the Huskies' too-close-for-comfort, 88-79 win over UMass-Lowell didn't really inspire a vote of confidence. Even if Omar Calhoun is truly back. And even if Amida Brimah watched the game from the bench.

Trust me: if the Huskies win at Texas on Dec. 29, they'll be back in my Top 25. Maybe even before then, who knows?

1. Michigan State
2. Kansas
3. Maryland
4. Oklahoma
5. Virginia
6. North Carolina
7. Xavier
8. Butler
9. Kentucky
10. Providence
11. Arizona
12. Purdue
13. Duke
14. SMU
15. Iowa State
16. Miami
17. Texas A&M
18. Villanova
19. George Washington
20. Utah
21. Baylor
22. Louisville
23. Gonzaga
24. Texas
25. Monmouth

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Blogger Unknown said...

FYI, Marquette has also beaten Arizona State who has been good lately.

Can't argue that Monmouth is deserving, though.

December 21, 2015 at 5:23 PM 
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