Sunday, December 6, 2015

My AP Top 25 this week

While I tend to believe the respective strengths of the American Conference and the Big East will be cyclical things, I admit I thought the AAC would have the upper hand this season.

So far, I'm wrong.

Through the first few weeks of the season, the American hasn't overly distinguished itself. SMU is unbeaten but hasn't played an overwhelming schedule and only beat Yale by two points (though, admittedly, the Bulldogs are pretty good). UConn, which I thought (and still believe) is the cream of the crop, lost to two of the three good teams its faced. Tulsa has losses to Arkansas-Little Rock and Oral Roberts on its resume, and I'm not ready to start taking 5-0 Houston seriously yet.

I figured Cincinnati could be UConn's toughest challenger in the league this season, but the Bearcats lost at home to Butler on Wednesday night. Butler is a very good team, of course. It's also a Big East team. And so far, the Big East has been quite impressive, with big wins from Xavier (at Michigan, vs. Dayton), Providence (Arizona, at URI) and now Butler. Villanova's probably the best of the bunch, though it hasn't played much of a schedule yet. And don't sleep on Georgetown, which did lose to Radford at home but has also near-misses against Maryland and Duke and beat Syracuse this past week.

Of course, the Big East suckered me into believing in it last season before nosediving (again) in the NCAA tournament. Maybe I shouldn't fall for the bait again. I am uneasy having four Big East teams in my Top 25 this week, but based on early season results, it's hard not to justify it.

1. Michigan State
2. Kansas
3. North Carolina
4. Maryland
5. Kentucky
6. Virginia
7. Iowa State
8. Oklahoma
9. Duke
10. Villanova
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Providence
15. Arizona
15. SMU
16. Butler
17. Utah
18. Gonzaga
19. Baylor
20. Syracuse
21. UConn
22. Vanderbilt
23. Cincinnati
24. George Washington
25. West Virginia


Blogger Unknown said...

Dave, how come we haven't seen the same public scrutiny against UNC that we have seen against other schools past and present that have been caught with violations of some sort? Does no one make a big deal about the fact that UNC who is a top 5 ranked team had 20+ years of violations but are still able to play this year in the tournament?

December 7, 2015 at 9:48 AM 
Blogger David Borges said...

I couldn't agree more. It actually taints my objectivity towards the Tar Heels a little bit:

December 7, 2015 at 11:13 AM 

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