Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Keegan: KU overrated after shaky start

December 12, 2006

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Obviously, it's not where a team is ranked during the season that matters, it's where it's seeded come tournament time. Still, as long as a Top 25 is released on a weekly basis, it would be nice for teams to earn their rankings by performance on the court, rather than on reputation.

In a couple of cases in the Associated Press poll released Monday, that wasn't the case.

Defending national champion Florida has destroyed a number of so-so teams, but has lost twice - to Kansas University and to Florida State - and based on its performance this season, doesn't deserve to be ranked No. 5 in the nation.

The next most overrated team, so far? Kansas.

The Jayhawks looked like a Final Four contender in defeating Florida in overtime in Las Vegas, but what else have they done to merit being ranked No. 11 in the country?

Not much. Their second-best victory came in Allen Fieldhouse against a solid USC team. That was a good ugly victory, as opposed to the bad ugly one against undersized Toledo in Kemper Arena.

KU's two losses, at home to Oral Roberts and on the road against DePaul, should have done more damage than they did. Wichita State coach Mark Turgeon was right in surmising that if his team had lost to those two schools, it wouldn't be in the top 50.

DePaul wins at home, but is 0-5 in road games, losing to Bradley by 20 points and Northwestern by 10 points at the start of the season and also losing on the homecourts of Kentucky, Purdue and Alabama-Birmingham.

Oral Roberts has lost to Loyola Marymount, Tulsa, Akron and Georgetown.

A look at four teams ranked behind Florida and KU that deserve to be ranked ahead of them, based on what they've done on the court this season, regardless of how they finished last season or how much was written about them in the preseason magazines:

15. Oklahoma State (11-0): Skilled wide-body Mario Boggan is averaging 20.5 points per game, and JamesOn Curry, looking much better than during his sophomore-slump season, is scoring 17.7 a game. The Cowboys have three quality road victories (Auburn, Missouri State, Syracuse) and have shown they know how to get it done in close games.

As is the case with Texas A&M and Texas, the two other strong teams from the Big 12 South, the Cowboys play Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse, which bodes well for the Jayhawks' chances of finishing with the best record in the Big 12, provided they can dial up their defensive intensity to the level it was at during Big 12 play last season.

16. Gonzaga (9-2): The Bulldogs drilled Washington by 20 points, Texas by 10 points and North Carolina by eight. And their only losses were to once-beaten Washington State and once-beaten Butler.

18. Butler (10-1): These Bulldogs have an even stronger case for moving up the rankings, despite a recent loss at Indiana State. Butler was the hottest team in the nation early, defeating Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee and Gonzaga.

21. Notre Dame (7-1): The lone loss for the Fighting Irish was to Butler, which has been more than offset with victories over Maryland and Alabama.

Chances are KU will be better than each of those four teams in March, but so far they should be ranked behind them.

Comments

Leprechaunking13 8 years, 5 months ago

Keegan, how about we rate you sports journalists cause you come up deadlast in my poll on who should be writing for the LJW sports section. You and Ryan Wood are close but you take the cake,(speaking of which maybe you should lay off the cake and lose a few LBS, seeing as how you are a sports writer you may want to be able to participate in the sports you write about). Thank god you don't write about high school sports, because we all know that you would follow the job that Mr. Ryan Wood did on it and praise Freestate for any and everything and write 2 sentences about LHS sports.

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