Archive for Monday, February 21, 2011

Now who’s college basketball’s No. 1? Topsy-turvy week provides proof of parity

February 21, 2011

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The college basketball week started with Jacob Pullen totaling 38 points, five assists and two steals to spark Kansas State’s double-digit upset Monday of No. 1 Kansas, and it ended Sunday with E’Twaun Moore totaling 38 points, five assists and two steals to lead Purdue to a double-digit victory against Ohio State.

In between those games, No. 3 Texas lost at Nebraska, No. 4 Pittsburgh fell to giant-killer St. John’s, No. 8 Notre Dame took a double-digit beating at West Virginia, No. 9 Georgetown lost at UConn, and No. 10 Wisconsin lost at Purdue.

And I’m expected to figure this all out and e-mail a Top-25 ballot to the Associated Press? I’m not even smart enough to figure out how Sherron Collins possibly could think it a good idea to wear a Cleveland Cavaliers cap to Saturday’s game in Allen Fieldhouse when the owner of the team that pays Collins, the Charlotte Bobcats, is Michael Jordan, one of the most competitive athletes of all-time. My guess is a Detroit Pistons cap never has made its way to the top of Jordan’s head. Shoe-company gear he wore unabashedly, but caps from competing teams? Sherron’s fashion choice isn’t the most remarkable thing he ever did in Allen Fieldhouse — last season’s performance against Baylor topped it — but it has to rank right up there.

Filling out the ballot this late in the season usually is about as relaxing as a long, sweet ride on Willie Nelson’s tour bus, which I would imagine is the closest thing we have on earth to angel’s wings, as far as modes of transportation are concerned. The music on those rides must sound amazing.

Now, the college basketball scene is so upside-down that Ohio State, which has lost two of its last three games, actually moves up on my ballot, from No. 2 to No. 1. It was more difficult for a school to hold its spot at the bottom of the rankings than at the top.

Parity, steadily creeping into college basketball ever since one-and-dones became so prominent, has reached an all-time high. This past week, the rich got poorer, the poor richer. The top 10 teams in the AP Top 25 went 11-7, and the bottom 10 nearly went undefeated, going 19-1.

Last week’s poll featured four different teams landing first-place votes: No. 3 Texas had the most with 23, followed by No. 1 Kansas (22), No. 2 Ohio State (14) and No. 4 Pittsburgh (6).

So who’s going to be No. 1 this week? Seth Davis, speaking on CBS after Purdue knocked off the Buckeyes, said he would put No. 5 Duke, which didn’t get any first-place votes, at the top of his ballot. Former Ohio State great Clark Kellog said he thought Texas was the most deserving of the top ranking.

One voter put Brigham Young No. 5 on his ballot last week. It’s conceivable he could leap-frog the Cougars all the way to No. 1. Five voters had San Diego State No. 5 a week ago. The Aztecs could wind up No. 1 on some ballots. As many as seven different schools could get a first-place vote.

The tightening of the field should make for a particularly interesting Selection Sunday and a riveting NCAA Tournament packed with buzzer-beaters and overtime contests. But I’m stalling at this point, procrastinating the torturous task of putting the teams in order. The top 10 on the ballot I’m about to e-mail: 1. Ohio State, 2. Kansas, 3. Duke, 4. Texas, 5. Pittsburgh, 6. San Diego State, 7. BYU, 8. Purdue, 9. Arizona, 10. Notre Dame.

Comments

bballwizard 4 years, 3 months ago

Tom, I like you stuff but since Texas beat us and is 11 and 1 in the Big 12 I have to put Texas in front of us. Its going to play out that if we win our next three and get to Missouri @ 28 and 2, the if can we win at Missouri we will return to number one because Duke is going to get beat by our buddy Roy their last game. Now I am assuming that we will be number 2 today. The loss at K State was so bad and on National TV we might drop further. So SDSU or BYU might slip in front of us. We have to win out and get to beat Texas in Big 12 championship game or we will not get number 1 seed.

xfitter 4 years, 3 months ago

Keegan, please no fashion advice and get a new day job that isn't comedy. Why would you leap frog Ohio St? Their loss last night though not as bad as ours to KSU was something that shouldn't have happened and plus the loss to Wisconsin 2 games prior shouldn't have them leap frogging anyone they go down to 5. Duke and SDSU will move up most likely atleast a spot a piece and everything will change only slightly is my prediction...

hesshawk 4 years, 3 months ago

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xfitter 4 years, 3 months ago

Do you also approve of Jacob Pullen standing on the press box holding 2 fingers stating that he beat KU twice?! Haha and yes i have heard fans complain about officiating after a hawks win, for both sides of the game. The problem with you is that you probably sit there and b**** about KU allllllllll the time and when someone doesn't root for Kstate you cant figure out why anyone would not root for them. KSU fans are right at the same level as Missouri fans at this point, after a steady decline. Pretty sad for all of your athletics that you have to ride KU's coat tails to even have any sort of competitive programs or money for athletics at all. NIT showing or early NCAA exit will be extremely detrimental to KSU basketball program, enjoy that win especially since its 2 out of what 30 tries on YOUR homecourt?! Hey all the best in your game against Texas though, if that ends up as a W for KSU then at least you can redeem yourselves a little bit! Have fun with that bone we threw you a week ago!

bocktar 4 years, 3 months ago

First, I agree with hesshawk. "Sad person" indeed.

Second, I'll take the flamebait.

It's rare to watch any NCAA basketball game anymore (even with teams you don't follow) without walking away shaking your head about how bad it's been called... either because of inconsistency or incompetence. The only game I've personally watched this year where that wasn't the case was NU @ KU.

When you compound this overall problem with getting John Higgins (the worst official in college basketball, objectively by the atypical mass of complaints you can find about him, including several websites dedicated to keeping track of how bad he is), you get the first half of KU @ KSU.

KU lost the second half all on its own, and had every chance to beat the kitty kats despite the 1st half officiating, but failed. You can't blame that on anyone but KU or Jacob Pullen, who played lights out.

One could theorize based on the obsevation of KSU fan behavior that they can't see bad officiating because as a broad overgeneralization, they don't understand what's going on. I bet if you get Frank Martin in a private setting speaking candidly and off the record, he'd tell you how much Higgins needs to go, despite the fact that...

Last week, KSU fans stormed the floor with time on the clock. This is very rare (time is nearly always expired). The NCAA rulebook clearly states that not only is this a technical foul, but also that if the floor isn't cleared in a timely manner so that play can continue/conclude, that it constitutes a forfieture by the home team.

xfitter 4 years, 3 months ago

Higgins was the one that wouldn't speak to a calm Bill Self in the first half when he asked a question about one of his calls. You can see the ref turn around with his arms folded and read his lips saying "nope, nope, nope...." just like a little kid who doesn't want to be told or proven he was wrong. Didn't realize that about the clock with the floor being rushed, something to look over for the NCAA though!

Jama Crady Maxfield 4 years, 3 months ago

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Duke will likely be #1, but the first-, second-, third- and fourth-place votes will likely be spread among at least 4 other teams, so the order following Duke is nearly impossible to predict, and it could even be that the #1 team has very few first-place votes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

They are useless, but it's something to talk about. Like the weather.

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