Monday, January 21

Top 25 for MLK Day

Okay folks, we're heading into the heart of conference play, and I've compiled a list of the consensus Top 25 teams according to Kenpom, the AP poll, and RPI Forecast, a site that looks at a team's current RPI, looks at the teams it has left to play, and calculates what it thinks will be the rank of everyone's RPIs at the end of the season. Nifty little tool, as it looks beyond wins and losses, but is a little closer to what the average Joe Sports Fan thinks of when he tries to rank teams. Since the AP poll only gave 43 teams votes this week (well, 45 teams, but the bottom three all tied at 43 with one vote), I gave Kenpom and RPI Forecast the chance to give their top 43 teams as well, and then struck any team that was not in all three ballots (if any team wasn't in another's top 43 teams in the country, it isn't deserving of discussion in a Top 25 conversation). 30 teams ended up in all three ballots, and here are the top 25 of those.

1. Kansas
2. Memphis
3. Duke
4. Tennessee
5. North Carolina
7. Washington St.
8. Georgetown
9. Wisconsin
10. Indiana
11. Michigan St.
12. Xavier
13. West Virginia
14. Marquette
15. Texas
16. Pittsburgh
17. Stanford
18. Drake
19. Texas A&M
20. Clemson
21. Mississippi
22. Kansas St.
23. Butler
24. Saint Mary's
25. Gonzaga

Just missed the cut:
Louisville, Oklahoma, Florida, Southern California, Mississippi St.


Anonymous said...

How funny is this: not long after I compared Greg Paulus' flops to soccer players diving in a comment last week, some mailbag comments appear in Grant Wahl's CNNSI column from this week:

After watching Greg Paulus in the Florida State game and basically throughout his career, I'm wondering: Does Coach K actively teach flopping? Paulus is not the first, nor will he be the last, to do this for Duke. To be honest, they make the Italian national soccer team look like the Dick Butkus-era Chicago Bears when it comes to toughness. They are usually talented, so why resort to this bush-league tactic over and over?
-- Kevin, Lexington, Ky.

I went to my brother's high school game the other night and was amazed. It's official! Flopping has finally trickled down to the high-school level. Who do I blame for this? Well, Duke of course. Will the NCAA take steps to prevent so many flops? I feel it really slows down the pace of the game and in turn makes it less exciting.
-- John, Richmond, Va.

For a long time we've advocated establishing a circle under the basket (a la the NBA) to prevent defenders from taking charges right under the hoop. But yes, the general scourge of flopping appears to be worse than ever this season everywhere on the court. I doubt Coach K actually runs drills in practice to teach flops, though the idea of it makes me recall a hilarious TV ad featuring the Italian soccer team working on flops in training. It's clearly time that the NCAA made reducing flops a (you guessed it) point of emphasis for next season. But has anyone noticed that Duke's slashers (Gerald Henderson, Nolan Smith, Demarcus Nelson) do a particularly good job of avoiding contact when they drive hard to the basket? Is there any chance that it's because they face floppers every day in practice? Just wondering.

(And yes, that makes two soccer references in one 'Bag.)


This is not to say Duke isn't a good team, they are, but I just wanted to point this out.
- Cason

Lucy Rebecca said...

after reading this more than once i've gathered that this "flopping" means that the players are just guarding the basket in a circle and not actually doing any sort of i close? because it took some head scratchin to figure out if this comment was about soccer, football,or basketball. that's not a very descriptive name for a sports move that doesn't involve a pool.

but oOOo Chicago Bears reference about toughness there as well.