|1||Ohio St. Buckeyes||--|
|5||Duke Blue Devils||-2|
|7||San Diego St. Aztecs||-2|
|9||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||6|
|15||Texas A&M Aggies||-2|
|17||Minnesota Golden Gophers||-3|
|20||North Carolina Tar Heels||--|
|23||West Virginia Mountaineers||--|
|25||Utah State Aggies||--|
|Honorable Mentions: None. No, I’m serious this time.|
This week was a total disaster. Everyone lost. Teams in the polls went 22-20. It easily could've been 20-22 had Northwestern held on against Ohio State and Rutgers seal the deal against Pitt. That's just what kind of week it was. That led me to overrate the A-10 to avoid keeping losers from the bottom five in again. Explanations and a ludicrous alley-oop after the jump.
- Ohio State (22-0) throttled Purdue and somehow escaped against Northwestern (when the Wildcats’ star John Shurna sat out). Wins pretty much offset. Ohio State is clearly the team to beat this season even if they’re not as invincible as their record.
- Texas (18-3) handily beat Oklahoma State and Missouri to remain unbeaten in conference play. Big game today at Texas A&M.
- Kansas (20-1) escaped at Colorado and demoralized Kansas State. Couple of good chances to pick up two more road wins this week.
- Pitt (20-2) took a tough loss to Notre Dame at home before sneaking by Rutgers on the road. They probably should drop further than this, but all of the top ten losses make it tough to justify moving anyone else up. Notre Dame really took advantage of high pick and rolls against a Pitt defense that didn’t look comfortable stopping penetration.
- Duke (19-2) got absolutely blitzed at Madison Square Garden by Saint Johns. But it looked more like a statistical aberration than true call for concern from Blue Devil fans. I doubt there will be another game all season that Duke starts 1-21 from three (the team was shooting over 40% on the season). That said, Duke should still be concerned about Saint Johns’ ability to score at will. Still a work in progress.
- Connecticut (17-3) needed a Kemba Walker miracle shot...and didn’t get it in their double overtime loss at Louisville. The Huskies also beat Marquette on the road.
- San Diego State (21-1) lost a tough game at BYU with Kawhi Leonard battling the flue (he was on an IV right before the game). With a healthy Leonard I think it’s a much better game (I also think they win the rematch).
- BYU (20-2) got a big win over San Diego State before a let-down loss at New Mexico. Tough to hurt the Cougars for going into the Pit and losing, but it’s very clear that Jimmer Fredette needs to put up 30+ against good teams if BYU is going to win. That won’t cut it come tournament time when teams can just go for lockdown defense. BYU’s supporting cast is going to have to man up.
- Notre Dame (17-4) got a huge win at Pitt and a solid one against Marquette. Their game plan was pretty clear against the Panthers: slow it down. The game sported a ludicrously low 48 possessions. There are still questions about Mike Brey’s team, but there’s no question he needs to be in the coach of the year discussion.
- Kentucky (16-4) held off Georgia’s rally to move to 4-2 in conference play. The youth of this team shows in its inconsistencies, but the talent is undeniable.
- Missouri (17-4) took one on the chin in Austin this week, but that’s been pretty par for the course for Big 12 teams this year.
- Purdue (18-4) got exposed at Ohio State (which didn’t particularly surprise me) and got a much needed win over Minnesota. I still have major questions about this team’s softness, especially for a Matt Painter team. They’re really, really good but not complete.
- Georgetown (16-5) dominated Saint Johns and edged out Villanova on the road. Hard to tell anything about the Saint Johns win, but the Johnnies have blowout wins over Duke and Notre Dame so that’s something. This Georgetown team has serious flaws inside, but they’re starting not to require great nights out of Chris Wright and Austin Freeman to come away with a win.
- Villanova (17-4) had a nightmarish week. I probably should’ve dropped them more for a loss at Providence, but I chose not to kill teams for road losses (I had to choose some kind of loss). They also lost a close one to Georgetown at home. Jay Wright needs to take care that he keeps this team moving in the right direction. A couple of home games this week might help.
- Texas A&M (17-3) lost at Nebraska in their only game of the week. That loss isn’t as bad as it sounds (Nebraska is a tough win anywhere, ask Kansas), but the Aggies are starting to look suspicious on the road. Huge revenge game tonight against Texas should be fun to watch.
- Wisconsin (15-5) lost at Penn State. Again, I don’t want to kill anyone for road losses in conference. It happens every year. But when it becomes a trend (hello, Michigan State), it becomes a problem. Two huge games coming up for the Badgers with Purdue and Michigan State in Madison.
- Minnesota (16-5) lost at Purdue. But they only have two really tough games left on the schedule (home against Ohio State and home against Illinois). Assuming they can split those, the Gophers could have a very strong record going into the conference tournament. That said, this team is falling apart at the seams, so they could be running on fumes. We can only wait and see.
- Washington (15-5) gets rewarded for losing at Wazzu and beating up on the middling Pac 10. I recognize this team has gobs of talent and Isaiah Thomas has been playing out of his mind, but they have yet to instill any confidence that they can win big games. But imagine this team if they had gotten Terrence Jones...
- Syracuse (18-4) officially has lost its wheels. The Orange have lost their last four and play at UConn this Wednesday. This team is starting to look a lot like Texas last year. Losses to Pitt and Nova I can understand, but being blown out by Seton Hall at home?
- North Carolina (15-5) is our token second team from the ACC this week. Quietly they’ve won five of their first six in conference play. And really the only inexcusable loss on the Tar Heel resume is a 20 point blowout at Georgia Tech (and I’m not killing people for conference games). They’ve won against Kentucky and Virginia Tech (and played Texas to the final possession).
- Arizona (18-4) has feasted on a down Pac 10. They don’t have any great wins (though at Wazzu looks pretty good considering Washington’s loss there), but there’s clearly a lot of talent here (and his name is Derrick Williams).
- Xavier (15-5) has good wins at Richmond, against Temple and against Butler. They’re also 7-0 in A-10 play. Tu Holloway is a beast.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (14-6) lost a heartbreaker at Louisville and got a strong win at Cincinnati. Unfortunately for Bob Huggins, his Big East schedule is backloaded with games against Nova, Pitt (twice), Syracuse, Notre Dame, UConn and Louisville still remaining. We’ll know a lot more after a few weeks.
- Duquesne Dukes (15-5) has a dearth of great wins. But all 15 of their wins are in double digits, and the Dukes are undefeated in A-10 play.
- Utah St. Aggies (20-2) literally haven’t beaten anyone of note. They played BYU close on the road and have dominated conference play. This team will be a total enigma come tournament time.