College Basketball Rankings Ep. III: The Return of the Jayhawks
Guy Topic: Sports
Here is what you need to know this week about college basketball rankings. Prepare yourself with the essentials as we give you LTCL’s top 5 picks of the week.
Somethings change; somethings stay the same. College Basketball is the direct opposite of a stagnant, backed-up creek, so we at LTCL have a new top 5 coming at you this week!
This past week of college basketball has been crazier than the idea of selfless Kardashian. 50% of the top 10 teams losing will do that, though. We’ll waste no time and go ahead, diving head first into Extreme Makeover: College Basketball Edition. Our top 5 from last week desperately needed a facelift.
College Basketball Rankings
We really, REALLY, wanted to put Syracuse in this position. You can’t blame them for losing on the road to a Villanova team that suddenly seems to have figured out basketball as a whole (Nova won back to back games against top 5 teams after dropping a game to Providence, and losing three in a row overall.) Despite the Big East being relatively down, we still figured they’d slip up once or twice before the end of the year. But this isn’t about the Orange; it’s about the mid-major powerhouse Gonzaga Bulldogs. This team has arguably been playing the best basketball of any team that Mark Few has coached, and their only two losses have come to Illinois (back when they were hot and undefeated) and Butler (by 1 on a last second buzzer beater.) The Zags biggest opponent until the Big Dance starts is themselves. The WCC doesn’t feature any ranked teams besides Gonzaga; it wouldn’t surprise me if St. Mary’s could knock off the Zags, but this team seems too good to let that happen. Win out, and Mark Few’s squad just might have a #2 seed or better.
While you weren’t looking, Florida has pulled off eight straight wins along with a good old fashioned man-handling of top 25 Missouri. They have a big game coming up against the other top 25 SEC team, Ole Miss, this saturday, but the game lost some luster when Ole Miss couldn’t complete the comeback earlier this week against Kentucky (the top non-ranked contender for the SEC title.) This Florida team is probably the best since the squad that repeated in ’06 and ’07. Strong seniors and experience (back to back Elite Eight appearances) could be the reason the Gators make the Final Four.
Is it weird that despite a top 3 ranking (in both the AP and our poll) Indiana seems to have disappointed based on the season so far. Their losses haven’t been bad (Butler and Wisconsin,) but so much hype surrounded the preseason #1 that it feels like they have’t lived up to it (which is definitely not true.) Indiana will definitely pull a Ludacris and be “comin’ for that numba one spot” if the Hoosiers can beat Michigan in a huge showdown this Saturday. It also doesn’t hurt that the game is in Bloomington, where the Hoosiers have been dominant this season (minus the Wisconsin faux pas.) Look for Victor Oladipo to prove that he’s the best player on the loaded Hoosiers and regain the always-changing favorite status to win the title.
Some may feel that we’ve slighted Michigan by putting them at number 2. It’s not that we haven’t been impressed with the Wolverines; it’s just that we’ve been more impressed with the Jayhawks. The ball is in Michigan’s court (no pun intended) this weekend. A win against Indiana in Bloomington will lock up Michigan in our top spot next week, but that is much easier said than done. Trey Burke will also increase his lead in the POY race, but I’m sure he’d just be happy with the win. A loss will by no means set Big Blue back, but a win will definitely give them a leg up on the rest of America for a #1 seed come March.
Kansas has not lost since their second game of the season, which was against the Fighting Izzos from Michigan State. That’s enough for us to lock them in as our #1 pick for the week. We had a strong desire to put them on top a week ago, but still leaned towards Duke. Our mistake. You can’t entirely blame Duke for losing to Miami (FL); Miami is one of the hottest teams in the country and Duke wasn’t (and still isn’t) at full strength. You can blame them for losing by 27 points though. Regardless, Kansas is poised to win their ∞ Big 12 title in a row (at least it feels that way.) They’re toughest games remaining on the schedule are dates at home vs. K-State and in Waco vs. Baylor. They’ve beaten both of these teams already (Baylor quite handily), but there could also be some upset in the works. We’ll believe the loss when we see it, though. For now, the Jayhawks are the kings of college basketball.
There you have it, these are our college basketball rankings of the week. We want to know who you have your eye on. Let us know with a comment below: