NCAA Rankings, 1/18/10

The big story this week is Purdue crapping out and dropping three in a row. I was perfectly content a week ago to give them the loss to Wisconsin, as no one goes undefeated. Ohio State’s a quality team as well (and they crack the top 25 this week; beating the two best teams in your conference sort of demands that), but Northwestern lies in the dregs of the Big Ten and that loss (and current trend) are more than enough to drop them from first to third (bordering on fourth) seed. I could still see them in a Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin, but they’re going to have to right the ship. Though Wisconsin has that loss now on their record, ironically it’s Purdue that helps bump them over West Virginia, whose loss combined with a plummet of Purdue (and a still pretty bad loss to ND) slides them down. State remains atop the conference’s standings, but a trip to Minnesota next weekend should tell whether or not they belong there or if they’re just waiting around to fall so ungracefully as Purdue did.

Texas gets their worth tested tonight against Kansas State, but they and Kansas are still atop both their conference and the entire basketball world. Today, I’d bank on Kansas beating Texas in Texas at the beginning of February. K State, Missouri, and Baylor all wait in the wings for one of them to fall down, but I doubt that happens. The conference to watch, though, might be the ACC, which is a heck of a lot deeper and will have a bunch of teams within one game of .500 in conference. Expect a few of the last at-large teams in to make big shows in the ACC tournament and sneak in over some deserving mid-majors. The bloated Big East should send plenty as well, and the SEC has their still perfect yet not as impressive Kentucky (stop turning the ball over, guys) leading their charge. The Pac-10 is a plain disappointment so far.

BYU leads the mid-major pool, and I’d give them an okay shot at going through conference play undefeated and sweeping the Mountain West conference. A 30-win regular season is in sight, as is a potential #1 seed should anyone up top slip. Northern Iowa hasn’t slipped up yet, and their match against Wichita State tomorrow night poses their biggest stumbling block to a flawless conference record. Outside of those two, though, the mid-major at-large pool is a little slimmer than in previous years. Gonzaga, Temple, Butler, and Dayton are all knocking on those doors, but the pool is slim otherwise.

TW (LW) Team
1 (1) Texas
2 (2) Kansas
3 (4) Duke
4 (5) Syracuse
5 (6) BYU
6 (7) Kentucky
7 (9) Kansas State
8 (12) Villanova
9 (10) Wisconsin
10 (8) West Virginia
11 (13) Michigan State
12 (3) Purdue
13 (11) Tennessee
14 (15) Pittsburgh
15 (14) Georgetown
16 (16) Temple
17 (20) Clemson
18 (18) Northern Iowa
19 (NR) Gonzaga
20 (NR) Vanderbilt
21 (17) Baylor
22 (22) Georgia Tech
23 (19) Missouri
24 (24) Wake Forest
25 (NR) Ohio State