College basketball top 25: Purdue is No. 1, Arizona and Texas rise, UNC sinks

College basketball top 25: Purdue is No. 1, Arizona and Texas rise, UNC sinks

We are actually three weeks into the faculty basketball season. Week 1 was uncomfortable. Week 2 bought attention-grabbing. Week 3 was a celebration. We had a poor quantity early on, however since that workforce has misplaced a couple of video games, it is a good time to clear the deck, hit the reset button, and shake off the snow globe.

In different phrases, we’re beginning over.

This is a cleansing train that I ought to most likely do a couple of occasions every season. I reset my rankings with a heavy emphasis on groups which have scored necessary wins, ideally away from residence. Here’s the way it all shook out:

Seth Davis’ Top 25 for Monday, November twenty eighth

Abandoned: Saint Mary’s (23), Dayton (25)

Almost Famous: Drake, Iowa, Saint Louis, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Xavier

Notes on votes

• We begin from the top. I’ve seen lots of sentiment (and a couple of votes) for Texas at No. 1, primarily based solely on the Longhorns’ 93-74 rout of Gonzaga in Austin on Nov. 16. By that measure, Purdue must be ranked forward of Texas as a result of the Boilermakers beat the Zags by 18 factors on a impartial courtroom. Additionally, whereas Texas’ different wins got here in opposition to weak groups, Purdue additionally has neutral-court wins over West Virginia and Duke, in addition to a 75-70 residence victory over Marquette. The solely argument in favor of Texas is in metric. The Longhorns are the no. 1 in KenPom and no. 3 in BartTorvik; Purdue is seventh and eighth, respectively. (BartTorvik solely makes use of knowledge from this season, whereas KenPom nonetheless consists of knowledge from final season.) If you are going to use these metrics on the precise efficiency of those groups, then I’m probably not certain we will be buddies. Wherever you place your vote, Purdue must be forward of Texas.

• I’m typically defensive of my workforce no. 1. I do not prefer to take away a workforce from that place except they lose (though I’ve carried out so on uncommon events). That’s why I left North Carolina there regardless that it was exhausting to place away mediocre groups the primary two weeks. I did this realizing that issues would shake themselves out in Portland. And they did, because the Tar Heels misplaced to Iowa State (by 5) and Alabama (in 4 overtimes). North Carolina is twenty first and twentieth in KenPom and BartTorvik, respectively, so I felt comfy dropping it as little as I did. I additionally do not consider Iowa State’s win was a fluke, so I made certain to depart the Cyclones earlier than The Tar Heels.

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UNC’s upset loss to Iowa State reminds us that the season is totally different and so are the Tar Heels.

• I had Houston at No. 2 final week, and underneath regular voting guidelines, it could routinely transfer as much as No. 1. But for those who take a look at the physique of labor right here, the Cougars do not match my top 5 groups. They have been pushed very exhausting by Kent State on Saturday, and they have been overwhelming as they received at Oregon on Nov. 20. The Cougars have some high quality alternatives arising within the subsequent two weeks in opposition to Saint Mary’s, Alabama and Virginia. If they’re nonetheless unbeaten behind them, there is an opportunity they might be the no. 1 on my poll.

• Arizona (No. 5 BartTorvik, No. 10 KenPom) was boosted by its Maui wins over Cincinnati, San Diego State and Creighton. You beat two ranked groups in two days on a impartial subject, it’s a must to make an enormous bounce. Creighton beat Texas Tech and Arkansas and solely misplaced to Arizona by a bucket, so the Bluejays hit the street for the journey.

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• Tennessee was difficult. On the one hand, the Volunteers beat Butler, USC and Kansas to win the Battle 4 Atlantis regardless of being with out their main scorer, Josiah-Jordan James, who was out with a knee damage. On the opposite hand, they misplaced on Nov. 13 to Colorado, which has misplaced to Grambling State, UMass and Boise State this season. I felt Tennessee deserved to be ranked forward of the Jayhawks, so I gave them a half mulligan for shedding to the Buffaloes. Anyone can have an off night time, however not many groups can do what the Vols simply did within the Bahamas.

• UConn regarded terrific in profitable the Phil Knight Invitational with wins over Oregon, Alabama and Iowa State. The Huskies are No. 8 in KenPom and the No. 21 in BartTorvik. You might say they need to be ranked increased, however at the least I ranked them forward of the groups they beat in Portland. UConn does not play a ranked workforce once more till Jan. 7 in opposition to Creighton at residence, so it will likely be powerful for the Huskies to develop that a lot over the following six weeks.

• Let’s be trustworthy, if we have been going by present resume alone, Kentucky would haven’t any probability to be ranked. The Wildcats’ 4 wins are over Howard, Duquesne, South Carolina State and North Florida (with losses to Michigan State and Gonzaga). However, everyone knows they’ve good gamers, and they’re #4 in KenPom and #9 in BartTorvik. The Wildcats have two large neutral-site video games in opposition to Michigan on Dec. 4 in London and UCLA on Dec. 17 at Madison Square Garden. If they lose to the Wolverines, they are going to nearly definitely drop out of the rankings.

• It’s unusual to me that Indiana coach Mike Woodson did not enter his workforce into any prestigious Thanksgiving week tournaments. The Hoosiers have performed one recreation in opposition to a workforce ranked above 250 in KenPom; this was a two level win over Xavier. Indiana performs at residence in opposition to North Carolina on Wednesday, however that recreation is being pressured as a result of it is a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. If the Hoosiers cannot beat a troublesome North Carolina workforce at residence, then that would actually shake their confidence. The Assembly Hall might be shocked at that.

• In phrases of my Almost Famous checklist, Wisconsin was one Bobby Pettiford layup (his solely bucket of the sport!) away from beating Kansas. If they hold profitable that recreation, they’re positively ranked. Devastation, I do know, however a loss is a loss, and the Badgers nonetheless haven’t got a win over a ranked workforce. Plus, their metrics are meh (No. 40 KenPom, No. 46 BartTorvik). They have a fairly difficult schedule arising that presents good alternatives (Marquette and Iowa on the street, Wake Forest and Maryland at residence). Xavier most likely leads the nation in high quality losses (two to Indiana, seven to Duke, 4 to Gonzaga). The Musketeers have expertise, tenacity and expertise, so I’d be shocked in the event that they did not break into the top 25 sooner or later this season.

(Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer Photo: Im Soobum/Getty Images)

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