This was actually a crazy week of college basketball. Kind of snuck up on me, however. Tennessee lost to two midmajors (Oakland and @Charlotte), Louisville went down to Drexel at home, Kansas almost lost at home to USC, UNLV lost to UC-Santa Barbara at home, Illinois-Chicago beat Illinois. Some strange results. I get its basketball and there are ups and downs, but what seemed like a "ho-hum" week, turned into a very interesting one. And there wasn't many games! Most of these were during the week, where there was only 10-20 games/night! That's the way it goes sometimes, and part of the reason why college basketball can be so fun to watch!
I've been doing this for several weeks now, you know how I roll! Let's get to it!
Iowa State Recap:
A pretty quiet week for Iowa State as it was finals week. The Cyclones looked rusty for about 3/4 of the Dartmouth game, before going on a tear to close out the second half (outscored Dartmouth 43-15 in the half). Diante Garrett joined the 1,000 point club, and Bubu Palo had a career high 11 points in 17 minutes of play. Iowa State takes on Chicago State (Chicago is NOT a state!) on Tuesday, before going on a 9 day layoff between games.
Tuesday will be your last chance to see them in Hilton until January 3rd. If you haven't seen them in a minute, I feel your pain. Last game I was able to go to was Cal, and I won't be able to go to another game until January 12th against Kansas. Outside chance I can go on the 3rd, but we will see.
Ken Pomeroy Rankings:
This week: #65, projected to go 19-12 (6-10).
Last week: #70, projected to go 18-13 (6-10).
The lack of changes the last couple of weeks just means Iowa State is performing as expected relative to the model. If we get to 6 regular season conference wins, I'm buying the first round of drinks in March at a local establishment for whoever wants one.
Big 12 Power Rankings, Top 16, and TV Picks After The Jump!
Big 12 Power Rankings:
1. Kansas (1-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #1 last week): Jayhawk fans have Josh Selby to thank for keeping the Jayhawks undefeated in their narrow, 70-68 victory over USC. The Jayhawks travel to Cal this week.
2. Texas A&M (1-0 this week, 10-1 overall, #6 last week): I guess you can say I'm on the A&M bandwagon right now. With Baylor slipping up, K-State seemingly overrated, and Texas being up-and-down, I'm rolling with the Aggies this week. Their sole loss this year was by 2 points to Boston College. They easily could be 11-0 right now. They face Wagner on Tuesday.
3. Texas (1-0 this week, 9-2 overall, #5 last week): Has Texas gotten their act together? I really don't know. They flat out sucked two weeks ago @USC. Since then, they won 3 in a row including a win over UNC, although this isn't the UNC team I grew up watching if you know what I mean. We will find out more about Texas when they travel to Michigan State on Wednesday.
4. Missouri (2-0 this week, 10-1 overall, #4 last week):Two blowouts against teams you should blow out: Oral Roberts (not the same Oral Roberts as in the past) and Central Arkansas. The Tigers have a big one against the Illini this week.
5. Baylor (1-1 this week, 7-1 overall, #2 last week): In the past, losing to Gonzaga wasn't really a horrible thing. This year, however, if you're thinking about winning the conference, you have to beat teams like this at a neutral site. The Bears take on San Diego this week.
6. Kansas State (0-1 this week, 9-2 overall, #3 last week): This team just has not looked that great all year. They have struggled in nearly half their games this year. I'm not sure what the deal is. Pullen has always jacked shots that has made Allen Iverson look like Jason Kidd. They got rolled by Florida yesterday. They'll be looking to bounce back against UNLV and UMKC this week.
7. Oklahoma State (1-0 this week, 10-1 overall, #7 last week): Took down Alabama on Saturday 68-60. The Cowboys are playing well, but are probably the beginning of the third tier of the conference (1st - KU, 2nd - A&M, TX, Mizzou, Baylor, KSU). They've got Stanford this week.
8. Iowa State (1-0 this week, 10-2 overall, #8 last week): They have been shaky the last couple of games, and it really is a toss up between the Cyclones and Huskers for this #8 spot.
9. Nebraska (1-0 this week, 9-2 overall, #9 last week): Took down Eastern Washington 72-42. Face Grambling on Tuesday. Have I mentioned: they have not played a road game yet this year?
10. Colorado (2-0 this week, 7-3 overall, #10 last week): Took care of both The Citadel and Longwood this week. It gets a little more challenging for the Buffs when they take on New Mexico on Wednesday.
11. Oklahoma (0-1 this week, 5-6 overall, #11 last week): Congrats to the Sooners! For the second consecutive week, you are NOT ranked last in my power rankings! They lost by 10 to Cincy, but what puts them at #11 instead of #12 is the fact they are 2-1 in their last three games.
12. Texas Tech (0-1 this week, 5-6 overall, #12 last week): The Red Raiders are on a three game slide, having just lost @UTEP by 11. Perhaps they can turn it around against Texas Arlington this week?
1. Duke (0-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #1 last week): The Bluedevils are back on this week against Elon at home.
2. UConn (0-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #2 last week): The still have maybe the best resume out there in the early stages of the season. Nothing helps your ratings more sometimes than not playing. They've got Coppin St. and Harvard this week.
3. Ohio State (2-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #3 last week): Downed two teams they should: Florida Gulf Coast and South Carolina. If you're a college basketball fan, do yourself a favor and watch the two freshmen Sullinger and Thomas hoop it up! They've got NC Asheville and Oakland this week.
4. Kansas (1-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #4 last week): They are vulnerable, but are just one of a handful of teams still unbeaten.
5. Kentucky (1-0 this week, 8-2 overall, #7 last week): Took down the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State. The cupcakes continue with Winthrop later this week. The three big freshmen Knight, Jones, and Lamb are fun talents to watch. The story will be how their lack of experience fares over the course of the season.
6. San Diego State (1-0 this week, 12-0 overall, #8 last week): Blew out the UC Santa Barbara team that beat UNLV earlier this week, so big ups to them on that. The Aztecs play San Francisco and IUPUI this week.
7. Georgetown (1-0 this week, 10-1 overall, #9 last week): The Hoyas have bounced back from their tough loss to Temple. They beat Loyola MD 99-75 and travel to Memphis this week in what should be a pretty entertaining game!
8. Syracuse (1-0 this week, 11-0 overall, #10 last week): Just edged Iona 83-77 this week, but have the quality wins to be in the Top 10 (UNI, Michigan, GA Tech, Michigan State).
9. Pittsburgh (1-0 this week, 11-1 overall, #11 last week): Well, that loss at home to Tennessee a week ago looks worse than it did a week ago, but I'm not going to dock them for that too much. This is a team that could win the Big East. The Panthers take on American this week, and I'm already looking ahead to the week after that, when they face UConn!
10. BYU (0-1 this week, 10-1 overall, #5 last week): The lost a tough one to UCLA on Saturday, a game you have to win if you want to be taken seriously on the national stage. BYU stays this high because most other teams have slipped up more than once, and some have twice this week alone (Tennessee). They've got Weber St and UTEP this week.
11. Purdue (1-0 this week, 10-1 overall, NR last week): I've been in denial about this team, mostly because I thought a lot of the hype was from Robbie Hummel. They don't have a lot of big wins yet, but they have a pretty good record, and seem to be playing well. They've got IUPU Fort Wayne in their last non-conference game of the year.
12. Wisconsin (1-0 this week, 9-2 overall, #16 last week): Took down UW-Green Bay 70-56. They have one more tune-up against Coppin St., before opening up Big 10 play the following week.
13. West Virginia (1-0 this week, 8-2 overall, NR last week): The Mountaineers debut on my rankings for the first time this year. They have wins over Vanderbilt, Oakland, Duquesne, and just beat a pretty good Cleveland St. team on Saturday, in their last non-conference game. I'm not sure where this team will be at down the road, but they seem like an OK choice for this week. Big East play is going to be a tough one for all the teams!
14. Florida (1-0 this week, 8-2 overall, NR last week): The Gators also debut on my rankings this year as well. Florida St and K-State are nice wins for the non-con. The did get rolled by Ohio State and lost to Central Florida as well, so I do not think the Gators are serious contenders this year. We will see though.
15. Louisville (1-1 this week, 9-1 overall, #13 last week): So they lose to Drexel, but only drop 1. What gives? Well, Tennessee and UNLV slipping this week helps. Also, when I look at their schedule, I think all their games are winnable if they play well. They go to Western Kentucky this week.
16. Texas A&M (1-0 this week, 10-1 overall, NR last week): I've been impressed with the Aggies this year. They have 3 nice wins (Temple, Washington, Arkansas), and could easily be undefeated right now.
Drop Outs: Tennessee, Illinois, UNLV, Baylor
Also Considered: Vanderbilt, Illinois, Michigan St., Minnesota
I also want to add, I'm not a Big East or Big 10 homer at all. I actually grew up more of an ACC fan, so if I'm biased towards any conference other than the Big 12, it is that one. That said, I just think the Big East and Big 10 right now are the two best conferences, at least at the top to top-middle, which is why half the teams are from either the Big East or Big 10.
Notable Games On TV:
Monday - None
Tuesday - UNLV vs. K-State, 8pm CST, ESPN2
Wednesday - Texas vs. Michigan State, 6pm CST, ESPN2; Mizzou vs. Illinois, 8pm CST, ESPN2
Thursday - Georgetown vs. Memphis, 7pm CST, ESPN2
Friday, Saturday, Sunday - None
But who knows? Last week, I never though Drexel vs. Louisville would be compelling, yet it was! On Friday-Sunday, however, there are literally no games on.