Blue Devils

January 29, 2014 Basketball # , , , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through January 28

There have been a ton of shake-ups through the ranks over the past two days, with the biggest move being Michigan State’s reclaiming of the fourth #1 seed with their shorthanded win at Iowa last night. The Spartans were able to pick up a pivotal road win, in overtime, without Adreian Payne or Branden Dawson. They weren’t the only team to pick up a high profile conference road win, though. The Duke Blue Devils won by 15 at Pitt and climbed three spots in the process. Pitt, on the other hand, took a tumble from #7 to #13.

I don’t have much else to add right now. I’ve been working from home for the past two days due to the inclement weather in the South, which has, oddly enough, given me less time to watch basketball and do writing. With that said, here’s a look at today’s Top 40.

2014Jan28 - Top 40

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January 26, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through January 26

We have a new projected #1 seed after Saturday’s games, as Michigan St. falls to #9 overall, with Villanova taking over their spot on the top line. The more likely story, however, is that the Spartans loss to Michigan won’t carry a ton of weight come seeding time, as State was without Adreain Payne (118 ORTG) and Branden Dawson (119.3 ORTG). Losses from games with injured players tend to be weighted differently and this is the perfect example. Michigan St. falls five spots, but I don’t think that matches the true perception.

The other major drop in the rankings came from Xavier’s loss at Providence. The Musketeers fell from #28 to #37. Xavier should be fine; the only loss they have that really stings is the November slip-up against USC. The issue with Xavier is that their future schedule lines up with a lot of coin flip type games. If they find themselves on the wrong side of  those 50/50s, there’s no telling what could happen.

Now, on to the risers. Texas makes the biggest jump, moving from #39 to #32. The Longhorns have been on fire the past two weeks, picking up four of their best five wins since January 13 (Note: their best win was December 18 at North Carolina). They currently rank #24 in the to-date rankings, but are expected to slide for two reasons. One, they aren’t particularly good. Two, their schedule closing out the season is pretty difficult. This hot streak has done a lot for their resume, but they still aren’t guarantees for anything.

The other major movers all had slightly smaller climbs. Florida moved up three spots to #6, Michigan bumped themselves up #8 from #12 and Duke jumped to #14. I’ll touch on Duke quickly because I’m a Blue Devils fan and that’s more interesting to me. They’ve been hot lately, but are about to hit the hardest back to back set of anyone in college basketball. Consecutive road games with Pittsburgh and Syracuse are a terror, but they make for a win/win proposition. Two losses are a likely scenario and there’s no shame in dropping to conference road games to top 10 (by my standards) teams. But picking up a win here, particularly against Syracuse, could strap a rocket to Duke’s ass.

Like before, here is the end of season Top 40:

2014Jan26 - Top 40

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