Sunday, March 1, 2009

basketblogpoll ballot 4

Ballot below. 'Splainin' myself below that. And below that, you tell me why I'm all hosed up.

1Connecticut 1
2North Carolina 1
3Pittsburgh 2
4Memphis 2
5Louisville 3
6Duke 1
7Oklahoma 3
8Kansas 3
9Michigan St. 2
11Wake Forest 4
12Villanova 1
13Clemson 4
14Gonzaga 2
15Purdue 1
16Washington 3
18Marquette 6
19Illinois 1
20Florida St. 1
21Louisiana St. 2
22Brigham Young 3
23Arizona St. 5
25Utah 1
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Utah St. (#22).

- The unfortunate purge of mid-majors continues as Utah State, fresh off the wrong end of a blowout at Nevada, takes the plunge and is replaced by the ultimate not-mid-major, UCLA. I can ignore a loss or two, but Utah State is now just 3-3 in their last six, and plays in a conference that Sagarin rates below three non I-A conferences (the A-10, MVC, and Horizon) and that I think is also below a fourth (CAA).

- West Virginia has basically become the basketball version of LSU on my ballot - a team whose good record in a top conference I think belies a weak resume. If you recall I stubbornly refused to rank LSU in football, insisting that their resume didn't allow it, and then when I finally caved and gave them a spot, they got waxed by Mississippi. I'm not ranking West Virginia because they haven't shown they have the chops to take on top-25 teams. One win against RPI top-25s. You know who else has a win against RPI top-25s? Us. I suspect also that their high computer rankings are partly the result of a lot of blowouts early in the season, like when Huggins activated Grudge Power and ran up the score on Ohio State.

- Now that we're approaching conference tournament season - a few of the bottom-feeding leagues have finished their seasons and are holding their tournaments next week - I'm starting to place a little bit more value on leading your conference; that is, being first in line for punching your auto-ticket to the Dance. This is a big reason why you're seeing up-bumps for teams like Gonzaga, Washington, LSU, Memphis, etc.

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