After a slew of losses this week, the talk has turned to Duke West (yes, that’s how we refer to Gonzaga in these parts) being next week’s #1 team. While I certainly don’t believe that they are the #1 team in the country, they do hold the claim as the last undefeated. Sure, they have what seem to be some good wins over Arizona (without Trier), Florida and Iowa State (both currently unranked).
BUT, Duke West has some serious flaws in their resume. First, they have yet to play a team on the road inside the RPI Top 100. If they beat St. Mary’s on the road on Feb. 11, then we can talk.
Second, they have seven Top 100 wins currently. How many other teams have at least seven Top 100 wins? TWENTY-FIVE!
Third, look at the teams ahead of Duke West. On a neutral floor, who would you take? Yes, I know I have Arizona really high. Remember, they didn’t have Trier when Duke West barely beat them.
Fourth, and most importantly, wouldn’t you think that Duke West would go out and REALLY challenge themselves knowing that they play in a terrible conference? Their non-conference strength of schedule is 50. Decent, but not #1 seed worthy right now.
Here’s how 1-68 line up going into a lackluster weekend slate.
1. Baylor – They have rebounded nicely after the 29 turnover fiasco against WVU.
2. Villanova – When you look at your schedule to see who is next after losing to Marquette and see Virginia…
3. Kansas – This may still be a little high, but everyone else keeps losing too.
4. Arizona – Too high? Nope.
5. Kentucky – Somewhat surprised that they lost to someone in the SEC not named Florida. Kansas may be in a world of hurt tomorrow.
6. UNC – Since the ACC opening loss to Georgia Tech, the Heels have looked dominant.
7. Oregon – I almost dropped them 10 slots because of this…
8. Florida State – Sure, they just got their brains beat in by Georgia Tech. Let’s call that one a letdown after playing six straight ranked teams.
9. Gonzaga – See above.
10. Butler – Lead the country with 14 Top 100 wins. They also lost to Indiana St. and St. John’s. HOW?
11. Virginia – %&$* Tony Bennett and his ability to castrate Notre Dame.
12. Louisville – Hope you had the Cards and the points against Pitt. What a beating.
13. West Virginia – They may need to cool it with these big home wins…
14. UCLA – Well, maybe they are the Houston Rockets of college basketball…not Golden State.
15. Purdue – If I were a Purdue season-ticket holder, I’d probably utter “Give the ball to Swanigan” at least 50 times a game.
16. Notre Dame – GT beats FSU by 22. ND gets crushed by Virginia. ND plays GT tomorrow. I like our chances.
17. Wisconsin – They may be the same team as Notre Dame.
18. Cincinnati – One of our few followers on Twitter (a Bearcats fan) commented that a so-called expert thinks their ceiling is a 4 seed even if they win out. That’s just completely absurd. Duke West has seven Top 100 wins. Cincinnati…eight.
19. Maryland – It starts to get real for the Terps now…at Minn, at OSU and Purdue coming up.
20. Duke – Coach K took away their ability to wear Duke clothing after the loss to NC State. I’d gain a little respect for him if he took the “Duke” off their jerseys on Saturday at Wake. Here’s how I feel about their struggles…
21. SMU – Sunday, Feb. 12. Cincy at SMU. Must see TV.
22. St. Mary’s – If they lose to Duke West two more times, will they be back on the bubble? The win at Dayton is going to help them immensely.
23. S. Carolina – PJ Dozier is back after missing the Kentucky game due to injuries sustained running one of Frank Martin’s “errands.”
24. Creighton – Things certainly aren’t going well after losing Watson.
25. Northwestern – We get it, a lot of you journalists went to Northwestern and are happy they are going to make the tournament. Don’t collapse…
26. Florida – This year’s favorite team of the computers. When you see them higher elsewhere, remember that they lost at home to Vanderbilt.
27. Marquette – Pretty impressive week for (vomit) Wojo’s guys.
28. Virginia Tech – After BC on Sunday, the Hokies have a 5-game gauntlet to get through.
29. Xavier – Impressive performance by Bluiett against Cincy, but they have to start winning basketball games.
30. Michigan – Beating IU by 30, and the lack of quality in the bottom half of the at-large pool, moves you up fast.
31. USC – The latest team to take advantage of UCLA’s Ole! defense.
32. VCU – I still don’t know how they lost to Fordham.
33. Dayton – Tough one for Mike’s Flyers after they looked like world beaters early against VCU. They’ll be fine. Game shifted when Scoochie Smith picked up his 2nd foul with the Flyers up eight in the first half.
34. Minnesota – Well, maybe the Gophers are the computer’s favorite son. 3-5 in conference, and RPI #20.
35. Indiana – What on Earth was that performance in Ann Arbor last night? The Hoosiers really should be much better than they are (even without O.G.).
36. Iowa State – With all that is going on with the Bulls, do you think they’d take Fred Hoiberg back?
37. Middle Tennessee State – Louisiana Tech comes to town Saturday. They may be rested…
38. Illinois State – Still undefeated in the MVC. Redbirds are at Wichita next Saturday.
39. Arkansas – Hogs are at Okie State tomorrow in the Big 12/SEC challenge.
40. Kansas State – Two Top 100 wins, and a 250+ non-conference SOS. Work to do.
41. Michigan State – I don’t even know if they deserve to be in here. Still believe the run is coming. Trust in Izzo. #Trizzo?
42. UNC Wilmington – Second team to 20 wins.
43. TCU – They’ll have a chance to get in with a solid SOS (33).
44. Georgia Tech – With the quality of some of these teams, if you win at VCU and beat UNC and FSU convincingly, you’re in right now.
45. Wake Forest – Eye test addition, even though 0-7 against the Top 50. Let’s see how they do against Dook tomorrow.
46. NC State – Speaking of beating Dook…
47. Utah – You won’t find these guys in other brackets because they have 1 Top 100 win. I get it, but you won’t see Pitt or Clemson in until they start winning some damn games.
48. Texas Tech – They dropped to the final at-large spot due to their abysmal 340th ranked SOS.
55. New Mexico St.
59. Florida Gulf Coast
62. N. Dakota St.
63. UC Irvine
64. Texas Southern
65. Weber State
66. NC Central
67. Sam Houston St.
68. LIU Brooklyn