College Basketball Top 25: What Happens When One Unpopular Team Beats Another?
Dan Spritz, @DanSpritz
Each week we’ll bring you the AP’s college basketball rankings along with serious, measured, professional analysis. Let’s get to Week 9!
1. Arizona (60)
The Wildcats beat Washington State and Washington last week, allowing only 25 points against the Cougars. Twenty-five points! Against a conference rival! When you’re the best game on their schedule! That is ludicrous.
2. Syracuse (5)
The Orange beat Eastern Michigan and Miami (FL) last week. I recognize one Miami, so please know that I am only indicating Miami’s state under great duress.
3. Ohio State
The Buckeyes beat Purdue and, thankfully, Nebraska last week. After all, the best antidote to an Orange Bowl loss is a basketball win over Nebraska. Everyone knows that.
The Badgers beat Northwestern and Iowa last week, making themselves clear frontrunners in the Polar Vortex Conference.
5. Michigan State
The Spartans beat Penn State and Indiana last week. Also, Tom Izzo watched 47 Ronin on an off day, announcing that although it does not deserve any comparisons to 300, he remains intrigued by Keanu’s career.
6. Wichita State
The Shockers beat Southern Illinois and Northern Iowa last week. Not content with the first win, they sabotaged the Salukis a few days later.
The Bears beat Oral Roberts and Savannah State last week. Their New Year’s resolution, “stop being an asshole to the little guy,” has been delayed a week.
The Wildcats beat Butler and Providence last week, improving to 11-0 this season against concepts that were more popular in the 19th century.
9. Iowa State
The Cyclones beat Northern Illinois and Texas Tech last week. Is it time to acknowledge that Iowa State might be the best team in the Big 12? No, absolutely not! Hold your tongue!
The Gators beat Richmond last week, successfully ignoring Will Muschamp’s exhortations that he should be the one to kill the spider.
11. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys beat Robert Morris and lost to Kansas State last week. I do not anticipate Robert Morris’ first season in the Big 12 going smoothly.
The Cardinals beat UCF and Rutgers, lost Charlie Strong, and gained Jennifer Lawrence last week. I have no idea what that adds up to.
13. San Diego State
The Aztecs beat Colorado State and Kansas last week. They will open play in the Mesoamerican Conference this week, a league they are expected to win.
The Wildcats had no games last week, understanding that it was a sensible time to give college students a few days off.
The Buffaloes beat Oregon State and Oregon last week, because the Pac-12 keeps its pods together.
The Blue Devils beat Elon and lost to Notre Dame last week. This marks the first time since December 2007 that Duke is outside the Top 10. For Coach K, who does not experience time, the streak meant nothing.
The Ducks barely beat Utah before losing to Colorado, proving that the Rockies are no place for unbeatens.
The Jayhawks beat Toledo and lost to San Diego State last week. Unfortunately, Joel Embiid’s birth was erased from the fabric of time last week. He will slowly fade out of our reality.
The Minutemen beat Miami (OH) last week. Know your place, Redhawks.