BOZICH | My Weekly AP College Basketball Poll Ballot
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – For the last 11 weeks, I've voted Syracuse first on my Associated Press college basketball Top 25 ballot. On Sunday I needed a replacement number one team.
Finding a replacement Number One is never easy this late in the season. Everybody has flaws on their records.
Except Wichita State. The Shockers (28-0) are the last unbeaten team. The Shockers played in the 2013 NCAA Final Four, confirming the quality of Gregg Marshall's program. I'll predict the Shockers will earn at least 10 first-place votes when the poll is released on Monday.
But they won't get my vote.
I wish Marshall would have challenged his team with a better non-conference schedule. That's simply not the way it works in college basketball any more. The Shockers did win at Saint Louis by five. That's their quality win.
None of the college basketball computer rankings have Wichita State near the Number One position. The Shockers are 8th in Ken Pomeroy, 21st in Jeff Sagarin Predictor and 9th in the RPI.
Where's SEC leader Florida, the other top contender for the top spot?
The Gators are not on top either. They're 5th in Pomeroy, 8th in Sagarin Predictor and 3rd in RPI. Better than Wichita State. But …
If you vote on a true blend of the computer rankings, Arizona deserves to be ranked first. The Wildcats are first in Pomeroy and Sagarin Predictor. They're second in the RPI.
So, I'm going with Arizona. Like Florida, Arizona has a pair of losses – one at the buzzer to California and the other in double overtime to Arizona State. Florida has not lost since Dec. 2 when Shabazz Napier threw in a buzzer beater at Connecticut. The Gators' other loss was at Wisconsin Nov. 12. The Gators' win at Kentucky was impressive.
I won't argue with the folks who vote Florida first. I expect Billy Donovan's team to top the polls. But after taking another look at the computer rankings, Arizona is the team that earned my vote. You can argue with me. But I wouldn't advise arguing with the computer formulas.
3. Wichita State
11. Saint Louis
15. Michigan State
16. San Diego State
18. North Carolina
19. Iowa State
21. Ohio State
23. New Mexico
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