BOZICH | My weekly AP college basketball Top 25 ballot
With Oklahoma losing last week, the top-ranked team in college basketball team could change for the fifth time. Rick Bozich shares his weekly ballot.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Oklahoma was voted the top team in college basketball last week – and then lost to Iowa State less than 12 hours after the poll was released.
That made the Sooners the fifth Number One team to lose this season. That also created a dilemma:
I posed a poll on Twitter and about 500 folks answered. For 52 percent of the voters, the choice was North Carolina.
I understand. The Tar Heels are 7-0 in the ACC.
But, sorry, folks, I had to overrule that decision. Two reasons: Oklahoma is ranked ahead of North Carolina in three computer polls – Jeff Sagarin, Ken Pomeroy and the Ratings Percentage Index.
Another item in favor of the Sooners: Pomeroy’s numbers say the Sooners have played the toughest conference schedule in the Big 12. North Carolina has played the third-easiest schedule in the ACC.
On with my ballot.
1. Oklahoma (15-2) – I just explained my reasons. But I’ll add another – Sooners much better defensively than the Tar Heels.
2. North Carolina (18-2) – I wouldn’t be surprised if UNC gets more first-place votes.
3. Iowa (16-3) – The Hawkeyes have hung a pair of wins against Purdue and Michigan State in the barn. Impressive.
4. Texas A&M (17-2) – If you believe that the SEC is improved, and I do, then you recognize the league’s last unbeaten team.
5. Kansas (16-3) – I would have penalized the Jayhawks more for that 19-point loss at Oklahoma State, but they weren’t the only ones with a strange moment last week.
6. Maryland (17-3) – The Terps play host to Iowa Thursday. Better win if they expect to win the Big Ten.
7. Villanova (17-3) – Losing to Providence can happen, but in Philadelphia? Blame the snow.
8. West Virginia (16-3) – The Big 12 is a meat-grinder, but the Mountaineers should have beaten Texas at home.
9. Miami (15-3) – The Hurricanes have a chance to put Duke on the ropes with a win in Coral Gables Monday night.
10. Louisville (16-3) – The Cards visit Virginia Tech Wednesday before they get Virginia and North Carolina Saturday and Monday.
11. Xavier (17-2) – Yes, the Musketeers lost to Georgetown but the loss bug was going around last week.
12. SMU (18-1) – There will not be an unbeaten team in college basketball this season.
13. Virginia (15-4) – The Cavaliers finally have a winning record in the ACC again. But they’re not blowing folks away.
14. Michigan State (17-4) – Yes, the Spartans lost three in a row. But don’t be fooled. Two of the losses were by a point.
15. Arizona (16-4) – There’s not a great team in the Pac-12 this season. Just some pretty good ones.
16. Providence (17-3) – The Friars get bonus points for winning at Villanova, at Creighton and at Butler.
17. Indiana (17-3) – Yes, the Hoosiers’ Big Ten schedule has been favorable but they blasted Ohio State, Illinois and Northwestern.
18. Purdue (17-4) – Cheer up, Boilermakers. No more games with Iowa until the Big Ten Tournament.
19. Kentucky (15-4) – Should beat Missouri. Not so sure about Saturday at Kansas.
20. Iowa State (15-4) – The Cyclones have won three in a row in the Big 12 – two on the road.
21. Wichita State (14-5) – I warned you last week not to overlook the Shockers. I was serious.
22. Baylor (15-4) – It took the best team in the country to stop the Bears’ five-game winning streak.
23. Duke (15-5) – Coach K won’t win his sixth national title this season, but the Blue Devils are still a top 25 team.
24. VCU (15-5) – I was searching for new faces. With an unbeaten league record, the Rams qualified.
25. Oregon (16-4) – The Ducks just swept the L.A. teams to move into second place in the Pac-12.
Dropped Out: Butler, USC, South Carolina.
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