Monday, February 24, 2014
The stress of the season is getting to everybody, it seems.
But seriously, how surprising is it that ANY coach made it as long as Boeheim has without ever being ejected?
After Boeheim going insane, the top 25 almost seems like an afterthought, but let's take a look at how far the Orange slipped after two losses, one of which is in the running for WTF Moment of the Year.
Faceplants: No. 20 UConn, No. 21 Arizona State, No. 24 UCLA, No. 25 Memphis
--13 teams have made one-week cameos on Poll Dancing, then suffered losses that sent them tumbling right back out again. UConn, ASU and UCLA are the newest members of that club, with the Sun Devils having a particularly rough week. Road losses to Utah and Colorado aren't surprising, but a bit disappointing.
--UCLA can relate to that Utah loss. Meanwhile, a loss at Maples Pavilion isn't a crusher, but it'll remove you from a poll when other candidates post strong victories.
--The Huskies can't solve a bulkier, more athletic SMU team. Keep that in mind when forecasting UConn in your brackets. Connecticut's sweep over Memphis are its only wins against its fellow top-half American sides.
--Speaking of Memphis, they didn't read last week's Poll Dancing, and therefore came in unaware that screwing around against Temple is not good for your national standing. A narrow win at Rutgers + overtime at home against Temple = terrible week. UM joins Gonzaga as our only three-time Faceplants.
Bubbling Under: All the Usual Suspects
--Gonzaga, Memphis, UCLA, VCU, Oklahoma, yada yada yada...they are what they are at this point. All are capable of a good win to break into the ballot and just as capable of a WTF loss to tumble out. It's pretty late in the game to be discovering someone new at this point.
The top 25 after the jump.
Monday, February 17, 2014
We all know there's no superteam out there, but did you know that a couple of weeks ago, 16 of the AP's Top 25 teams took a loss?
This past week was similarly rough, as 12 of the 25 went down at some point during the week, and one (Pitt) likely forfeited any chance of returning to the rankings by missing out on its last potential signature wins.
The bubble is shaky, and the lower reaches of the Poll Dancing Top 25 aren't exactly stable either. For Exhibit A, check out...
Faceplants: No. 22 Pitt, No. 24 SMU, No. 25 George Washington
--Of Pitt's last five games, only Florida State is projected as a tournament team according to TBI's Bracketometry. A strong ACC tournament run may be the only thing that saves the Panthers from the dreaded 8-9 seed line.
--SMU was riding high with four straight double-digit wins, including decisions over Memphis and Cincinnati. Then it lost to Temple Sunday. And this ain't a John Chaney Temple team, to be sure, still ranking among the 10 worst major-conference teams in America.
--Meanwhile, I gave GW a pass for losing to a solid Dayton team while dealing with a ton of backcourt injuries. The Colonials couldn't survive the VCU-UMass double, however, and may have put themselves back in the bubble conversation.
Bubbling Under: North Carolina, Gonzaga, New Mexico, SMU
--The Heels are on a tear, but their six-game win streak was largely against the ACC's cream-filled center until they beat Pitt. Gonzaga is becoming the old standby, good to slot into the last couple of spots if no one else looks worthy, but incapable of adding any more signature moments of its own. New Mexico can make a return to the ballot if it takes down UNLV and San Diego State this week. And SMU gets shoved back to the waiting room after apparently swallowing too much of its own hype. Seriously? Temple?
The actual Poll Dancing Top 25 after the jump.