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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

January 19, 2009 at 9:25 AM

My Top 25

Here’s my ballot for this week’s AP Top 25, and some of you may not like it as it does not yet include the hometown Huskies.
I really thought about — UW would likely be in if this were a Top 26.
But look at the bottom three teams in my poll and the one thing they all have in common — they each beat Washington the only time they’ve played the Huskies this year (so far, anyway, in the case of Cal).
That, ultimately, was the determining factor. All three have essentially similar resumes to UW so ultimately, I let the head-to-head take precedence. Granted two of the three games (Florida and Cal) were really close and could have gone either way. But the results were what they were, with UW on the losing end.
UW did win two games this weekend while Cal lost its only game, and I gave thought to simply switching those two. But the bigger picture is that the two teams have similar non-conference records, and the same Pac-10 record (each also two home three road in conference play) so the deciding factor in my mind was again that the Bears beat UW in Seattle nine days ago.
Also, a little bit of a factor is that UW’s three straight road wins have come against what are currently the three bottom teams in the Pac-10 in the RPI. Washington still simply lacks a real marquee win.
The highest-ranked team UW has beaten in terms of the RPI is Oklahoma State at No. 19 (and looking at the Cowboys’ resume it’s almost hard to see how they are that high). Otherwise, UW’s “best win” in terms of the RPI is Stanford at home — the Cardinal is No. 42.
The Huskies have been impressive, no doubt about it — this past weekend was, I thought, the best the team has looked since the Brandon Roy days in terms of overall consistency, playing as a team, playing for 40 minutes.
Maybe I’m wrong and UW will end up ranked — I’m sure the Huskies will get votes. But I think they may need one more week to get in the poll. Beat USC and UCLA at home and there will be no doubts about the legitimacy of this team And depending on how things shake out elsewhere, even a split might be good enough — this is becoming the time of year when lots of teams in the poll lose each week. Thirteen of the 25 teams in the poll last week lost at least once.
I also moved Arizona State back ahead of Cal and some may wonder about that given that the Sun Devils went 1-1 for the weekend.
To me, ASU’s win at Pauley over UCLA speaks volumes about how good the Sun Devils really are. ASU got beat Thursday, but the LA trip is a tough one to sweep, and ASU has now gotten rid of what may be the two hardest trips in the Pac-10 this season — the Bay Area and LA (the Washington trip will be right there, as well).
As for the top, pretty simple there as Wake Forest is the only undefeated team left in the country.
As for other teams I left out, another tough call was St. Mary’s, which is 17-1. Bu the Gaels also lack anything close to a marquee win and have yet to play the two other good teams in its conference — San Diego and Gonzaga. Those are the next two teams on the schedule for St. Mary’s, and will show a lot about the power really resides in that conference.
Here’s my complete ballot this week.
1, Wake Forest
2, Duke
3, Connecticut
4, Pitt
5, Oklahoma
6, North Carolina
7, Michigan State
8, Marquette
9, Louisville
10, Syracuse
11, Clemson
12, Georgetown
13, UCLA
14, Texas
15, Butler
16, Notre Dame
17, Xavier
18, Minnesota
19, Arizona State
20, Purdue
21, Villanova
22, Memphis
23, Florida
24, Cal
25, Kansas

Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA

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