OPINION: AP top 25 men’s basketball review

San Diego State continues to rise into top four, not that much Pac-12 representation, Butler and Auburn fall

Sophomore+forward+CJ+Elleby+shoots+the+ball+during+the+game+against+Oregon+Thursday+night.+WSU+upset+Oregon%2C+the+first+time+the+team+has+beat+a+Top+10+team+since+2007.+Elleby+also+set+a+career+high+for+rebounds+in+a+game.
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OPINION: AP top 25 men’s basketball review

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby shoots the ball during the game against Oregon Thursday night. WSU upset Oregon, the first time the team has beat a Top 10 team since 2007. Elleby also set a career high for rebounds in a game.

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby shoots the ball during the game against Oregon Thursday night. WSU upset Oregon, the first time the team has beat a Top 10 team since 2007. Elleby also set a career high for rebounds in a game.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby shoots the ball during the game against Oregon Thursday night. WSU upset Oregon, the first time the team has beat a Top 10 team since 2007. Elleby also set a career high for rebounds in a game.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby shoots the ball during the game against Oregon Thursday night. WSU upset Oregon, the first time the team has beat a Top 10 team since 2007. Elleby also set a career high for rebounds in a game.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen sports editor

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The Associated Press released its Top 25 poll after a crazy week of upsets in basketball. In all my years of watching basketball, I have never seen so many ranked teams lose in one week of college basketball. Oregon lost. Duke lost twice. Auburn isn’t undefeated anymore, and there are plenty more teams that suffered an L this week. But let’s see what the AP got right and wrong in this week’s Top 25 poll.

 

What is right with the poll:

San Diego State is in the top four, somehow still undefeated, and is finally moving up heading to the midway point of conference play. The Aztecs are simply beating every team that they play, which most coaches want for their team, but the way they are dominating the Mountain West Conference is definitely unexpected. Most people had Utah State winning the conference this year. Now, San Diego State is in the conversation of winning the Mountain West Conference as well as a national championship.

Florida State is climbing from not even being in the top 25 at the beginning of the season all the way to No. 5. Remember when the AP didn’t have this team in the top 25? Yeah, me neither. Ever since beating the University of Florida, this team has been on a roll beating Louisville and the defending champion Virginia Cavaliers in the process.

Butler and Auburn falling that much is definitely deserved after this week. Both teams had a combined record of 0-4 this week, getting upset in both contests and both looked absolutely abysmal in their performances. Coming into the previous week, Auburn was No. 4 and Butler was No. 5 in the country, and both schools didn’t win a game? Yeah, move them down for sure.

Michigan and Ohio State dropped from the poll. What a letdown. The Wolverines climbed all the way to No. 4 at one point this season and the Buckeyes to No.2, and now, both teams sit out, looking in on the poll. Michigan has lost two of its last four games, and Ohio State is almost dead last in the conference. For teams that climbed high in the poll, they rightfully got booted out of the top 25 this week.

 

What is wrong with the poll:

Where is the Pac-12 representation? Yes, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado are all in the top 25, but why aren’t Stanford and Southern California? Both the Cardinal and the Trojans are tied for first in the Pac-12, with Southern California having the tie breaker, but still they’re leading the conference over those three other schools who are in the Top 25. Stanford’s losses have come to Southern California, No. 3 Kansas, and No. 13 Butler by one. The Trojans have lost to Washington, Temple and Marquette, all good programs this year as well. Put these teams in the poll.

I don’t understand why Baylor is the No. 1 team in the country. Yes, it’s currently on a 14-game winning streak, but that doesn’t mean it is the No. 1 team in the country. Gonzaga beat down a good University of Santa Clara team on Thursday and BYU on Saturday. Why should they move below Baylor? The Bears scratched out a win against Oklahoma State after being down by double digits and didn’t look impressive against Iowa State, who is under .500 on the season. Gonzaga is the best team in the country right now. Baylor is the hottest team. there’s a difference.

The University of Dayton climbs into the Top 10 after barely beating Saint Louis University. Hm. Interesting. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying the Flyers are a bad team in any way; I’m saying that a team that barely defeats an unranked opponent on the road by two should not be going up six spots in the rankings whatsoever. To give credit to where it is due, Dayton climbed because of the embarrassment of Butler and Auburn, and Duke losing twice, but a climb that much is worth at least a dominating win on the road or home against a Top 25 opponent not a scratch win in overtime against an unranked opponent.

West Virginia only dropping two spots? I have questions. They beat down TCU earlier in the week, but got embarrassed by Kansas State on the road. Kansas State is tied with Iowa State for second-to-last in the conference, and the Mountaineers lost by 16 to them. Why did they only go down a couple of spots? Move them down even further. That loss is very embarrassing and will affect the team around March Madness.

 

Notable matchups for this week (1/20-1/26):

No. 9 Villanova hosts No. 13 Butler at 4 p.m. Tuesday on CBSSN.

No. 15 Kentucky faces No. 18 Texas Tech at 3 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

No. 24 Rutgers University travels to Iowa City, Iowa, to face No. 19 Iowa at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the Big Ten Network.

Florida hosts No. 1 Baylor at 5 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

No. 3 Kansas faces Tennessee at 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

USC travels to Eugene, Oregon, to face No. 12 Oregon 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPNU.

Indiana hosts No. 14 Michigan State at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on FS1.

No. 17 Maryland faces Indiana at 10 a.m. Sunday on CBS.

SMU travels to Memphis, Tennessee to face No. 20 Memphis at 1 p.m. Saturday on CBSSN.

Michigan hosts No. 21 Illinois at 9 a.m. Saturday on FS1.

No. 22 Arizona faces Arizona State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the Pac-12 Network.

Washington State travels to Boulder, Colorado, to face No. 23 Colorado 7 p.m. Thursday on the Pac-12 Network.