Kuria is a junior broadcast news major from Bellevue, Washington. He is trilingual: English, Spanish and Swahili.
COMMENTARY: AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll
March Madness to be filled with upsets; Baylor still in No. 1 spot for some unknown reason, Rutgers University has got to go
January 28, 2020
The Associated Press released its Top 25 poll and the current trend at the bottom of the poll, with teams always entering and exiting the rankings, proves that this year’s March Madness tournament will be filled with upsets. After a mundane week, compared to the previous week, let’s see what the AP got right and what it got wrong in its Top 25 poll.
What is right with the poll:
Illinois, Colorado, Houston and LSU make big climbs in the poll. Even though they are at the bottom, all four teams had big wins this week to remain in the poll and also leap teams who exited the poll, like Memphis, Arizona and Texas Tech. The Fighting Illini had a buzzer-beater win against Michigan in Ann Arbor; its most impressive win of the season. Colorado beat down Washington at home in impressive fashion as well.
Memphis finally left the top 25. I saw this coming as soon as James Wiseman left from the school, but I didn’t know it would be this bad. The Tigers were a national championship contender, and they lost 80-40 to Tulsa on the road. Then on Saturday, the school lost to SMU at home by four. Its shooting struggles are result slipping in the rankings and on their potential seed line in the March Madness tournament.
What is wrong with the poll:
Why is Baylor still number one? This team had a scratch-out win against Oklahoma at home, and the Sooners are not that good this year. If it is because of the same argument that Gonzaga doesn’t play in a good conference, then that is ridiculous. Besides conference games, the Bulldogs have defeated Washington, Arizona and North Carolina, in back-to-back-to-back games. They scratched out an overtime win against Oregon, and their only loss comes to a good Michigan team at the time. Baylor did defeat Kansas on the road and Texas Tech, but I guarantee, that will not be the same result later in the regular season.
Rutgers University has got to leave. The team is very inconsistent. At one point in the year, the Scarlet Knights barely beat Nebraska at home and then beat a good Indiana team. If this team wants to remain in the top 25, it has to fix whatever inconsistency issues it currently has so it can have a long run during postseason.
Why is Indiana not in the top 25? This team is doing as well as most of the teams from the Big Ten who are in the top 25. Out of the six teams from the Big Ten who are in the top 25, Indiana has defeated one and one more in a different conference. This team is doing a lot better than most teams in the top 25 and in their own conference, this team needs the recognition for their great season.
I can’t believe I’m saying this again. Why are USC and Stanford still not in? These teams are definitely worthy of being in the top 25. I’m not even saying this because I’m a fan of the Pac-12, I’m saying this because USC lost by single digits against Oregon, in Eugene, in double overtime. Not to mention, the team whooped Oregon State by 20 in Corvallis two days later. And for the Cardinal, it had a fluke game against California on the road, but still, beating Washington, losing to Butler by one, playing really close to USC on the road. The Pac-12 needs more respect, and it needs it now.
Notable games for this week (1/27-2/2):
No. 13 Kentucky faces No. 17 Auburn at 3 p.m. Saturday on ESPN
No. 15 Maryland hosts No. 18 Iowa at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Big Ten Network
No. 19 Illinois travels to Iowa City, Iowa, to face No. 18 Iowa at 10 a.m. Sunday on FS1
No. 1 Baylor faces TCU at 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2
Santa Clara hosts No. 2 Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on CBSSN
Texas Tech travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to face No. 3 Kansas at 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN
No. 4 San Diego State faces Utah State at 7 p.m. Saturday on CBSSN
Virginia hosts No. 5 Florida State at 4 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN.
No. 5 Florida State travels to Blacksburg, Virginia, to face Virginia Tech at 1 p.m. Saturday on the ACC Network
No. 6 Louisville faces NC State at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN
Duquesne hosts No. 7 Dayton at 4 p.m. Wednesday on CBSSN
No. 8 Villanova travels to New York to face St. John’s University at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on FS1
Creighton faces No. 8 Villanova at 9 a.m. Saturday on FS1
No. 10 Seton Hall hosts DePaul at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on FS1
Xavier travels to Newark, New Jersey, to face No. 10 Seton Hall at 8 a.m. Saturday on FOX
No. 11 Oregon faces Stanford at 3 p.m. Saturday on the Pac-12 Network
Texas Tech hosts No. 12 West Virginia at 5 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN+
No. 20 Colorado travels to Los Angeles to face USC at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on FS1
No. 23 Wichita State faces Tulsa at 3 p.m. Saturday on ESPNU
No. 24 Penn State hosts Indiana at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Big Ten Network