College Basketball Top 25's: Pittsburgh #1
The Story: Last week’s top three teams all suffered losses which enabled Pittsburgh to grab this week’s No. 1 ranking in both polls. Pitt was one first-place vote shy of being the unanimous No. 1 team in the Coaches’ poll and had all but three first place votes in this week’s AP poll. This is the second time this year that Pitt has been ranked in the top spot. The Panthers defeated last week’s No. 1 team Connecticut last Monday. The Huskies fall only one spot to No. 2. Oklahoma, previously No. 2, falls to No. 3 after losing at Texas and North Carolina, previously No. 3, falls to No. 4/5 after losing an overtime battle with Maryland. Memphis has cracked the top 5 in both polls and is currently riding an 18 game win streak. Syracuse falls from both polls this week. The Orange are currently tied for 8th in the Big East after losing a close game at home against Villanova. Utah State joins Syracuse as the other team dropping off the Coaches’ poll. Dayton was the only other team to fall from the AP poll. The Texas Longhorns, after a two week absence off the polls, are once again ranked after beating the aforementioned Sooners. Florida State was the only other team to join the rankings this week.
AP Top 25
ESPN/USA Today Poll
Ryter’s Block: DeJuan Blair and Pittsburgh are deserving of this week’s top spot. Blair manhandled Thabeet and UConn. Blair played like a man possessed scoring 22 points and grabbing 23 boards against one of the best defensive big men in college hoops. The difference in height didn’t matter to Blair. He plays so well around the basket that he should be selling his own version of Better Basketball DVD’s for post guys, which will highlight the game against the Huskies. I don’t see how Pitt wasn’t the unanimous selection for No. 1 this week. I don’t have any other big problems with this week’s rankings. I would drop Illinois a few more spots after only scoring 33 points against Penn State. 33 points, really? It’s almost impossible to score 33 only points unless you are missing on purpose; even then you would think eventually some shots would fall. However, they did bounce back and beat Ohio State later in the week. My only other problem is that No. 16 Purdue and No. 18 LSU should switch spots. Although the SEC is having a down year, LSU is 11-1 in the conference and 23-4 overall.
Some games to watch this week that leading up to an exciting Saturday day of games…
Monday, February 23: No. 15 Kansas at No. 3 Oklahoma
Tuesday, February 24: Florida at No. 18 LSU
No. 25 Florida State at Boston College
Wednesday, February 25: No. 2 Connecticut at No. 10 Marquette
No. 7 Duke at Maryland
Thursday, February 26: No. 11 Arizona State at No. 21 Washington