My NCAAM Week Five Top 25
Let's get right into it. Here's my Top 25 for Week 5, as well as a look at who made some major moves in my rankings. All changes are in relation to my own rankings, not those of the Associated Press Poll or Coaches Poll.
My Top 25:
Gonzaga (4-0) (Last Week: 1)
Baylor (5-0) (Last Week: 2)
Kansas (7-1) (Last Week: 5) (+2)
Iowa (6-1) (Last Week: 4)
Villanova (7-1) (Last Week: 6) (+1)
West Virginia (7-1) (Last Week: 8) (+2)
Houston (4-0) (Last Week: 7)
Tennessee (4-0) (Last Week: 11) (+3)
Wisconsin (6-1) (Last Week: 12) (+3)
Texas (7-1) (Last Week: 14) (+4)
Michigan State (6-1) (Last Week: 3) (-8)
Xavier (8-0) (Last Week: 15) (+3)
Rutgers (6-0) (Last Week: UNRANKED)
Creighton (6-2) (Last Week: 9) (-5)
Virginia Tech (6-1) (Last Week: 17) (+2)
Virginia (3-1) (Last Week: 16)
Texas Tech (5-2) (Last Week: 13) (-4)
Missouri (5-0) (Last Week: 20) (+2)
Michigan (6-0) (Last Week: 19)
UNC (5-2) (Last Week: 23) (+3)
Ohio State (6-1) (Last Week: 21)
San Diego State (5-1) (Last Week: 18) (-4)
Florida State (4-1) (Last Week: 22) (-1)
Louisville (4-1) (Last Week: 21) (-3)
Clemson (5-1) (Last Week: UNRANKED)
Rutgers has quietly snuck into my Top 20. They were knocking on the door last week, but I just couldn't really value wins against Syracuse and Maryland as high as their excellent performance against Illinois. They're a fragile team right now, with an injury-reduced rotation and major problems behind the free throw line, but going 6-0 and winning your first two games in one of the best Big Ten's we've seen in years earns them a top spot for me this week. They're the shakiest team in my ranking right now, and will really have to prove themselves to stay on top.
The Clemson Tigers are off to a solid 5-1 start, with their only loss coming against a very good Virginia Tech team. They were a pretty lopsided team against the Hokies, having a tough time creating offense off of a pretty solid man-to-man defense. But clutch shooting from Nick Honor helped keep this one close, finishing in a 66-60 defeat.
The Fighting Illini have played opposite the spoiler one too many times so far this season, allowing both Missouri and Rutgers to increase their own resume at their expense. I'm not ready to knock them too hard, since that Rutgers loss came down to a couple of bad possessions, but those bad possessions can be fatal when entering conference play against this strong of a Big 10.
It breaks my heart, but Richmond has also fallen out of my rankings by way of a few teams just getting better rather than them getting worse. They followed up their West Virginia loss with two solid wins against Loyola Chicago and Vanderbilt, but the gap is closing within their own conference as Saint Louis and UMass begin to heat up. Don't be surprised if the Billikens make their way into my Top 25 soon.
In terms of movement within my Top 25 outside of newcomers and those who left, everything remained in relatively the same order, with no team rising more than three spots. It was more about teams taking advantage of poor performances from others in order to slowly slide up the rankings.
Michigan State's loss against Northwestern on Sunday was just plain ugly. Northwestern's Boo Biue scored 30 points to help lift the Wildcats to their first Big Ten win of the season, their first win over the Spartans since 2012. After not playing for two weeks, Michigan State simply did not look like themselves, shooting 38 % from the field and missing half of their free throws.
Creighton became the latest victim to Marquette on Saturday on Monday, and despite following it up with two solid wins against St. John's and UConn, they slipped through the cracks as some other teams nationally continued to improve. They have plenty of time to figure things out until their first meeting with Villanova on February 13th.