I'm getting a little nervous about the future of this season. We saw a lot of games cancelled or postponed, and a lot of schools suspending their programs temporarily. If we don't make it to March so that these players can stay safe and healthy, then that's fine with me, but there is a lot of potential in this NCAA season to be one of the best we've seen in years. Whatever the future is, here is my Top 25 for Week Four, as well as an explanation for some of the major movement since last week. There was a LOT of movement, so I definitely owe an explanation for a lot of my choices.
My Top 25:
Gonzaga (3-0) (Last Week: 1)
Baylor (4-0) (Last Week: 2)
Michigan State (6-0) (Last Week: 3)
Iowa (6-0) (Last Week: 4)
Kansas (6-1) (Last Week: 7) (+3)
Villanova (5-1) (Last Week: 11) (+5)
Houston (4-0) (Last Week: 6) (-1)
West Virginia (6-1) (Last Week: 12) (+4)
Creighton (4-1) (Last Week: 8) (-1)
Illinois (4-2) (Last Week: 5) (-5)
Tennessee (2-0) (Last Week: 14) (+3)
Wisconsin (4-1) (Last Week: 10) (-2)
Texas Tech (6-1) (Last Week: 17) (+4)
Texas (5-1) (Last Week: 18) (+4)
Xavier (7-0) (Last Week: 19) (+4)
Virginia (3-1) (Last Week: 16)
Virginia Tech (4-1) (Last Week: 15) (-2)
San Diego State (5-0) (Last Week: UNRANKED)
Michigan (6-0) (Last Week: 25) (+6)
Missouri (5-0) (Last Week: UNRANKED)
Louisville (4-0) (Last Week: 22) (+1)
Florida State (4-0) (Last Week: UNRANKED)
UNC (4-2) (Last Week: 20) (-3)
Ohio State (5-0) (Last Week: 24)
Richmond (4-1) (Last Week: 21) (-4)
I've been sleeping on San Diego State and Missouri. I was waiting for SDSU to get one or two more quality wins before sliding into my rankings, which they got in their 80-68 victory against Arizona State, at that point ranked nationally at 23. Their win against Indiana shouldn't be ignored either, as a win against any team in one of the best Big Ten's we've seen ever is worthy of some major poll cred.
Missouri was a more out of nowhere pick for me. Mizzou was unable to contain Illini stars Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu, but their 81% shooting at the free throw line allowed them to narrowly beat their highest ranked opponent in years. They're entering conference play as a sleeper pick in a very competitive SEC.
Florida State continues to impress. While I'm still not entirely sold on them, I figured I'd throw them a bone this week to see if they can maintain their current form.
I'm not going to knock Coach K's decision for cancelling his remaining non-conference schedule; it's one game against a school they were probably going to beat, and any decision made to reduce man-to-man contact in this current pandemic is a smart move. That being said, their 2-2 record is nothing too impressive. 0-2 against ranked opponents, I think the Blue Devils are going to have to join Kentucky in a brief rankings timeout to collect themselves before conference play.
Marquette couldn't carry their momentum from beating Wisconsin into their matchup against UCLA, resulting in a 69-60 loss. It's not a terrible loss, as UCLA has been really solid this year, but one win against a ranked opponent is not enough to keep the Golden Eagles that high for that long.
Villanova heads back into my top ten despite that one loss to Virginia Tech. The Wildcats really seemed to have it together when taking down Texas and Georgetown, making the loss to the Hokies look like more of a fluke. Nova is going to be a force in Big East conference play, and their game against Virginia on Saturday is going to be a must-watch this weekend.
Michigan squeaked into my rankings last week and has maintained a solid pace. Their wins against Penn State and UCF are highlights of their season so far.
Illinois' loss against Mizzou was not enough to take them out of the top ten for me, Cockburn and Dosunmu continue to be two of the best players in college basketball, and considering their only other loss is to Baylor, I can't knock them too hard.
Richmond, on the other hand, is in a bit of trouble. Their win against Kentucky continues to diminish in value, and a couple shaky wins set them up nicely for a competitive game against AP-Ranked 11 West Virginia. A close loss would have bode well for the Spiders, but a close one it was not. For a full breakdown, check out my A-10 Roundup Vol. 3, also releasing today. Sorry to keep you in suspense to promote my own work, but that's just showbiz, baby.