Mon Feb 01 12:17pm EST
A common complaint about college basketball polls is that the coaches and beat writers who vote often don’t have enough free time to watch all the marquee games across the nation that week.
It’s safe to say that’s one problem this poll shouldn't face.
Hoops-crazed bloggers from The Dagger and a handful of other prominent college basketball blogs have teamed up to create a weekly top 16 power rankings that will appear here each Monday morning until the start of the NCAA Tournament.
In our first installment, Kansas secured six of the seven first-place votes and Kentucky nabbed the lone remaining one. BYU was the most controversial team in this week’s poll, with one of us ranking the Cougars as high as sixth and another leaving them out altogether. The tallying process went inversely. A No. 1 ranking was worth 16 points and a No. 16 was worth 1. We think you can figure out the math in between.
You know it’s a good week in Lawrence when Kansas beats both its fiercest rivals, Missouri and Kansas State, in a five-day stretch.
What little hair Jim Boeheim has left is in danger of falling out if Syracuse continues to dig itself double-digit deficits.
3. Villanova (98)
The Big East’s lone undefeated team trails conference rival Syracuse in this poll because its strength of schedule is not quite as formidable.
The alleged Obama curse didn’t last long for Kentucky, which routed previously surging Vanderbilt after falling at South Carolina earlier in the week.
Each of the Spartans' last six victories are by 10 or less points, yet they’re 9-0 in an unusually strong Big Ten.
6. Purdue (71)
Three straight losses last month are long forgotten after a four-game win streak highlighted by Thursday’s win over Wisconsin.
A convincing win over Duke in front of President Obama had to take some of the sting out of blowing a 14-0 lead to Syracuse.
8. West Virginia
Four Big East teams before we even get to the ACC? Sorry Duke and Carolina fans, but that’s reality these days.
Three losses in four games qualifies as a midseason tailspin, yet the Horns’ overall body of work is so strong that they didn’t slip out of the top 10.
Came within an eyelash of toppling in-state rival Kansas only four days after snapping Baylor’s 11-game home win streak.
11. Duke (45)
A humbling loss to Georgetown won’t hurt Duke’s ACC title hopes, but it certainly may affect the Devils’ NCAA Tournament seeding.
12. BYU (35)
The altercation between Utah’s Marshall Henderson and BYU’s Jackson Emery on Saturday overshadowed another huge scoring night from Jimmer Fredette.
Far more disconcerting than a three-point loss at Purdue was the Badgers needing overtime to slip past hapless Penn State the previous game.
Maybe the best team in a loaded Atlantic 10 that has emerged as by far the strongest non-BCS league.
The Vols can’t beat Florida in football, but extending their win streak over the Gators in hoops to six on Sunday is a nice consolation prize.
Six wins in eight games since Evan Turner returned has Ohio State well positioned to earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
Others receiving votes: Gonzaga (7), Baylor (5), Vanderbilt (4), Butler (4), Mississippi (4), New Mexico (3), Georgia Tech (1)
Voters: Jeff Eisenberg, Chris Chase and Matt Norlander, The Dagger; Zach Hayes, RushTheCourt.net; Scott Procious, NBEBasketball.com; Gary Moore, Collegehardwood.com; Chris Kulenych & Craig Gately, Bracketology101.blogspot.com