We make bigger changes this week as the regular season draws towards its close, and we continue to get a better sense for all of these teams. You can make an argument for five different teams at number one right now, with another handful of teams also playing at a very high level right now. So after this week's shakeup, here's what we've got headed to the last week of the regular season:
|Last week's ballot|
- Why North Carolina: I'm highly opposed to dropping Pitt back behind UConn despite their loss to Providence this week, being that they just beat the Huskies on the road by eight points two weeks ago. This situation will sort itself out when they meet again on Saturday. Carolina beat Georgia Tech by 30 this week, is second in the KenPom ratings behind Memphis, and if you had to pick a team right now that looks like the favorite to win it all, isn't it the Tar Heels? That's a roundabout way of saying Pitt was #1 and they lost, so they have to fall, but I'm not putting UConn in front of them...so UNC gets the nod this week.
- Louisville, Michigan State and Duke all got big wins this week, the former two in marquee games on Sunday, and Duke twice on the road this week. This group appears to comprise the next level (see: 2 seeds)...but Kansas played themselves into it by beating Oklahoma and then obliterating Missouri this week.
- Again, a tip of the hat to LSU...it may not be what it used to, but beating Florida and then Kentucky in Rupp Arena in one week keeps them moving up the board. How high can this team rise in the bracket? They're 25-4, but I think their ceiling is a 3 seed even if they win the SEC Tournament...which shows how much the SEC is behind this season.
- The Pac-10 made a believer out of me this week, starting with UDub, winners of six of seven and three straight. I bounced them prematurely when they lost to UCLA two weeks ago, so now they jump back in at #14 on the readjustment. Arizona State falls, but they lost two overtime games this week. And UCLA also re-enters the poll.
- Who had the worst week? ASU, as mentioned, lost twice in overtime. Clemson also lost twice. Marquette lost to UConn and Louisville in close games, but injury made it worse. And Missouri got embarassed by Kansas.