|The Hurricanes are on the upswing and have turned heads with strong play inside and outside their league. (US Presswire)|
Miami isn't ranked too high in the polls.
Miami is too low!
I'll explain why in this week's Poll Attacks.
Associated Press poll: Somebody tweeted me earlier and suggested I Poll Attack John Feinstein for ranking Miami fifth on his ballot. There are two reasons I'm not going to do that. 1) I'm scheduled to appear on his radio show Tuesday morning, and I have no interest in making that uncomfortable. 2) There's nothing crazy about ranking Miami fifth.
I mean, I have the Hurricanes 10th in the Top 25 (and one).
I could've easily justified ranking them higher.
Miami is 15-3 with a 90-63 win over No. 5 Duke, a 67-59 win over No. 13 Michigan State and road wins at North Carolina and UMass. That's strong. And the three losses aren't bad considering Jim Larranaga's leading scorer (Durand Scott) didn't play in the loss to Florida Gulf Coast, and that big man Reggie Johnson missed nine games, including the losses to Arizona and Indiana State in Hawaii. In other words, Miami is perfect this season when at full strength -- with wins over Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo.
So Feinstein doesn't deserve a Poll Attack.
He should be applauded for paying attention.
The voters who deserve ridicule are Paul Zeise, John McNamara and Roger Clarkson. Those three guys all have Miami outside of the top 20. That's ridiculous. (Speaking of Clarkson, he's also one of just three voters who didn't rank Wichita State at all. But he did rank Creighton even though Creighton has fewer wins than Wichita State and more losses than Wichita State, including a loss to Wichita State. That's kind of ridiculous, too.)
Coaches poll: Nobody is enjoying Marshall Henderson more than I am.
I've laughed at something different each time.
But I haven't let the Internet sensation cloud my view of Ole Miss' actual resume, which is lacking in the quality win department. Yes, the 17-2 record is nice. And it's amazing by Ole Miss' historical standards. But the two losses are both to unranked teams (Middle Tennessee State and Indiana State), and the best win is a home win over a Missouri team that was missing its best player (Laurence Bowers). Consequently, the Rebels are just 1-2 against the top 50 in the RPI but still ranked 16th in the coaches poll with 252 points.
Now compare that resume to Georgetown's resume.
The Hoyas are 14-4.
One loss came in overtime on a neutral court to No. 3 Indiana; another came by a point on the road to No. 25 Marquette. So, like Ole Miss, Georgetown only has two losses to unranked teams. But the Hoyas have three wins (Louisville at home, UCLA on a neutral court and Notre Dame on the road) that are probably better than Ole Miss' best win considering Bowers didn't play against the Rebels. That's why I ranked Georgetown two spots ahead of Ole Miss in the Top 25 (and one). That's also why I was surprised to see the Hoyas unranked in the coaches poll with just 33 points -- 219 fewer than the Rebels. Again, I love this Ole Miss story. It's nice to see Andy Kennedy having the breakthrough season he's forever been close to having. But 16th is too high for Ole Miss, and unranked is too low for Georgetown. That's the truth on Jan. 28.
(PS: A reader pointed out after I posted that Feinstein failed to rank Georgetown. I didn't notice that initially. So let's just let that slide, OK?)