Associated Press poll: I can't say for sure because I don't know for sure, but I think this week might be the first week in AP poll history that a school has entered a voter's ballot immediately after losing to a team ranked outside of the top 120 of the RPI.
So congratulations, Virginia, I guess.
And what in the world is Dave Borges doing?
He did not have Virginia on his ballot last week. But Borges ranked the Cavaliers 23rd this week just one day after they lost 66-60 to a Georgia Tech team that's 12-8 overall, 2-6 in the ACC and a loser in six of its past eight games. That's ridiculous. I mean, there's a reason why just one of the other 64 Associated Press voters (Scott Mansch) ranked Virginia this week, and it's because Virginia doesn't deserve to be ranked this week. And, yes, I'm the same guy who defended the Cavaliers as a NCAA tournament team on last week's podcast with Matt Norlander and Jeff Goodman. But that was BEFORE the loss to Georgia Tech. And, either way, there's a difference between calling somebody an at-large team to the Field of 68 and one worthy of appearing on a Top 25 ballot.
Bottom line, Virginia is 15-6 with six losses to teams ranked outside of the top 120 of the RPI. So though wins over North Carolina State, North Carolina and Wisconsin might get the Cavaliers in the Field of 68 (provided they can stop losing to bad teams), there's no way in hell (or heaven) that they ought to be on anybody's Top 25 ballot right now.
Coaches poll: I was asked in the preseason to identify an overrated team, and I went with Arizona because I thought 11th was a little high given all the questions surrounding the freshmen and the point guard position. Clearly, I was wrong. Arizona has lived up to that ranking. Credit Sean Miller for being great at his job. And now I'm going to do a complete 180, because now I'm ready to explain why Arizona is currently underrated.
Seventh in the coaches poll?
Based on what?
It certainly can't be based on Arizona's actual body of work because its actual body of work is a 19-2 record with two reasonable losses (Oregon, UCLA) and wins over the schools currently ranked No. 2 (Florida), No. 11 (Miami) and No. 25 (San Diego State) in the coaches poll. That means the Wildcats have more Top 25 wins than No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Kansas and No. 6 Gonzaga, and that's why we have them fourth in our Top 25 (and one) behind only Indiana, Michigan and Duke.
Does this mean I'd take Arizona over Florida, Kansas and Gonzaga on a neutral today?
No, not necessarily.
But I genuinely believe that rankings in February should mostly reflect past results more than future predictions, and the past results suggest the Wildcats deserve a better ranking than the coaches are collectively giving them.