College Basketball Insider

Poll Attacks: Why does a voter from South Carolina hate the Big East?

I found a voter who didn't rank Georgetown or Marquette.

He made the Poll Attacks easy this week.

Associated Press poll: Eric Sprott is a writer from South Carolina.

He must hate the Big East.

That's the only reasonable conclusion to draw from his latest AP ballot.

Sprott ranked countless teams with questionable resumes (Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Creighton, Saint Mary's and Kentucky) but failed to rank Marquette and Georgetown even though the Golden Eagles and Hoyas are second and third in the Big East standings. That's among the reasons why they're both ranked in the top 18 of the AP poll, why 64 of 65 voters included Marquette on their ballots, why 63 of 65 voters included Georgetown. In case you didn't catch that, let me put it this way: Sprott is one of just two voters not ranking Georgetown and the only voter not ranking Marquette.

This is not a case of one guy being smarter than everybody else in the room. This is either a careless ballot thrown together in seconds or a dumb ballot thrown together without research -- or a deep-rooted bias against the Big East.

I'll let you decide.

While you're deciding, let's compare Georgetown's resume to the resume of the team Sprott ranked 18th -- Louisiana Tech. Georgetown is 17-4 with wins over the teams ranked 12th (Louisville) and 21st (Notre Dame). The Hoyas also own a win over UCLA, which is 13th in others receiving votes. And Georgetown's losses are to No. 1 Indiana (in overtime), No. 16 Pittsburgh, No. 18 Marquette and at USF, meaning Georgetown's lone loss to an unranked team is a one-possession loss on the road.

Louisiana Tech?

The Bulldogs are 21-3 with zero wins over teams ranked and zero wins over teams receiving votes. Their three losses are all to unranked schools -- specifically Texas A&M, Northwestern State and McNeese State, the last of which is rated 305th at KenPom.com. So how could anybody reasonably look at Georgetown's resume and Louisiana Tech's resume and conclude Georgetown should be unranked but Louisiana Tech should be 18th? I mean, I've known Louisiana Tech coach Michael White forever, and I love him as much as anybody. He's doing a terrific job with his first head-coaching opportunity. But an AP voter omitting Georgetown and Marquette in favor of Louisiana Tech (not to mention Memphis, Creighton, Saint Mary's and Kentucky) is pure lunacy.

Coaches poll: Last week's coaches poll had Indiana No. 1, Michigan No. 3 and Ohio State No. 10, which was reasonable and very close to what we had in our Top 25 (and one). I had no issues. Then Ohio State lost at Michigan in overtime and to Indiana at home. So the Buckeyes are 14th in the new coaches poll, and now I have issues.

Why the drop?

In what world must a team either beat No. 1 or No. 3 to prove it's worthy of No. 10?

Shouldn't No. 10 lose to No. 1 and No. 3?

That's a rhetorical question. But the answer is yes -- proof being that Ohio State, which is still ranked 10th at KenPom.com, was an underdog in both those games. In other words, the Buckeyes did exactly what they and any 10th-ranked team was supposed to do, i.e., lose to the teams ranked first and third. And yet for that they were punished.

Meantime, Gonzaga moved from No. 6 to No. 3 with wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, two schools ranked outside the top 200 at KenPom.com. It's a classic example of one team getting punished and another rewarded based on little more than league affiliation and how some schedule-maker made the schedule. It's an approach to ranking teams that lacks context and intelligence. It drives me crazy every time it happens, which is why I write about it almost every time it happens.

 
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