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Poll Attacks: Kansas is way better than one voter seems to think

Kansas has the body of work of a possible No. 1 seed.

But one AP voter has the Jayhawks ranked 17th.

Guess what happened to him?

(Let's get it!)

This is the Poll Attacks ...

Associated Press poll: My biggest issue with AP voters is how some focus on records instead of the details behind the records and struggle with the idea that a five-loss team might actually have a better body of work than, say, a three-loss team. I can't tell you why some vote that way. All I can tell you is that some do vote that way.

And Doug Doughty, at least this week, is one of those voters.

How else to explain him ranking Kansas 17th on his ballot this week?

Yes, the Jayhawks have five losses. But I wonder of Doughty realizes that three of those losses are in true road games, and none of them are to teams currently ranked outside of the top 30 of the RPI. Meantime, KU has eight top-50 wins. That's more than anybody else in the country. And, oh yeah, the Jayhawks are also alone atop the Big 12 standings.

That's a great body of work.

That's why, even after a loss at Texas, KU is still a No. 2 seed in the latest Bracketology.

So how can Doughty rank Kansas 17th?

That's seven spots behind where he put Louisville, two spots behind where he put Gonzaga and one spot behind where he put Kentucky. If you don't mind, let's look at each of those teams' bodies of work and see how they compare to KU's body of work. Ready? Here we go!

----- KANSAS -----

Wins against the top 50: 8
Losses outside of the top 30: 0

----- LOUISVILLE -----

Wins against the top 50: 3
Losses outside of the top 30: 1

----- GONZAGA -----

Wins against the top 50: 1
Losses outside of the top 30: 3

----- KENTUCKY -----

Wins against the top 50: 3
Losses outside of the top 30: 4

Once you look at those numbers, could anybody even try to debate that Kansas should be ranked seven spots behind Louisville, two spots behind Gonzaga and one spot behind Kentucky on an AP ballot? The Jayhawks have fewer "bad" losses -- and by fewer, I mean a total of zero -- than all of those teams, and more than twice as many top-50 wins as all of those teams. Not to pick on Gonzaga, because I like Gonzaga and think the Zags belong in the top 25. But Kansas has seven wins better than Gonzaga's best win, and Gonzaga has three losses worse than Kansas' worst loss, including a loss to a Portland team that's 104th in the Sagarin ratings, 108th at KenPom and 164th in the RPI. So while I'm OK with Louisville, Kentucky and Gonzaga being ranked -- they're all in the Top 25 (and one) -- I can't figure out how anybody who actually took the time to look at what those teams have accomplished could rank Louisville, Kentucky and Gonzaga ahead of Kansas. But my guess is that anybody doing that didn't actually spend much time looking at anything.

Coaches poll: I've ignored Toledo receiving points in the national polls for weeks despite doing nothing to deserve the votes because, well, what's the point of ranting about Toledo? Tod Kowalczyk has a nice MAC team that could, theoretically, I guess, upset somebody in March. I don't think the Rockets are a top 25 team. But I don't think they stink, either.

They're fine.

But at some point a vote for Toledo becomes indefensible.

And that point is now.

Yes, the Rockets are 18-3, and that looks good as long as you don't look at the details. But I always look at the details, and here's what I see when I look at Toledo:

  • A team with zero wins against the top 100 of the RPI.
  • A team with two losses outside of the top 70 of the RPI.
  • A team that's rated 68th at KenPom and 72nd in the Sagarin.

With all due respect, does that look like the resume of a Top 25 team? Again, 18-3 for Toledo is great, and I fully expect to see the Rockets in the NCAA tournament. If they upset some power-conference schools, it'll make for a nice story. But a team with zero top-100 wins and two losses outside of the top 70 shouldn't be on anybody's top-25 ballot, and that's why the coach still voting for Toledo is doing so nonsensically.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
 
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