Poll Attacks: How could you not rank Bo Ryan's Wisconsin Badgers?
There are 65 voters in the Associated Press Poll. Sixty-two ranked Wisconsin. Three did not. Those three men are starring in Monday's Poll Attacks.
There are 65 voters in the Associated Press Poll.
Sixty-two ranked Wisconsin.
Three did not.
Those three men are starring in Monday's Poll Attacks.
Associated Press Poll: Wisconsin has made 11 consecutive NCAA tournaments, back-to-back Sweet 16s and never not finished in the top four of the Big Ten under Bo Ryan. That makes the Badgers among the most reliable things in college basketball, which prompted me to write this column a little more than three years ago.
And yet, some folks still don't get it.
Those are the three men who, for reasons that make no sense, didn't include Wisconsin on their ballots this week even though the Badgers are: A) tied for third in the nation's toughest league; B) winners of four of their past five games, most recently Sunday's 22-point beatdown of No. 18 Ohio State; C) in possession of victories over five schools -- including No. 1 Indiana and No.7 Michigan -- that have been ranked in the top 10 this season; D) ranked ninth at KenPom.com and 21st at RealTimeRPI.com; and E) without a single loss to a school currently ranked outside of the top 30 at KenPom.com.
There's not one intelligent way to look at Wisconsin and conclude that the Badgers should not be ranked. They have no really embarrassing losses and lots of really impressive wins, and the computers like them, too. So I can't imagine how Allen, Bohnenkamp and Clarkson could look at Wisconsin and conclude the Badgers should not be ranked -- unless, of course, they're not fans of teams that don't have bad losses but do have good wins.
Perhaps that's why Allen and Bohnenkamp both ranked Louisiana Tech instead of Wisconsin, and why Clarkson ranked Missouri instead of Wisconsin. You know how Wisconsin has zero losses to teams ranked outside of the top 30 at KenPom.com and five wins over schools that have been ranked in the top 10? Louisiana Tech has three losses to teams ranked outside of the top 30 (top 90, actually) at KenPom.com and zero wins over schools that have been ranked at any point this season. Missouri has five losses to teams ranked outside of the top 30 at KenPom.com and just one over a currently ranked team (as opposed to the three wins over currently ranked teams that Wisconsin owns).
So maybe that's it.
Maybe Allen, Bohnenkamp and Clarkson value teams that take bad losses and don't get good wins over teams that don't take bad losses and do get good wins. I'm not sure that makes any sense, but it's the only rationale that makes their ballots somewhat sensible.
Coaches poll: I don't have any real issues with the Top 25 of the coaches poll. The only school that the coaches ranked that we didn't have in our Top 25 (and one) is Oregon, and I'm cool with Oregon. We considered ranking the Ducks, too. They just missed our cut.
But how did Kentucky get one vote?
The Wildcats are 17-8 with zero wins over currently ranked teams and four losses to unranked teams, most recently Saturday's 88-58 loss to a Tennessee team that entered with a 13-10 record. Also worth noting: UK's best pro prospect, best player and best defensive player -- a kid named Nerlens Noel -- is out for the year with a torn ACL. And yet some coach somewhere still filed a ballot early Monday with the Wildcats on it. Even the most irrational Kentucky fan in the world must think that's ridiculous.
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