College basketball Top 25: Purdue soaring, Michigan snoring; plus, my ballot
The Boilermakers have one of the best duos out there in Jaden Ivey and Trevion Williams, but those two have plenty around them.
Let’s yell at Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy some more, shall we?
Oops, sorry. Wrong topic.
The new college basketball Top 25 poll is out, with some major Big Ten movement lighting up my radar screen.
After getting nipped by Seton Hall at home and blown out by Arizona in Las Vegas, Michigan, the Big Ten favorite, tumbled from No. 4 last week to No. 20. I left them off my ballot altogether.
But Purdue — wow — stole the show nationally. The Boilermakers are the new No. 3 — behind Gonzaga and UCLA — after taking down North Carolina and Villanova in Uncasville, Connecticut. Is this the best team in the Big Ten? Early on, there’s no doubt about it.
AP Top 25
1. Gonzaga, 2. UCLA, 3. Purdue, 4. Kansas, 5. Duke, 6. Baylor, 7. Villanova, 8. Texas, 9. Memphis, 10. Kentucky, Alabama (tied), 12. Houston, 13. Arkansas, 14. Illinois, 15. Tennessee, 16. St. Bonaventure, 17. Arizona, 18. BYU, 19. Auburn, 20. Michigan, 21. Seton Hall, 22. Connecticut, 23. Florida, 24. USC, 25. Xavier.
(Click here to see the poll in more complete list form.)
1. Gonzaga, 2. Kansas, 3. UCLA, 4. Purdue, 5. Duke, 6. Baylor, 7. Houston, 8. Memphis, 9. Kentucky, 10. Illinois, 11. Alabama, 12. Villanova, 13. Connecticut, 14. Virginia Tech, 15. St. Bonaventure, 16. Arkansas, 17. Arizona, 18. Tennessee, 19. Florida, 20. USC, 21. Auburn, 22. Texas, 23. BYU, 24. Michigan State, 25. Xavier.
(Click here and then on “all voters” to see each voter’s individual ballot.)
• Purdue has one of the best duos out there in Jaden Ivey and Trevion Williams, but they’ve got plenty around them. Sasha Stefanovic hit five threes, scored 23 points and had eight assists against UNC. Those are star numbers. And 7-4 Zach Edey hit outstanding Villanova with 21 points in only 19 minutes. Imagine trying to put a game plan together against this team and having to worry about that.
• OK, I’m back on the Baylor train. A week ago, I had them at 14 because cautious optimism seemed in order after the departures of Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell. But then came Baylor 86, Stanford 48. The Bears still defend like their lives depended on it.
• Illinois dropped a bit after losing to Marquette, but it doesn’t matter. Kofi Cockburn is back, set to make his debut Monday against Cincinnati. That’s what matters.
• Come to think of it, four Big Ten teams have already dropped off my ballot. My preseason top 25 included Michigan, Ohio State, Maryland and Rutgers. I know what you’re thinking and, yes, clearly I have no idea what I’m doing. Also: The Big Ten is off to a really poor start.
• Gonzaga against UCLA on Tuesday. Five beautiful words.