Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Schuylkill 16 Poll Week 12: Seven straight sweeps

Villanova's win over Pittsburgh helps the Wildcats take all the first-place votes once again.

Schuylkill 16 Poll Week 12: Seven straight sweeps


There was a good bit of chatter at the top of last week's poll about what would happen if Penn State beat Michigan State this past Sunday.

Except that earlier in the same week, Villanova beat Pittsburgh and put first place in the Schuylkill 16 rankings beyond reach once again. This is the seventh straight week the Wildcats swept all the first-place votes.

Having said that, I'd like to know what you think would happen if 'Nova and PSU faced each other. You might recall that they could have done so at the Philly Classic last fall, but Rhode Island beat the Nittany Lions in the semifinals.

I don't have too much else to say this week, but I see two other interesting trends. First of all, it looks like Drexel and La Salle are in a tight battle for fifth place. You can't overlook the Dragons' seven-game winning streak, but in terms of this coming week the Explorers have the best chance to make a statement when they face Dayton at Tom Gola Arena on Wednesday.

Hopefully that game will attract a few more neutral fans than the Explorers usually get, because in terms of quality of opponent it's the biggest game in town between now and the weekend.

I'm also a bit intrigued by Princeton's road sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard, their first such weekend in three years. I'm also surprised they aren't ranked ahead of Penn, which lost to the Big Green the night after Princeton won at Leede Arena.

You can make a pretty strong case that Tigers guard Douglas Davis and Penn's Zack Rosen are the leading contenders for Ivy League Rookie of the Year so far. Could their first meeting, at Jadwin Gym on February 17, be the game that breathes new life into the Penn-Princeton rivalry?

Off we go with this week's poll results. This week's side dish is the Basketball State rankings, which you'll find in parentheses after the vote totals.

1. Villanova, 10 points (20)
- "I hear Jay is starting a "Save the Spectrum" campaign. I also hear that Ed Snider said Jay would have to arm-wrestle him for it." (Rob Falcone)

I've wondered a few times why the Wildcats haven't played more games there in years when the Wachovia Center doesn't host NCAA Tournament games. I'm sure there are good reasons, but the NCAA counts the two arenas as separate entities and the atmosphere on Wednesday looked fantastic.

2. Penn State, 23 points (49)
- "Just as Temple begins to throw away its at-large credentials, the Nittany Lions begin to establish theirs with the win over then-No. 9 Michigan State." (Josh Wheeling)

3. Temple, 29 points (47)

4. Saint Joseph's, 41 points (80)
- "Put together a nice run after losing to Drexel on New Year's Eve. They still need to show me they can put it all together." (Rob Falcone)

5. La Salle, 52 points (105)
- "La Salle is 0-8 against schools in the top 100 of Pomeroy's rankings, and is 12-0 against teams not in the top 100. We'll see if the Explorers can buck that trend against Dayton (80) this week." (Josh Wheeling)

6. Drexel, 55 points (119)
- "They are beating the teams they should beat. Then again, they were picked to finish last in the CAA... so I guess they shouldn't be beating anyone?" (Rob Falcone)
- "As hot as Drexel is, I can't put it ahead of La Salle yet. The A-10 is a lot better than the CAA." (Zach Klitzman)

For reference, the Atlantic 10 is ranked ninth by Pomeroy and the CAA is ranked 14th.

7. Rutgers, 74 points (199)
- "Yay, Rutgers ended its slide. Time to start a new one, though." (Zach Klitzman)

8. Rider, 85 points (170)

9. Lehigh, 89 points (238)

The Mountain Hawks won the only game between Schuylkill 16 teams last week, beating Bucknell, 61-59, at home.

10. Delaware, 97 points (261)
- "Monte's kids are all over the place right now. They get a rematch against Drexel on Wednesday." (Rob Falcone)

And that's the only game between Schuylkill 16 teams this week.

11. Penn, 110 points (225)
"I'm not surprised Penn lost to Dartmouth. If they had beaten the Big Green, then by the transitive property they'd have been beaten UNC. And we all know how well Penn does against the Tar Heels." (Zach Klitzman)

12. Princeton, 121 points (244)

13. Bucknell, 131 points (299)

14. Lafayette, 137 points (315)

15. Monmouth, 150 points (324)

16. Delaware State, 156 points (310)
- "Time to start looking at D-II to replace Delaware State and Monmouth. #15: Kutztown, #16: West Chester" (Tim AumAn)

Staff Writer
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Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

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