ATLANTIC CITY - I admit this was supposed to get out before today's games started. But in addition to having my laptop stolen last night, my inbox was overstuffed and I couldn't get the ballot sent until I got to Boardwalk Hall today.
Although La Salle and St. Joe's have already played today, I asked voters to not count those results in their ballots. I'll be back later with thoughts on and multimedia from today's action.
Gaines' father, Harry, wrote a press release that the paper received, which included Harrison staiting that Penn "wasn't a good fit ... I believe my long-term satisfaction lies in joining another university team."
Gaines also said in the release that he is seeking to join a "fast-paced, inclusive basketball program" and "a school where I have confidence in the basketball team's leaders."
This is obviously a huge blow for Penn and in particular for Quakers coach Glen Miller. I am not very well-versed in the details of what is going on here but Gaines' contributions on the court have been clear for all to see. How Miller replaces Gaines' talents on offense - and how this affects the rest of the program off the court - will be major questions this spring and summer.
Okay, back to the Schuylkill 16, and this is the final ranking of the season. It has been a resounding success, by far the most popular college basketball feature I've done in this blog's three-year existence.
I offer a profound and public thank-you to all of the voters who participated. Some were anonymous and some were not, and you'll hear from many of them one last time here today.
If I'm still doing this next season, I hope the ranking will return. It's been a lot of fun to put together and I hope you've enjoyed reading it. Next week I hope to put together some data with average ranking over the season and also a comparison of where each team started and ended in the ranking.
1. Villanova, 10 points (10 first-place votes)
- "Villanova playing for seeding, and more importantly a trip to the Wachovia Center." (Josh Wheeling)
You wouldn't bet against it right now, would you?
2. Temple, 24 points
- "Temple rights the ship in time for their trip to Atlantic City, but those losses last week mean Temple's going all-in this week." (Fred David)
- "Will a ranked Xavier team once again fail to win the A-10 tourney? There are a lot of teams that could knock them off - they could face two Big 5 teams in a row." (Josh Wheeling)
3. Penn State, 26 points
- "Penn State, even despite the loss on Saturday, looks like a legitimate tournament team. 3rd in S-16 = trip to NCAA S-16?" (Fred David)
- "Lunardi has PSU as one of his last four in. I still think Temple edges the Lioins for second, though." (Josh Wheeling)
- "The similarities between PSU basketball and football just keep increasing, now that the hoopsters have an upset loss to Iowa when they (probably) controlled their own destiny." (Zach Klitzman)
- '] I swear we've seen this before. Last-second loss to Iowa douses hopes of big game on national stage. As a consolation, maybe the Nits will get to play Southern Cal in the NIT." (Jeff Shafer)
Did I not call this last week?
4. La Salle, 44 points
- "Welcome back to respectability." (Jeff Shafer)
- "I'm going out on a limb and will predict that Friday evening will produce an all-Philly semifinal in the A-10." (Dave C.)
Again, ballots were submitted before today's games. But we can have fun with hindsight.
5. Saint Joseph's, 46 points
- "I can't wait until the Hawks shock everyone to make it to the A10 finals just to blow a halftime lead and lose at the buzzer." (Patrick Carney)
6. Rider, 67 points
7. Rutgers, 74 points
- "Won two of their last 20 games. By my estimation the Knights overachieved." (Jeff Shafer)
8. Drexel, 76 points
9. Delaware, 94 points
10. Princeton, 101 points
- "Princeton could be the only team in the S16 to finish their season with a victory." (Jon Solomon, PrincetonBasketball.com)
A public thanks to Jon for posting about my lost computer bag on his blog.
11. Lehigh, 111 points
12. Penn, 125 points
- "Congratulations to Penn for going 5-2 on the road and 1-6 at home in conference play this season. Without a doubt, Penn has the worst fans in the Big 5 and despite the lucky win in Manhattan on Saturday, the team earned the coveted 16th spot in my poll." (Fred David)
- "As a Penn student, I'm going to forget everything about this season except for Kevin Egee's buzzer beater against Columbia." (Zach Klitzman)
13. Lafayette, 131 points
14. Bucknell, 135 points
15. Delaware State, 147 points
- "Alas, Delaware State's hopes ended last night to Hampton. But actually winning a game in their conference tourney bumps them all the way up to ninth in my totally objective poll." (Fred David)
Which is the point, of course.
16. Monmouth, 149 points
- "It's been a fun regular season y'all, looking forward to doing it again next year." (Fred David)
As am I. But the correct word is "youse."