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Three weeks ago, I wrote in this space that I thought Villanova, Temple and St. Joe's were "going to be the top three teams for a while to come." It took only one poll for Penn State to prove me wrong.
Now I'm starting to wonder whether the Wildcats' seeming lock on the top spot in the rankings might be under threat just a little bit.
After the road win at Penn State and the big blowout over Tennessee, Temple not only held on to second place but won itself a first-place vote in this week's balloting.
It looks like we are headed towards one of the biggest Big 5 games in a long time in just under two weeks, when the Owls travel to the Main Line to face Villanova on Dec. 29.
For this week's statistical side dish, since I used the Pomeroy ratings last time, I decided to go with the Basketball State rankings tonight. Each team's ranking is in parentheses next to its point and vote totals.
Yes, you might need a subscription to view the full State of College Basketball index, and you definitely need one to move around the site. But if you have the money you really should sign up. There's more data on there than any other website that deals with college basketball, and I say that knowing full well that my job is to drive traffic to Philly.com and not the rest of the web.
If you've never joined, the folks at Storming the Floor can get you a $2 discount if you ask them nicely.
And now, on with the show. There's quite a difference between how the voters ranked the teams and how Kyle Whelliston's computer does...
1. Villanova, 13 points (11 votes) (33)
- "Texas proved 'Nova can't get by on looks alone." (Jeff Shafer)
- "While Temple has the most impressive single victory of any team in the S-16, Villanova's overall season keeps them in first place (at least until the two teams meet on 12/29)." (Jon Solomon)
- "I give Nova credit for their approach to the second half against the Hawks and they way they took care of business against LaSalle." (Dave C.)
2. Temple, 23 points (1 vote) (37)
- "Impressive win for the Owls this week, but lest we forget, Christmas comes but once a year. Dunphy's squad is still 0-2 in the MAC." (Jeff S.)
- "Why I ranked Temple first: they have the best S-16 win to date." (Zach Klitzman)
3. Saint Joseph's, 37 points (94)
- "Great fight against 'Nova spoiled by their fans premature use of 'The Hawk Will Never Die' rollout. What's that saying about counting chickens before they hatch?" (Rob Falcone)
- "After Dante Cunningham intercepted an errant pass by St. Joe's Idris Hilliard, the Hawks sophomore has stopped taking passing lessons from Kevin Kolb." (Zach Klitzman)
4. Penn State, 54 points (93)
5. La Salle, 65 points (135)
6. Drexel, 83 points (89)
- "I'd love to talk with Drexel's schedule-maker. After playing five games in one month, the Dragons play their next five games over 13 days." (Jon Solomon)
- "Is Bruiser Flint scared of playing anyone? Otherwise, why has he only scheduled five games so far, by far the fewest of any S-16 team?" (Zach Klitzman)
7. Rutgers, 92 points (210)
- "Rutgers may be the worst 7-3 team in the history of college basketball." (Dave C.)
- "The Scarlet Knights improve to 4-1 against S-16 teams." (Jon Solomon)
Anyone want to compile the intra-16 records at the end of the season? Let me know.
8. Rider, 99 points (158)
9. Delaware, 106 points (226)
A last-second ballot cast by a poll voter who shall remain nameless prevented us from having the first tie in Schuylkill 16 history.
10. Lehigh, 107 points (205)
11. Penn, 126 points (204)
- "This past week was Penn's best of the season (0-0)." (Zach Klitzman)
- "When was the last time Penn went 0-5 in the city? It looks like a foregone conclusion at this point." (Fred David)
Uh, that would be last year.
12. Lafayette, 146 points (300)
- "Lost by 21 at previously winless Fordham." (Jon Solomon)
- "[Leopards junior guard] Michael Gruner was a classmate of mine in high school. His senior year when we won the Maryland 4A championship he was named co-player of the D.C. region by the Washington Post. He shared that with Kevin Durant." (Zach Klitzman)
Okay, so it wasn't as pithy a comment as I usually want from the voters. But it was an interesting story nonetheless.
13. Bucknell, 149 points (249)
- "Someone in the bottom six won this week!" (Jon Solomon)
14. Princeton, 165 points (318)
15. Monmouth, 180 points (340)
- "Monmouth wants NJIT added to this poll. Delaware State is glad Monmouth is here." (Dave C.)
Alas, NJIT is located in Newark, which is a bit too far north to be considered in our region. But as for the Hornets, I'm not so sure they're happy about where they are this week...
16. Delaware State, 184 points (309)