I picked a heck of a time to get sick.
Sore throat, runny nose, general sense of grogginess while sitting at my desk attempting to run the whole of Philly.com at night all week... yeah. Not so good.
Between my health and the ugly forecast for central New York this weekend, I'm bailing on the trip to Cornell and Columbia.
But there's so much to do next week that having a few days around here should help me rest up. And since none of the local teams are at home this weekend, I might even check out some other sports for a little while, heaven forbid. Or maybe the Flower Show.
(A sports guy at the Flower Show? Huh?)
Anyway, here we go with this week's rankings. They may look simple enough, but the raw numbers are pretty messy after Villanova. Penn State moves up to second, but has two fourth-place votes. Temple holds on to third place despite losing to La Salle, while St. Joe's is fifth despite two third-place votes. Delaware got votes ranging from seventh to 13th place.
Speaking of screwy results, which was worse: Temple's loss to La Salle last week or Georgetown's loss to St. John's tonight?
1. Villanova, 13 points (13 first-place votes)
- "Inching toward playing fewer games in the BE tourney. Stack up against anyone in the top 10." (Rob Falcone)
- "The Wildcats are just playing for seeding right now, so a great week in Madison Square Garden will more than make up for that slip-up against the struggling Hoyas." (Fred D.)
I don't think we can over-estimate the value of getting the double-bye for 'Nova or any other Big East team.
- "Only legit tournament team on this list." (Jeff Shafer)
Objections from State College?
2. Penn State, 33 points
- "Penn State might have a solid 20-9 record, but that's only because they're 12-0 vs. InsideRPI sub-150 teams, according to Lunardi." (Zach Klitzman)
Or from the selection committee?
- "The losses at home to Temple and at the Palestra to Rhode Island are the only games that you can even remotely harp on the Nittany Lions for losing." (Josh Wheeling)
Good thing they squeaked past Indiana.
3. Temple, 40 points
- "Forget about aiming for an at-large bid, thanks to those two losses the Owls are another slip-up away from losing that A-10 Tourney bye." (Josh Wheeling)
- "Apparently I jinxed the Owls with my comment last week. Now it's A.C. or bust for Fran and his gang." (Fred D.)
I'm sure Dunphy appreciates the confession.
4. La Salle, 54 points
- "Don't be too surprised if the Explorers win a couple games in the A-10 tourney." (Josh Wheeling)
There's still plenty of shaking out left to do in the standings, but the Explorers could do some serious damage if the draw falls right for them.
- "La Salle makes its upgrade from bottom feeder to spoiler official. Now if they could only figure out a way to stop losing the easy games (see: Cornell, St. Bonaventure) they could take the next step to contender." (Fred D.)
All I'll say is you try making those trips, especially going to Olean in February when the Bonnies are decent for the first time in years. Then factor in Vernon Goodridge not playing against Cornell. Still, both games were certainly winnable.
5. Saint Joseph's, 59 points
6. Drexel, 86 points
7. Rider, 90 points
8. Rutgers, 101 points
9. Delaware, 116 points
10. Princeton, 137 points
- "If the Tigers win out, they can look forward to a date with Alabama State in Dayton. That should really excite the Ohio-based alumni." (Jeff Shafer)
- "Princeton controls its own destiny in the Ivy race? When did that happen?" (Zach Klitzman)
Not only that, we could still have a three-way tie for first place with the Tigers, Cornell and Dartmouth or Yale. Click here to read the scenarios, if you can make any sense of them.
11. Lehigh, 145 points
12. Penn, 153 points
- "Now is the winter of all Penn fans' discontent." (Fred D.)
Since I'm not making the trip this weekend, I'd be interested to hear from Penn fans out there what the crowd is like at Levien Gymnasium on Saturday night. That game usually draws thousands of Penn alumni from the New York area, but I wonder if some of them won't show up this year because of the team's struggles.
t-13. Bucknell, 169 points
- "The Bison with a dominating win over its conference and Schuylkill 16 rival and jump up all the way up to the 12th spot in my rankings!" (Fred D.)
We celebrate where we can these days.
t-13. Lafayette, 169 points
15. Monmouth, 196 points
- "Lost by 31 to Wagner. I mean, Wagner is the best team on Staten Island." (Jeff Shafer)
Now that is high praise.
16. Delaware State, 207 points