Before we get to this week's rankings, a few quick notes. First of all, it looks like voters were definitely paying attention to Rider's win over St. Joe's. 10 of this week's ballots had the Broncs ranked higher than the Hawks.
We ignore Rider sometimes because they play in the MAAC, but I would not be surprised to see them make Siena and Niagara sweat a bit at the top of the league standings.
Second, I got rid of the Progression graph because I realized it was useless.
And third, as we get ready for Drexel-Villanova tonight, let's take a moment to recognize a city rivalry game taking place at tonight at the other end of the state. Duquesne and Pittsburgh will meet in the last ever college basketball game to be played at Mellon Arena.
The two teams play every year, but this will be the first time since the 2001-02 season that the "City Game" will be contested on a neutral floor.
John Perrotto has more perspective on the game and traces the rivalry's history in this morning's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The game will be broadcast on CBS College Sports. If you have the channel, it will be worth checking out.
And join me from courtside at the Pavilion for live coverage of Drexel-Villanova starting at around 6:45.
1. Villanova, 15 points (15 first-place votes)
- "Villanova remains perfect among a group of teams that are anything but. A visit to Maryland on Sunday will be a real test to see if 'Nova can be title contenders." (Max Wheeling)
- "I'd love for the Hawks to be the first ones to take down the Wildcats, but I like the Terps' chances more." (Brian O'Neill)
- "Big Mouf's gone, but they get Redding back soon. Are we looking at another 4 guard line-up or will Redding/Stokes come off the bench?" (Nick Catrambone)
2. Temple, 33 points
- "Who knew that the best replacement for Dionte Christmas would be the Temple defense?" (Mike Birnbaum)
3. La Salle, 55 points
4. Penn State, 62 points
- "The Temple-Penn State game will give us a clear indication who should sit behind 'Nova in the poll." (Mike Birnbaum)
5. Rider, 85 points
- "Rider has taken down one Big Five team (St. Joes), but a tougher task awaits next week vs. La Salle. Ryan Thompson vs. Rodney Green will be worth the ticket. (Steve Rudenstein, Rider basketball radio announcer)
6. Saint Joseph's, 86 points
- "SJU's December schedule: @Cornell, Villanova, @Minnesota, Lehigh, @Siena. 5-0!! By the way, this Kool-Aid is delicious." (Brian O'Neill)
- "The fact that I still have the Hawks at #6 is a testament to how awful some of these teams are." (Todd Falkenberg)
7. Rutgers, 107 points
- "This is the only 16-team grouping Rutgers will finish in the top half of this season." (Jeff Shafer)
8. Drexel, 113 points
- "My favorite part of today's deadline is that it hints to the Villanova-Drexel game being mildly compelling. Villanova will win this game by 30 points." (Todd Falkenberg)
9. Bucknell, 159 points
10. Lehigh, 165 points
11. Princeton, 172 points
12. Lafayette, 178 points
13. Delaware, 190 points
- "I don't care if it was on the road. A loss to Delaware State drops you to #17." (Nick Catrambone)
14. Penn, 204 points
- "Still winless, but Bernardini is hurt. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for one more week." (Nick Catrambone)
- "A visit from Albany should snap the only winless team in the S16." (Max Wheeling)
- "I can't in good conscience vote them ahead of any of the 15 others that have, you know, a win." (Jeff Shafer)
I get the intent, but you could interpret that as the opposite if you wanted...
15. Monmouth, 206 points
16. Delaware State, 210 points
- "I wanted to ranked them below Kutztown, but Del St. has beaten more D2 schools." (Nick Catrambone)
- "The 12th ranked D2 school has to be better than one of these teams, right?" (Nick Catrambone)
- "Army (5-1, 3-0 Ivy League) could challenge Cornell for Ancient Eight title. If nothing else, they already have more conference wins than Dartmouth will come March."
Hey, their football team plays here, and their basketball team is in the Patriot League. And it's always good to support the troops.