Big Ten dominates the latest Power 24 update
By most statistical measures, the Big Ten is the No. 1 conference through the first month-plus of the season. The league is first in the RPI, first in overall winning percentage, and its teams have compiled wins over top teams in other BCS conferences. Thus, it’s no real surprise the Big Ten has six teams in this week’s Power 24 – led by Ohio State, which stays at No. 2. Yes, the Buckeyes lost at Kansas but Jared Sullinger didn’t play. Winning at KU is tough at full strength, so not having a potential first team All-American on the floor is a valid consideration.
Kentucky stays at No. 1. Even though the Wildcats played a rather poor first half in Bloomington, they fought back and nearly pulled out a huge road victory. No reason to drop UK for a one-point loss in an extremely hostile environment. Syracuse holds firm at No. 3. It would have been easy to move the Orange into the No. 1 spot once UK and OSU lost. Syracuse may well prove to be the best team. As of Monday, however, the Orange had yet to play a true road game. We’ll re-evaluate the order once ‘Cuse plays at NC State this weekend.
Indiana and Illinois join the rankings this week. Memphis and Arizona fall out. Arizona remains close thanks to a tight road loss at Florida. Memphis has tossed aside most of its non-conference chances, and will have a difficult time challenging for a Top 5 seed in March. Congratulations to Murray State on its win at Memphis Sunday. The Racers begin the week at No. 32 on the S-curve. That would be an 8-seed. Quite an accomplishment for a team from the Ohio Valley Conference.