College Basketball Rankings - MRI 2011-12, Week 4
December 19, 2011 | By Benjamin Miraski
It is no secret that the Pac-12 is down this season. Utah certainly isn't fooling anyone, neither are USC, Arizona State or Washington.
That Washington lost to South Dakota State on Sunday probably cemented how poor the conference is this year. After all, the Huskies were some experts' picks to win the league.
More surprising is how quickly the ACC drops off after the top few teams.
There is North Carolina, and Florida State. There is Virginia and Duke. And then what?
Virginia Tech is currently 8-3, except that is only good enough for No. 58 in the MRI. It isn't that Virginia Tech isn't "good". They just aren't measuring up to the top talent in the conference.
After that, the teams are just a mess of average.
With the new expanded tournament entering its second season, there is probably still a shot for 5 or 6 ACC teams to make it in, but some of the middling teams are going to have to really show what they can do during the conference season.
It won't be easy. It will likely require at least one win over a team at the top. More likely, it will take two wins of that magnitude, especially with the Mountain West, Missouri Valley and Atlantic 10 all making strong showings this season.
The country could be in for a repeat of 2006, when the Missouri Valley entered 4 teams into the tournament. It was a shock then, but Creighton, Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Wichita State are all making cases to play deep into March.
Even Illinois State and Indiana State could be considered "good wins" for someone this season.
The story is the same in the Atlantic 10.
In the end, the ACC, the conference that formerly set the standard for basketball, might end up with just as many bids in the tournament as two conferences thought of as inferior.
Just something to keep in mind when this super-conferences talk of seceding from the NCAA. They might not take all of the super with them.
Check out all the rankings in week 4 of the MRI.
MRI Top 25 Rankings
Teams Dropped From The Top 25: Xavier (LW #22, TW #41), Northern Iowa (LW #24, TW #32).
On the Bubble: Georgetown, St. Mary's, Kansas State, Creighton, Murray State, Oregon State, Northern Iowa, Duke, UNLV, BYU.
Wofford Watch: Wofford (5-4) is currently 179th in the MRI, with a score of 27.02.
Last Place this week: Grambling (0-7) at -56.26. 4th week in a row.
Biggest Gain this week: Texas gained 21.19 points. (Beat Nicholls State 93-40, and Temple 77-65)
Biggest Loss this week: Southern lost 15.82 points. (Lost to Southeastern Louisiana 65-61 (OT), and UTEP 87-57)
Conference rankings this week: Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, SEC, Mountain West, ACC, Missouri Valley, Atlantic 10, PAC-12, Conference USA.
Posted December 19, 2011 11:12 AM
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