Woah, I didn't want this! - Ethan Miller
A mixed bag of results for mid-major teams in the latest AP poll, with one squad flying high and another losing its tenuous perch in the rankings.
Well, there you have it. Gonzaga has finally reached the No. 1 spot in the country. Not that Mark Few wants this: the results for teams holding that top ranking haven't exactly been encouraging. It has been more like the Scarlet Letter rather than a blue ribbon.
But that is where the Bulldogs sit after another strong week that saw them close out the WCC conference undefeated and head into another conference tournament as the prohibitive favorites.
It is an impressive achievement for any non-Big 6 team to climb this high, one that has rarely been accomplished in the last 10 years. You can count the teams on a small number of fingers... as in one finger, for Memphis.
This mark will come with the requisite backlash of course. There will be those out there that point to the schedule that Gonzaga has played -- a nice nonconference schedule, let's be clear, but the WCC has been ... meh. There will be those who point to the computer numbers, where Ken Pomeroy has the Zags at No. 4. Even our own MRI has them at No. 3 in the latest numbers, a bit back of leaders Indiana and Florida.
As for the other Bulldogs, Louisiana Tech lost its spot in the top 25 this week despite finishing out the WAC conference undefeated. Just this morning the coaches were celebrating how far the team had come despite being picked to finished last in the league.
But for some reason, poll voters went against their normal behavior and dropped the Bulldogs in this the latest poll.
As for other mid-majors, Memphis held on to a ranking at No. 25 despite its loss to Xavier early in the week. That marked another chance where the Tigers failed to get a marquis win, although Tennessee's recent resurgence has helped that "quest", albeit well after the fact.
Louisiana Tech, St. Mary's, Creighton, Middle Tennessee State, Akron and Belmont all picked up votes in the latest poll.
Here is the full AP Poll for March 4:
|Others Receiving Votes: North Carolina 109, Louisiana Tech 103, Saint Mary's 47, UNLV 43, California 33, Butler 26, Illinois 25, Minnesota 10, Creighton 7, Middle Tennessee 5, Akron 4, Missouri 4, Belmont 3, Colorado State 1|