Wichita State keeps on rolling, and don't be surprised if the Shockers finish the regular season unbeaten. In fact, don't be surprised if they go into the Tourney at No. 1. Wichita State is the only team in my top 10 that has not beaten a ranked opponent, and the Shockers won't beat one this year (unless it's in the NCAA Tourney). They play just two more teams - Indiana State and Missouri State - currently in the top 100 for RPI.
Two teams made big jumps on my ballot this week. In fact, both teams were out of my top 25 last week:
Michigan -- I generally rank about 35-40 teams each week, and I had the Wolverines around 30th last week. Then, they went out and beat No. 10 Iowa and then No. 3 Michigan State on the road. That made three consecutive top-10 wins - two against No. 3 on the road. I thought when Mitch McGary went out with an injury and the Wolverines lost a few games that they'd be done as a ranked team. I was wrong. They moved up to No. 16 for me this week.
Texas -- The Longhorns are on my ballot for the first time this year, at No. 24. They've been on the verge of my top 25 for a while now, but they kept following up a good win with a loss. But, now they've defeated three ranked opponents in a row - including two last week. Texas now has four wins against teams that were ranked at the time; among my top 40, only Kansas (with five) has more. That's tough to ignore.
Along with Michigan and Texas, Creighton (at No. 25) is new to my ballot this week. When you beat up the No. 5 team in the country in their building, you get noticed. With three new teams moving in, I had to move three out. It wasn't very tough to pick which ones. Kansas State, Baylor and your beloved Colorado Buffaloes went a combined 0-6 last week. I've stuck with the Buffs all year, but, for the first time, I had to knock them out of the Top 25.
Here's my complete ballot:
3. Wichita State
5. San Diego State
7. Michigan State
8. Oklahoma State
15. Iowa State
23. Ohio State