It's about time! Two more road wins over Notre Dame and (formerly #18) Pittsburgh were enough for the Virginia Cavaliers to crack the top 25 for the first time since November 11th. UVA is ranked 20th in the AP Poll and 21st in the Coaches Poll.
Last week, the Hoos came up just short, as the Hoos sat 29th and 27th in the two major polls. But Malcolm Brogdon's buzzer-beater against a quality opponent was enough to garner plenty of attention to allow the Hoos to surge into the rankings. Doug Doughty moved UVA into his top 25 at 18th, the RTD's Mike Barber at #20, and Dick Vitale put Virginia at 21. (You can check other voters here. Coaches' votes are private).
The computers, which aren't biased by pacism or held back by the "friction" that tends to affect the polls, are even more bullish than the pollsters. Here's a sample:
Ken Pomeroy: #7 (#82 in offense, #2 in defense. Projected 15-3 finish.)
Sagarin: #13 (#17 in "Predictor," the system's best way of projecting future games)
LRMC: (Not yet updated, 18th before the win at Pitt).
BPI (ESPN): #19
RPI (ESPN): #15 (The fact that the team's RPI is in line with its performance is very good news for seeding come March).
Syracuse moved to #1 in the AP Poll after edging past Duke at home, while previously top-ranked Arizona fell at Cal and dropped to #2. Florida, Wichita State, and SDSU round out the top 5.
In total, 4 ACC teams are ranked - Syracuse at 1, Duke at 11, UVA at 20, and Pitt at 25. Past UVA opponents Wisconsin, VCU, and SMU failed to crack the top 25, but all received votes. Looking ahead, the ACC should have 4 teams that are virtual locks for the Big Dance (UVA, Syracuse, Duke, and Pitt), and 3 teams with a shot to play themselves in (UNC, FSU, Clemson, in order of likelihood).
Remember - last week, when UVA did not appear in the top 25, most Wahoo fans noted that the team's placement in the rankings does not matter. Now that "Virginia" appeared in the polls, that caveat still holds true. The polls are virtually irrelevant in terms of anything that matters - conference rankings, NCAA tournament seeding, etc. The only real effects are the fun of seeing the little "20" next to UVA's name, additional media coverage, and a target on the team's back every time they take the court.
The full AP Poll is below.
|1||Syracuse Orange (65)||21-0||1625||2|
|4||Wichita St. Shockers||23-0||1447||4|
|5||San Diego St. Aztecs||19-1||1370||5|
|9||Michigan St. Spartans||19-3||1136||7|
|11||Duke Blue Devils||17-5||940||17|
|13||Saint Louis Billikens||20-2||728||19|
|16||Iowa St. Cyclones||16-4||717||16|
|19||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||16-5||420||8|
|Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 79, Ohio State 45, VCU 44, SMU 15, New Mexico 12, California 9, UCLA 9, Harvard 4, George Washington 3, LSU 3, Tennessee 2, American University 1, Southern Miss 1|
And here's this weeks Coaches Poll:
|1||Syracuse Orange (32)||21-0||800||2||1|
|2||Wichita State Shockers||23-0||745||3||1|
|5||San Diego State Aztecs||19-1||680||5|
|8||Michigan State Spartans||19-3||546||6||-2|
|11||Duke Blue Devils||17-5||409||16||5|
|15||Saint Louis Billikens||20-2||362||21||6|
|17||Iowa St. Cyclones||16-4||290||18||1|
|19||Oklahoma State Cowboys||16-5||227||10||-9|
|25||Ohio State Buckeyes||17-5||67||23||-2|