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AP Poll pre-conference tournaments edition

And like that, poof, they were gone.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

We are well and truly ready for the madness. The Big Ten Tournament is this weekend and Selection Sunday is, well, Sunday, which means we’re so close to college basketball Christmas: the first round of the tournament!!!

Who cares that the Badgers fell out of the AP Poll, because soon all that will matter is the other silly little number next to the name!!!!!! But still, let’s look at this poll and forget how much we hate Bo Borowski for a bit.

Big Ten

Illinois → No. 3
Michigan → No. 4
Iowa → No. 5
Ohio State → No. 9
Purdue → No. 20
Wisconsin → HAHA, not this week. They were only receiving votes.

Nationwide View

  • I guess I really shouldn’t make predictions about college basketball. A while after I said that Michigan looks very much congealed into the top-three in the country, they go and lose to a not great Michigan State team, 70-64. This doesn’t honestly mean that much in the grand scheme of things for the Big Ten title race or the seeding for the tournament, BUT it does possibly mean that Tom Izzo’s Spartans are gearing up for another March run. Excuse me while I begin to throw up at that prospect.
  • One of the hottest teams coming into the postseason play is the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Pokes are the No. 12 team in the nation and have won four out of their last five games with all those wins coming against ranked teams — kind of like the reverse Badgers. In that stretch, their only loss was to the one-loss Baylor Bears and the ballyhooed freshman Cade Cunningham much like his team is starting to heat up as well. The Pokes play West Virginia first in the Big 12 tournament, and I would argue that that conference’s tournament is probably the best tournament outside the Big Ten’s (hi, Big Ten commish, please sponsor me for this statement)
  • On a prediction for Bremen that is still coming true — hey, I gotta take the wins when I can — the Arkansas Razorbacks are still climbing up the polls and up into the top 10. With two wins this week — including a 101-73 drubbing of the South Carolina Gamecocks and a win over Texas A&M — the Razorbacks are up to No. 8, the second highest team in the SEC after traditional basketball power Alabama. Head coach Erik Musselman of Nevada tournament run fame — the video of him yelling in the locker room after a win is iconic — has really turned around Arkansas and I will be rooting for them in the NCAA Tournament. Woo pig sooie!
  • I haven’t really mentioned the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, which is maybe surprising. But considering they’ve just been undefeated and are no doubt the best team in the country, there’s not really much to add. They’re just really friggin good, and are probably the tournament favorite in my mind. But of course, we know that my predictions are hit or miss.

New Teams

AP Poll → No. 22 Virginia Tech, No. 24 USC

Drop Outs

AP Poll → Wisconsin :(