Poll Dancing: Losing Your Way To The Top
A win over a great team, followed by a road loss to an OK one yielded the a slight climb in the human polls this week. Purdue has come to rest at 16 & 17...but The Forces of Good missed another massive opportunity this week.
Stop me if you've heard this -- they had an opponent on the ropes in the first half, got up by double digits, only to allow that opponent to come back and put them away in the closing minutes. Michigan isn't Iowa or Maryland...furthermore, they're banged up, and relied on a diet of goons and undersized/unskilled bigs to try to slow down Hammons and Haas. Turns out, it worked quite well simply because Hammons wasn't dialed in last Saturday.
I'm sure you saw Painter chewing on Hammons as he tried to jump start him...but it didn't work. I've said it before -- when Hammons is motivated, he's as good as anyone in the nation...when he's not, he's just solid. Those are the days that he needs some shooters to bail him out. Unfortunately, Purdue's shooters really don't like doing that too much this season.
Biggie played solid and got some tough buckets, but made some bone-headed, freshman plays down the stretch. Couple that with a few errant passes from RayDay and Vince and you have a formula for a loss in Ann Arbor.
If Purdue had won at Michigan, they'd probably be about 11th or 12th, instead, the settle in the teens thanks to a TON of losses, yet again, in the top-25.
I don't care about rankings...I care a lot about tourney seedings. As you know, humans decide the seedings, so these rankings actually do matter (contrary to what some on Twitter seem to believe). Purdue got its signature, resume building win last week...obviously, that's a really good thing. But, they squandered another opportunity to take a seat at the big boys table of college basketball.
Next up, Northwestern...this one scares me. They're playing for their tourney lives, they play solid zone defense and have a bunch of guys that can shoot- sounds like a bad formula for our Boilers. It's at Mackey...so there's that. Our Boilers have plenty of work left to do before the tournament, and they should beat the Wildcats. Shouldas and couldas are worth as much as your subscription to this very site.
Following the Northwestern game, the Good Guys head to hell on earth to try to make it four straight versus Clappy and the Clownpants...a game that I don't feel good about at all. Hope I'm wrong.
The BSCR for this week slightly improves to 16.6. The BPI is a similar ranking of 17. Beat the teams they're supposed to, and maybe exact some revenge v. Maryland and the committee might be forced to give them a three seed...lots of basketball left to be played...and a few chances to really screw themselves up.
Hopefully Matty's boys finish the season stronger than they've finished many games this season.