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NCAA Basketball

Let’s Stop Playing Musical Chairs With The Number One Spot In The Polls

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

This year has lived up to expectations so far and to some that’s not a good thing. There are really no great teams just instead a handful of good ones. Each of them keeps losing when they are ranked in the number one spot in the polls and that’s causing a major upheaval nearly every week. I want everyone to stop overreacting like that. When a team loses one game, especially against big time competition, they shouldn’t be bumped off the top line.

Take the Duke Blue Devils for example. They lose one game on the road, in conference play, to a really talented NC State Wolfpack team. What happens? They are dropped to number three in the polls! Asinine. The Blue Devils easily have the best profile of any of the teams across college basketball. Wins versus the Kentucky Wildcats (ok, a little overrated), against the outstanding Louisville Cardinals at the Battle for Atlantis and a really nice “W” over the Ohio State Buckeyes at home. How many teams can say that besides Duke? Zero.

For goodness sake, Louisville, a proud program, was making officially licensed shirts that proudly said “we are number one once again!”. Really? In the early weeks in January? Weak.

Any of the top seven teams in the current AP poll can probably win a national title so that’s a legitimate reason to see the fluctuation in the rankings. However, no one has played better than Duke all season long. They should maintain their spot at the top of the rankings until they lose multiple games in a short period of time or drop a major dud to a team like the Wake Forest Demon Deacons or the Boston College Eagles. Outside of that, keep the stability in the rankings.

Thankfully this is mostly an argument about semantics  Unlike a certain other college sport, the polls in college basketball are truly cosmetic. However, they have an impact on casual fans that don’t follow the game like you and I. They want their squad to gun for the “consensus” number one team. If they don’t know who that is week in and week out then you lose that build up. Let’s not mess with success.

Like my article? Hate it? Let me know on Twitter (@tmichaelcronin). I look forward to your thoughts.