Power rankings: Pac-12, WCC, MWC men's basketball — edition 6

Published: Friday, Jan. 17 2014 9:13 p.m. MST

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BYU (WCC): The Cougars (12-7, 4-2) are close to crawling back into the NCAA Tournament projections after a surprising four-game winning streak. The Cougs are No. 36 in RPI despite their seven losses but they will need to play a lot better than they did in beating San Francisco Thursday night, or they will be back outside the NCAA Tournament picture quickly.

Boise State (MWC): The Broncos (12-5, 2-2) have been extremely competitive in every game this season with the exception of the Dec. 10 loss to Kentucky. With a few lucky bounces, they could quite easily be ranked with a gaudy record that would include wins over top-10 teams Iowa State and San Diego State. As it stands, instead, they are currently on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament projections.

Utah (Pac-12): The Utes (15-4, 2-3) are looking quite similar to the most recent version of their football counterparts right now — able to beat BYU and pull out the occasional Pac-12 win but not quite ready for the big-time, or the NCAA Tournament for that matter. The Utes are still much improved this season and could surprise, but right now with the lowest RPI in the Pac-12 at No. 151, the Utes simply don’t deserve to be ranked any higher than this.

Saint Mary’s (WCC): The Gaels (13-5, 3-2) fell out of the NCAA Tournament projections with a home loss to Santa Clara. They followed that up with a 15-point win over San Francisco, however, and should still compete with BYU for second in the WCC.

Washington (Pac-12): The Huskies (11-7, 3-2) are making a push in the Pac-12 with wins over Arizona State, Utah and Colorado. Their embarrassing 26-point loss at Cal was a setback, but upcoming games versus Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State should help cement their place in the conference, either for good or bad.
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Flames6
North Salt Lake, UT

What a load ! Utah is the more dynamic and organized of the instate teams. RPI trumps results ? Its not like the game was close or even competitive really, Coach K's guys took the Y to the woodshed. I'm not saying its all about that rivalry but this reported sounds like a homer to me.

Eldo
Bountiful, UT

These rankings aren't worth much. At one point early in the season, he had UNLV ranked in the top 10 with a 3-4 losing record (with a loss @ home to UCSB). His justification for a team with a losing record being in the top ten was that they had a close loss at Arizona, and he thought they would probably end up doing better by the end of the season.
This week, his reasoning for dropping Colorado 4 spots is because of a player being injured, even though he hasn't seen how it will actually affect the team (they lost to a ranked UCLA team by only 7 points without him). Predicting the future should have no place in rankings. That's why they play the games.
Rather than having a standard to judge the teams against for ranking, he picks and chooses (sometimes almost randomly it seems) between ratings (rpi, kenpom, sagarin, etc..), what he perceives to be good/bad wins or losses, and his predictions for the future to make the teams fit where he wants them. These rankings are good for entertainment value, but not much more than that.

Eldo
Bountiful, UT

These rankings aren't worth much. At one point early in the season, he had UNLV ranked in the top 10 with a 3-4 losing record (with a loss @ home to UCSB). His justification for a team with a losing record being in the top ten was that they had a close loss at Arizona, and he thought they would probably end up doing better by the end of the season.
This week, his reasoning for dropping Colorado 4 spots is because of a player being injured, even though he hasn't seen how it will actually affect the team (they lost to a ranked UCLA team by only 7 points without him). Predicting the future should have no place in rankings. That's why they play the games.
Rather than having a standard to judge the teams against for ranking, he picks and chooses (sometimes almost randomly it seems) between ratings (rpi, kenpom, sagarin, etc..), what he perceives to be good/bad wins or losses, and his predictinos for the future to make the teams fit where he wants them. These rankings are good for entertainment value, but not much more than that.

Chris B's momma
Idaho Falls, ID

BYU beats Utah 7 of 10 times. Don't get too high on yourself over one home court upset! You still aren't PAC worthy!

BYU>utah
Provo, UT

The utes love fluke wins whether it is in football or basketball. I think BYU has won 12 out of the last 14 in the basketball series, but the utes never mention the series like they do in football (even though we almost always finish ranked higher nationally). Utah doesn't deserve to be considered for the tourney, especially since they can't beat weak teams like Washington State in the Pac-12. I definitely think BYU has the best talent and best team in the state, but they need to beat some of the top teams on their schedule like Iowa State, Wichita State, UMass and Oregon as well as Gonzaga.

ekute
Layton, UT

If Utah holds their halftime lead they'll move up into the top 8. gonzaga, byu and st mary's are ranked to high.

Flames6
North Salt Lake, UT

I guess if Utah isn't PAC worthy yet........better than the other teams in the state that never will be.

AllSeeingEye
Salt Lake City, UT

So, uh, are the Utes ready for the big time now?

Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

Beating a ranked UCLA is pretty good even if it was a home game, the Utes just need to keep getting better! Go Utes!

DresdenBalla
Germany, 00

@Eldo -

You said: "These rankings are good for entertainment value but not much else."

What were you hoping these rankings would do? Change your laundry? Cook you dinner? Make us all better people? I mean of course they are for entertainment my friend. I have looked forward to these power rankings since the first edition because I think they are always interesting, full of good facts, and quite fair in the evaluations.

Th
Tooele, UT

Coug fans

Nobody cares about your run over Utah in basketball! What has BYU done with these great years? NOTHING! The only thing BYU basketball has done is win a lot of regular season games. Good for you! Coach Rose gets a lot out of what he's got! In all these bad Utah years, since 04-05, Utah has as many NCAA tourney wins as the cougs.

Utah will be on top of the state for years to come. I know this is hard to deal with after Giac and Boylen ran Utah deep into the ground. Its hard for any bias coug fan to admit that Utah has turned it around very quickly. It doesn't take long in basketball!

As for these rankings, they are pointless. Utah is a better team that a few on the list above them. Just another byu grad putting together another list!

Go Utes

CougFaninTX
Frisco, TX

@Eldo - "These rankings aren't worth much." They are one persons opinion. If you don't agree with them, publish your own rankings.

@Flames6 - "What a load ! RPI trumps results ?" Yes a narrow loss to Iowa St or Wichita St is better than beating St Katherine or Lamar.

BYU beat Stanford, Stanford beat Washington St, Washington St beat U, U beat BYU. Who is the better team of the four? (Almost) Any team can beat any other team on any given night.

The measure of the season is based on about 30 games, not one. Based on the collective season to this point, these rankings looked pretty accurate to me.

Utes looked very good against UCLA for about 30 minutes, and were downright awful the last 5 minutes of the game. Utes are much better than I thought U would be, but there is no chance of an at-large NCAA bid with the weak non-conference.

BYU is more inconsistent than I thought we'd be. Cougs look like a Top 20 team at times, and other times shoot like an average high school team. If BYU has more than two more conference losses, it's NIT for them again.

AZUTE1
Mesa, AZ

This commentary on here from myriad byu fans begs the following question--

When did byu last beat a ranked opponent?

Barb Wire
USA, UT

BYU better than Utah? Not at this point in the season. Utah seems to be getting better each game. They beat a good UCLA team. BYU has seven losses already and still has to play Gonzaga and St. Mary's twice each, which have handled BYU rather easily in previous years. At this point, with the western half of the country not as strong as previous years, it is unlikely BYU would receive an at-large bid come March. They need to win their conference tournament to get the automatic bid. Most at-large bids will be going to better teams east of Provo.

turleyjdn
Salt Lake City, UT

Something that has not been mentioned much is the fact that it is very hard, especially with all the parity, to play on the road. BYU has won five games on the road this year and Utah does not have any road wins. The other fact is that it is a lot easier to win at home. Utah has a total of ten road games this year. I guess it is not required that you schedule to many road games if you are in the PAC12. Until Utah can start winning road games they do not deserve any post season play. BYU, on the other hand needs to show that they can win the tough games on the road before they can be worthy of any post season play as well.

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