It’s time for the first ever Otto’s Grove College Hoops Top Ten! We pulled together some rankings from Syracusefan.com posters far and wide and crunched the numbers all day (or at least for, like, five full minutes) and came up with a top 10 list that, let’s be honest, isn’t going to surprise many people. So, who’s first? Gee, I wonder?
Well, we’ve got a lot of the usual suspects present in the very first Otto’s Grove Top 10, with a consensus at the top of our new, weekly poll. In each of the polls we received, Kentucky came in first, Duke was second, and Arizona was third. And frankly, that’s the way it should be at this point. We like to rip on Kentucky and the fact that they’re basically a D-League team at this point, but as one pollster put it, “they may have more lottery picks playing for them right now than the 76ers.
Second is Duke, another team that has a loaded roster and recently got a big win over a strong Wisconsin team. One of our pollsters was particularly impressed with the win, noting that it “will go a long way toward helping Duke prepare for the tournament in March.” Arizona was the consensus bronze medal winner, with an early, entertaining win over Gonzaga being cited as an early statement win for Sean Miller’s squad.
Louisville “can win pretty and they can win ugly,” and they also notched a big win over Ohio State. With Montrezl Harrell in the post, the Cardinals are going to be awfully tough to contend with this season. Virginia wasn’t ranked higher than fifth in any of our ballots, but that was enough to lock them into the fifth spot, while Wisconsin comes in at six following their loss to Duke. Syracuse’s December 20 opponent, Villanova, comes in at seven, and they’ll be facing a top 25 opponent on Tuesday when they take on Illinois.
The eighth team in our first weekly ranking is Texas, who has some big, athletic bodies but that wasn’t quite enough to overcome Kentucky. We should probably be pretty glad that the Orange didn’t have to square off against the Longhorns in New York earlier this season, because that’s a game that could have gotten ugly at this point in the season. Number nine is Gonzaga, who we mentioned lost a tough but outstanding game against Arizona, and they’re followed in our poll by Kansas, which has beaten “name” teams like Tennessee, Michigan State, and Florida already this year.
Missing the cut but popping up on a couple ballots was San Diego State, though after their dismal performance tonight against Washington, I have a feeling they won’t be getting the same kind of love next week. Utah, somewhat surprisingly, also received a vote after opening the year with a record of 6-1, and as one pollster said, “Larry Krystkowiak has built a quiet powerhouse out west.”