It’s the first Monday in March, which means that the power begins to shift from the pollsters and over to the bracketologists. We’ve still got your weekly rundown of both, but you can be certain that fans of teams on the cusp of the polls are just a teeeeensy bit more concerned about the various bubble watches floating around the internet. On to the goodies……
Following Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State, the Longhorns slipped from both major polls this week, falling into the “others receiving votes” category. Oklahoma slid only a few spots after their Griffin-less loss to Kansas on Monday night, checking in at 4th with the AP and 5th with the writers. The Jayhawks benefitted from that victory and their blowout win over Missouri yesterday, jumping to 9th in both polls. The Tigers slid to 12th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, while the much more vengeful Associated Press shipped them all the way to 15th for their deer-in-the-headlights performance at Allen Fieldhouse. Oklahoma State also grabbed a slight bit of attention from the AP, earning two points in this week’s poll for their five-game winning streak.
For once, the resident bracketologists at Sports Illustrated and ESPN agree on the Longhorns…sort of. Andy Glockner seeds the Longhorns 9th, facing off against Utah, while Joe Lunardi pegs Texas an 8, taking on UNLV. The common ground for the two men? A trip to Dayton for this first weekend, which sits just fine with this basketball traveler, who is strongly pulling for a Friday/Sunday pod that doesn’t involve the fabulous March weather of Minneapolis. For a complete list of the tournament sites this year, click on over to my favorite Wiki.
The folks assigned to watching the bubble are also in agreement that the Longhorns really just need to win tonight to seal up their tournament bid. Both Andy Glockner of SI.com and Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com think Texas should be in. But like any good college basketball fans would know, Andy and Mark are fully aware that this schizophrenic Longhorn team could just as easily lose their last two regular season games, lay a turd in the Big 12 Tournament, and be sweating things out on Selection Sunday. For the sake of my heart and currently-forming ulcers, this doomsday scenario would be best left on the table.
This week’s consensus blogpoll at CBS Sportsline follows the lead of the major polls, with UConn ascending to the top spot. For the second straight week, our ballot was dubbed “Mr. Numb Existence” for being the one amongst the 42 submitted which most closely approximated the consensus poll. We’re not sure if that’s some sort of sign that we watch too much basketball, but we’ll take it as a compliment. Be sure to check out the link in this paragraph to not only see the rankings, but to get all of the great analysis by Jerry Hinnen of the Auburn blog The Joe Cribbs Car Wash.