Maladroit44's Week 3 Ballot

1 Houston Houston just beat Texas Southern, a conference frontrunner with a P6 win, by 35 points. According to Torvik, that is their *worst* game of the season.
2 Texas I still have vivid memories of when Texas got a program-defining win over Kansas, also at home, also in a blowout, a couple years ago. We'll see how they handle the moment this time around.
3Virginia Oh, hi, Virginia. Wins over Baylor and Illinois are pretty good, I'd say.
4 Kansas Kansas played each of Duke and Southern Utah about as close, which is a rather weird week to evaluate. Net positive, though.
5 Gonzaga Lost to Texas. By a lot. But surely they'll be fine, right? Right?
6Baylor Dropped a game to Virginia, but they turned around and dealt with UCLA effectively.
7 Michigan State MSU played ninety minutes of lights-out basketball against solid Kentucky and Villanova teams. They're as good as anybody right now.
8 Duke Duke suffers a lot from one loss, even a highly-ranked loss, because they haven't done anything exceptional elsewhere to offset it.
9Kentucky Same goes for Kentucky.
10Arkansas South Dakota State is the only team with even a bit of pulse that Arkansas has played, but they *did* beat the living daylights out of them and everyone else.
11 Arizona Arizona's schedule might be even more papery than Arkansas's, but likewise, they've dominated everyone on it so far.
12 UCLA UCLA looked very much the part of a top-five team in their first three games against cupcakes. That gives them a high floor after dropping to Illinois and Baylor, but not *too* high.
13Alabama Ain't played nobody, Pawwwllll.
14 Saint Mary's Saint Mary's has beaten their opponents by 8, 26, 30, 18, and 28. That's impressive enough even before you note that most of those are pretty solid teams!
15Indiana Taking care of business is noteworthy for a team in Indiana's position—it wasn't a given they'd even be competent after a middling 2021-22. (Looking at you, TCU).
16 Maryland Out of nowhere, the Terps are 5-0 and just demolished Saint Louis and Miami in a staggeringly dominant pair of back-to-back games.
17 UConn The UConn Huskies men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball team of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, Connecticut.
18 North Carolina This team is going to be #1 in the AP Poll. And hey, I get it, the potential is clearly there, but things are not clicking consistently enough. 26 in a half against Gardner-Webb is not good enough.
19 San Diego State One game this week: a 12-point road win over a decent Stanford, and not as close as the score indicated. This SDSU team could be a lot of fun.
20Creighton Creighton has been *fine*. They're about to play actual teams, which will be nice. There's not much to work with in making sense of this team so far.
21 Charleston Charleston's loss: a competitive one to a talented UNC team. Charleston's last week: 4-0 with four top-150 wins, including over VT. Rankable by any sound logic, I'd say.
22 Illinois They dropped a game to Virginia and didn't look great doing it, but the impressive performance against UCLA established them as a team worthy of some respect.
23 Iowa Iowa made an otherwise-solid Seton Hall look silly in Newark. It was a bit closer than the 16-point final, but not very much so.
24 Texas Tech They're in the Arkansas/Arizona category of "has steamrolled far inferior competition". They're down here for the same reason as in the preseason: uncertainty amid the transfer turnover.
25 Western Carolina SoCon Team of the Week! The Catamounts went 3-0 and swept the McNeese State MTE. That marks their first four-game winning streak since November 2020!

Overall Rationale

Also considered: West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Sam Houston, Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa State, Toledo, Kansas State, Seton Hall, Penn State, Auburn