Maladroit44's Week 7 Ballot

1 UConn Still haven't won by less than 10 all year—and Torvik projects them to do so only four times in conference play. In a *power conference*.
2 Purdue Purdue's got the edge on resume, but have played with their food way too much recently. Against FSU, Nebraska, and Davidson, they averaged leads of 2.1, 4.3, and 3.9 points.
3Houston The way Houston took control late against Virginia (as they failed to against Alabama) was an encouraging sign. They're yet to have a bad game, despite the optics of the Bama loss.
4 Virginia Virginia did acquit itself well despite taking their first loss. More than the wins over dubiously-quality Baylor and Illinois, this game affirmed that they're a legitimate top-ten team.
5 Alabama It does say something that, in its biggest games, Bama has lost decisively twice and won narrowly thrice. Nevertheless, they're one of the very few teams that hasn't looked outright bad at any point.
6UCLA UCLA finally got some genuinely good wins on its resume, steamrolling Maryland and authoritatively dispatching Kentucky.
7 Tennessee Tennessee should probably feel fine about the Arizona game, setting aside the weekly debate every CBB fanbase has about refs. A five-point road loss to a top-fifteen team is an indication of quality.
8 Kansas And the Vols do have that dominant win over this Kansas team, which looked fantastic as it obliterated Indiana, to fall back on.
9Texas Fuck Chris Beard. In basketball terms: I think the overtime win over Rice should be cause for some concern. There were mitigating circumstances, but they don't account for all of Texas' struggles.
10Arkansas Arkansas has rebounded from that weird UNCG game quite capably. The main problem is that the Creighton loss is getting worse at a rate of knots.
11 Gonzaga Gonzaga sure is one of the basketball teams of all time. (They should just play Malachi Smith more. Surely that will fix everything and make them consistently good again.)
12 Arizona Arizona won a fun battle of otherwise-great teams with bewildering losses to Pac-12 also-rans. This and the Indiana win are a big statement entering a stretch of mostly-uncompetitive competition.
13Kentucky Credit Kentucky for battling back all the way to a tie game against a talented, resilient UCLA team after trailing by 13. The Bruins pulled away, but it was closer than it looked.
14 Duke I just moved Duke up five spots for doing nothing and I still feel like I'm lower than consensus. But I also feel like they're gonna do something dumb like go to OT with FSU in a couple weeks, so.
15Xavier Xavier snuck up on me, I'm willing to admit. No bad losses and wins over UF and WVU will play.
16 Ohio State Honestly, losing to UNC in OT at a neutral site doesn't sway me one way or another on OSU. I'm more concerned about barely beating Rutgers at home, but I think they'll be fine.
17 West Virginia WVU's worst game on the year is probably losing definitively to Purdue, and that's right before Purdue did the same thing to Gonzaga and Duke. The offense looks unstoppable.
18 Virginia Tech The Hokies have a knack for just...hitting short shots and shutting down opponent's possessions. They're one of the most consistent teams in the nation for it, which is really impressive in my book.
19 Mississippi State Mississippi State is kinda like that, except without any of the offensive consistency. The fact that they didn't lose to Jackson State or Nicholls is, frankly, a miracle.
20Auburn MSU's luck hasn't caught up to them yet, but Auburn's sure has. This team won't be a serious contender until it starts hitting from beyond the arc.
21 Marquette The three teams they've lost to have a combined two losses, and Marquette is fourteen points away from having beaten all of them. This team is getting out of "sneaky good" and into just..."good".
22 New Mexico The Mountain West trio finally made it! UNM put in wins over solid San Francisco and Iona teams, pairing with a great win over Saint Mary's to boost their resume.
23 Wisconsin Wisconsin beat Marquette, Maryland, and Iowa by a combined 11 points. Then they beat Lehigh by double that...with an average lead lower than any of the first three games. Basketball!
24 Baylor Baylor is a lesser version of Alabama: no statement wins by more than a few points, but a couple decisive losses. Only in this case, one of those losses was by 26 to Marquette.
25 Furman This SoCon team of the week slot is brought to you by Mike Bothwell, who went 12-14 from the floor and 11-11 from the line for 36 points and hit the game-winner over SFA, 72-70.

Overall Rationale

Also considered: North Carolina, Memphis, Charleston, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, San Diego State, Penn State, Utah State, UNLV