Poll bashing is an easy thing to do in both college basketball and football. I’ll leave the football part for my colleagues. When I was a poll voter for newspapers in the '90s, I was a believer that college basketball polls were based on what you have done. Portland deserved to be ranked last Monday. The Pilots do not now after losing to Portland State and at Idaho.
The polls are not indicative of an NCAA tournament selection berth or a seed. They are a snapshot of what is happening in the current week in the sport, nothing more and nothing less. If anything, all they do is frame coverage for newspapers and online and TV sports departments. It’s an easy way to do a roundup or highlight package.
Texas Tech beat Washington at home in overtime. Yet the Red Raiders are ranked No. 23 in the AP poll, six spots behind the Huskies. Even worse, Washington is ranked No. 16 in the coaches’ poll and Texas Tech isn’t even ranked. What?
I don’t have a problem with Wisconsin being ahead of Gonzaga by one spot in the AP and behind by one in the coaches’ poll. Yes, the Bulldogs beat the Badgers in Maui, but since then the Bulldogs lost at home to Wake Forest and Wisconsin beat Duke. So, to me, head-to-head is a deciding factor if all things are equal and if that was the most recent meeting. Since that game in Hawaii, both teams have played an ACC team. UW won at home; Gonzaga did not.
I’m not sure Clemson has done enough to be ranked right now, even after Sunday's win over South Carolina. The home loss against Illinois was still too fresh. The Tigers were ranked No. 24 in the coaches’ poll, not ranked in AP.
I would give strong consideration to ranking Illinois and undefeated New Mexico.
Expect the Final Four to come from the top 12 teams that are in the AP poll right now: 1. Kansas; 2. Texas; 3. Villanova; 4. Kentucky; 5. Purdue; 6. West Virginia; 7. Syracuse; 8. Duke; 9. Tennessee; 10. Florida; 11. North Carolina; 12. Michigan State.