3-point shot: Polls should reward UNC

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
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1. The college basketball polls aren’t going to decide anything with seeding or selections. The polls should be a snapshot of who the best teams are in the country. And that’s why I wouldn’t have a problem if North Carolina were ranked No. 3 behind Kentucky and Ohio State. I know. I know. UNC didn’t beat Kentucky. But can you honestly watch that game and not see one of the top three teams in the country? Syracuse is the current No. 3 and will stay that way when the polls are released Monday afternoon. I don’t have an issue with the Orange being No. 3, but after watching both teams in person and on television, North Carolina has more talent and has played a tougher schedule. So, if Syracuse stays at No. 3 behind Kentucky and Ohio State, North Carolina should actually move up to No. 4 to replace Duke -- even in a loss to Kentucky. I’m not sure how or who should be out but Illinois, Creighton, Michigan State, Georgetown and Harvard would be in the polls if I were in control.

2. Nevada got rocked by BYU, losing by 22. But the Wolf Pack, the preseason WAC favorites, hardly wilted after they beat Washington by a three. A star was born in that game in sophomore Deonte Burton, who scored 31 points in the win over the Huskies. Burton could be emerging as a WAC player of the year candidate. Burton is a 6-1 guard who has the potential to be a regular big-time scorer. Nevada, headed to the MWC next season needed a performance like this to get momentum for his game and the Wolf Pack.

3. What happens to UNLV will be an interesting case study. The Runnin’ Rebels beat North Carolina last Saturday and got ranked No. 20. The Runnin’ Rebels then went on the road for two straight games, winning at UC Santa Barbara in double overtime. Then the Runnin’ Rebels went to Wichita State, the preseason MVC favorite. UNLV lost by 19. The margin is disturbing, but falling at Wichita State is no joke. I’d love to see how many Top 25 teams could go into Wichita State and win. UNLV still has to go to Wisconsin and play Illinois in the United Center. But I’d have to debate whether or not UNLV deserves to be dropped for dropping a road game at Wichita State. Would an undefeated power six team that beat North Carolina be dropped out of the poll for losing at Wichita State? Doubt it.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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