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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Atlantic 10 moves up, Big Ten still the best

By Evan Kaplan, ESPN Stats & Info

The Atlantic 10 moved up to No. 7 and the Big Ten increased its human rating in ESPN Stats and Info’s weekly college basketball rankings.

For a complete recap of how we rank the conferences, click here.

The Atlantic 10 jumped ahead of the Missouri Valley Conference, largely because of the respect the conference is getting from the computers. The A-10 does not have a team ranked in either of the human polls, but according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings the conference has three teams in the top 50 and eight teams rated in the top 100 in the nation.

Temple is the Atlantic 10 team that is closest to being ranked (26th in votes in the AP poll and 27th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll) but Saint Louis is the highest-rated team according the computers. The Billikens are ranked 10th in the nation according to both Kenpom.com and ESPN’s new College Basketball Power Index.

The Big Ten has been atop the rankings all season and trails the Big 12 this week by only a few percentage points in human bonus. The Big Ten’s human bonus increased from 12.9 percent last week to 17.3 percent this week and the conference now has five teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation in both polls.

Michigan State became the second Big Ten team in the top 10 after its big road win at Ohio State on Saturday while Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana each went undefeated over the past week.

After moving up three spots in last week’s rankings, the Ivy League dropped back to 14 this week. The main team carrying the Ivy League, Harvard, lost its first conference game on Saturday and dropped out of both Top 25 polls.

Next week’s rankings could see some major movement after Sears BracketBusters this weekend. There will be 71 games over two days, including 13 games televised on ESPN Networks. The event is highlighted by Wichita State-Davidson, Nevada-Iona and a matchup of top-25 teams when Saint Mary’s travels to Murray State.