Considering the volume of games a college basketball team plays we’re constantly being bombarded with data points. There’s no place that’s more evident than ranking systems such as Ken Pomeroy. Each week we’re going to look at the biggest movers and why they moved.
Top 5 Most Improved This Week:
- UIC – +54 (now 148)
- Boston University – +49 (156)
- Norfolk St. – +42 (252)
- Cal St. Bakersfield – +42 (228)
- Wyoming – +40 (77)
- Albany – +40 (196)
Most of these moves come from big upsets. Wyoming beat No. 19 Colorado, UIC went to Evanston and defeated Northwestern and Albany dominated rival Siena. Those types of wins impress Pomeroy’s computers. It’s worth noting that there are some other big movers amongst the locals as well. Rider rose 36 spots this week and Stony Brook moved up 35.
Top 5 Biggest Falls This Week:
- Furman – -47 (319)
- Lamar – -47 (297)
- Nevada – -47 (177)
- North Texas -47 (153)
- IUPUI – -44 (279)
Furman lost by 14 against Western Carolina on Wednesday and then fell by 27 at Loyola (IL). The Paladins are now 2-5 overall and opening 21-point victory by Columbia is looking less and less impressive. Northwestern, St. Peter’s and Cornell were 13-15 in this category this week. The Big Red fell 28 spots. They’re now also 51 spots off their preseason Pomeroy ranking. Speaking of which, here are the biggest movers since preseason.
Top 5 Most Improved This Season:
- UIC – +141 (148)
- Albany – +84 (160)
- Gardner Webb – +74 (166)
- Cal St. Fullerton – +72 (158)
- San Francisco – +71 (158)
The two biggest movers amongst major conference teams have been Arizona St. (+69, 7th) and Maryland (+64, 11th). Utah – a team Pomeroy’s preseason projections underrated because of transfers – has also moved up quite a bit. Canisius is another team benefitting from transfers and then Golden Griffins are sixth on the list at +70 since the season started. UIC of course is benefitting from the addition of UCF transfer Josh Crittle, but the Flames have just been way better defensively than anyone could’ve projected. Give a lot of credit to Howard Moore.
Top 5 Biggest Falls This Season:
- Delaware St. – -97 (302)
- Missouri St. – -85 (208)
- Furman – -81 (319)
- Lamar – -71 (297)
- Old Dominion – -70 (202)
As the Hornets keep playing games, that Wagner loss looks worse and worse. Vanderbilt and Penn State are the next two. ODU might be the most disappointing team during non-conference play and is a big part of why the CAA looks like it’ll be way down this season. Other disappointing teams of note? Sacred Heart (10th biggest drop), Yale (11th), Drexel (14th) and Manhattan (15th). The worst part for the Jaspers? These results don’t even include today’s loss to George Washington in the BB&T Classic.
Aggregate Conference Notes:
There’s been a lot of hemming and hawing about the Ivy League. The data suggests that the teams in the conference were just overrated by Pomeroy to start the season. The league has dropped an average of 25 spots per team this season, the worst of any conference. Other big fallers include the Atlantic Sun, CAA and Southern Conference. On the plus side of the ledger, the conference that has improved its overall rankings the most is America East. The conference is up an average of 27 spots per team with the Horizon League (+25) and Big West (+24) close behind.
Fortunes though can change in an instant. Robert Morris could’ve been found on this list earlier in the season, but the Colonials have turned things around and on Saturday Andy Toole’s team beat previously undefeated Ohio. Each Sunday I’ll update the tracker, so that you know the teams and conferences that are moving up and down.