Basketball

College Basketball Podcast: Why Loyola-Chicago, fresh off of a Final Four, isn’t ranked in the polls

On Wednesday’s episode of the Eye on College Basketball Podcast, Matt Norlander and I promised to spend the next episode talking about actual basketball stuff. This is the next episode. So here are 45 minutes of actual basketball stuff.

We opened on Loyola-Chicago.

The Ramblers, fresh off of an appearance in the Final Four, are not ranked in the Top 25 (and one), the AP Top 25, the Coaches Poll or basically anywhere else. And for whatever reason, this is controversial to some — among them my friend Pat Forde. To be clear, I’m totally OK if somebody wants to rank Loyola-Chicago; it’s not crazy. But I also don’t think it’s crazy to leave them unranked. So Norlander and I tried to explain why at the top of this episode of the Eye on College Basketball Podcast.

After that, the conversation went like this:

  • 12:16: We used the preseason AP Top 25 to create some conversations for this podcast — and we started by trying to identify a preseason top-15 team we think might miss the NCAA Tournament (because three did last season). Coincidentally, we both picked Big 12 teams. Different teams, sure. But we did pick two teams from the same league.
  • 20:03: What team outside of the preseason top 20 do we believe might prove good enough to make the Final Four? Norlander went with a Big East team. I went with an SEC team.
  • 26:18: Which player in the top 15 of our list of the Top 101 And 1 Players in College Basketball might prove unworthy of the honor as the season unfolds? Norlander went with an ACC player. I went with a WCC player.
  • 31:04: The KenPom preseason ratings were published last Saturday — at which point I went back and looked at last season’s preseason ratings to see how they held up. The answer: remarkably well. Every team in the preseason top 10 finished in the top 30. And only two teams that started outside of the top 100 finished in the top 50. Can you guess which two?
  • 37:19: We closed by running through some of the differences Norlander and I have as it pertains to my Top 25 And 1 and his 1-353 rankings. He’s higher on St. John’s than I am. I’m higher on Maryland.

The latest Eye on College Basketball podcast is below. Give it a listen. And if you’re not already subscribed, please subscribe to the podcast via iTunes. If you are already subscribed, thank you. And #ShoutsToDevanDowney.

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