Last week was a roller coaster ride for Iowa basketball. It began with an extreme plunge -- a gutting loss to Nebraska in Lincoln last Tuesday -- before rebounding with a giddy high -- the blowout win over #12 Maryland on Friday. Does the good outweigh the bad? If you're the Coaches Polls, that's a big "yes." The Week 11 polls came out today and Iowa finds themselves back in the Coaches Poll, sitting at #24 after toppling the Terps three days ago.
New Coaches Poll:
|6||San Diego State||17-0||622|
Gonzaga held on to the top spot in the rankings, though barely -- Baylor made a big push for the top spot after Top 25 road wins over Texas Tech and Kansas last week. The week's biggest gainers were Wichita State (up seven spots from #23 to #16) and Seton Hall (up seven spots from #25 to #18), though Dayton (up four spots from #15 to #11) and West Virginia (up from #17 to #13) also made big gains this week. And look at the mid majors crowding into the Top 10: in addition to the Zags at #1, Butler is all the way up to #5 and undefeated San Diego State (a former Hawkeye conqueror this season) is sitting at #6. College basketball is just a little weird this year.
Meanwhile, the topsy-turvy Big Ten has been shut out entirely from the Top 10; the league's highest-ranked team is Michigan State at #14 (Sparty dropped six spots after getting hamblasted by Purdue on Sunday). Despite getting caved in at CHA, Maryland is the Big Ten's second-highest ranked team at #17, followed by freefalling Ohio State (losers of four straight) at #19 and Michigan at #20.
Iowa is not ranked in the new AP Top 25 (where a different Big Ten team has scooped up the #24 spot -- Illinois), but they're close: they're tops in others receiving votes, so they have the unofficial #26 ranking there.
Retaining a spot in the Top 25 won't be easy for Iowa, since they have to make a dreaded road trip tomorrow (albeit to Northwestern) and the host #19/20 Michigan on Friday night. But we'll worry about next week's rankings later; for now, we're happy to see Iowa back in the Top 25 in the wake of their dazzling win over Maryland.