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Xavier sitting at #16 in AP poll

There are like ten weeks until a completely different group of people sets the field, so who really cares?

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Georgetown
Still my guy and in no way LAJ, Jr.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Hi gang! It’s poll time again. Brad usually does this, but he’s been doing what I usually do, so... turnabout’s fair play and all that. Anyway, here’s what the assembled minds of the Associated Press think of the best 25 (and change) NCAA basketball teams in the first division.

AP poll

Rank TEAM RECORD PTS
Rank TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Villanova (59) 14-0 1,619
2 Baylor (6) 13-0 1,532
3 Kansas 12-1 1,503
4 UCLA 14-1 1,406
5 Gonzaga 14-0 1,357
6 Kentucky 11-2 1,280
7 West Virginia 12-1 1,179
8 Duke 12-2 1,090
9 Louisville 12-2 1,063
10 Creighton 13-1 1,015
11 Virginia 11-2 954
12 Florida State 14-1 902
13 Wisconsin 12-2 865
14 North Carolina 12-3 785
15 Oregon 13-2 771
16 Xavier 12-2 634
17 Arizona 13-2 613
18 Butler 12-2 477
19 Saint Mary's 12-1 416
20 Purdue 12-3 405
21 Virginia Tech 12-1 293
22 Cincinnati 12-2 258
23 Notre Dame 12-2 250
24 Florida 10-3 193
25 Indiana 10-4 74
25 USC 14-1 74
Others receiving votes: Minnesota 56, Clemson 23, Miami 16, Maryland 6, Kansas State 5, Seton Hall 3, Iowa State 3, Northwestern 2, VCU 2, UNC Wilmington 1

So there you go. Is Gonzaga really better than Creighton or UK? Is the Oregon team that lost to Georgetown at a neutral site better than the Xavier team that beat Georgetown in DC? I don’t know.

That’s not the most inexplicable thing on here though. For doofus of the week, we could talk about John Feinstein, whose ballot regularly reads like a piece of satirical art about how pointless polls are. This week he put VCU (whose best win may well be a neutral-site victory over St. John’s) and UNC Wilmington (with 10 of their 12 wins coming outside the KenPom top 100, including 2 against non-D1 teams) in his top 25. Instead, let’s look at Clemson.

Clemson is 21st in the KenPom and 22nd in the Massey composite. They lost to Xavier and Oklahoma the weekend before Thanksgiving and haven’t lost since, ripping off 9 straight wins, the last 3 of which have been inside the KenPom top 50. For their trouble, they received two 24th-place votes and a 25th. They won twice since the last poll came out and somehow dropped off of seven ballots. Did Clemson take the AP poll’s mother out to a nice seafood dinner and then never call her again? Something’s going on here; all I really know is that polls remain stupid.