Poll Attacks: I won’t stop mocking you until you start respecting Providence

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One AP voter has Providence all the way down at No. 17 on his ballot.

That is plain silliness.

But it makes for a good installment of the Poll Attacks.

Let’s get it!

Associated Press poll: I might not be the leader of Providence’s bandwagon. But I’m definitely in the conversation. Because I’ve been writing and talking about Ed Cooley and Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil for weeks now. And I just keep assuming everybody else will eventually catchup, recognize what the Friars have done, and rank them accordingly.

In fairness, folks are doing better.

I have Providence No. 6 in the Top 25 (and one).

Providence is now No. 8 in the Associated Press poll.

So, again, folks are doing better.

But I noticed Monday afternoon that there’s still one voter who has Providence all the way down at No. 17. And, wouldn’t you know it, that wild Soren Petro is at it again.

You might remember Soren from previous Poll Attacks.

He’s a repeat offender.

To be clear, he’s not one of those voters who just throws a ballot together. He actually cares and thinks about what he’s doing. But I can’t help but wonder what he’s doing.

I mean, what are you doing, sir?

Providence is 14-1 with a lone loss to No. 5 Michigan State and three top-50 KenPom wins — specifically wins over Arizona, Butler and Evansville. And yet Soren has Providence eight spots below an Arizona team with an inferior resume just about any way you cut it.

Providence has two wins over currently ranked teams. Arizona has zero. And Providence’s one loss is technically better than Arizona’s one loss because Providence’s neutral-court loss to Michigan State is a “better loss” than Arizona’s neutral-court loss to Providence. And, if you haven’t caught it already, let me remind you that, yes, Providence does indeed own a 69-65 neutral-court victory over Sean Miller’s Arizona Wildcats.

So, in summary, Providence has better wins than Arizona, a better loss than Arizona, and a neutral-court win over Arizona. And yet Soren’s ballot looks like this:

9. Arizona
17. Providence

(It’s also worth noting that Soren had Providence 16th two weeks ago. Since then the Friars have gone 3-0 with a 90-66 win in a true road game at UMass, an 81-73 win in a true road game at Butler, and an 83-65 win over St. John’s. And now Soren has Providence 17th.)

I’m guessing Soren would defend his slotting of Arizona and Providence by pointing out that Arizona’s loss to Providence came while Kaleb Tarczewski was sidelined, and that is worth pointing out. But if you’re going to play that game, you have to play that game consistently. And if you’re going to play that game consistently, then let’s consider that Michigan State is still undefeated with Denzel Valentine in the lineup. And Kentucky has only lost once with Marcus Lee healthy. And Xavier is perfect in games during which Edmond Sumner isn’t strapped to a stretcher. And surely you can see how complicated excusing losses can become when it comes to ranking college basketball teams.

But whatever.

Let’s forget Soren having Arizona over Providence.

Let’s focus on Soren having Purdue over Providence.

Again, Providence is 14-1 with a lone loss to No. 5 Michigan State and two wins over currently ranked teams — specifically Arizona and Butler. Meantime, Purdue is 13-2 with a neutral-court loss to the same Butler team Providence beat at Butler, and a home loss to Iowa. And Purdue has one win over a currently ranked team compared to Providence’s two.

And yet Soren has Purdue ranked two spots ahead of Providence.

So what’s the deal?

Seriously, what is the deal?

How can you reasonably have Purdue two spots ahead of Providence?

Bottom line, Providence might flame out in the Big East. I can’t make any promises. As always, we’ll see. But there’s just no way anybody should, at this point, have the Friars all the way down at No. 17 because there aren’t close to 16 schools with better bodies of work.

Coaches poll: I had Vanderbilt ranked in the preseason, and I’m a fan of the way Kevin Stallings runs his program. But, at some point, you are what your average resume says you are and thus undeserving of Top 25 votes. And Vanderbilt has reached that point.

The Commodores are 8-5 with home losses to unranked Dayton and unranked LSU.

And they have zero top-55 KenPom wins.

So can you explain why Vanderbilt get six points in this week’s Coaches poll?

(That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. There’s no good answer.)

Providence Friars (USATSI)
Providence is 14-1 with its only loss to Michigan State. (USATSI)


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