Rating the highest 25 groups within the nation every week was a tough job earlier than a pandemic. Attempting to account for COVID-19 breaks for a number of groups in a number of leagues has solely made it extra of a problem. Our AP High 25 voter, Scott Richey, sheds some gentle earlier than two prime 25 groups meet on Saturday morning in Champaign:
The place to start out
The highest of the poll has been a no brainer this season: Gonzaga at No. 1, Baylor at No. 2. Neither group misplaced their place amid their respective COVID-19 breaks, which additionally stole a begin from us. from December. match between the highest two groups within the nation by any (and primarily each) metric.
Dealing with a pause
It’s tough to justify penalizing a group within the rating as a result of it both can not play or decides to not play. It’s a world pandemic. The way in which ahead this season was going to be tough. Partly, that is why Duke stayed on my poll too lengthy. Then the Blue Devils acquired again into motion and walked away taking part in.
Some groups will attain the adjusted restrict of 27 video games. Others is not going to. Villanova, one of many mainstays of the AP High 25, has stopped his present a number of occasions and will not make a full Massive East roster. So the mere variety of wins can’t be an element. High quality outweighs amount much more this season.
No and sure
The pandemic has created a situation during which groups might play however not essentially play with their greatest gamers. That is unlucky, however you’ll be able to’t bear in mind the place such a group may fall into the High 25. Losses can’t be labeled with a “If solely participant X was obtainable” sentiment.
Scott Richey is a reporter protecting faculty basketball for The Information-Gazette. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, and you may observe him on Twitter (@srrichey).