USA Today Sports

Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong

Each week throughout the college basketball season, Covers Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most underrated Top 25 team: San Diego State Aztecs (11-1 SU, 9-3 ATS)

The Aztecs have only one blemish on their record and that loss came against the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats. They have played four teams ranked in the Top 25 and, while they came up short against the Wildcats, they did beat Marquette, Creighton and most recently an upset of the Jayhawks in Kansas.

San Diego State has been a profitable team to back so far, covering the points in nine of 12 lined games. The rest of the schedule features strictly teams from the Mountain West Conference, meaning the Aztecs don't see another ranked opponent for the remainder of the regular season.

Most overrated Top 25 team: Michigan State Spartans (11-1 SU, 5-4-2 ATS)

The Spartans are the highest ranked team with a loss and the only team in the Top 10 with a home loss. That defeat came against unranked North Carolina, their first home loss to an unranked team in over a decade.

"Michigan State did not want it that much more than we did," North Carolina coach Roy Williams told reporters. “They have only faced one ranked team so far, and it was a win in a close game against Kentucky. The schedule is about to get a lot tougher for the Spartans, and we could see them begin to struggle.”

Unranked team that should be ranked: Pittsburgh Panthers (11-1 SU, 3-7 ATS)


Unranked Pittsburgh is off to an impressive 13-1 start to the season, with its lone loss coming against Cincinnati in a 44-43 game played at Madison Square Garden. After a blowout win over Maryland by a whopping 20-point margin Monday night, we should see Pitt get some votes to move up in the polls next week.

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