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: Wichita State Shockers (19-0 SU, 12-3-1 ATS)

It's tough to make an argument that the Shockers aren’t underrated. After all, they have the best record in the country at 19-0 and yet they’re ranked behind both Villanova and Michigan State, despite the fact that both those teams have suffered at least one loss this season. There is also the fact that the Shockers are covering the spread in 80 percent of their games so far, a truly amazing statistic considering we are more than halfway through the season.

Critics will say that the Shockers’ schedule doesn't see them play a single ranked opponent all season. That doesn't mean they haven't played any quality teams. They have registered impressive double-digit victories over BYU and DePaul, and they beat Saint Louis and Alabama on the road. We saw what this team was capable in last year's tournament and there is every reason to expect them to be a contender once again this March.

Most overrated Top 25 team: Villanova Wildcats (16-2 SU, 12-4 ATS)


The Wildcats climbed all the way to fourth in the national polls this week. But on the very same day the new rankings came out, they were blown out on their own court by the Creighton Bluejays. They didn't just lose that game - they lost by a staggering 18-point margin at home.

The Wildcats play three straight road games over the next 10 days, then return home to host a dangerous Xavier team. It seems inevitable that Villanova will slide downward in the rankings as the season progresses.

Unranked team that should be ranked: Creighton Bluejays (15-3 SU, 12-5 ATS)


The AP dropped the Bluejays from the rankings this week, after their 10-game winning streak came to an end on the road against Providence. Creighton, though, is almost guaranteed to shoot back up into the rankings after its upset win at Villanova.

Doug McDermott and the boys shot 60 percent from 3-point range in the win over the Wildcats, hitting 21 3-pointers. Any team that is capable of doing that on the road versus one of the nation's Top 5 teams is going to strike fear into any opponent.

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