Florida Gators stay put as No. 1 in top 25 polls

By Adam Silverstein
March 3, 2014

The Florida Gators (27-2, 16-0 SEC) held on to their No. 1 national ranking on Monday, edging Wichita State for the second-straight week in the 17th regular-season editions of the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Florida received 46-of-65 first-place votes from the AP panel and 25-of-32 first-place votes from the coaches.

UF kept its spot with two more hard-fought victories last week. Florida edged Vanderbilt 57-54 on the road Tuesday and blew out LSU 79-61 at home on Saturday.

This marks the latest in the regular season that the Gators have held the No. 1 ranking. Florida last Monday was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time since Feb. 12, 2007. UF checked in with 1,606 points (even) in the AP poll and 793 points (+2) in the USA Today top 25.

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Check out the complete top 25 rankings, RPI standings and an S-curve update…

UF’s 2013-14 opponents in italics. Wins in blue; losses in red.

This Week 1-5: Florida (46), Wichita State (14), Arizona (5), Duke, Virginia
6-10: Villanova, Syracuse, Kansas, Wisconsin, San Diego State
11-15: Louisville, Michigan, Creighton, North Carolina, Cincinnati
16-20: Iowa State, Saint Louis, SMU, UConn, Memphis
21-25: New Mexico, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kentucky

Last Week 1-5: Florida (47), Wichita State (14), Arizona (4), Syracuse, Kansas
6-10: Duke, Louisville, Villanova, Creighton, Saint Louis
11-15: Cincinnati, Virginia, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Iowa State
16-20: Michigan, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Iowa
21-25: Memphis, Ohio State, SMU, Texas, New Mexico
* UConn is the first team out of the top 25 this week.

This Week 1-5: Florida (25), Wichita State (7), Arizona, Duke, Virginia
6-10: Villanova, Syracuse, Kansas, Louisville, San Diego State
11-15: Wisconsin, Michigan, Creighton, North Carolina, Cincinnati
16-20: Saint Louis, Iowa State, SMU, UConn, Memphis
21-25: New Mexico, Michigan State, Kentucky, Iowa

Last Week 1-5: Florida (24), Wichita State (8), Arizona, Louisville, Syracuse
6-10: Kansas, Duke, Saint Louis, Villanova, Creighton
11-15: Virginia, Cincinnati, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Kentucky
16-20: Michigan, Iowa State, Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State
21-25: North Carolina, Memphis, Texas, SMU, Oklahoma
* UConn is the first team out of the top 25 this week.


By Jake Sillick – OnlyGators.com Contributor

With the 2014 NCAA Tournament fast approaching, focus turns to selecting and bracketing the event. To many, this may seem like a mysterious process, but the NCAA actually accomplishes it in three phases: selecting the field, ranking the field and then placing those chosen teams on the bracket. The NCAA adds 36 at-large teams to the 32 league champions, ranks all 68 teams in order and then puts them into a seed list called an “S-curve” (it snakes right to left, then left to right, as seen below).

Criteria used for rankings teams are as follows:
» RPI rank
» Strength of schedule rank (overall and non-conference)
» Record vs. RPI top 25, RPI top 50, and RPI top 100 opponents
» Bad losses (typically against teams ranked 150+ in RPI)
» Rankings from computer systems (KenPom, Sagarin, etc.)
» Road/neutral-site records
» “Eye test” (personal opinions from watching games)

Here is how Florida stands is in the aforementioned criteria:
» RPI: 3rd (+)
» SOS: 17th overall, 16th non-conference
» Record vs. RPI top 25: 2-1 | vs. RPI top 50: 5-2 (+) vs. RPI top 100: 14-2 (+)
» Bad losses: none (+)
» Computer rankings: top-three in most systems (+)
» Road/neutral-site record: 11-2 (+)

The first four teams (No. 1 seeds) determine the regional match-ups. Teams are then placed into the region closest to them (based on availability). Being ranked No. 1, No. 5, No. 9 or No. 14 is best for the top seed on the first four lines. When a team in the top 16 is placed, a sub-regional site is also assigned based on availability (each site can be assigned twice).

As of press time, Arizona’s resume is clearly better that of Florida. The Wildcats are higher in the RPI, have more top-50 wins and are better than the Gators in almost all the computer rankings. Kansas moves into the top line this week because of its outstanding resume despite having seven losses on the year.

What does this mean for the Gators? It is almost a certainty that the Gators will play in Orlando, FL for the second and third rounds. There is also a high probability that as a No. 1 or high No. 2 seed, UF will play in the South region in Memphis, TN.

If Florida…
» Finishes 18-0 in SEC play, regardless of performance in the league tournament, it will be a No. 1 seed.
» Finishes 17-1 in SEC play, it will be a No. 1 seed with only one SEC Tournament win needed.
» Finishes 16-2 in SEC play, an appearance in the SEC Tournament final will be necessary to achieve a No. 1 seed, otherwise it will finish with a No. 2 seed.

» Worst case: Even with three-straight losses to end the season, the Gators would receive no worse than a No. 3 seed in the tournament.

NCAA RPI Standings

RPI Top 25 Wins
vs. Kansas (2)
at Kentucky (18)
RPI Top 25 Losses
at Wisconsin (5)
Record: 2-1

RPI 26-50 Wins
vs. Memphis [New York, NY] (32)
vs/at Tennessee [two games] (48)
RPI 26-50 Losses
at UConn (26)
Record: 3-1

RPI 51-100 Wins
vs. Missouri (52)
vs. Florida State (57)
at Arkansas (58)
vs. Richmond (63)
vs. LSU (64)
vs. Middle Tennessee (67)
vs. Georgia (84)
at Ole Miss (91)
at Vanderbilt (95)
Record: 9-0

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