The West Virginia Mountaineers, currently ranked #17 in the AP Poll and coming off wins at Oklahoma State and at home against #22 ranked Texas Tech, will almost certainly see a major boost in Monday’s latest rankings.
The Mountaineers, now 13-2, are currently ranked 11th in the NCAA NET Ranking, #1 in the RPI rankings and have one of the toughest strength of schedules in the nation. West Virginia’s resume through 15 games is that of a #1 or #2 ranked team in the NCAA Tournament and certainly a Top 10 team right now.
#16 Villanova, #15 Dayton and #14 Kentucky all won this last week, but Villanova and Kentucky have 3 losses and all three teams’ schedules pale in comparison to West Virginia’s schedule.
#12 Maryland lost to Iowa, #11 Ohio State has lost four consecutive games, #8 Michigan State got blown out by Purdue 71-42 and #3 Kansas lost at home to #4 Baylor.
Realistically, the Mountaineers should jump Villanova, Dayton, Maryland, Ohio State and Michigan State for sure and really, Kansas as well. Although Kansas will not fall that far and West Virginia will unlikely pass the Jayhawks, West Virginia has played a tougher schedule and has one less loss than Kansas.
Again, rankings in January mean absolutely nothing, but expect to see the Mountaineers ranked in the #9 – #12 range when the new polls come out on Monday afternoon. West Virginia next plays TCU at home on Tuesday night at 9:00PM on ESPNU. The Horned Frogs, 12-3 and 3-0 in the Big 12, could also be ranked in the Top 25 when they visit the Coliseum.