POLL WATCH: Hawkeyes Drop From Top Ten

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Where did Iowa fall in the rankings after losing to Michigan last week?

The Hawkeyes soared to poll heights that hadn't been seen in Iowa City in years last week, ascending to 10th in the nation.  Alas, they've fallen from those lofty heights this week after losing to Michigan last Wednesday in Ann Arbor. Iowa still remains ranked fairly highly, though, and has a great opportunity to reclaim a spot in the top 10 next week if they can win this week's big game with Michigan State (Tuesday night, 6 PM CST, ESPN).

AP POLL: JANUARY 27, 2014

RANK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Arizona Wildcats (63) 20-0 1623
2 Syracuse Orange (2) 19-0 1561
3 Florida Gators 17-2 1436
4 Wichita St. Shockers 21-0 1435
5 San Diego St. Aztecs 18-1 1337
6 Kansas Jayhawks 15-4 1272
7 Michigan St. Spartans 18-2 1251
8 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 16-3 1067
9 Villanova Wildcats 17-2 1063
10 Michigan Wolverines 15-4 1050
11 Kentucky Wildcats 15-4 896
12 Louisville Cardinals 17-3 891
13 Cincinnati Bearcats 19-2 793
14 Wisconsin Badgers 17-3 763
15 Iowa Hawkeyes 16-4 722
16 Iowa St. Cyclones 15-3 684
17 Duke Blue Devils 16-4 549
18 Pittsburgh Panthers 18-2 517
19 Saint Louis Billikens 18-2 464
20 Creighton Bluejays 17-3 445
21 UMass Minutemen 17-2 353
22 Memphis Tigers 15-4 262
23 Oklahoma Sooners 16-4 203
24 Ohio St. Buckeyes 16-4 143
25 Texas Longhorns 16-4 142

Iowa falls from 10th to 15th in the AP Poll, which is only the third steepest-drop in those rankings this week (tied with Villanova and Wisconsin, who also fell five spots in the poll).  Ohio State dropped seven spots in the AP Poll, from 17th to 24th, although their freefall was arrested by a 62-55 win over Illinois over the weekend.  UMass fell even further, dropping eight spots (13th to 21st) after losing to Richmond, 58-55.

USA TODAY COACHES POLL: JANUARY 27, 2014

RANK TEAM RECORD Points
1 Arizona Wildcats 20-0 799
2 Syracuse Orange 19-0 769
3 Wichita State Shockers 21-0 724
4 Florida Gators 17-2 694
5 San Diego State Aztecs 18-1 653
6 Michigan State Spartans 18-2 621
7 Louisville Cardinals 17-3 552
7 Kansas Jayhawks 15-4 552
9 Villanova Wildcats 17-2 509
10 Oklahoma State Cowboys 16-3 497
11 Kentucky Wildcats 15-4 433
12 Iowa Hawkeyes 16-4 386
13 Wisconsin Badgers 17-3 368
14 Michigan Wolverines 15-4 346
15 Cincinnati Bearcats 19-2 323
16 Duke Blue Devils 16-4 298
17 Pittsburgh Panthers 18-2 279
18 Iowa St. Cyclones 15-3 268
19 UMass Minutemen 17-2 265
20 Creighton Bluejays 17-3 229
21 Saint Louis Billikens 18-2 218
22 Memphis Tigers 15-4 155
23 Ohio State Buckeyes 16-4 118
24 Gonzaga Bulldogs 18-3 114
25 Oklahoma Sooners 16-4 85

Iowa's fall was less pronounced in the Coaches Poll, dipping just two spots, from 10th to 12th.  Interestingly, Iowa remains ahead of Michigan in that poll, despite having the same number of losses and having just lost fairly convincingly to the Wolverines (who followed that up by beating a top-10 team on the road -- not too shabby).  Perhaps the coaches are just avid KenPom subscribers.

Through Sunday's games, Iowa sits at 4th in the most recent KenPom rankings:

Jan_27_kenpom_medium
(click to embiggen)

HOORAY, ADVANCED STATS!

Meanwhile, Iowa sits at 21st in the advanced (ish) stats that truly matter: the NCAA RPI rankings:

Jan_27_ncaa_rpi_medium
(click to embiggen)

As Iowa fans know all too well, guady KenPom rankings are nice, but what truly matters on Selection Sunday is where you sit in the RPI, however flawed a system it might be.  Iowa's been on the wrong side of the RPI bubble in recent years, but they're in much better shape this year, sitting at 21st in the most recent official NCAA RPI rankings.  Of course, while Iowa's RPI is such that they're in no danger of not making the tournament as things stand, it would still be very nice to keep that number ticking up, so that Iowa can hopefully get a more favorable seeding.

Also, in terms of Iowa's records versus certain groups within the RPI rankings...

vs RPI 1-25: 2-4 (W over Ohio State, Xavier; L to Wisconsin, Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan)
vs RPI 26-50: 1-0 (W over Minnesota)
vs RPI 51-100: 2-0 (W over Nebraska, Notre Dame)
vs RPI 101-200: 5-0 (W over UTEP, Northwestern x2, Nebraska-Omaha, Drake, 
vs RPI 201-300: 4-0 (W over Fairleigh Dickinson, UNC-Wilmington, Arkansas-PineBluff, Penn)
vs RPI 301-349:  1-0 (W over Maryland Eastern Shore)
vs RPI other: 1-0 (W over Abilene Christian)

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