Mass. NCAA DI Men’s College Basketball Power Rankings: Week 4 (Nov. 27)
The Power Rankings have a new look once again as the third full week of college hoops is in the books.
Record and last week’s ranking in parenthesis.
- Boston College (5-2, 1) – Eagles continue to play pretty well. Wednesday’s game against Colgate showed a lot about this team as it was able to rally back from a 17-point deficit to claim an 83-79 victory. However, a 20-point defeat at the hands of Providence three days later was a bit of an embarrassment for Jim Christian’s club. It just further proved what many already knew. That is, BC isn’t ready just yet to compete with top-50 opponents. The Eagles have a statement game against Nebraska on Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. A win would go a long way. BC will cap its week on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Hartford – which is its final game before beginning ACC play.
- UMass Lowell (5-1, 3) – River Hawks climb back to the No. 2 spot in the Power Rankings for the first time since the preseason. Why? Well, not losing a game since the season opener – which without Jahad Thomas, they lost by five to UMass – will do that. UML has four players scoring in double digits. Matt Harris (15.5 PPG) has shoulder a bigger load of the offense this season and has made many key shots for the River Hawks thus far. Watch out, they have finally figured out how to play at a D1 caliber. UML will host Sacred Heart on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before traveling to New Jersey to play NJIT on Sunday at 2 p.m. Those two clubs are a combined 5-6. UML can’t afford any hiccups.
- Harvard (3-4, 2) – Crimson have to turn it around and they have to turn it around quick. After getting thrashed, 89-71, against No. 21 St. Mary’s, they rebounded for a solid 77-71 victory over Saint Joseph’s only to be beaten 70-61 against CS Fullerton. Harvard is weak down low, and doesn’t matchup against bigger competition – which is a glaring issue. Northeastern awaits on Thursday at 7 p.m. before the Crimson travel to No. 2 Kentucky to take on the Wildcats on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. They need something out of these next two games – even if it is a wake-up call.
- UMass (3-3, 4) – UMass’ inability to close out games hasn’t changed from last season. The Minutemen blew an 10-point lead with 4:44 to go en route to a 68-66 loss to BYU on Saturday. It would have been a resume-building win for the Minutmen, but now they can’t take anything away from it. If there was a silver lining from the defeat, it would be they were able to build a 10-point lead that late in the game with leading scorer Luwane Pipkins having a horrid night from the field. Over the next seven days, UMass will play Quinnipiac (Wednesday at 7 p.m.) and South Carolina (Saturday at 2 p.m.)
- Boston University (2-3, 7) – The final three sports really come down to who would beat who. Right now, the Terriers are playing the hottest ball of them all after a 2-0 week. Albiet the wins came against Maine and Wheaton (MA) – yes a defeated team and D3 school, it at least showed the Terriers are better than both. BU has a golden opportunity to push its winning streak to three games against New Hampshire on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
- Northeastern (2-4, 5) – The PK80 Invitational was one the Huskies would probably like to forget, after an 0-4 showing in it. Northeastern continues to struggle to find a consistent scorer as though its first six games, four different players have led it in scoring. On the season, just one Husky is pumping in double-digit points and that is Vasa Pusica at 12.5. Once Tomas Murphy, Donnell Gresham Jr. and Pusica come alive at once, watch out – this is going to be a scary team. Until then, we will wait and see what they can do. Harvard (Thursday at 7 p.m.) and Cornell (Saturday at 4 p.m.) await the Huskies this week.
- Holy Cross (2-3, 6) – An 0-2 week, and three-game losing streak, push the Crusaders back into the No. 7 spot. Holy Cross, like BU, is looking for someone to take charge. It’s still a young team, as it boasts six freshman. Holy Cross squares off against Manhattan on Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Power rankings are decided with the help of several factors: record, strength of schedule, and record against top-tier opponents. The colleges in our coverage area include: Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Holy Cross, Northeastern, UMass and UMass Lowell. Power rankings will be published on Mondays, with the exception of the first and last game of the year, throughout the season.