Penn continues to be the bottom dweller of the City 6 Rankings, as the Quakers find themselves off to a 2-10 start. Since the last edition of the rankings, Penn has gone 0-3. The Quakers lost by one to Rider, but it's Rider, they should've won. The Quakers then lost by three to a mediocre George Mason squad, following that up with blowout loss to fellow Big 5 squad La Salle.
Plain and simple, Penn is not a very good team. On top of that, they have given away winnable games. The Quakers have lost some close matchups and seem to struggle down the stretch, so yet again, they come in at sixth in the rankings.
5. Temple (5-7)
Since the last set of rankings, Temple has gone 0-2 and have won just one of their past five games. A New Year's Day loss to Rutgers, followed by a loss to Central Florida yesterday drops the Owls a spot to #5 in the latest edition of the rankings.
To continue their impressive streak of tournament appearances, the Owls will need to pick up a few good wins before the end of the season. That being said, Temple has just the schedule to do so, with seven games remaining against teams currently in the Top 20 and some other tough matchups as well.
Temple finds themselves facing a bit of a challenge however, as they will have to do all of this without their sixth man, Daniel Dingle. Dingle will need surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, and will likely be out for the season. In his absence, the Owls will need others to step up, or it could be a painful season for the Cherry and White.
4. La Salle (7-6)
La Salle has played just once since the last rankings came out, beating Penn by 19 points yesterday. The Explorers have failed to click so far this season and are a far cry from the team that made it to the Sweet 16 a season ago. It is evident La Salle misses the presence of Ramon Galloway greatly, and they have a lot of work to do now to make the tournament this season.
The Explorers will have to finish out the season on quite the run if they want to make the Big Dance, as they have an extremely weak schedule and RPI. La Salle finds themselves moving up a spot since the last rankings, coming in at #4 this week, but mainly due to the recent struggles of Temple.
3. Drexel (8-5)
Drexel has gone 0-2 since the last set of rankings, losing two games they shouldn't have, but with the rest of the City 6 doing little to impress, remain at #3. The Dragons lost to Buffalo to close out the 2013 portion of their schedule, and lost to Southern Miss in their first game of 2014. Southern Miss may be 13-2, but that has been largely against a weak schedule. A 17-point loss in that game is unacceptable, especially after the Dragons stayed competitive earlier in the season with a fourth-ranked Arizona squad and a ranked UCLA team.
Drexel has the talent, but cannot afford losses like their past two. Playing in a conference like the CAA, the Dragons will be best served winning their conference tournament to take the decision out of the Selection Committee's hands come tournament time.
2. Saint Joseph’s (9-4)
The Hawks have won all three of their games since the last set of rankings, and are winners of their past five, the longest win streak for Saint Joseph's since another five-game streak in December, 2011. There is still plenty for Saint Joseph's to work on, foul shooting and developing a bench in particular, but the Hawks head into conference play with good momentum.
Saint Joseph's remains at #2 in this week's rankings, as Villanova is by far the best squad in the city, but the Hawks appear ready to make some noise heading into a matchup with #23 Massachusetts on Wednesday.
1. Villanova (12-1)
Villanova finally lost their first game of the season on December 28, as they fell to #2 Syracuse on the road. The Wildcats played well early but struggled in the second half on their way to a 16-point loss. Villanova followed that loss with a nice overtime win over a tough Butler squad on the road three days later.
Villanova remains far above the rest of the city, and the #11 Wildcats will meet a 10-4 Providence squad tonight at home.
By: Kyle Babcock
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