Chicago City Rankings - 11/30

Note: This is the weekly spot where I'll recap what happened for
each of the five teams this blog covers and rank them. The rankings are
a combination of subjectivity and (mostly) statistical analysis. It includes RPI, Basketball State, Ken Pomeroy, Sagarin and my own observations. It's sort of like the BCS for Chicago. I'm sure that makes you cringe. Like the maligned football system Chicago College Basketball is also on Twitter.

Northwestern may have captured the Chicago Invitational Challenge with victories over Notre Dame and Iowa State, but the computer rankings used to create this chart still see the Wildcats as behind another Chicago school overall. The home loss to Butler is hurting Northwestern's place in the rankings, while DePaul's neutral site loss to Tennessee certainly looks like a "good" loss. Of course the computers don't typically take into account that the Blue Demons had to go to overtime to beat Detroit, or that Tennessee State gave the Wildcats a run for their money.

The Rankings:

  1. DePaul (4-1)
  2. Northwestern (5-1)
  3. Loyola-Chicago (4-1)
  4. Chicago State (3-2)
  5. UIC (1-3)

Notes on the rankings after the break.
DePaul: The Blue Demons went to overtime with Detroit at home on Saturday, but in the end pulled out a 68-66 victory. According to CollegeRPI.com, the RPI loves DePaul. The Blue Demons are ranked 5th. All of the other rankings like the Blue Demons as well. Saturday's trip to Vanderbilt should tell us a lot about DePaul. Mac Koshwal's injury hasn't hurt the Blue Demons yet, but it might come the weekend.

Northwestern: Ah the fickle nature of college basketball rankings. Northwestern had a very good long weekend beating Notre Dame and Iowa State, but Butler's downhill slide hasn't helped the Wildcats in the eyes of the computers. Northwestern has just one game this week, on Tuesday in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at N.C. State. The Wolfpack are a surprising 5-0, so this is another big game for the Wildcats.

Loyola: Technically Loyola leads the Horizon League at the moment. The Ramblers' .800 record is the best of the league's 10 teams. This weekend that place will be put to the test as Loyola heads to Wisconsin for a pair of games to open league play against Green Bay and Milwaukee. Play well in those games - at least a split - and the hype will officially be on for Jim Whitesell's club.

Chicago State: The Cougars have yet to defeat a NCAA Division I opponent, something they share in common with UIC. With eight of their next nine games on the road that might not change for a long time. The Great West is struggling as a conference. That's to be expected. Unfortunately, according to Sagarin, even the Division I Independents have had a better season thus far.

UIC: It was a close game against Southern Illinois for a while, and just a three-point game at halftime, but close games don't get you anything when you can't find a way to win. The Flames are playing the opposite schedule of Loyola this weekend, so they head to Milwaukee and then Green Bay over the long weekend (Thursday and Saturday). Will UIC defeat an NCAA Division I opponent in non-conference play? That's a good question with games against Oregon State, Wisconsin, DePaul, Toledo, Northern Illinois and Akron still on the schedule. 

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