Chicago City Rankings - 12/7

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.

The inevitable has occurred and Northwestern has passed DePaul in the Chicago City Rankings. Even a good loss against Vanderbilt was enough to push the Blue Demons below the Wildcats. Of course this will not be settled on the court this season, so I guess the rankings are the only place to wonder "What if?" A cross-town rivalry is renewed this week as DePaul takes on UIC at Allstate Arena on Sunday.

The Rankings:

  1. Northwestern (6-1)
  2. DePaul (5-2)
  3. Loyola (5-2)
  4. UIC (1-5)
  5. Chicago State (3-3)

Northwestern: The Wildcats haven't played since December 1, but that was a nice victory over N.C. State in Raleigh. The Wolfpack then came to Milwaukee and beat Marquette, so the win looks even better for Northwestern. Almost all of the advanced ratings systems the City Rankings use think that Northwestern is a fringe NCAA Tournament quality team. The lowest rating is 76 (by Kenpom) and the RPI is currently a robust 32. Northwestern comes back from exams to play North Carolina A&T at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday.

DePaul: While RPI still loves the Blue Demons and has them at 25th, other systems are much more skeptical. In fact, no ratings system knows exactly what to do with DePaul. That's probably the Blue Demons have played like two different teams thanks to the absence of Mac Koshwal. He won't be back for another couple of weeks so DePaul will have to get past Mississippi State on Thursday night in the Big East/SEC Invitational and UIC on Sunday without him.

Loyola: An important split over the weekend gives the Ramblers hope in the Horizon League. It is time for exams and then back to non-conference play when San Francisco visits the Gentile Center on Saturday afternoon. The Ramblers have a strong RPI still, but the ranking in the low 120's overall that Basketball State and Sagarin have for them is probably a better spot. That is still a team in the top third or so of college basketball.

UIC: It is going to be difficult for the Flames to get a victory against an NCAA Division I opponent anytime soon. Games against DePaul and Oregon State - which comes to the Pavilion on December 16 - aren't going to be easy. The Flames are ranked between 260 and 320 in each of the ranking systems.

Chicago State: The Cougars play difficult games at Nebraska and Hawaii this week. While a paid trip to Hawaii might sound great with all the snow outside, it will probably come with a difficult game against the 3-4 Warriors. If the Cougars can get their legs underneath of them they might be competitive in the game. Chicago State is sitting near the bottom in every ranking system. Their best is a 325th ranking in Basketball State.

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  • I wish NU and DePaul were playing each other again this year. They were slated to, but DePaul asked out of this year's game.

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