South Carolina Basketball: AP voter doubles down on Gamecock disrespect, keeps them out of #1-spot

South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley and her team continue to be disrespected by Mitchell Northam, an AP top-25 voter.
South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley
South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, AP top-25 voter Mitchell Northam disrespected South Carolina basketball by dropping them from the top spot in his rankings, causing the Gamecocks to drop "unanimous" from their title of top-ranked team in the country.

Instead, Northam voted for UCLA based on "strength of schedule." However, in every possible metric, Carolina has had a tougher strength of schedule (RPI SOS, Gamecocks lead 3 to 12; Massey Ratings SOS, Gamecocks lead 2 to 5). Either Northam didn't know what he was talking about, or he was disrespecting the Gamecocks to create online engagement.

It was not the first time Northam had it out for the Gamecocks, either. Last year, he did the same thing, voting for a 1-loss Indiana team over USC, a move that made him look silly as the Hoosiers lost their very next game and eventually lost in the NCAA Tournament's 2nd round.

However, last year's slight lasted for just one week thanks to Indiana's loss. This year, Northam has doubled down on the bad take, voting for UCLA at the top of his rankings once again.

The Gamecocks are, as one would expect, the top team in the NET rankings. UCLA is 5th. Just like last week, South Carolina is the top-rated team in the country in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency, while UCLA is outside of the top-5 in both statistics. The Gamecocks played two of their "worst" games of the year last week (against two SEC opponents) and still won by an average of 21 points. UCLA almost lost to unranked Oregon State.

The Bruins are a very good team and have Final Four potential, but South Carolina basketball has been the best team this season, and they are the most deserving team of the #1 ranking. It really is that simple.

This is not an attempt to guarantee a South Carolina basketball national championship. This is not even to guarantee that UCLA won't win it. Instead, it is a factual showing that, at this point, a ballot like Mr. Northam's shows that he is either outrageously uninformed or simply a troll, and neither of those descriptors should be applicable to a person who votes on the AP Top-25 poll each week.

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