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College Basketball Top 25

December 18, 2011

TOP 25:

1. Syracuse (11-0)
Last Week: #1
2. Ohio State (10-1)
Last Week: #2
3. Duke (9-1)
Last Week: #3
4. Kentucky (9-1)
Last Week: #4
5. Louisville (10-0)
Last Week: #5
6. Connecticut (9-1)
Last Week: #6
7. Baylor (9-0)
Last Week: #7
8. North Carolina (9-2)
Last Week: #8
9. Missouri (11-0)
Last Week: #10
10. Xavier (8-1)
Last Week: #9
11. Marquette (10-0)
Last Week: #11
12. Kansas (7-2)
Last Week: #12
13. Mississippi State (11-1)
Last Week: #13
14. Florida (8-2)
Last Week: #14
15. Pittsburgh (10-1)
Last Week: #15
16. Georgetown (9-1)
Last Week: #16
17. Michigan (9-2)
Last Week: #17
18. Wisconsin (10-2)
Last Week: #18
19. Indiana (10-0)
Last Week: #19
20. UNLV (11-2)
Last Week: #22
21. Michigan State (9-2)
Last Week: #23
22. Illinois (10-1)
Last Week: #21
23. San Diego State (9-2)
Last Week: #24
24. Murray State (12-0)
Last Week: Unranked
25. Creighton (8-1)
Last Week: Unranked

DROPPED OUT:

20. Alabama (8-3)
Last Week: #20
25. Texas A&M (8-2)
Last Week: #25

BUBBLE:

Harvard (9-1)
Gonzaga (7-2)
Saint Louis (10-1)
California (9-2)
Cleveland State (10-1)
Florida State (8-3)
Stanford (9-1)
Virginia (9-1)

Notes:

*Nothing changes in the Top 8. North Carolina is ranked significantly lower than they are in the national polls. While I still think they are a top 3 team in the nation, it’s hard to argue they have better resumes than the teams I have ranked ahead of them. Most of the top teams coasted this past week, but Louisville posted a strong win against Memphis and Baylor got taken to the buzzer by BYU.

*Xavier took its first loss of the season… to Oral Roberts. However, they only drop one spot because Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons–their two best players–were both suspended for the game.

*Missouri jumps a spot due to the Xavier loss. I’d consider holding Xavier at #9, but Mizzou has just been MASHING every team they play.

*I’ve kept UNLV in my top 25 ever since they knocked off North Carolina, but the national polls made a rash move in dropping them out after losses to Wichita State and Wisconsin, both tough teams. After handing Illinois their first loss of the season, however, the Running Rebels should make a return to the national polls tomorrow.

*After being one of the few publications to rank Michigan State in the preseason, I was happy to see them crack the top 25 last week. They are currently on a 9-game winning streak that includes wins over Florida State and Gonzaga, two teams that were ranked in the preseason. The Spartans only losses were against Duke and North Carolina, both top 8 teams.

*Much like UNLV several weeks ago, there’s no reason to push the eject button on Illinois just because they lost a game. They still deserve a spot in the top 25 for now… but Big Ten play should prove this is a team that eventually doesn’t belong.

*How many weeks have I had San Diego State in my top 25? Is this the week the rest of the nation finally catches on? With Alabama, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt all likely dropping out of the AP Poll, I think so.

*Speaking of Alabama, what is going on with the Crimson Tide? The first several weeks of the season, they emerged as one of the stronger and more surprising teams in the nation. Now they’ve dropped three of four… to unranked teams. WTF?

*With 8 undefeated teams left in the nation, does anyone want to place bets on which team will last the longest without a loss? Put your money on Murray State. At 12-0 and with wins over Dayton and Memphis, I finally bite the bullet and rank them. They’ve managed to make it through non-conference play unscathed and have a better chance than anyone to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated.

*I put Texas A&M back in my top 25 last week solely on the strength of star Khris Middleton returning to the line-up. The Aggies rewarded my faith by promptly getting smashed by Florida. See ya.

*Creighton returns to my top 25 although they have only one notable win on their resume (vs. San Diego State). Doug McDermott is just too damn good though (24.1 ppg, 8.8 rpg).

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