Tuesday, January 14, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (1/14)

Just a bare bones Top 25 this week, friends. Enjoy...

College Hoops Top 25

1. Michigan St. (15-1) 1

2. Syracuse (17-0) 2

I know it's not a signature win, or anything. Being against a team that's 5-12, and whatnot. But sometimes it's just the way that you win that can make a game more important than the box score may suggest. The Orange win over BC was one of those wins. They could have easily folded when BC started the 2nd half like a house on fire and opened up an 8 point lead, but they didn't. Instead they actually won by 10. It wouldn't have been the worst loss in the world, but they won going away. And it's those types of performances that will help keep Syracuse among the country's elite...

3. Arizona (17-0) 3

4. Wisconsin (16-0) 4

5. Kansas (12-4) 7

The bandwagon will be fully loaded again WHEN Kansas lands back to back home wins against Oklahoma St. and Baylor. Mark my words...

6. Wichita St. (17-0) 8

7. San Diego St. (14-1) 9

8. Florida (12-2) 10

9. Ohio St. (15-2) 5

10. Duke (13-4) 6

Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood have been as advertised, averaging nearly 40 combined points per game. But if the Blue Devils expect to make it deep into March, they'll need to rebound, too. And right now, at 232nd in the country, that's just not happening. I have faith that Coach K and friends will address the issue and right the ship. But if they don't, that lack of presence on the glass is sure to be their downfall. Even in a tournament structure that tends to favor guard play...

11. Oklahoma St. (14-2) 12

12. Kentucky (12-3) 14

13. Memphis (12-3) 22

14. Pittsburgh (15-1) NR

Between weeks 1 and 2 are usually when my rankings experience the most fluctuation. Embodied in this instance, by the Pittsburgh Panthers. They jump 12 spots despite only beating Wake Forest, mostly because I finally had a chance to watch them play. The major takeaway from that experience being the continued development of senior Lamar Patterson. The 5th year man has nearly doubled his scoring output from a year ago, up to nearly 18 per game. And his size (6'5 225) should make him a tough match up on a nightly basis for whichever ACC squad happens to get in his way...

15. Iowa (14-3) 18

The Hawkeyes have depth, with 9 guys averaging more than 5 points per game. And they're efficient as all Hell, ranking in the top 3 nationally in scoring, rebounding and assists. Makes it all the more confusing as to why everyone only seems to want to talk about their crazy coach, and not so much their recent 10 point win AT Ohio St...

16. Villanova (15-1) 20

Nova sports wins over both Iowa and Kansas, whom I have ranked higher. But I'm just not quite convinced that the Wildcats beat those two teams as we will eventually come to know them. Mostly, I just wasn't impressed with their 16 point loss @ the Carrier Dome. So until they do a little more, like beating Creighton on Monday, I'll still be hesitant to move them any higher in my pecking order...

17. Louisville (14-3) 19

18. Baylor (13-2) 13

19. Creighton (14-2) NR

20. UMASS (14-1) 21

21. Iowa St. (14-2) 11

I was ready to be extremely bullish on the Hawkeyes, following their win over Baylor. But I'm not convinced 2nd leading scorer DeAndre Kane can be the same player with his now dinged up ankle. Not to mention consecutive losses to Oklahoma and Kansas aren't helping their cause...

22. Colorado (14-3) 15

23. Kansas St. (12-4) 16

24. Gonzaga (14-4) 17

25. UCLA (13-3) NR

just missed: St. Louis; Cincinnati; Oregon; Harvard; New Mexico

dropped: (23) Oregon; (24) Missouri; (25) North Carolina

What To Watch This Week
Wisconsin @ Indiana
Oklahoma @ Kansas St.

Purdue @ Illinois
Notre Dame @ Maryland
Missouri St. @ Indiana St.
Washington @ Cal

Arizona St. @ Arizona
Ohio St. @ Minnesota
UCONN @ Memphis

Pitt @ Syracuse
Michigan @ Wisconsin
Michigan St. @ Illinois
Indiana St. @ Wichita St.
Oklahoma @ Baylor
Iowa St. @ Texas
Oklahoma St. @ Kansas
Louisville @ UCONN
NC St. @ Duke

Oregon @ Oregon St.

Baylor @ Kansas
Creighton @ Villanova



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