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College Basketball Power Rankings

We promised you last week that these College Basketball Power Rankings would fluctuate all season long, and that’s exactly what happened over the past seven days, as we welcome in four new teams.

For you college hoops junkies, it’s going to be a quiet week, as most schools will be in the midst of final exams. But be sure to clear some time on Saturday, when Texas and North Carolina will square off at 2 p.m. and Duke and Gonzaga do battle at 4 p.m., both on neutral courts.

Let’s get to the rankings!

1. Kansas (9-0, 0-0): Has any undefeated and top ranked team ever laid this low a month into the season? The Jayhawks are undefeated, virtually untested and won’t be back in action until Saturday against Michigan.

2. Texas (8-0, 0-0): Speaking of ho-hum, hey look it’s Texas, which won two more games by double-digits this week. No need to worry though, as the Longhorns have North Carolina this week, their first major test of the season.

3. Kentucky (10-0, 0-0): Yours truly was in the Garden Wednesday night and can attest, Kentucky’s game against UConn was as good in person as it came across on TV. And oh, that John Wall kid? He’s pretty good too.

4. Purdue (9-0, 0-0): Give Purdue credit for weathering the storm, and overcoming a nine point halftime deficit at Alabama Saturday night. The Boilermakers should cruise to wins in their last three games before the New Year.

5. West Virginia (7-0, 0-0): Question, how do you follow up tough, 25 points victories against Duquesne and Coppin State? If you’re West Virginia it’s with a trip to 4-6 Cleveland State, that’s how. Hey Bob Huggins, how do those cupcakes taste?

6. Syracuse (9-0, 0-0): The Orange went down to Tampa and got another impressive win Thursday, this one against Florida. Syracuse can now hit cruise control, and should be undefeated when Big East play starts on December 29.

7. Duke (7-1, 0-0): The Blue Devils move up a spot, coming off an impressive…wait a second, Duke didn’t play a game this week! Either way, they’ll be back in action Wednesday, and then play Gonzaga at Madison Square Garden Saturday afternoon.

8. Villanova (9-1, 0-0): Hoops Addict warned you last week that Villanova was due for a letdown against one of their cross-town rivals this week, which is exactly what happened in Sunday night’s loss to Temple. After a few days off, look for Villanova to take out their frustrations on 2-6 Fordham next Saturday.

9. Tennessee (7-1, 0-0): Boy, that win over Middle Tennessee sure showed us, oh wait, it didn’t show us anything at all. Neither will games against Wyoming and Southern Cal this week.

10. North Carolina (8-2, 0-0): With Michigan State and Kentucky on the schedule last week, and Texas up next, Saturday’s game against Presbyterian was a good way to rest the starters and get the backup’s valuable minutes. However, if Marcus Ginyard (foot) and Dexter Strickland (leg) don’t get healthy, the Tar Heels could be in trouble. Not just against Texas, but also for the rest of the season.

11. Florida (8-1, 0-0): It’s hard to drop the Gators too far after losing to a good Syracuse team Thursday. But a problem crept in that game- a lack of big-time rebounders- which might haunt the Gators all season.

12. Georgetown (8-0, 0-0): Uh oh… The Hoyas beat both Butler and Washington convincingly this week, and if Greg Monroe keeps playing like he did against the Bulldogs (24 points, 15 rebounds), the rest of college basketball could be in big trouble.

13. Michigan State (8-2, 0-0): There’s not much to report on the Spartans this week, and there really won’t be until their visit to Texas December 22. However, after losses to Florida and North Carolina already, if Michigan State can’t at least keep it close against the Longhorns, it might be time to start writing them off for good.

14. Kansas State (9-1, 0-0): Is this too high to have the Wildcats make their first appearance in the Power Rankings this year? Maybe. But with double-digit wins against Xavier and UNLV already, Frank Martin is proving that Kansas State isn’t just “The school that Michael Beasley went to once upon a time.”

15. UConn (6-2, 0-0): You can’t fault the Huskies for losing the most competitive and overall best game of the 2009-2010 season to Kentucky last Wednesday. However, some of the things which crept up for them in that loss (mainly poor free throw and three point shooting), could remain problematic all year.

16. New Mexico (10-0, 0-0): Well hello New Mexico! We couldn’t keep the Lobos out of our Power Rankings any more. Especially after they beat Texas A&M Saturday night to improve to 10-0.

17. Texas Tech (9-0, 0-0): Pat Knight (Bobby’s son), has Texas Tech playing its best basketball in years. No word yet though if Knight Jr. has the same chair throwing tendencies his father once did.

18. Gonzaga (8-2, 0-0): The Zags re-enter the Power Rankings just six points away from being undefeated. Even with wins against Wisconsin and Cincinnati in Maui, a win against Saturday against Duke would be their most important of the season.

19. Washington (6-2, 0-0): Alright, here’s the truth: Washington just isn’t as good as we thought they’d be. But in a watered down Pac-10, who exactly is better?

20. Georgia Tech (6-1, 0-0): It’s hard to move the Yellow Jackets any higher than where they were last at week since they haven’t played in that time.. Georgia Tech opens ACC play Sunday against Florida State.

New to the Power Rankings: Kansas State, New Mexico, Texas Tech, Gonzaga
Dropping Out: Ohio State, Wisconsin, UNLV, Texas A&M

Aaron Torres
With a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Connecticut, Aaron Torres has covered a number of different sports for several different media outlets in the northeastern United States. You can find more of his writing at www.aarontorres-sports.com and you can follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/Aaron_Torres).
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