It’s been a quiet couple week’s in college basketball, as most schools and players have seen more time with their textbooks for final exams than time with their teammates on the court.
But don’t worry, that’s about to change as we’re just a week away from conference play kicking off in full-swing.
For those of you who just can’t wait, there are some lovely appetizers this week, including the newly ranked Ole Miss visiting No. 5 West Virginia, and Michigan State and Texas squaring off.
Speaking of Texas, they have leapfrogged Kansas into the top spot in our poll after Saturday’s dominating victory over North Carolina.
And oh, by the way, one more thing…Merry Christmas!!!
1. Texas (10-0): I know, I know, it’s hard to justify dropping Kansas out of the top spot even though they have yet to lose a game. Just know this: Not only is Texas 10-0, but they’ve won those games by an average of 29 points. Wow!
2. Kansas (10-0): Think of the Jayhawks similarly to this year’s Florida Gators football team, they keep winning, but just aren’t as dominant as they should be. Honestly, if Kansas played Texas on a neutral court today, not only would they lose, it likely wouldn’t be close.
3. Kentucky (11-0): Wildcats fans finally have a reason to be thankful this holiday season, mainly John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and John Calipari. And the holiday feasting will continue into the New Year, as Kentucky plays it’s next three games against Drexel, Long Beach State and University of Hartford. Cheers!
4. Purdue (10-0): Purdue beat Ball State to improve to 10-0 Saturday…yawn…Wake me up when they play West Virginia New Year’s Day.
5. West Virginia (8-0): Speaking of West Virginia, nobody loaded up their holiday plate quite like the Mountaineers, who play Ole Miss and Purdue by New Year’s with Big East games against Seton Hall and Marquette in between. Good luck the next couple weeks West Virginia fans, you might need it.
6. Syracuse (11-0): Another week and another win for Syracuse. Enjoy the holidays Orange fans, and check back next Tuesday, when Syracuse opens Big East play at 9-1 Seton Hall.
7. Duke (9-1): Duke 76, Gonzaga 41. Can you say signature victory?
8. Villanova (10-1): Nothing to report this week for the Wildcats, as they played just once, and dominated at that. But as Big East play begins, the question has to be asked: Does Villanova have enough size to truly be a contender?
9. Michigan State (9-2): The Spartans seem to be playing better now that the weight of their absurdly high preseason ranking is off their shoulders. But even after winning four straight, do they have any chance against Texas Tuesday night?
10. Uconn (7-2): Congratulations to coach Jim Calhoun, who signed a new five-year contract that will likely keep him at the school through the middle of the next decade. But with the way his Huskies are playing (lowlighted by a come from behind victory against Central Florida Sunday), who knows if he’ll even want to stick around that long.
11. Kansas State (10-1): Folks, Kansas State is a really, really good team. How good? How about double-digit wins over Xavier, UNLV and Alabama in the last two weeks? Not too shabby, right?
12. North Carolina (8-3): The Tar Heels ran into the Texas buzzsaw Saturday, losing to the Longhorns 103-90 in Cowboys Stadium. Why’d they lose? Texas might be the only team that has a better frontcourt than North Carolina, and it showed Saturday, as the Longhorns outrebounded the Tar Heels 56-36.
13. Georgetown (8-1): Don’t sweat the Hoyas loss to Old Dominion because everybody has a letdown once in awhile. But if Georgetown can’t rebound with a win New Year’s Eve at St. John’s, well, then there might some cause for concern.
14. Ohio State (9-2): The Buckeyes continue to win as their best player, Evan Turner, remains on the sidelines with a back injury. But will they keep pulling out games once the schedule gets tougher?
15. New Mexico (12-0): We told you about the Lobos last week, and they responded by winning two more games since then. Now, if they can win another two games- against Texas Tech and Dayton- New Mexico might be celebrating the New Year with a top 10 ranking.
16. Florida (8-2): With young teams you’re always going to have highs and lows, and the Gators are at a low right now with two straight losses. They should be able to right the ship however, with games against South Alabama and American coming up.
17. UNLV (10-1): The Rebels should have no problem beating a bad SMU team Tuesday. But, it won’t be a happy New Year as they prepare for a January 6 trip to BYU, traditionally one of the toughest places to play in college basketball.
18. Ole Miss (10-1): There was a lot of preseason hype surrounding the Rebels, but I for one didn’t buy it. Until now. The Rebels are skilled and athletic, and can do themselves wonders by beating West Virginia Wednesday.
19. Washington (7-2): The Huskies are 7-2, but looking at their schedule, who exactly is their best win? If this team is to be taken seriously, they need, repeat need to beat Texas A&M at home Tuesday night.
20. Butler (8-3): The Bulldogs may have college basketball’s most controversial win this season, when a shot clock malfunction allowed them to sneak by Xavier Saturday. But a win is a win, and combine that with Butler’s victory over Ohio State a week ago, and the Bulldogs find themselves back in the Power Rankings.