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College Basketball Power Rankings

For some, the Thanksgiving holiday is filled with massive food and football consumption. But for many, it’s also a chance to see many of college basketball’s top teams battle in some good early season tournaments.

With the results in, here is the newest version of our College Basketball Power Rankings:

1. Kansas (5-0, 0-0): The Jayhawks are undefeated, and with the exception of a close win against Memphis, untested as well. They are also college basketball’s highest scoring team (90 points per game), with six players averaging at least seven points.

2. Texas (5-0, 0-0): You can make a case – and do so pretty convincingly – that the Longhorns have been the best team so far, as all five of their wins have come by double-digits. And despite losing starting guard Varez Ward for the season, Texas is one of the few teams with enough talent and depth to replace him.

3. Villanova (6-0, 0-0): There was sun and fun for Villanova over the holiday weekend, as they beat Dayton and Ole Miss to capture the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic. The Wildcats currently have five double figure scorers.

4. Purdue (5-0, 0-0): The Boilermakers won maybe the best game of the early season so far, a 73-72 victory over Tennessee in the Virgin Islands. If this team and can stay healthy- and that’s always a big if with this group- there’s plenty of reason to believe they’ll be in the National Championship hunt all season long.

5. West Virginia: (5-0, 0-0): The Mountaineers were arguably the most impressive overall team this holiday weekend, winning a talent filled Anaheim Classic by an average of 16 points per game. And with Devin Ebanks back after missing some early action, there’s no reason to believe that Bob Huggins’ group won’t compete with Villanova for a Big East championship.

6. Duke (6-0, 0-0): Keep calling Duke soft and un-athletic, they don’t care, they just keep winning. With a convincing victory over UConn in the NIT Tip-off Classic, the Blue Devils have made their case early as the ACC’s best team.

7. Kentucky (6-0, 0-0): Kentucky is undefeated, but it hasn’t come without some close calls. We’ll find out a lot more about John Wall and Co. over the next 10 days, when they play at North Carolina Saturday, and UConn on a neutral court a week from Wednesday.

8. Michigan State (4-1, 0-0): We know Michigan State has the talent to beat just about anyone in college basketball, they simply haven’t shown it yet, struggling against Gonzaga and losing to Florida. They’ll need to improve quickly with a trip North Carolina Tuesday night.

9. Syracuse (6-0, 0-0): From unranked to No. 8? That’s what happens when you beat Cal and North Carolina by a combined 40 points to win the 2K Sports Classic.

10. North Carolina (6-1, 0-0): Syracuse proved that if you pressure North Carolina’s ball-handlers, the Tar Heels suddenly become a lot more beatable, as the Orange ran them off the court in a 25 point victory. This team will be much better in March than it is now, but with games against Michigan State and Kentucky this week, more losses seem to be looming.

11. Ohio State (5-1, 0-0): Can I interest anyone in a ball-handling 6’7 forward averaging 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists a game? That’s what Ohio State has right now in junior Evan Turner.

12. Tennessee (5-1, 0-0): Beating Austin Peay, East Carolina and College of Charleston is cute, but to be taken seriously the Volunteers will need some wins against the big boys. Unfortunately, their next major test might not come until New Year’s Eve when they play cross-state rival Memphis.

13. Florida (6-0, 0-0): With wins over Florida State, Michigan State and Rutgers already, no one has come off the radar and into our consciousness faster than the Gators this season. Florida may have the second best freshman in college basketball right now (excluding John Wall) in Kenny Boynton, currently averaging 15.8 points per game.

14. Washington (5-0, 0-0): Home cooking has certainly been nice to Washington, which hasn’t left Seattle and hasn’t lost yet either. However, if they want to be real players in this year’s Pac-10 race, they’ll need more than 5.2 points a game and 27 percent shooting from freshman Abdul Gaddy.

15. UConn (4-1, 0-0): The Huskies have been wayward at times and great at others, dominating LSU before losing to Duke in the NIT Tipoff Classic final. The schedule lightens up this week, with a Dec. 9 showdown looming with Kentucky.

16. Gonzaga (5-1, 0-0): Yes, the Maui Invitational field was a little light this year. But the Zags still had to beat three very good teams (Colorado, Wisconsin and Cincinnati) to claim the title.

17. Oklahoma State (6-0, 0-0): A sleeper team to keep an eye on is Oklahoma State featuring high-scoring wing James Anderson (22.8 ppg). Anyone remember the Cowboys shootout with Pitt in the 2nd round of last year’s NCAA Tournament?

18. UNLV (5-0, 0-0): How about a little Mountain West love for the Rebels? UNLV won their first four games by double-digits, before shocking Louisville 76-71 Sunday afternoon.

19. Georgetown (4-0, 0-0): Alright, so the Hoya’s 46-45 victory over Temple may have set basketball back about 30 years. But we had them ranked to start the season, and they haven’t lost yet, so we can’t drop them, can we?

20. Texas A&M (5-1, 0-0): The Aggies beat two ranked teams and lost to another in this weekend’s Anaheim Classic. It’s looking like Texas A&M will again be one of the most overlooked teams in college basketball this year.

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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