ROB'S TOP 25
1. Kansas (11-0)
2. Texas (11-0): Since these two teams are the definitive top two teams in the country right now, I figure I'd tell you why I ranked them how I did. For starters, I thought that Kansas was the best team in the preseason, and while they haven't exactly been blowing out their opponents, they have won games by double digits in the last few weeks against Michigan (not as close of the final) and Cal (closer than the final). True, neither of these teams are playing as well as they were expected too, but both of them were ranked in the preseason, and my money says both of them end up in the tournament come March. Texas was my second ranked team in the preseason, and they have a couple of really impressive wins in the last 10 days, outlasting both North Carolina and Michigan State. But neither of those teams are playing great basketball right now, and both of the wins came in Texas. So while I will agree that Texas has closed the gap between themselves and Kansas, and that Texas has had a more impressive resume than Kansas (not the Jayhawks fault - they could have three top 25 wins if UCLA, Cal, and Michigan were as good as they were supposed to be when schedules were made), but I don't yet believe that Texas is a better team than Kansas.
3. Kentucky (13-0): After obliterating Drexel, Kentucky once again showed off their youth as they struggled to hold off Long Beach State. As I've said all season long, Kentucky is one of the few teams talented enough to be a national champion, but until they can consistently put together 40 minutes of great basketball, they are not going to be a team that can make a Final Four.
4. West Virginia (10-0): People are sleeping on West Virginia. This team does have its flaws - they aren't great perimeter shooters, and they don't have a great point guard, which means that their susceptible to a press - but there are few teams in the country that are going to be able to score on the Mountaineers when they decide they want to defend. There are even fewer teams that will be able to keep WVU of the offensive glass, where they have been absolutely murdering smaller opponents. With Devin Ebanks finally starting to find his rhythm, the Mountaineers may actually be the best team in the Big East. We will find out on Friday, when they head to Mackey Arena to face Purdue.
5. Syracuse (12-0): The Orange have come back down to earth a little bit, as they haven't looked as dominating in their wins over some lesser opponents. Their big wins - UNC, Cal, Florida - also look less impressive today than they did a few weeks ago. That said, I still love this team's size, balance, and defensive ability. While I'm not quite as sold on them as I was a few weeks ago, I still think this is a team that can win the Big East and make a run to the Final Four.
6. Purdue (11-0): I know Purdue is good, I'm just not sure how good quite yet. Wins over Tennessee, Wake Forest, Alabama, and San Diego State are all nice, but, like I've said since it happened, I don't think people realize how much they are going to miss Lewis Jackson.
7. Duke (9-1): The Dukies hold fast with a week off.
8. Villanova (11-1): A win over Delaware does nothing to how I feel about Villanova. Only loss to Temple, who is good this season.
9. Kansas State (11-1): Struggling to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff isn't as bad of a sign as you would think.
10. UNC (9-3): Like Villanova, one blowout win over a bad team doesn't tell us much about the Heels.
11. Michigan State (9-3): I actually think Michigan State looked better against Texas than they have earlier in the season. No shame in losing to the #2 team in the country on the road.
12. Georgetown (9-1): Beating Harvard is a good win, but I was more impressed to see Chris Wright go for 34. Really important player for the Hoyas.
13. Ole Miss (10-2): Like I said with Michigan State, Ole Miss shouldn't be penalized for losing a game to a top ten team on the road.
14. New Mexico (12-1): I think New Mexico bought into their hype a little bit before playing ORU, who is a tough team in the Mabee Center.
15. Temple (9-2): Temple has some good wins and no bad losses, but at home against Kansas will convince a lot more people.
16. UConn (9-2)
17. Florida State (11-2)
18. Ohio State (10-2)
19. Tennessee (9-2)
20. Clemson (11-2)
21. UNLV (12-2)
22. UAB (11-1)
23. Northwestern (10-1)
24. Georgia Tech (9-2)
25. Wisconsin (10-2)
TROY'S TOP 25
1. Kansas (11-0) - I feel like I keep saying the same thing about Kansas every week. But, what else is there to say? They are the best team in the country. It's a shame we have to wait until February to see them play #2 Texas. I wonder if they will both be undefeated and ranked 1-2 then?
2. Texas (11-0) - It must be tough to be Texas. They are playing like the best team in the country, but apparently there is a team that is just a little bit better. Damion James has been Mr. Double-Double recently, currently averaging 17 ppg and 11 rpg.
3. Kentucky (13-0) - They beat a pesky Long Beach State team by 13 and drilled Drexel, winning 88-44. If I had a vote of PoY and I got to vote now, I'd give it to John Wall. It's a shame that we already know he won't be around this time next year. It's not even 2010 yet! Damn you NBA draft.
4. Purdue (11-0) - Not much for the Boilermakers during holiday week, other than a 27-point win over SIU-Edwardsville. I didn't even know that was a Division I school. You learn new things every day. Matt Painter's squad squares off against #6 West Virginia on Friday in the game of the week.
5. Syracuse (12-0) - Forget the whole undefeated thing. Did anyone expect 'Cuse to be the Big East favorite heading into conference play? I sure didn't. They open Big East play against a surprisingly-good Seton Hall team.
6. West Virginia (10-0) - I've been on the fence about WVU all season long. They showed why against Seton Hall. But they remain undefeated. I feel a loss coming soon though. It might be on Tuesday against Marquette. But most likely will occur on Friday when they face-off against #4 Purdue.
7. Duke (9-1) - After losing by four to Wisconsin, Duke has been flat-out punishing people. They beat Gardner-Webb by 45 and spanked Gonzaga by 35. They host winless Penn later this week. It's very possible that Duke wins by more than 50.
8. Villanova (11-1) - When they score less than 75 points, they seem to have trouble pulling away from opponents. I would love to see them play Ole Miss this week instead of a month ago.
9. Connecticut (9-2) - The next week will be an interesting one for the Huskies. They open Big East play on the road at Cincinnati, then they host Notre Dame and Seton Hall. That's three consecutive opponents all whom are trying to find themselves. That could spell trouble for the Huskies.
10. North Carolina (9-3) - There's no shame losing to Texas in the way they did. Fortunately for the Tar Heels, The ACC doesn't seem to be as tough as in recent years (meaning, if they played in the Big East, I'd be a bit concerned heading into conference play.
11. Kansas State (11-1)
12. Georgetown (9-1)
13. Mississippi (10-2)
14. Michigan State (9-3)
15. Tennessee (9-2)
16. Washington (9-2)
17. Ohio State (10-2)
18. New Mexico (12-1)
19. Temple (9-2)
20. Clemson (11-2)
21. Florida State (11-2)
22. Texas Tech (10-1)
23. UAB (11-1)
24. USC (8-4)
25. Northwestern (10-1)
Monday, December 28, 2009
ROB'S TOP 25