Duke lost to Boston College, while Arizona State went to Lawrence and knocked off Kansas. Neither neither take the top spot. Michigan State sits at 12-1 while Villanova remains undefeated. 1-2 is an entertaining debate.
1. Villanova 11-0
The Wildcats blew out Temple by 20 to remain undefeated, and vault to #1 thanks to Boston College’s huge win.
2. Arizona State 11-0
Entering the year, Arizona was #2 and their in-state rival was unranked. When the teams meet on December 30, Arizona State will be #2. It’ll be a matchup of ranked teams, and the atmosphere will be electric.
3. Duke 12-1
Losing to BC hurts, and seeing Duke at the bottom of the ACC standings is amusing. However, the Blue Devils will get back on track.
4. Michigan State 12-1
The Spartans racked up four quick wins against weak opposition, and don’t rise in the rankings.
5. Miami 9-0
Miami played only one game the past two weeks, but the ‘Canes stayed undefeated against George Washington. Miami and Villanova are the only unbeatens to appear in every top 25.
6. Kentucky 9-1
Edit: This post was written Friday, and hasn’t accounted for Saturday’s results.
Finally the Wildcats played some quality teams, as Kentucky knocked off Monmouth and Virginia Tech. They won’t be challenged until a January 6 trip to Tennessee. (Update: UCLA disagrees)
7. Texas A&M 11-1
The SEC is shaping up to be incredible this year. The Aggies follow Kentucky as the second top-10 team, while #14 Tennessee is one of the most dangerous teams in the country. Texas A&M will face a brutal January, coming up against Tennessee, Kentucky, and Kansas. . . all on the road.
8. Xavier 11-1
J.P. Macura is outperforming Trevon Bluiett, but Xavier doesn’t mind. The flamethrowing duo is averaging a combined 31 points per game, and that number will rise when Big 12 play begins, and there’s little garbage time for the bench.
9. Wichita State 9-2
The Shockers were upset by Oklahoma, and fall a few spots. Trae Young outdueled Landry Shamet on both ends of the floor, but don’t expect that to happen to Shamet often. Markis McDuffie’s imminent return will add another explosive weapon for coach Gregg Marshall.
10. Kansas 10-2
The Jayhawks snapped out of a skid, destroying Stanford by 21. Someone circled January 6 on the calendar, as TCU comes to Lawrence in the day’s 2700th ranked matchup.
11. West Virginia 10-1
The Mountaineers haven’t lost since the season opener, but that might change when WVU faces Oklahoma on January 6, (when else?) Baylor on the 9th, and Kansas on the 15th. However, all of those games are at home.
12. North Carolina 10-2
UNC picked up a great win over a terrific Tennessee team by 5, and is in good shape heading into ACC play.
There’s just one little problem called Wofford.
13. TCU 11-0
The Horned Frogs haven’t lost since last March, and coach Jamie Dixon has TCU in the thick of Big 12 contention. The conference is incredible this year, and TCU looks to be headed for the NCAA Tournament.
14. Tennessee 8-2
While the AP Poll has the Vols #21, Tennessee has been impressive. They controlled the game against North Carolina for 35 minutes before falling short. The nation’s fifth-youngest team just needs experience finishing games, and is a genuine threat to win the SEC.
15. Purdue 12-2
The Boilermakers blew out Butler by 15 while becoming the second-highest Big 10 team in the rankings. Purdue will answer the question of Michigan State’s toughest challenger on January 13, a trip to Minnesota.
16. Cincinnati 10-2
The two-loss barrage continues with Cincinnati, the American Athletic’s second team in the rankings. The Bearcats recovered from a tough loss to Florida by knocking off formerly unbeaten Mississippi State. Then UCLA fell to the elite defense. Wichita State’s greatest challenger rises again.
17. Baylor 10-2
Sick of the Big 12 yet? Baylor hasn’t played anyone for half a month, and won’t until a stretch against Texas Tech and TCU. Oh wait, their next two games.
18. Oklahoma 9-1
Trae Young is now the frontrunner for Player of the Year after a dominating performance against Wichita State. Oklahoma shocked the Shockers, and Young followed it up with 29 points and 22 (twenty freaking two!) assists against Northwestern State. Trae Young immediately went off again for 31 points and 12 assists as Oklahoma ran Northwestern off the court.
19. Arkansas 9-2
The Razorbacks knocked off Minnesota while vaulting into the top 25. A blowout loss to Houston earlier in the year hurts, but Arkansas could start 4-1 in the SEC. However, a December 30th clash with Tennessee could see Arkansas blown out.
20. Virginia 10-1
The Cavaliers didn’t really do anything, cruising against Davidson and Savvanah State. Skip!
21. Arizona 10-3
The preseason #2 is back in the rankings with impressive victories over Alabama and Texas A&M. The nation must despise the sight of a healthy Rawle Alkins.
22. Clemson 10-1
The Tigers are quietly putting together a solid resumé, and knocking off formerly-ranked Florida eliminated any obstacle preventing Clemson from being ranked.
23. Creighton 10-2
The Bluejays pulled off a nine point win over a good Texas-Arlington team, and move up thanks to. . .
24. Seton Hall 10-2
Rutgers is 10-3! Rutgers beat Seton Hall! Will wonders never cease?
25. Minnesota 10-3
The Gophers hit their annual December rough spot, dropping games to Nebraska and Arkansas before squeaking by Drake. Minnesota will get back on track eventually, and the Big 10 should be afraid.
Rounding out the 32: Texas Tech 10-1, Florida State 11-1, Gonzaga 10-3, Notre Dame 8-3, Houston 10-2, Syracuse 10-1, Auburn 11-1.