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College Basketball Rankings – January 3rd, 2010

January 3, 2011

TOP 25:

1. Duke (13-0)
Key Wins: Marquette, Kansas State, MSU, Butler, Miami
Key Losses:
Analysis: Duke cruised through most of December and got their first challenge in nearly a month from a solid Miami team tonight, but came out of the game remaining undefeated.
Last Week: #1

2. Ohio State (14-0)
Key Wins: Florida, FSU, South Carolina, Oakland
Key Losses:
Analysis: Nothing much new to say about the Buckeyes except that I’m looking forward to their Big Ten match-ups.
Last Week: #2

3. Kansas (12-0)
Key Wins: Arizona, UCLA, Memphis, USC, Cal
Key Losses:
Last Week: #3

4. Syracuse (15-0)
Key Wins: MSU, NC State, NDU
Key Losses:
Analysis: Syracuse opened Big East play with a win over Providence and a big victory over Notre Dame. With a #3 ranking in the RPI and a top 35 SoS mark, I can’t say they’re untested anymore.
Last Week: #5

5. Pittsburgh (13-1)
Key Wins: Maryland, Texas, UCONN
Key Losses: Tennessee
Analysis: The final score of the Pitt-UCONN game looked closer than it actually was. Pitt pretty much dominated from the opening tip, never gave up the lead, and made Kemba Walker work for every single one of his 31 points.
Last Week: #7

6. San Diego State (15-0)
Key Wins: Gonzaga, St. Mary’s,Wichita St., Cal
Key Losses:
Analysis: There’s something incredible about a team like San Diego State being ranked this high. If they can come out of conference play with a top 10 ranking, that would be quite the feat, one likely worthy of at least a #3 seed.
Last Week: #8

7. Connecticut (11-1)
Key Wins: Wichita State, MSU, Kentucky
Key Losses: Pitt
Analysis: UCONN really got exposed by Pittsburgh last week. No one thought this was a top 25 team in the preseason, let alone a top 5 team. Kemba Walker may wind up being a first team All-American, but his supporting cast looked awful against Pitt and one man can only do so much. Kemba is going to get his points, but UCONN is going to need to look more like a basketball TEAM if they plan on getting a top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Last Week: #4

8. Georgetown (12-2)
Key Wins: NC State, ODU, Missouri, Utah State, Memphis
Key Losses: Temple, Notre Dame
Analysis: Obviously, I think Georgetown has been an underrated team so far. I still have Georgetown higher in my rankings than they were in the AP Poll last week before losing at Notre Dame. Here’s the thing, the Hoyas have lost to two good teams, but they also have more quality wins than just about anyone in the country (five); even with a loss this past week, Georgetown is still #1 in RPI, #3 in strength of schedule and 12-2 overall. Let’s be serious here.
Last Week: #6

9. Villanova (12-1)
Key Wins: UCLA, Temple
Key Losses: Tennessee
Analysis: The win over Temple was big and Nova figures to stay hot as they open with one of the easier stretches of any Big East team: vs. Rutgers, @ South Florida, and vs. Cincinnati.
Last Week: #9

10. Kentucky (11-2)
Key Wins: Washington, Notre Dame, Louisville
Key Losses: UCONN, UNC
Analysis: KU smoked Louisville on the road and could go undefeated in January against the far easier half of its SEC schedule.
Last Week: #10

11. Missouri (13-1)
Key Wins: Vanderbilt, Illinois, ODU
Key Losses: Georgetown
Last Week: #12

12. BYU (14-1)
Key Wins: Utah St., St. Mary’s, Arizona, UTEP
Key Losses: UCLA
Analysis: Big match-up on the road vs. UNLV this coming Wednesday.
Last Week: #13

13. Purdue (13-1)
Key Wins: Oakland, Virginia Tech, Michigan, N’western
Key Losses: Richmond
Analysis: Great start to Big Ten play for Purdue with a dismantling of Michigan on the road and another quality win over Northwestern at home.
Last Week: #14

14. Texas (11-2)
Key Wins: Illinois, @UNC, @MSU
Key Losses: @Pitt, @USC
Analysis: The Longhorns’ stock has risen the past couple weeks with wins over Michigan State and North Carolina on the road.
Last Week: #15

15. Texas A&M (12-1)
Key Wins: Temple, Washington, Arkansas
Key Losses: BCU
Last Week: #17

16. Notre Dame (12-2)
Key Wins: Cal, Georgia, @Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Georgetown
Key Loses: @Kentucky, @Syracuse
Analysis: Pretty break even week for The Fighting Irish with a big win over Georgetown and an expected loss vs. Syracuse on the road.
Last Week: #16

17. Kansas State (11-3)
Key Wins: Gonzaga, Virginia Tech, @WSU
Key Losses: @Duke, @Florida, UNLV
Analysis: KSU hit a bad stretch that finds them relatively underrated at the moment. This is still a top ten team and they should start creeping back up the rankings now that Jacob Pullen is back.
Last Week: #18

18. UCF (13-0)
Key Wins: Florida, @Miami
Key Losses:
Analysis: In my first edit of this post, I had Memphis and UCF switched, but when you compare resumes, UCF has the better wins and remains undefeated, even if Memphis has played a tougher schedule. Conference USA is shaping up to be surprisingly competitive.
Last Week: #23

19. Memphis (10-2)
Key Wins: Miami, @LSU
Key Losses: @Kansas, Georgetown
Analysis: Memphis heads to Tennessee to take on a struggling Volunteers team this coming Wednesday before diving into the C-USA schedule.
Last Week: #20

20. UNLV (12-2)
Key Wins: @Murray St., Wisconsin, @Virginia Tech, @KSU
Key Losses: @Louisville, UCSB
Analysis: Somehow the Running Rebels went unranked in the AP poll last week despite possessing three quality road wins, an 11-2 record, and a top 25 ranking in the RPI. What else do they want?
Last week: #24

21. Minnesota (11-3)
Key Wins: Siena, W.Kentucky, @UNC, @West Virginia, @St. Joe’s
Key Losses: Virginia, @Wisconsin, @MSU
Analysis: Minnesota had a tough week taking two losses on the road against two good opponents (MSU, Wisconsin) and come tumbling down the rankings this week.
Last Week: #11

22. Illinois (12-3)
Key Wins: @Maryland, UNC, @Gonzaga
Key Losses: @Texas, @Ill.Chicago, @Missouri
Last Week: #21

23. Washington (10-3)
Key Wins: Portland, @USC, @UCLA
Key Losses: @MSU, @Kentucky, @Texas A&M
Analysis: How close are the Huskies to being 13-0 right now? It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where UW wins the three games they lost; they were all pretty close up until the final minutes. Seriously, Washington could easily be San Diego State and if I had to bet between the two teams, I’d go with my Dawgs. As it is, UW has fought its way back into the top 25 by winning two of the toughest games on the PAC-10 ledger. They are also at #23 in the RPI and 29th in strength of schedule, so I’m not just being a homer here.
Last Week: Unranked

24. Louisville (11-2)
Key Wins: Butler, UNLV, @W.Kentucky
Key Losses: Drexel, Kentucky
Analysis: Losing to Kentucky at home isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either.
Last Week: #22

25. Michigan State (9-4)
Key Wins: Washington, Oakland, Minnesota
Key Losses: @UCONN, @Duke, @Syracuse, Texas
Analysis: When you look at some of the losses MSU has taken, it’s hard to say too many teams have played a much tougher schedule (even though the rank 29th in strength of schedule). MSU also has a measly #49 ranking in the RPI. I had this spot reserved for Wisconsin, but the Badgers couldn’t pull off the upset vs. Illinois on Sunday night.
Last Week: Unranked

DROPPED OUT:

19. West Virginia (8-4)
Key Wins: Oakland, Vanderbilt, VMI, Cleveland St.
Key Losses: Minnesota, @Miami, St. John’s, @Marquette
Analysis: West Virginia went from being a little underrated nationally to dropping its first two games of Big East play against a couple of the conference’s medium-talented teams.

25. Tennessee (9-4)
Key Wins: VCU, Villanova, @Pittsburgh
Key Losses: Oakland, @Charlotte, USC, Charleston
Analysis: The Vols continue their fall from grace with another loss, this time vs. Charleston, their third loss at home against a team they should be better than.

NEXT FIVE:

Butler (10-4)
Key Wins: @Siena, Stanford, FSU, @WSU
Key Losses: @Louisville, Evansville, @Duke, @Xavier

Florida (10-3)
Key Wins: @FSU, KSU, Xavier
Key Losses: OSU, @UCF, Jacksonville

Temple (9-3)
Key Wins: Georgetown, @Georgia, @Maryland
Key Losses: @Cal, @Texas A&M, @Villanova

Vanderbilt (10-2)
Key Wins: UNC, Marquette
Key Losses: WVU, Missouri

Wisconsin (11-3)
Key Wins: @BCU, NC State, @Marquette, Minnesota
Key Losses: @UNLV, Notre Dame, @Illinois

BUBBLE:

Arizona (11-2)
Key Wins: NC State
Key Losses: Kansas, BYU

Baylor (9-3)
Key Wins: ASU
Key Losses: Gonzaga, WSU, FSU

Boston College (11-3)
Key Wins: Texas A&M, Cal, Maryland, South Carolina
Key Losses: Yale, Wisconsin, RIU

Cincinnati (14-0)
Key Wins:
Key Losses:

Cleveland State (15-1)
Key Wins:
Key Losses: West Virginia

Gonzaga (10-5)
Key Wins: Marquette, Baylor, Xavier, OK St.
Key Losses: KSU, SDSU, Illinois, WSU, Notre Dame

North Carolina (9-4)
Key Wins: Kentucky
Key Losses: Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas

Northwestern (9-2)
Key Wins: Georgia Tech
Key Losses: St. John’s, Purdue

Oklahoma State (11-2)
Key Wins: Murray St., Stanford
Key Losses: Virginia Tech, Gonzaga

Old Dominion (9-3)
Key Wins: Xavier, Clemson, Richmond, Dayton
Key Losses: Georgetown, Delaware, Missouri

Richmond (10-3)
Key Wins: Purdue, ASU, VCU
Key Losses: Iona, ODU, G-Tech

St. John’s (9-3)
Key Wins: ASU, N’western, WVU
Key Losses: St. Mary’s, St. Bonaventure, Fordham

St. Mary’s (12-2)
Key Wins: St. John’s, Texas Tech, Miss State
Key Losses: BYU, SDSU

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