'Cuse looking really, really good right now

1 Syracuse (31) 19-0 775
2 Kentucky 17-1 742
3 Baylor 17-0 714
4 Duke 15-2 654
5 Missouri 16-1 629
6 Ohio State 16-3 619
7 Kansas 14-3 591
8 North Carolina 15-3 569
9 Michigan State 15-3 509
10 Murray State 18-0 449
11 Connecticut 14-3 416
12 Georgetown 14-3 410
13 Indiana 15-3 358
14 Florida 14-4 304
15 Mississippi State 15-3 288
16 San Diego State 15-2 282
17 Virginia 14-2 269
18 Creighton 16-2 260
19 Michigan 14-4 259
20 UNLV 16-3 252
21 Louisville 14-4 130
22 Marquette 14-4 119
23 Saint Mary’s 17-2 100
24 Harvard 15-2 61
25 Illinois 15-3 58
  • Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt 47, Kansas State 46, New Mexico 41, Wisconsin 27, Middle Tennessee 21, Gonzaga 21, Seton Hall 16, West Virginia 13, Wichita State 13, Alabama 7, Nevada 3, California 2, Brigham Young 1
  • Dropped from rankings: Kansas State 18, Gonzaga 23

Teams Ranked Too High:

#4 Duke, #10 Murray State, #12 Georgetown, #18 Creighton, #21 Louisville, #24 Harvard

The Blue Devils only have 2 losses on the season to Ohio State and Temple.  Quality wins against Michigan State, Michigan, Kansas and Virginia all came at home or at Cameron Indoor Northeast aka Madison Square Garden.  I have a feeling their home win streak will come to an end when Florida State comes to town this Saturday.  Everyone loves the Blue Devils though, expect them to be a favorably situated 2 seed come tourney time, not the final 1 spot they’re in now.

Murray State is one of 2 undefeated teams, but they haven’t played anyone yet and won’t see decent competition til the 2nd round of the tournament, if they make it that far.  They edged the San Francisco Dons by 3.  Went to double overtime with Southern Mississippi.  I can name 20 teams in the top 25 better than Murray State.

Harvard and Creighton are all in the same boat.  Inflated records due to poor competition.  These teams are the opposite of Michigan State, who plays almost all the heavyweights in a loaded schedule.

Georgetown has lost 2 of their last 3, there’s no way they should be ranked in the top 15.  L’ville just got smacked by Marquette and is 5-2 in their last 7.  Say goodbye to the top 25, Pitino.

Teams Ranked Too Low

#7 Kansas, #13 Indiana, #14 Florida, #17 Virginia

Kansas just knocked off Baylor in dominating fashion albeit at college basketball’s biggest cult meeting center also known as Phog Allen Fieldhouse.  The Jayhawks were still very impressive.  Indiana has been a giant killer all year.  Florida is the best shooting team in college and Virginia barely lost at Cameron Indoor.  I like all 4 of these teams to make runs down the stretch, with Kansas coming in as a top 5 team in the next poll.  Indiana is on a 2 game skid but they’re the only team to beat my pre-season favorite Kentucky which was no fluke.

Teams Ranked Just Right

#1 Syracuse, #2 Kentucky, #5 Mizzou, #9 MSU, #11 UConn, #16 SDSU, #20 UNLV

I said it before, ‘Cuse is deep.  Scoop Jardine has been around forever and they have one of the best basketball coaches of all time.  However, if there’s an MVP for the Orange it’s whoever handles their PR.  Would you ever had thought the child molestation accusations of assistant coach Bernie Fine would be yesterday’s news so soon?  I thought it was going to cripple Syracuse but they’ve paved a way to the top of the rankings instead.  They deserve the top billing right now, but it won’t be for long.  With 11 games to go in the regular season look for Cuse to drop 3 games against stiff Big East competition.

Kentucky is still the team to beat in my opinion.  They are extremely athletic and have all the tools to cut down the nets when everything’s said and done.  Kidd-Gilchrist is playing at an All-American level and Anthony Davis still has NBA scouts drooling.  They aren’t blowing anyone out right now but they’re winning games and gaining much needed experience.  I still like the Wildcats come tourney time.

Missouri executes very well and is very well coached.  I get exhausted just watching them play.  With a favorable road in the tournament, they could do some damage.  If they get matched up with some of the bigger teams in the Big 10, they could see an early exit.  They’re basically starting 5 guards every game and running teams out of the gym.  I can watch them play any day.

MSU has played the toughest schedule by far and has come out with mixed results.  After starting off the season 0-2 they’ve only lost 1 game, their last matchup with Northwestern.  With several quality wins on their schedule look for the Spartans to be battle tested and ready come March.

The other 3 teams on this list have won some big games as well.  SDSU just beat UNLV in a game I thought the Running Rebels would dominate.  They’re one of those teams that is helping to blur the line between big names and Mid-Majors.  UConn super sophomore Jeremy Lamb has stepped up his game since the Rutgers loss.  Look for the defending champs to play tough when it really matters.

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