Monday, November 29, 2010

Top 25 Roundup

We are only a few weeks into the college basketball season and there has already been some crazy good games and upsets. I just wanted to run through the top 25 and look ahead to the big games this week.
1. Duke-
They definitely proved that they are deserving of their #1 ranking with a big win over then #4 Kansas St., and wins over Marquette and Oregon. But the tests are not over for this team as they will play another top 10 team in the form of Michigan State and a rematch of last years championship game at the end of the week.
2. Ohio State-
So far their only real test has been against Florida but they look legit. Unfortunatly the best non-conference game left is against Florida St. so Im sure they will be able to hold on as the #2 for a while.

3. Pittsburgh-
Nothing very exciting this past week for them in terms of matchups (Robert Morris, Penn) and this week does not look much better but the December 11 game against #13 Tennessee should be good.

4. Kansas-
They picked up 3 wins this past week including a good one against Arizona (87-79). This week there is only a game at home against UCLA but next week they should get a real test against # 14 Memphis.

5. Kansas St.-
Not a bad week for Kansas St., they opened with a solid 81-64 win against Gonzaga and won against Texas Southern but did lose to #1 Duke. It's hard to fault Kansas St. for losing to the best team in the country but it does eliminate them from being the #1 team.  

6. Michigan St.-
They had a rough week barely beating Chaminade in the opening round of the Maui Invitational then letting unranked UConn upset them in the second round. But after seeing UConn im pretty sure they are legit, especially after beating Kentucky as well. Michigan St. did get a win against Washington to take the #3 spot in the tournament so the week was not a complete loss. But now they head into what will be thier toughest game of the season agianst #1 ranked Duke. They also have a game against #8 Syracuse next week and #19 Texas at the end of the month. This should benifit them come tournament time so i would not be to worried about the Spartans as they have shown they have a ton of potential.
7. UConn-
This had to be a good week for Jim Calhoun as his Huskies pulled up some major upsets to win the Maui Invitational. They opened the invitational with a win against Wichita State, moving on to face then ranked #2 Michigan State. I got a chance to watch this game (Im a BIG MSU fan) and it was a great one, Kemba Walker continued to dominate scoring 30 points along with big man Alex Oriakhi who had 15 points and 17 rebounds. They managed to pull off a 70-67 upset due to Michigan State blowing multiple chances in the final seconds of the game. They then moved on to play then #8 ranked Kentucky, handing them a 84-67 loss. Again Kemba Walker was outstanding scoring 29 points and dishing out 6 assists. This team looks like the real deal taking down 2 top ten teams. This week they were bumped up to 7th in the AP rankings after being unranked the previous week.
8. Syracuse-
They may be undefeated but i am not sold on this group with all 3 of last weeks games being decided by 4 points or less against the like of William & Mary, Michigan and Georgia Tech. They have a slow week this week with only a game against Cornell. Thier real test comes against #6 Michigan St. next week.
9. Missouri-
This is a team that i has not played a tough team yet but will get tested by #16 Georgetown tomorrow. The only other big non-conference game dosnt come till late December against Illinois.

10. Kentucky-
They looked good in their first two games this week against Oklahoma and Washington but got schooled by Kemba Walker and UConn. This weeks highlight game is against  unranked but dangerous North Carolina, but after that the only other big non-conference is against Notre Dame. This is a nice young group that should get better as the season progresses. 
11. Baylor-
They have not played anybody of substance but this is a talented team with the ever exciting LaceDarius Dunn who had a nice season debut against Lipscomb last week. They have a fairly weak non-conference schedule but the highlight comes against Gonzaga December 18th.

12. Villanova-
They dropped from the #7 spot after a 10 point loss to then #24 Tennessee. They play St. Josephs this week but their highlight non-conference game comes December 30th against Temple. Luckily in the Big East you dont have to have a tough non-conference schedule to build your resume.
13. Tennessee-
A lot of controversey has been circling Bruce Pearl this season but they have played well and upset Villanova last week. They along with seemingly every team not named Michigan St. and Duke has a slow week this week. But they still play 2 top 25 teams in #3 Pittsburgh and #14 Memphis before conference play begins.
14. Memphis-
Josh Pastner has put together a pretty good roster and is continuing the great tradition of Memphis. They had a good week with wins against LSU and UT- Martin but they havnt even gotten into the tough part of thier schedule. They still have games against #4 Kansas, #16 Georgetown and #13 Tennessee.
15. Minnesota-
Another team with a good week with wins over West Virginia and North Dakota St. and games against Virginia and Cornell this week. There really are not any big non-conference games on thier slate, they will have to play well in the Big 10 to move up in the rankings.

16. Georgetown-
Yet another team that hasnt played any top 25 teams with wins over NC State and UNC Asheville this week, but they will play a top 25 team this week against Missouri tomorrow. Plus they still have some big non-conference games against Temple, Memphis and Notre Dame.

17. San Diego St.-
They had a busy week beating IUPUI, Miami (Ohio), and San Diego Christian, so a very exciting week (can you hear the hint of sarcasim in my voice). But they did get a good win against Gonzaga last week (Jeez how many top 25 teans do they play this year). But they do not really have any other big non-conference games unless you count St. Mary's and Wichita St. this week.
18. Florida-
Besides a loss to #2 Ohio St. they have played pretty well. With wins against Morehead, FAU and Florida St. they had a pretty good week. They have some interesting non-conference games #5 Kansas St., Xavier and Rhode Island.

19. Texas-
Like Florida the only blemish on Texas record is a loss to a top 5 team (#3 Pittsburgh) and with a win over #20 Illinois 2 weeks ago and wins against Sam Houston St. and Rice this week they are back on track. They also have some tough games ahead against UNC, #6 Michigan St. and #7 UConn.
20. Illinois-
After a tough OT Loss to Texas two weeks ago they have won their past 3 games against Maryland, Yale and Western Michigan. But they have a tough week ahead as they play the always dangerous UNC Tarheals and at the end of the week Gonzaga. After that they only have one tough non-conference game against #9 Missouri.
21. BYU-
They were another team to play 3 games this past week although they were only against Mississippi Val., South Florida and St. Mary's. The only tough non-conference game for them is their December 11th game agianst Arizona. They will have a hard time moving up as the Mountain West does not provide enough quality opponents to make it to the top 10 without a strong non-conference schedule.
22. Purdue-
They are not the same team without Robbie Hummel and that was proved last week when Richmond upset them 65-54. They are still a quality team but they are not a top 10 team as many people thought in the pre-season. Luckily they have a light non-conference schedule that should pad their record enought to keep them in the top 25.
23. Washington-
Isaiah Thomas can talk as much as he wants but he has yet to back it up. With losses to Kentucky and Michigan St. they dropped ten spots this week. They don't have a tough non-conference schedule either so im not sure if they will be able to rebuild their stock enough to get back to where they were.
24. UNLV-
They have been very impressive, especialy since their upset of Wisconson back on November 20th. They added wins over Tulsa, Murray St. and Virginia Tech last week. Plus they still have a big non-conference game against #4 Kansas St. still ahead. They have the opportunity to really rise through these rankings if they continue to play well.
25. Notre Dame-
They really turned heads this week with big wins over Georgia, California and Wisconson to get into the rankings. Im not sure if this is just luck or if they're the real deal but they kepth their tournament hopes alive with those wins. But they do play in the very tough Big East for basketball and have tough non-conference games against Kentucky and Gonzaga.

Well thats a wrap on this weeks Top 25 Roundup.

Chris "da Franchize" Hart

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