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Big 12 Hoops Top 25: Week 6

 

Analysis after the jump.

  1. Duke (10-0) didn't have anything going on this week.  Still no news on Kyrie Irving's toe, but even without him they are a contender.  Excellent three-part profile of Coach Mike Krzyzewski from Dan Wiederer of the Fay Observer.
  2. Ohio State (10-0) took it to Florida Gulf Coast and South Carolina.  Jared Sullinger continues to be an absolute monster in the paint, as he had 30 points and 19 rebounds against the Gamecocks.  Sullinger has to be very close to the top of player of the year lists right now.  It remains to be seen how he deals with tougher teams in conference play, but there are very few frontcourts that have a prayer at containing him.
  3. Kansas (10-0) saw Josh Selby for the first time this weekend, and I think Jayhawk fans were pretty impressed.  Selby led the team to a too-close-for-comfort home win over USC.  The reason I'm leaving the Jayhawks at three is because I'm convinced if Ohio State and Kansas ever squared off, Sullinger would have the Jayhawks for dinner.  Kansas continues to struggle against strong post players, and they haven't faced anyone of his skill (although Derrick Williams was comparable).
  4. Syracuse (11-0) gets another bump in the rankings after the teams ahead were mired by losses.  This isn't to say I'm super impressed by a six point win over Iona at home (I'm not), rather that Syracuse looks like they have whatever intangible allows you to win close games (having a good coach doesn't hurt).  It will be interesting to see how they hold up in Big East play, where their shooting woes will not go as unpunished.
  5. UConn (8-0) hasn't played since December 8th but has an impressive overall body of work.  Make no mistake, this team is playing way over their heads, and I'm expecting a loss or two any game now. 
  6. Pitt (11-1) might be the team to put UConn in their place later this month.  The Panthers rebounded from their tough loss to Tennessee with a solid win over Maryland Eastern Shore.  I still think they are the team to beat in the Big East when all is said and done. 
  7. San Diego State (12-0) continues to win.  They struggled a lot against Cal Poly, largely because Kawhi Leonard and Chase Tapley were out sick.  The Aztecs got everything together for a convincing win over UCSB at home Saturday though. 
  8. Georgetown (10-1) took care of business against Loyola Maryland.  They've got an interesting game this week at Memphis, but so far the Hoyas have looked much, much better. 
  9. Missouri (10-1) dominated Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts this week.  This team is talented enough to beat anyone in the country, but they've got some major inconsistencies that Mike Anderson will need to work out the rest of the way. 
  10. Baylor (7-1) lost a very close game to Gonzaga in Texas.  Don't take too much away from the loss, as Gonzaga needed the win far more than Baylor.  But the Bears' zone looked penetrable, and there are still some questions about whether AJ Walton is a legitimate point guard.  Good news is Perry Jones III showed what he was made of in the loss, going for 19 points and eight boards. 
  11. Villanova (9-1) beat Delaware this week.  In case you haven't noticed by now, we're in the middle of finals season, so there weren't many great games (and there will be a drought until the end of the month).  I still question this team's leadership, but there's no denying they have lots of talent in the backcourt. 
  12. Kansas State (9-2) got embarrassed and exposed at Florida Saturday, losing 57-44.  The Wildcat defense was fine, but they couldn't get anything going on the offensive end.  So far it's very difficult to get a read on this team: they have tons of talent, but they just don't click on offense.  Frank Martin needs to get these offensive woes sorted out before conference play. 
  13. Minnesota (10-1) has looked fine since the ugly loss to Virginia at home.  The Gophers still have questions about their ability to score on the offensive end.  This is one of those teams that could be very good, or very mediocre depending on the night. 
  14. Kentucky (8-2) beat Missouri Valley State.  The biggest storyline from the game was John Calipari's ejection from the game.  Wildcat fans are still waiting on a decision regarding the appeal of Enes Kanter's eligibility.  With Tennessee's horrific week, the SEC East is looking more and more wide open. 
  15. Michigan State (8-3) had a week headlined by Tom Izzo's self-imposed one game suspension for violating a new NCAA rule.  Luckily the suspension was served against Prairie View A&M instead of Texas or Minnesota (the Spartans' next two games).  The Texas game in particular should be very fun to watch. 
  16. Temple (8-2) appears to be the top team in the A-10.  Xavier and Richmond are definitely in the mix, but Temple has led the way so far.  The Owls have another chance to show up the Big East at the end of the month with a game at Villanova. 
  17. Central Florida (10-0) got a great win over Miami this week, but don't crown the Knights Conference USA champs just yet.  The Knights have played unbelievably so far this year, but I'd be surprised if they don't cool off as the season progresses.  They could make a run at the C-USA crown, but Memphis and Southern Miss have a lot more talent on their respective rosters. 
  18. Texas A&M (10-1) eked out a win over Arkansas at home this week.  A&M held Arkansas to one field goal in the final 11 minutes of play.  I'm still not sold that they'll be able to win big games on the road, but so far the Aggies have looked very strong this season.
  19. Purdue (9-1) has yet to notch a marquee victory (no offense to Virginia Tech), but I find it hard to believe a team with Jujuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore won't be top 20 team.
  20. Florida (8-2) got the statement win they've needed, exposing Kansas State this week.  The game wasn't pretty, but give the Gators credit for a great second half.  This team thrives in transition and will be very good if they can get some consistency out of Kenny Boynton and Ervin Walker. 
  21. Texas (9-2) eked out a win over North Carolina in North Carolina thanks to a clutch shot out of Cory Joseph.  The Longhorns didn't look totally together the whole game, scoring in bunches.  Jordan Hamilton was the real hero of the game, putting up 24 points and ten rebounds.  The Longhorns take travel to East Lansing this Wednesday to take on Michigan State. 
  22. Vanderbilt (8-2) is another part of the logjam that is the top of the SEC East.  The Commodores only two losses are very close ones to Missouri and West Virginia.  Their win over North Carolina is starting to look better as the Tar Heels begin to come together. 
  23. Illinois (10-2) was upset by Illinois Chicago.  Enough said.  This Illini team has tons of talent, but they don't seem to have the drive to win (or a post player).  Their game against Missouri this Wednesday is literally impossible to predict.  Either team could win by 20, and I wouldn't be that surprised. 
  24. Tennessee (7-2) sports the best win in the top 25 and two of the worst losses to Oakland and Charlotte.  They've plummeted to the bottom almost as quickly as they rose to the top. 
  25. BYU (10-1) lost a tough game at UCLA.  I dropped them too much, but I think I had them a little overrated after a strong victory over Arizona.  This team is probably better than their ranking here, but I'm wary after a very close win over South Florida.  Should still be good for second best in the Mountain West.