|Duke Blue Devils
|Ohio St. Buckeyes
|San Diego St. Aztecs
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish
|Texas A&M Aggies
|Illinois Fighting Illini
|Central Florida Knights
|Michigan St. Spartans
|Minnesota Golden Gophers
|Honorable Mentions: Kansas St. Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels and UNLV Runnin' Rebels
Analysis after the break.
- Duke (15-0) outright dominated UAB and won ugly at home against Maryland. They'll need to prove they can continue to win ugly if they want to take another shot at the championship.
- Ohio State (16-0) survived a major scare from Minnesota at home this week. I wasn't impressed with Ohio State's closing abilities (last play of the game looked like a foul, but Minnesota's play was drawn up so poorly they deserved to lose). Thad Matta might want to pull Dallas Lauderdale from the ends of games to keep people from fouling him (Roy Williams uses the same strategy for John Henson). Still, a big win for the Buckeyes.
- Kansas (15-0) had to go into overtime to put Michigan away. The troubling part of the game was that the Jayhawks never trailed in regulation but didn't score a point in the last 3:30 seconds, allowing Michigan to crawl back into the game. A road win is a road win though. Good prologue to Big 12 play.
- Syracuse (16-0) eked out an ugly win at Seton Hall this week. The Orange held the Pirates 0-17 from three in the first half but showcased their own offensive struggles. Most notably, free throws. Could be what keeps this team out of true "contender" status this year (just because the NCAA vacated Memphis' 2007-08 season doesn't mean we can't learn any lessons from it).
- Pitt (15-1) got close wins at Providence and against Marquette. This team is far from flawless but knows how to win games.
- San Diego State (17-0) has a critical game this week at home against UNLV. The Rebels are down, and they'll give the Aztecs everything they have. This will be the first test in quite a while for the Aztecs.
- UConn (12-2) lost at Notre Dame but got a monster win at Texas. Kemba Walker's numbers may have dropped, but his importance hasn't. He's the reason the Huskies will continue to win close games, even on the road.
- Notre Dame (14-2) got a huge win against UConn and stymied a surging St. John's team. I always suspected this team would be better without Harangody after last year's late season push, and this confirms my suspicions. Got a chance to make a major road statement with games at Marquette and St. John's this week.
- Villanova (14-1) finally got the marquee win they've been looking for. I think. The Wildcats beat an undefeated Cincinnati team that was starting to get some hype, but I'm not sure how good this win will look in March. They also picked up a strong win at South Florida.
- Missouri (14-2) ran into the Alec Burks buzzsaw in Boulder. Colorado got some preseason hype because of their uber-talented scoring duo, and the Tigers fit very well into Colorado's strengths. Most specifically, they don't have a dominant big man to expose the Buffaloes' interior. Don't read too much into this loss though: Missouri is still very good, just not flawless.
- Texas (12-3) lost a heartbreaker to UConn in overtime. I still have no idea why Jordan Hamilton didn't get that last shot, but hey, I'm no coach. I'm still trying to digest whether the full court heave makes up for the totally ridiculous over the shoulder three UConn made with the shot clock expiring, but those are questions that may never have answers
- Purdue (15-1) is off to a dominant conference season. But they may have lucked into playing the worst four teams in the Big 10 first. So it's hard to really judge where they stand. At Minnesota and at West Virginia this week should help clear things up.
- BYU (16-1) has a legitimate player of the year contender in Jimmer Fredette. I'm not sure he'll get the publicity to get it (unless they run the table in the Mountain West with him averaging 28 points a game), but there's a strong argument that he should as of right now. Keep an eye out for their game January 26th at home against San Diego State. It will have major ramifications as far as the Mountain West title goes.
- Texas A&M (14-1) beat Oklahoma this week. Their games this week against Oklahoma State and at Missouri should be far more revealing.
- Illinois (13-3) is 3-0 since losing to Missouri. The Illini literally couldn't miss against Northwestern, finishing shooting over 70% from the floor. They also got a very nice win against Wisconsin.
- Kentucky (12-3) got exposed a little at Georgia. This team is very young, and they don't really know how to take over games. Calipari was really annoyed with his veterans' play after they tied the game up with a couple minutes left in the second half.
- Wisconsin (12-3) has a chance for revenge with a home game against Illinois this week. They also play at Michigan State. It feels like the Big 10 schedules its good teams in spurts.
- Georgetown (12-4) has lost three of their last four. I'm not sure why I still have them in the top 20, but I think their backcourt is too experienced to keep playing this poorly. They've got a big redemption game at Pitt Wednesday.
- Temple (11-3) looks like the favorite in the A-10 this year.
- Washington (12-3) checks in with the Pac 10's lone vote this week after surviving a trip to southern California (the region) and taking care of both Oregon schools. I'd be shocked if they don't win the Pac 10 handily, but I'm not sure they're as good as some experts think.
- Georgia (12-2) got a great win over Kentucky to open up SEC play. I'm still not sold on Mark Few's Bulldogs, but their only two losses were close and to ranked teams (Notre Dame and Temple).
- Central Florida (14-1) finally slipped up and lost a tough game at Houston. This wasn't that surprising, but a top 25 team should never lose to Houston. They still could contend for C-USA (though truthfully I expect Memphis or SMU to take home the championship).
- Louisville (13-2) got off to a quick 2-0 start in the Big East after an ugly loss at home to Kentucky. I question the talent on this roster, but Pitino is doing a great job making things come together.
- Michigan State (10-5) continued their losing ways this week with a terrible loss at Penn State. This team has major flaws (see turnovers), but they will also be incredibly dangerous if they can get things together. First up: stop turning the ball over.
- Minnesota (12-4) really got the shaft with the start to Big 10 play. The Gophers have lost three of their last four at Michigan State, at Wisconsin and at Ohio State. Those are three brutal places to play against great teams, so it's tough to fault the Gophers too much for a rough start. I'm looking forward to their game at home against Purdue this week.