For everyone not named Villanova, this past week was just about as uneventful as any college basketball week could possibly get. Most of the teams failed to move much if at all in the standings, while Villanova was joined by the only other team to play UNC in the national championship this decade in sliding down the standings. How much did Gonzaga slide, exactly? Not much, it turns out, but that’s ok — UNC dominated the Bulldogs, and have a chance to remove all doubt this coming weekend against Kentucky. What’s more fun than that?
AP Top 25
1. Kansas (56 votes for first place)
2. Duke (5)
3. Tennessee (2)
4. Michigan (1)
9. North Carolina
10. Michigan State
11. Florida State
12. Texas Tech
13. Virginia Tech
15. Ohio State
17. Mississippi State
18. Arizona State
Following their first big home game of the season, UNC moved three spots up the polls to re-enter the top 10. While it is a little bit frustrating that they are still ranked behind Gonzaga after such a decisive victory this past Saturday, it won’t matter one way or the other following this Saturday. Losing to Texas and Michigan hurt the Heels in quite a few ways, without a doubt, but if they manage to get back-to-back wins against Gonzaga and Kentucky, things look that much sweeter going into conference play next month. Going 1-1 against these two teams is nothing to be ashamed about, but going 2-0 would be incredible, despite the fact that this year’s version of the Wildcats isn’t quite the same as Calipari’s previous teams.
While UNC, Houston, and Indiana make strong cases for being this week’s biggest winners, we have to give a shoutout to the teams that didn’t have to play during exam week. A few of the teams in the top ten didn’t have to play a single game this past week, and thus maintained their college basketball elite status by default. This sounds like shade, yes, but truthfully it’s hard to process why there are any games during finals week at all. Brutal for the teams that played, fortunate for the teams that didn’t have to play. Alas, all is fair in love and war...and college athletics. Well, kind of. Once again, no shade here. On a completely unrelated note: who turned the lights out in here?
Villanova is having a really rough year following their second national championship run in three years. Jay Wright has went on the record saying that his team is a work in progress, and that patience is required for their development. The requirement of patience might be the understatement of a lifetime, as the Wildcats suffered back-to-back losses against Kansas and Penn to fall out of the top 25. It goes without saying that one of these losses is not like the other, and all of the sudden the Big East is looking like it will be a more interesting conference to keep an eye on this year than it did back in November.
On the Bubble
Oklahoma and Maryland are knocking on the door of the top 25 with 115 and 103 votes respectively. Right behind them is Kansas State receiving 90 votes, and the drop-off from there is rather steep with St. John’s receiving 59 votes.
Big 10: 7
Big 12: 2
Big East: 1
Mountain West: 1
West Coast: 1
Top 25 Games This Week
#12 Texas Tech vs #2 Duke: Thursday 12/20 at 7:00 PM ESPN2
#14 Buffalo vs #20 Marquette: Friday 12/21 at 8:30 PM FS1
#9 North Carolina vs #19 Kentucky: Saturday 12/22 at 5:15 PM CBS
#1 Kansas vs #18 Arizona State: Saturday 12/22 at 9:00 PM ESPN2