Top 25: The Week in Review and The Week Ahead

Written December 30th, 2012 by Gary Russell II

Let's Get This Party Started

Just because there wasn’t a bunch of action this week on the hardwood, doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anything interesting that happened.  Two Top 10 teams fell, one undefeated team dropped their first game, and two new teams were welcomed to the party (Sorry New Mexico, your fall from the Top 25 will keep me from giving you any attention for beating someone….finally!). This week will feature the opening of conference schedules which include Top 25 matchups as well.  With the conference play starting we can finally get this party started.

Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.

1.       Duke (12-0) Previous Rank: 1

Past Week:  12/29 Santa Clara, W 90-77

Upcoming:  1/2 @ Davidson & 1/5 Wake Forest

The Blue Devils pulled away from Santa Clara late and will open up ACC play this week against Wake Forest.

 

2.       Michigan (13-0) Previous Rank: 2

Past Week: 12/29 Central Michigan, W 88-73

Upcoming: 1/3 @ Northwestern

The Wolverines beat “another” team from Michigan last week and will start the quest through the tough B1G schedule at Northwestern.

 

3.       Arizona (12-0) Previous Rank: 4

Past Week: 12/23 @ Miami (FL), W 69-50 & 12/25 (17) San Diego St, W 68-67

Upcoming: 1/3 Colorado & 1/5 Utah

Arizona played two tough opponents this week in Hawaii and continued to stay unbeaten.  PAC 12 play starts this week so let’s so how long they stay that way!

 

4.       Louisville (12-1) Previous Rank: 5

Past Week: 12/29 Kentucky, W 80-77

Upcoming: 1/2 Providence

Louisville proved that even a fierce rivalry couldn’t de-rail their strong start after they snuck by Kentucky.  Providence should be a much easier game but watch out for a “let-down”.

 

5.       Indiana (12-1) Previous Rank: 6

Past Week: 12/28 Jacksonville, W 93-59

Upcoming: 12/31 @ Iowa

The Hoosiers beat up on…..well…..no one of importance last week.  They start their B1G schedule with a trip to Iowa.

 

6.       Kansas (11-1) Previous Rank: 9

Past Week: 12/29 American, W 89-57

Upcoming: No Games This Week

Kansas continued to just dominate their opponents and will take a week off before opening up their conference schedule the following week.

 

7.       Missouri (10-2) Previous Rank: 12

Past Week: 12/28 @ UCLA, L 94-97 OT

Upcoming: 1/5 Bucknell

After Missouri proved they belonged in the Top 10, they then showed why they don’t belong in the Top 10 with an OT loss to UCLA.  They should be able to bounce back strong though against Bucknell.

 

8.       Cincinnati (12-1) Previous Rank: 11

Past Week: 12/27 New Mexico, L 54-55

Upcoming: 12/31 @ (24) Pittsburgh & 1/5 St. John’s

Cincinnati fell from the ranks of the unbeatens with a loss to unranked New Mexico. They now open up Big East play against a ranked Pittsburgh team.  The Bearcats better be careful or this could spiral downhill quick.

 

9.       Syracuse (11-1) Previous Rank: 3

Past Week: 12/29 Alcorn St., W 57-36

Upcoming: 12/31 Central Connecticut State & 1/2 Rutgers

Since Syracuse refuses to play anyone tough, I can only talk about Jim Boeheim.  He’s on win closer and one win away from tying Bobby Knight at number 2 on the all time win list.  Moving on now……

 

10.   Ohio State (10-2) Previous Rank: 7

Past Week: 12/29 Chicago St., W 87-44

Upcoming: 1/2 Nebraska & 1/5 @ (12) Illinois

I know it was only Chicago State, but Ohio State bounced back by scoring 8 in the win.  They better fix their shooting problems quick as B1G play begins this week.

 

11.   Minnesota (12-1) Previous Rank: 13

Past Week: No Games Last Week

Upcoming: 12/31 (19) Michigan State

Minnesota took the week off and will now host Sparty as their B1G opener.

 

Groce Looks to Lead!

12.   Illinois (13-1) Previous Rank: 10

Past Week: 12/29 Auburn, W 81-79

Upcoming: 1/2 @ Purdue & 1/5 (10) Ohio State

The Illini may have been looking ahead to the B1G schedule by almost getting beat Auburn. They will face the Buckeyes at home in their second game of the week.  Look for that game to be hotly contested as both teams have something to prove.

 

13.   Gonzaga (12-1) Previous Rank: 14

Past week: 12/28 Baylor, W 94-87

Upcoming: 12/31 @ (22) Oklahoma State & 1/3 @ Pepperdine & 1/5 @ Santa Clara

Gonzaga wins again thanks to Pangos’ 31 points.  Pangos must stay hot if they want to go 3-0 this week against some tough opponents. 

 

14.   Florida (9-2) Previous Rank: 8

Past Week: 12/29 Air Force, W 78-61

Upcoming: No Games This Week

The Gators leveled off their fall in the Top 25 with a win against Air Force.  No games this week should keep them falling again……but who knows about voters!

 

15.   Georgetown (10-1) Previous Rank: 15

Past Week: No Games Last Week

Upcoming: 1/5 @ Marquette

Still not much to talk about……no games last week and one game against a tough Marquette team.

 

16.   Creighton (12-1) Previous Rank: 17

 Past Week: 12/29 Evansville, W 87-70

Upcoming: 1/2 @ Illinois State & 1/5 Indiana State

Creighton wins again and will now face two more beatable opponents this week.

 

17.   San Diego State (11-2) Previous Rank: 18

Past Week: 12/23 Indiana St., W 62-55 & 12/25 Arizona, L 67-68

Upcoming: 1/2 CSU Bakersfield

Larry Bird didn’t play but Indiana State hung with the Aztecs for a while.  They followed that up with a very tough loss to a very talented Arizona squad.  The voters will probably hammer the Aztecs but I don’t think they deserve to fall very far.

 

18.   Butler (10-2) Previous Rank: 19

Past Week: 12/29 @ Vanderbilt, W 68-49

Upcoming: 1/2 Penn & 1/5 New Orleans

The Bulldogs continue their strong run with a convincing win against Vandy.  Penn is always primed to upset teams so Butler better not look past them this week. 

 

19.   Michigan State (11-2) Previous Rank: 20

Past Week: No Games Last Week

Upcoming: 12/31 @ (11) Minnesota & 1/5 Purdue

Sparty takes a week off and now opens B1G play at (11) Minnesota and then back home against the Boilermakers.

 

20.   UNLV (11-2) Previous Rank: 21

Past Week: 12/29 @ North Carolina, L 73-79

Upcoming: 1/3 Chicago State & 1/5 CSU Bakersfield

UNLV may be heading out of the Top 25 after a loss to unranked UNC but there are there for now so I will include them!

 

21.   Notre Dame (12-1) Previous Rank: 22

Past Week: No Games Last Week

Upcoming: 1/5 Seton Hall

The Irish will follow up the week off by hosting Seton Hall.  Look for them to be 13-1 after this week.

 

22.   Oklahoma State (10-1) Previous Rank: 24

Past Week: No Games Last Week

Upcoming: 12/31 (13) Gonzaga & 1/5 @ (25) Kansas State

The Cowboys will pay for a couple of easy weeks with 2 very tough games this week.  I think it’s a win for Oklahoma State if they go 1-1 this week.

 

23.   North Carolina State (10-2) Previous Rank: 25

Past Week: 12/29 Western Michigan, W 84-68

Upcoming: 12/31 North Carolina Greensboro & 1/5 @ Boston College

North Carolina State did move up in the polls and will hope to keep winning with their toughest opponent being Boston College.

 

Party Crashers

24.   Pittsburgh (12-1) Previous Rank: NR

Past Week: 12/23 Kennesaw State, W 59-43

Upcoming: 12/31 (8) Cincinnati & 1/5 @ Rutgers

Pittsburgh debuts in the Top 25 review with a matchup with “soon to be falling in the polls” (8) Cincinnati followed up with a trip to Rutgers.

 

25.   Kansas State (10-2) Previous Rank: NR

Past Week: 12/29 Missouri Kansas City, W 52-44

Upcoming: 12/31 South Dakota & 1/5 (22) Oklahoma State

Welcome to the Top 25 Kansas State, now can you stay there after facing (22) Oklahoma State this week? We’ll see………

Be sure to check back next week to see if the New Year brings any of the Top 25 teams a change in their luck and to see how the conference matchups are going!

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