Top 25: The Week in Review and The Week Ahead

Written December 23rd, 2012 by Gary Russell II

Don't worry, Be Happy

And then there were 4! While I love to sit here and talk about the Syracuse Orangemen falling from the ranks of the unbeatens, Christmas came a week early for me. Three teams lost their first game of the season - Syracuse, Illinois, and (No….I do not have my shocked face on at this one) New Mexico.  In addition to these upsets, several other ranked teams lost at least one game this week.  Some teams lost in surprising games and others to fellow ranked squads (I thought the madness was in March).  Wichita State fell from the Top 25, as expected, and made room for Butler after their amazing win over Indiana.  This week many teams take a very light schedule to spend time with their families and gear up for their conference runs.  So, without further delay, let’s see what happened this week.

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

 

1.       Duke (11-0) Previous Rank: 2

Past Week:  12/19 Cornell, W 88-47 & 12/20 Elon, W 76-54

Upcoming:  12/29 Santa Clara

Duke spent their first week at Number One with easy wins over Cornell and Elon.  Santa Clara visits Cameron Indoor this week but Duke should win this one easily.

 

2.       Michigan (12-0) Previous Rank: 3

Past Week: 12/20 Eastern Michigan, W 93-54

Upcoming: 12/29 Central Michigan

Michigan continues their “we don’t play any outside Michigan tour” this week by hosting Central Michigan.  Don’t look for any upsets here.

 

3.       Syracuse (10-1) Previous Rank: 4

Past Week: 12/17 Detroit, W 72-68 & 12/22 Temple, L 79-83

Upcoming: 12/29 Alcorn St.

Things weren’t all “orange” for Jim Boeheim this week as he did join the “900 Win” club but he couldn’t get closer to Bobby Knight after losing to Temple.  Alcorn State should get him one win closer to Bobby though!

 

4.       Arizona (10-0) Previous Rank: 8

Past Week: 12/18 Oral Roberts, W 89-64 & 12/22 @ Eastern Tennessee State, W 73-53

Upcoming: 12/23 @ Miami(FL)

Arizona breezed to two wins after making a big jump in the polls by beating Florida but this week could go either way.  If the right Miami team shows up Arizona might be facing an upset.

 

5.       Louisville (11-1) Previous Rank: 6

Past Week: 12/19 Florida International, W 79-55 & 12/22 Western Kentucky, W 78-55

Upcoming: 12/29 Kentucky

Louisville continued to dominate their opponents this week but, even though Kentucky has dropped from the polls, this inter-state rivalry should be a fun one this week!

 

6.       Indiana (11-1) Previous Rank: 1

Past Week: 12/19 Mount Saint Mary’s, W 93-54 & 12/21 Florida Atlantic, W 88-52

Upcoming: 12/28 Jacksonville

Well the Hoosiers didn’t let their first loss of the season derail them as they easily beat two pushovers and will face another against Jacksonville this week.

 

7.       Ohio State (9-2) Previous Rank: 7

Past Week: 12/18 Winthrop, W 65-55 & 12/22 (9) Kansas, L 66-74

Upcoming: 12/29 Chicago St.

Ohio State has shot poorly at some very in-opportune times this year.  This week was no difference as they lost to Kansas at home.  Chicago State should be a win even if they can’t shoot.

 

8.       Florida (8-2) Previous Rank: 5

Past Week: 12/19 SE Louisiana, W 82-43 & 12/22 @ Kansas St., L 61-67

Upcoming: 12/29 Air Force

The Gators may not be as good as some thought.  Another week and another loss.  Maybe they will bounce back against Air Force this week.

 

9.       Kansas (10-1) Previous Rank: 9

Past Week: 12/18 Richmond, W 87-59 & 12/22 @ (7) Ohio State, W 74-66

Upcoming: 12/29 American

Kansas’ domination of opponents recently proved to be no joke as the Jayhawks continue their winning ways against the Buckeyes at Value City Arena.

 

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

Past Week: 12/16 Eastern Kentucky, W 66-53 & 12/22 @ (12) Missouri, L 73-82

Upcoming: 12/29 Auburn

Illinois was the second undefeated team to lose this week but at least it was to a decent opponent.  They venture into the SEC this week in their bounce back game when they host Auburn.

 

11.   Cincinnati (12-0) Previous Rank: 11

Past Week: 12/19 Xavier, W 60-45 & 12/22 Wright State, W 68-58

Upcoming: 12/27 (16) New Mexico

Does anyone care about rivalries? Cincinnati doesn’t.  They were tested early but pulled away from Xavier in the second half.  They host (16) New Mexico (if they are still ranked) this week.

 

12.   Missouri (10-1) Previous Rank: 12

Past Week: 12/17 South Carolina State, W 102-51 & 12/22 (10) Illinois, W 82-73

Upcoming: 12/28 @ UCLA

The Tigers showed no rust in their two wins this week.  This team is better that I had expected.  They look to continue cruising this in a trip to UCLA.

 

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

Past Week: 12/22 Lafayette, W 75-50

Upcoming: No Games This Week

The Gophers finally played someone outside the Dakotas and will now take week off to enjoy Christmas.

 

14.   Gonzaga (11-1) Previous Rank: 14

Past week: 12/19 Campbell, W 74-52

Upcoming: 12/28 Baylor

Campbell was no challenge for Gonzaga this week and the Zags hope for the same fate this week against Baylor.

 

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

Past Week: 12/22 American, W 65-48

Upcoming: No Games This Week

Nothing much to talk about here……the Hoyas beat on American and now takes a week off.

It's Only One Loss....Right?

 

16.   New Mexico (12-1) Previous Rank: 17

Past Week: 12/19 New Mexico State, W 68-63 & 12/22 South Dakota State, L 65-70

Upcoming: 12/27 @ (11) Cincinnati

I know all of you are shocked but New Mexico is no longer undefeated…..and guess what? They still have yet to beat anyone we care about.  They get their chance to shut me up this week when they travel to Cincinnati.

 

17.   Creighton (11-1) Previous Rank: 16

Past Week: 12/19 Tulsa, W 71-54

Upcoming: 12/29 Evansville

Creighton easily beat Tulsa this week as expected and I expect the same results this week when they host Evansville.

 

18.   San Diego State (10-1) Previous Rank: 18

Past Week: 12/18 Point Loma, W 76-49 & 12/22 @ San Francisco, W 80-58

Upcoming: 12/23 Indiana St.

Unless Larry Bird is playing for Indiana State this week the Aztecs should be 11-1 after this week.

 

19.   Butler (9-2) Previous Rank: NR

Past Week: 12/22 Evansville, W 75-67

Upcoming: 12/29 @ Vanderbilt

Butler deserved to be in the Top 25 after their win against the Hoosiers and they beat an Evansville team to show that they belonged.

 

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

Past Week: 12/18 @ Bowling Green, W 64-53 & 12/22 Texas, W 67-56

Upcoming: No Games This Week

Michigan State handled their two opponents this week to move to 11-2.  This week they will not play and look to get back to winning next week.

 

21.   UNLV (11-1) Previous Rank: 20

Past Week: 12/17 @ UTEP, W 62-60 & 12/19 Northern Iowa, W 73-59 & 12/22 Canisius, W 89-74

Upcoming: 12/29 @ (23) North Carolina

UNLV had a busy week with three games but they went 3-0.  They travel to Chapel Hill to face the 23rd ranked (for now) Tar Heels.  I think the Rebels can win this one!

 

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

Past Week: 12/17 IPFW, W 74-62 & 12/19 Kennesaw State, W 85-57 & 12/21 Niagra, W 89-67

Upcoming: No Games This Week

Notre Dame went 3-0 this week leading up to their off week.

See ya!

 

23.   North Carolina (9-3) Previous Rank: 21

Past Week: 12/19 @ Texas, L 67-85 & 12/22 McNeese St, W 97-63

Upcoming: 12/29 (21) UNLV

It was only a matter of time but the Texas loss should knock North Carolina out of the Top 25 but, since the pollsters love the ACC, a win against (21) UNLV might put them back in. 

 

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

Past Week: 12/16 Central Arkansas, W 91-63 & 12/19 Texas Arlington, W 69-44 & 12/22 Tennessee Tech, W 78-42

Upcoming: No Games This Week

The Cowboys faced absolutely no threat from their three opponents this week.

 

 25.   North Carolina State (9-2) Previous Rank: 25

Past Week: 12/18 Stanford, W 88-79 & 12/22 St. Bonaventure, W 92-73

Upcoming: 12/29 Western Michigan

Another couple of victories this past week combine with some other teams losing should move the Wolfpack up in the polls.

 

Be sure to check back next week to see if Santa brings us any upsets and what to look forward the following week when we ring in the New Year!

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