Top 25: The Week in Review & The Week Ahead

Written December 2nd, 2012 by Gary Russell II

This past week featured some prime time match-ups. It also gave us the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and Big East/SEC Challenge. A major top ten power player loses major ground and the “Mid-Majors” tried to hold their own. This week the Top 25 takes a lighter schedule in hopes to regroup after the previous week’s battle scars. Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.

1. Indiana (8-0) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 11/27 North Carolina, W 83-59 & 12/1 Coppin State, W 87-51
Upcoming: 12/8 Central Connecticut State
The Hoosiers are coming off a big win against the Tar Heels in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. They look to continue their undefeated season as heavy favorites against Central Connecticut State

#2 Hosts #4

2. Duke (8-0) Previous Rank: 5
Past Week: 11/28 Ohio State, W 73-68 & 12/1 Delaware, 88-50
Upcoming: 12/8 Temple
Duke battled back in the second half to knock of Ohio State at Cameron Indoor. Neither team played exceptionally well but in the end the Cameron Crazies left happy.

3. Michigan (7-0) Previous Rank: 4
Past Week: 11/27 (18) N.C. State, W 79-72 & 12/1 Bradley, W 74-66
Upcoming: 12/4 Western Michigan & 12/8 Arkansas
In another intriguing Big Ten/ACC Challenge match up the Wolverines knocked off the Wolf Pack to hand N.C. State their second loss on the season.

4. Ohio State (5-1) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 11/28 @ (2) Duke, L 68-73 & 12/1 Northern Kentucky, W 70-43
Upcoming: 12/8 Long Beach State
The Buckeyes couldn’t overcome a poor night of shooting in their loss to Duke but followed up the loss with a commanding win over Northern Kentucky.

5. Louisville (6-1) Previous Rank: 2
Past Week: 12/1 Illinois State, W 69-66
Upcoming: 12/4 @Charleston & 12/8 Missouri-Kansas City
Coming off a loss to Duke the Cardinals looked to punish Illinois State, instead they had to survive a scare to improve to 6-1.

6. Syracuse (5-0) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 11/30 @Arkansas, W 91-82
Upcoming: 12/3 Eastern Michigan & 12/6 Long Beach State & 12/8 Monmouth
The Orange will pay somewhat for having a light week of only game in which they beat Arkansas. Three games in seven days but not playing against strong talent.

7. Florida (6-0) Previous Rank: 7
Past Week: 11/29 Marquette, W 82-49
Upcoming: 12/5 @Florida State
Florida knocked off Marquette in a rout, although Marquette is still searching for who will replace their loss of scoring leaders from last year.

Two Losses In One Week?

8. Kentucky (4-3) Previous Rank: 8
Past Week: 11/29 @Notre Dame, L 50-64 & 12/1 Baylor, L 55-64
Upcoming: 12/4 Samford & 12/8 Portland
Look for the Wildcats to drop tremendously in the polls after devastating losses this week. Kentucky followed up their loss in South Bend by losing at home snapping their 54-game winning streak in Rupp Arena.

9. Arizona (5-0) Previous Rank: 10
Past Week: 11/28 Northern Arizona, W 93-50 & 12/1 @Texas Tech, W 85-57
Upcoming: 12/4 Southern Miss & 12/8 @Clemson
Arizona breezed to two easy victories the past week but a trip to Clemson could lead to different results this week.

10. Kansas (6-1) Previous Rank: 12
Past Week: 11/26 San Jose State, W 70-57 & Oregon State, W 84-78
Upcoming: 12/8 @(19) Colorado
Kansas was tested slightly by the Oregon State this past week which should help them prepare for one only two match-ups this week between ranked opponents when the Jayhawks host 19th ranked Colorado

11. Creighton (7-1) Previous Rank: 14
Past Week: 11/28 Boise State, L 70-83 & 12/1 St. Joseph’s, W 80-51
Upcoming: 12/6 @Nebraska & 12/9 Akron
Creighton look to bounce back after a loss to Boise State that is surely to hurt them in the polls this week.

12. Gonzaga (8-0) Previous Rank: 17
Past week: 11/29 Lewis-Clark State, W 104-57 & 12/1 Pacific, W 85-67
Upcoming: 12/5 @Washington State & 12/8 (22) Illinois
In an unusually easy week for Gonzaga, the Bulldogs blew away two easy opponents but will jump back into the fire in this week’s second Top 25 match-up in Illinois.

Sparty Noooo!

13. Michigan State (6-2) Previous Rank: 15
Past Week: 11/28 @Miami(FL), L 59-67 & 12/1 Nicholls, W 84-39
Upcoming: 12/5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff & 12/8 Loyola Chicago
Sparty walked away from the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with one of the Big Ten’s 6 losses in the event by losing to the Hurricanes. Don’t look for that trend to continue this week’s with their two cream puff opponents.

14. North Carolina (6-2) Previous Rank: 9
Past Week: 11/27 @Indiana, L 59-83 & 12/1 UAB, W 102-84
Upcoming: 12/8 East Tennessee State
The Tar Heels went into Bloomington looking to upset the number one tem in the nation but, with no answer for Cody Zoeller, the really took it on the chin instead.

15. Oklahoma State (5-1) Previous Rank: 20
Past Week: 12/1 @Virginia Tech, L 71-81
Upcoming: 12/5 South Florida & 12/8 Missouri State
The Cowboys look for better results this week with two home games after dropping a tough one on the road at Virginia Tech.

16. Missouri (6-1) Previous Rank: 13
Past Week: 12/1 Appalachian State, W 72-56
Upcoming: 12/4 Southeast Missouri State & 12/8 Tennessee State
Missouri continues a stretch of three games this week where they should have no trouble beating under-sized opponents.

17. Cincinnati (7-0) Previous Rank: 21
Past Week: 12/1 Alabama, W 58-56
Upcoming: 12/6 Arkansas-Little Rock & 12/8 Maryland-Eastern Shore
It took late game heroics and a last second basket for Cincinnati to remain undefeated but they did just that in beating Alabama at home.

18. North Carolina State (4-2) Previous Rank: 16
Past Week: 11/27 @Michigan, L 72-79
Upcoming: 12/4 @UCONN & 12/8 Cleveland State
The Wolf pack looked absolutely dismal in their earlier loss to Oklahoma State but this past week in their loss to Michigan, they looked more like the team we expected at the beginning of the year.

19. Colorado (6-1) Previous Rank: 23
Past Week: 11/27 Texas Southern, W 85-80 & 12/1 @Wyoming 65-76
Upcoming: 12/5 Colorado State & 12/8 @(10)Kansas
Colorado struggled this week in barely beating Texas Southern and losing to Wyoming and this week doesn’t get any better as they travel to one of the hardest places to play in the country in Kansas.

20. Georgetown (5-1) Previous Rank: NR
Past Week: 11/30 Tennessee, W 37-36
Upcoming: 12/4 Texas & 12/8 Towson
Georgetown barely won (and barely scored) against Tennessee in a game that resembled more of a football score than a basketball one. The Hoyas may want to try to break 40 if they want to stay in the Top 25.

Gopher'd

21. Minnesota (8-1) Previous Rank: NR
Past Week: 11/27 @Florida State, W 77-68 & 12/1 Northern Florida, W 87-59
Upcoming: 12/4 South Dakota State & 12/8 @USC
The score didn’t explain how much the Gophers went into Tallahassee and dominated a usually defensive minded Seminole team. This week features another road game in a trip to USC.

22. Illinois (8-0) Previous Rank: NR
Past Week: 11/25 Gardner-Webb, W 63-62 & 11/28 Georgia Tech, W 75-62
Upcoming: 12/4 Western Carolina & 12/8 @(12)Gonzaga
Illinois survived an upset by barely beating Gardner-Webb and then beat up on Georgia Tech later in the week. They better get their game together if they plan on beating a tough Gonzaga team.

23. San Diego State (5-1) Previous Rank: 25
Past Week: 12/1 @UCLA, W 78-69
Upcoming: 12/3 Texas Southern & 12/6 UCSB
San Diego is primed for a let-down this week after a big victory at UCLA. Two very winnable games this week could move the Aztecs into the top 20.

24. UNLV (5-1) Previous Rank: 18
Past Week: 11/28 UC Irvine, W 85-57 & 12/1 Hawaii, W 77-63
Upcoming: 12/4 @Portland & 12/9 @California
UNLV has yet to beat a formidable opponent this year but has a chance to prove it belongs in the Top 25 when they travel to California.

25. New Mexico (8-0) Previous Rank: NR
Past Week: 11/28 Mercer, W 76-58 & 12/1 @Indiana State, W 77-68
Upcoming: 12/5 USC & 12/8 Valparaiso
New Mexico is undefeated….that’s about all I can say at this point. Let’s see how the week goes against USC and Valpo before I comment any further.

While this week doesn’t have the marquis match-ups of the past weeks, it does have games that could determine the places of the nation’s top teams and the worthiness of some of the surprises in this very young season. Be sure to check back next week to see how things shake out and what to look forward the following week.

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