College Basketball Top 25: Indiana, Michigan State Jump in B/R Writers Ranking

Ari Kramer@Ari_KramerSenior Analyst IIJanuary 9, 2012

College Basketball Top 25: Indiana, Michigan State Jump in B/R Writers Ranking

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    Syracuse, Kentucky, Baylor and UNC held onto the top four spots, but 12 teams from last week's Top 25 lost at least once and shook up the poll.

    How far did UConn fall after losing to Rutgers and Seton Hall? What about Wisconsin, Florida and Marquette?

    If you're a Bleacher Report college basketball writer who wants to participate in the weekly poll, message me with your email address to indicate your interest.

    Voters: Ari KramerJesse KramerDavid MayerDaniel O'BrienMatt OveringRobert Pace, Josh SchochJordan SchwartzGene SiudutJames Sullivan

Missing the Cut

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    Dropped From Rankings

    Harvard, 22


    Others Receiving Votes

    Seton Hall, 23

    West Virginia, 16

    Illinois, 10

    Vanderbilt, 8

    Alabama, 7

    Pittsburgh, 5

    Dayton, 3

    New Mexico, 3

    Harvard, 2

    Southern Mississippi, 1

    Temple, 1

25. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Record: 12-5

    Week: 0-2

    Previous Ranking: 15

    Voting Points: 26

    Losers of three straight, Wisconsin fell in overtime to Michigan State before scoring just 41 points in an 18-point loss to Michigan this week.

    One positive sign for Bo Ryan: Jordan Taylor appears to have returned to last year's scoring form. The senior point guard, who is averaging 16.4 points over the last seven games, dropped 28 points on the Spartans.

    One negative sign: Taylor's scoring has compromised his distributing, evidenced by his uncharacteristic two assists to seven turnovers this week.

    Wisconsin, which is 1-4 against teams in this week's Top 25, didn't appear on six ballots but also ranked as high No. 17.

24. San Diego State Aztecs

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    Record: 13-2

    Week: 1-0

    Previous Ranking: T-23

    Voting Points: 34

    San Diego State, as expected, dominated San Diego Christian in its sole game this week. However, the 83-52 win over a non-Division I school couldn't help the Aztecs ascend the rankings.

    Three voters didn't include San Diego State on their ballots, and one pitted the Aztecs at No. 15.

23. Gonzaga Bulldogs

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    Record: 13-2

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: NR

    Voting Points: 35

    Since losing consecutively to Illinois and Michigan State, Gonzaga has assembled an eight-game winning streak that includes victories over Arizona, Butler and Xavier. 

    The Bulldogs appeared on all but one ballot and were ranked as high as No. 16, and a highly anticipated tilt with 14-2 Saint Mary's awaits them on Thursday.

22. Creighton Blue Jays

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    Record: 13-2

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 23

    Voting Points: 42

    Wisconsin's plummet opened the doors for Creighton, which picked up victories against Drake and Bradley last week. 

    National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott poured in 44 points against the Braves. The sophomore—yes, sophomore—has now produced the three highest single-game scoring totals in the MVC this season.

    Creighton appeared on six of 10 ballots.

21. Marquette Golden Eagles

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    Record: 12-4

    Week: 0-2

    Previous Ranking: 17

    Voting Points: 45

    Two voters left Marquette off their ballots, as the Golden Eagles have lost four of their last six. 

    Last week's losses at Georgetown and Syracuse were more acceptable than the home debacle against Vanderbilt and the shocker at LSU, but Marquette should have beaten the Hoyas, who trailed by 17 points with 13 minutes left.

    The Golden Eagles have an opportunity to get back on track this week with home games against undermanned St. John's and reeling Pittsburgh. 

20. Kansas State Wildcats

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    Record: 12-2

    Week: 1-1

    Previous Ranking: 25

    Voting Points: 49

    Voters clearly weighed Kansas State's convincing 17-point win over previously undefeated Missouri more heavily than its 18-point loss at Kansas. 

    Only two voters left the Wildcats off their ballots, and several had them inside the Top 25.

    With another opportunity to hand out a first loss, Kansas State is set to host Baylor on Tuesday.

19. Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Record: 13-3

    Week: 0-1

    Previous Ranking: 16

    Voting Points: 70

    In its only game this week, Mississippi State surrendered 98 points in a 10-point loss at Arkansas.

    The Bulldogs, who have now lost two of three, came in as high as No. 11 but one voter kept them off his ballot.

18. Virginia Cavaliers

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    Record: 14-1

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 21

    Voting Points: 76

    Virginia climbed a few spots after winning at LSU and versus Miami.

    The Cavaliers have now won 12 straight, but their easy schedule ranks No. 194. Perhaps that is why one voter kept them off his ballot while others ranked them between No. 12 and No. 22.

17. Florida Gators

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    Record: 12-4

    Week: 1-1

    Previous Ranking: 14

    Voting Points: 82

    As expected, Florida easily handled UAB at home. However, the Gators trailed Tennessee by double-digits for the final 11 minutes of Saturday's 67-56 loss.

    Florida has now lost twice in the past two weeks—both times to teams ranked below No. 170 in the RPI.

16. Michigan Wolverines

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    Record: 13-3

    Week: 1-1

    Previous Ranking: 18

    Voting Points: 102

    After taking Indiana to the wire on the road, Michigan earned a much-needed win over a Top 25 squad by trouncing Wisconsin.

    The Wolverines, who will play Northwestern and Iowa this week, appeared on all but one ballot and as high as No. 12.

15. UConn Huskies

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    Record: 12-3

    Week: 0-2

    Previous Ranking: 8

    Voting Points: 105

    Until last week, UConn had struggled against several inferior teams. However, the Huskies had only lost once.

    Then they went 0-2 on the Big East road trip to New Jersey. Yes, Seton Hall and Rutgers upended the reigning champions.

    One voter kept UConn at No. 6 but no one else penciled the Huskies in their Top 10. UConn came in as low as No. 25.

14. Murray State Racers

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    Record: 16-0

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 19

    Voting Points: 115

    Murray State sustained its perfect record with wins over Eastern Kentucky and struggling OVC preseason favorite Austin Peay. With home games against Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech this week, the Racers should be 18-0 by next week's poll.

    They came in as high as No. 8 and as low as No. 20 this week.

12. UNLV Rebels

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    Record: 16-2

    Week: 1-0

    Previous Ranking: 20

    Voting Points: 118

    After losses by other teams enabled UNLV to leap several spots, the Rebels tied with Louisville at No. 12.

    UNLV, which has won seven consecutive games, will visit San Diego State on Saturday.

    Voters had the Rebels as high as No. 10 and as low as No. 18.

12. Louisville Cardinals

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    Record: 13-3

    Week: 1-1

    Previous Ranking: 9

    Voting Points: 118

    Louisville beat St. John's but lost in double overtime to Notre Dame, leading to a three-spot drop in this week's rankings. 

    Though Providence—the Cardinals' next opponent—has lost four straight, Louisville can't afford to overlook Tuesday's trip to Rhode Island.

    The Cardinals came in as high as No. 9 and as low as No. 20, and five voters pitted them at No. 13.

11. Georgetown Hoyas

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    Record: 13-2

    Week: 1-1

    Previous Ranking: 10

    Voting Points: 133

    Georgetown stormed back from a 17-point second half deficit to beat Marquette but stumbled at West Virginia.

    If the Hoyas had pulled off another comeback, they would be in the Top 10. However, they dropped one spot instead.

    Voters placed Georgetown between No. 8 and No. 17. 

10. Kansas Jayhawks

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    Record: 12-3

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 13

    Voting Points: 162

    Kansas dismissed Kansas State's attempt for an in-state upset and knocked off Oklahoma last week. 

    The Jayhawks, who will play Texas Tech and Iowa State this week, have won nine of 10.

    Kansas only appeared at No. 9, 10 and 11 on the ballots. 

9. Missouri Tigers

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    Record: 14-1

    Week: 1-1

    Previous Ranking: 7

    Voting Points: 166

    After thrashing Oklahoma, Missouri lost its perfect record at the hands of Kansas State, which led the visiting Tigers for the final 37 minutes of Saturday's tilt.

    Mizzou will travel to Iowa State, which is off to a 2-0 start in Big 12 play, before hosting Texas this week.

    Only one voter ranked the Tigers outside the Top 10. 

8. Duke Blue Devils

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    Record: 13-2

    Week: 1-1

    Previous Ranking: T-4

    Voting Points: 177

    First, Duke lost to Temple in Philadelphia. Then, the Blue Devils didn't respond so well, barely edging Georgia Tech.

    Most voters left Duke in the Top 10—two had the Blue Devils at No. 5—but one writer dropped them to No. 15.

7. Michigan State Spartans

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    Record: 14-2

    Week: 1-0

    Previous Ranking: 12

    Voting Points: 186

    Tuesday's overtime win at Wisconsin extended Michigan State's winning streak to 14 games. The Spartans, who have not lost since Nov. 15, have also picked up wins against three teams in this week's Top 25.

    No voter placed Tom Izzo's squad outside the Top 10.

6. Indiana Hoosiers

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    Record: 15-1

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 11

    Voting Points: 189

    Though Michigan State beat Indiana, the Hoosiers' wins over Kentucky and Ohio State kept them ahead of the Spartans in the poll despite last week's struggles with Michigan and Penn State.

    Indiana will host Minnesota on Thursday, but Sunday's game at Ohio State is the more anticipated contest. The Hoosiers, who struggled at Penn State, could use a Top 25 win away from Assembly Hall.

    Indiana appeared as high as No. 3 and as low as No. 11.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Record: 15-2

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 6

    Voting Points: 210

    Ohio State followed up its loss at Assembly Hall with routs of Nebraska and Iowa. The Buckeyes have a rematch with the Hoosiers on Sunday.

    Only three voters didn't rank Ohio State in the Top Five.

4. UNC Tar Heels

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    Record: 14-2

    Week: 1-0

    Previous Ranking: T-4

    Voting Points: 216

    Extending its winning streak to eight, UNC trounced Boston College in its only game last week. Harrison Barnes led the offensive charge with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

    The Tar Heels, who play Miami and Florida State this week, appeared as high as No. 3 and as low as No. 7.

3. Baylor Bears

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    Record: 15-0

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 3

    Voting Points: 228

    After sweeping Texas A&M and Texas Tech this week, Baylor is still undefeated. 

    A matchup with Kansas State, which looks to knock off another unbeaten, looms on Tuesday night. The Wildcats aren't as athletic, but they have the length to compete with Baylor.

    The Bears placed between No. 2 and No. 4.

2. Kentucky Wildcats

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    Record: 15-1

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 2

    Voting Points: 237

    Terrence Jones finally returned to form, and Kentucky remained perfect since falling to Indiana. The Wildcats won two more games by double digits, beating Arkansas-Little Rock by 22 points and South Carolina by 15.

    John Calipari's squad should be 17-1 by the end of the week—Auburn is terrible and Tennessee, despite beating Florida, shouldn't be much of a threat to the Wildcats.

    Eight voters ranked Kentucky at No. 2.

1. Syracuse Orange

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    Record: 17-0

    Week: 2-0

    Previous Ranking: 1

    Voting Points: 250 

    The Orange pulled away from Providence in the second half and held off Marquette's comeback, and B/R writers unanimously chose Syracuse as their No. 1 team.

    The 'Cuse will visit Villanova on Wednesday before hosting the Friars on Saturday. 

Conference Breakdown

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    Big East: 5

    Big Ten: 5

    Big 12: 4

    ACC: 3

    SEC: 3

    MWC: 2

    MVC: 1

    OVC: 1

    WCC: 1