Pittsburgh was close to a unanimous pick for the number one team last week, but after Wake Forest's victory Sunday night against North Carolina, the Demon Deacons have picked up several number one votes to close the gap between the top two teams.
If you would like to participate in the B/R Top 25 poll, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your e-mail, rank your top 25 teams, but also provide the link to your B/R profile. Voting will open for next week's poll on Friday, Jan. 16 and will close Monday, Jan. 19 at 10 AM EST.
The rankings reflect the outcome of games up to Sunday, Jan. 11.
Rank, Team, Record (First Place Votes), Total Votes, (Rank Last Week)
1. Pittsburgh 15-0 (9), 345 (2)
The Panthers continue to roll through the Big East schedule. Pitt played just once during the past week, but blew out St. John's by 23 points. This week should be a little tougher with a weekend game coming up in Louisville.
Pitt ranked as high as first on nine ballots, but finished second on all five remaining ballots.
2. Wake Forest 14-0 (4), 334 (3)
The Demon Deacons have a signature victory to hang their hat on after defeating North Carolina at home 92-89 Sunday night. Wake Forest's Jeff Teague looks like he may be the best guard in the entire country with his outstanding 34 point performance against the Tar Heels. Teague is not only averaging over 20 points per game, but also over four rebounds, and four assists a contest.
Wake Forest ranked as high as first on four ballots and as low as fourth on one ballot.
3. Duke 14-1, 322 (4)
The Blue Devils keep chugging along after going to Florida State and coming away with a victory. Duke also knocked off America's favorite Cinderella, Davidson, in ESPN's promotional game where the NBA announcing crew travelled to Cameron Indoors to call the game.
Duke ranked as high as second and as low as fourth.
4. UConn 14-1, 300 (5)
The Huskies picked up a pair of Big East victories as Jim Calhoun's team went on the road to beat West Virginia and Cincinnati. After the two tough road games, UConn will get a couple breathers this week with games against St. John's and Seton Hall.
UConn ranked as high as third and as low as seventh.
5. North Carolina 14-2 (1), 287 (2)
The Tar Heels are sitting in last place in the ACC thanks to an 0-2 record with losses to Boston College at home and on the road to Wake Forest. North Carolina will get two chances to bounce back in the coming week with games against doormat Virginia and a solid Miami team.
UNC ranked as high as first on one ballot and as low as 12th.
6. Oklahoma 15-1, 279 (6)
The Sooners opened Big 12 play with a fairly easy win against Kansas State over the weekend. Oklahoma will take on a pair of Texas teams with a home game Monday night against Texas and a game later this week at Texas A&M.
Oklahoma ranked as high as fourth and as low as ninth.
7. Syracuse 16-1, 258 (7)
The Orange continued to race through Big East play with wins over Rutgers and DePaul during the past week. SU will begin its gauntlet with games against Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh coming up over the next eight days.
The 'Cuse ranked as high as fourth and as low as 11th.
8. Michigan State 13-2, 240 (10)
The Spartans grabbed a couple strong wins during the past week with wins over Ohio State and Kansas. Michigan State will get a couple of tests this week against Penn State, who beat the Spartans last year, and Illinois.
MSU ranked as high as sixth and as low as 13th.
9. Clemson 16-0, 224 (12)
The Tigers are slowly creeping up the rankings with their undefeated record. Clemson will get its toughest test of the season when the Tigers tip off with second ranked Wake Forest at home.
Clemson ranked as high as fifth and as low as 18th.
10. Texas 12-3, 215 (8)
The Longhorns are the highest ranked three loss team, but all three losses are quality losses (Michigan State and Notre Dame on neutral courts, and at Arkansas). UT gets a chance to redeem itself Monday night with a Big 12 showdown against Oklahoma.
Texas ranked as high as seventh and as low as 16th.
11. UCLA 13-2, 214 (11)
The Baby Bruins are holding steady after winning their only game of the week against the disappointing USC Trojans. UCLA has a chance to pick up two quality wins this week against Arizona and Arizona State.
UCLA ranked as high as fourth and went unranked on one ballot.
12. Georgetown 11-3, 174 (9)
The Hoyas finished a tough three game stretch to open Big East play with a loss at Notre Dame, but rebounded with a comeback victory over Providence. Georgetown's stretch from hell continues with games at home against Syracuse and then a non-conference contest against Duke.
Georgetown ranked as high as tenth and as low as 22nd.
13. Notre Dame 12-3, 163 (17)
The Irish is starting to figure things out at the right time after defeating both Georgetown and Seton Hall. Notre Dame will have two tough games this week against Louisville and Syracuse.
Notre Dame ranked as high as tenth and went unranked on one ballot.
14. Marquette 15-2, 162 (16)
The Golden Eagles continue a run of Big East teams in the rankings after winning two straight games, with the marquee victory being a 22-point thrashing of West Virginia. This week, Marquette has Providence on the schedule who's 3-1 in the conference thus far.
Marquette ranked as high as 11th and as low as 20th.
15. Arizona State 14-2, 138 (13)
The Sun Devils won a pair of games against Oregon teams (the Ducks and Beavers), but still dropped two spots in the rankings. ASU will get a chance to pick up two statement victories with games against USC and UCLA this week.
Arizona State ranked as high as eighth and unranked on two ballots.
16. Minnesota 15-1, 128 (18)
The Golden Gophers continued to win in Big Ten play after defeating Iowa in a low scoring game and then going off from the field against Penn State. Minnesota will be able to run its record to 17-1 with wins against Wisconsin and Northwestern this weekend.
Minnesota ranked as high 11th and went unranked on one ballot.
17. Xavier 13-2, 100 (20)
The Musketeers have been rolling through Atlantic-10 cupcakes and won't face another solid team until two games from now, when Xavier takes on Rhode Island.
Xavier ranked as high as 13th, but went unranked on one ballot.
18. Butler 14-1, 88 (21)
The Bulldogs should be on cruise control through the Horizon League. Butler has already played arguably the second best team in the conference (Cleveland State) and will have one of the better remaining teams in the conference (Illinois-Chicago) this week.
Butler ranked as high as 14th and as low as 25th.
19. Louisville 11-3, 87 (23)
The Cardinals are finally figuring things out after winning their first two Big East games against South Florida and Villanova. Louisville will need to be firing on all cylinders with a matchup against higher ranked Notre Dame Monday and Pitt over the weekend.
Louisville ranked as high as tenth and went unranked on one ballot.
20. Baylor 13-2, 84 (19)
The Bears dropped one spot in the rankings despite winning their only game of the week convincingly against Texas Tech. Baylor will tip-off with Texas A&M and Oklahoma State this week, providing Baylor with a good chance to start off the league schedule 3-0.
Baylor ranked as high as 14th and went unranked on one ballot.
21. Purdue 12-4, 82 (14)
The Boilermakers continue to drop games they shouldn't after losing to Penn State earlier in the week. But Purdue recovered to knock off Wisconsin and has two games against teams from the bottom half of the Big Ten (Northwestern and Iowa) this week.
Purdue ranked as high as 13th and went unranked on multiple ballots.
22. Villanova 13-3, 65 (15)
The Wildcats struggled through last week, going to overtime against Seton Hall and losing at home against Louisville. 'Nova will be off until next Sunday when the Wildcats take on St. John's.
Villanova ranked as high as 15th, but went unranked on multiple ballots.
23. California 15-2, 38 (unranked)
The Golden Bears won a pair of games in the state of Washington to jump out to a 4-0 start in the Pac-10. California will get just one chance to extend its conference winning streak this week with a game against Stanford.
California ranked as high as 16th, but went unranked on multiple ballots.
24. Saint Mary's 15-1 33 (unranked)
The Gaels may have finally dethroned Gonzaga as the best team in the West Coast Conference, as the Gaels are off to a 15-1 and 2-0 in the conference start. SMC will have a couple games against the worst teams in the league, so expect a 4-0 conference mark next Monday.
Saint Mary's College ranked as high as 15th, but went unranked on many ballots.
25. Michigan 13-3, 30 (25th)
The Wolverines are off to a 3-1 start in the Big Ten after defeating Iowa and Indiana during the last week. This week should be much tougher with games against Illinois and Ohio State.
Michigan ranked as high as 19th and went unranked on several ballots.
Others Receiving Votes
Tennessee 28, Gonzaga 24, Memphis 23, Illinois 20, Arkansas 16, Boston College 12, Utah State 11, BYU 9, West Virginia 3, Ohio State 3, Illinois State 2, Kansas 2, Davidson 1, Texas A&M 1