If last week was more of the same, this week there is a slight changing of the guard at the top of the college basketball AP Top 25 Poll.
The Indiana Hoosiers have spent all season atop the rankings, but a thrilling, exciting clash with in-state foe Butler put an end to that run and their nine-game winning streak.
No one will deny that the Hoosiers are still one of the handful of teams worthy of being ranked No. 1, but they will have to battle their way back to that spot now. Instead, the Duke Blue Devils will make their first appearance at the top of the rankings since Feb. 2011.
The Blue Devils have won their first nine games this season. They haven't played since Dec. 8 against Temple, but they get back into action later this week with games on Wednesday and Thursday against Cornell and Elon.
Before we move on, we should talk about those Butler Bulldogs, who entered the polls this week at No. 19. This program has been one of the best and most consistent "mid-majors" in the country for years. The Bulldogs were 7-2 before the game against Indiana and had a victory over North Carolina, yet found themselves unranked.
That is no longer the case, as Butler has made its presence felt in a big way this week. This team deserves a lot more respect than it got to start the season, especially considering the resume it has built up over the last three years.
Another team moving up the rankings after a huge win over the weekend is Arizona. Don't look now, but the Wildcats are 8-0 after defeating previously undefeated and fifth-ranked Florida.
The Pac-12 may not be as good as we thought coming into the season, thanks in large part to UCLA failing to live up to its lofty expectations, but Arizona is proving to be worthy of its spot in the Top 10.
Here is a look at the AP Top 25 Rankings for the week of Dec. 17-23.
|AP TOP 25 RANKINGS|
|7. Ohio State|
|16. New Mexico|
|18. San Diego State|
|20. Michigan State|
|22. Notre Dame|
|23. North Carolina|
|24. Oklahoma State|
|25. North Carolina State|