NCAA Basketball Top 25 Straw Poll: Week 8

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2012

NCAA Basketball Top 25 Straw Poll: Week 8

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    Last week, three more unbeaten teams lost for the first time. No. 15 New Mexico lost at home to South Dakota State, No. 11 Illinois was defeated by Missouri and No. 3 Syracuse was taken down by Temple at the Gotham Classic.

    Meanwhile, North Carolina's loss at Texas knocked the Tar Heels out of the rankings and Arizona remained undefeated, moving into the No. 3 slot.

    Read on to see the complete Top 25.

    (Please note that all votes were sent in and compiled prior to the conclusion of Arizona vs. Miami.)

    Voters: Jesse Kramer, Ryan Satsky, Scott Polacek, Matt Overing, Thad Novak, Josh SchochJordan Schwartz, Hayden Deitrick.

Others Receiving Votes

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    Pittsburgh, 15 points

    Baylor, 14 points

    UCLA, 14 points

    Kansas State, 13 points

    New Mexico, 12 points

    North Carolina, 9 points

    Miami (FL), 8 points

    Colorado, 7 points

    Maryland, 6 points

    VCU, 5 points

    Wichita State, 4 points

    Oregon, 3 points

    Memphis, 3 points

    Temple, 1 point

25. Wyoming Cowboys

2 of 26

    Points: 17

    Record: 12-0

    Last Week's Rank: Not Ranked

    Notable Wins: Colorado (Home), Illinois State (Road)

    Wyoming remained undefeated with wins over Denver and UC Santa Barbara last week, earning a spot in the Top 25 for the first time this season.

    The Cowboys will begin January on the road with a game against Southern Methodist.

24. Kentucky Wildcats

3 of 26

    Points: 23

    Record: 8-3

    Last Week's Rank: Not Ranked

    Notable Wins: Maryland (Neutral)

    Kentucky returns to the Top 25 this week after defeating Marshall easily over the weekend.

    The Wildcats will look for their first win over a Top 25 opponent on Saturday when they play at Louisville.

23. Oklahoma State Cowboys

4 of 26

    Points: 41

    Record: 10-1

    Last Week's Rank: 23

    Notable Wins: NC State (Neutral), South Florida (Home)

    During Oklahoma State's five-game winning streak, the Cowboys are averaging 72.2 points, while holding opponents to 48 points per game. 

    The Cowboys, who have won their only game against a Top 25 opponent, will host nationally-ranked Gonzaga on New Year's Eve.

22. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

5 of 26

    Points: 45

    Record: 12-1

    Last Week's Rank: 22

    Notable Wins: BYU (Neutral), Kentucky (Home)

    Notre Dame easily defeated IPFW, Kennesaw State and Niagara in three home games last week. Jack Cooley averaged 17.3 points and 12 rebounds against the lesser competition.

    The Fighting Irish have a two-week break before returning to action against Seton Hall on January 5.

21. North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    Points: 46

    Record: 9-2

    Last Week's Rank: 21

    Notable Wins: UConn (Neutral), Stanford (Home)

    North Carolina State blew away Saint Bonaventure on Saturday behind C.J. Leslie's 33 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. 

    The Wolfpack will play a pair of home games against Western Michigan and UNC-Greensboro to finish off the month.

20. Butler Bulldogs

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    Points: 48

    Record: 9-2

    Last Week's Rank: 24

    Notable Wins: Marquette (Neutral), UNC (Neutral), Northwestern (Road), Indiana (Neutral)

    Butler defeated Evansville over the weekend to extend its winning streak to six games. Seniors Andrew Smith and Rotnei Clarke each scored 20 points in the win.

    The Bulldogs, who are 4-1 against teams from BCS conferences, will play at Vanderbilt on Saturday.

T-18. UNLV Rebels

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    Points: 55

    Record: 11-1

    Last Week's Rank: T-18

    Notable Wins: Iowa State (Home), Cal (Road)

    UNLV defeated a pair of solid mid-majors, Northern Iowa and Canisius, last week.

    With those victories, the Rebels have now won their last nine games entering a tough matchup at North Carolina.

T-18. Michigan State Spartans

9 of 26

    Points: 55

    Record: 11-2

    Last Week's Rank: 20

    Notable Wins: Kansas (Neutral)

    Michigan State defeated Bowling Green and Texas by 11 points each to extend its winning streak to six games.

    On New Year's Eve, the Spartans will play Minnesota in their Big Ten opener. Neither of those teams have lost this month.

17. Creighton Bluejays

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    Points: 69

    Record: 11-1

    Last Week's Rank: T-18

    Notable Wins: Wisconsin (Neutral), Arizona State (Neutral), St. Joe's (Home), Cal (Road)

    Creighton defeated Tulsa 71-54 on Wednesday. The Bluejays received a career-high 21 points from sophomore Avery Dingman in the victory.

    Next up for the Bluejays is Evansville in their MVC opener.

16. Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Points: 82

    Record: 12-1

    Last Week's Rank: 11

    Notable Wins: Butler (Neutral), Gonzaga (Road)

    Illinois' undefeated season ended with an 82-73 loss to Missouri on Saturday. The Fighting Illini are now 1-1 in games against the Top 25.

    This week, Illinois' only game is against Auburn.

15. San Diego State Aztecs

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    Points: 84

    Record: 11-1

    Last Week's Rank: 17

    Notable Wins: UCLA (Neutral)

    San Diego State has still not lost since its season opener against Syracuse.

    The Aztecs will play either Arizona or Miami (FL) in the Diamond Head Classic championship game on Tuesday.

14. Minnesota Golden Gophers

13 of 26

    Points: 88

    Record: 12-1

    Last Week's Rank: 14

    Notable Wins: Memphis (Neutral), Stanford (Neutral)

    Minnesota extended its winning streak to eight games with a win over Lafayette last week.

    The Golden Gophers begin Big Ten competition against Michigan State on New Year's Eve.

13. Georgetown Hoyas

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    Points: 89

    Record: 10-1

    Last Week's Rank: 16

    Notable Wins: UCLA (Neutral)

    Georgetown has continued to win against easy competition, defeating American on Saturday.

    The Hoyas have the week off and return to action at Marquette on January 5.

12. Gonzaga Bulldogs

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    Points: 91

    Record: 11-1

    Last Week's Rank: 12

    Notable Wins: Clemson (Neutral), Oklahoma (Neutral), Kansas State (Neutral)

    Although Gonzaga is 0-1 against the Top 25, it has wins over Clemson, Oklahoma, Washington State and Kansas State.

    This week, the Zags could get two more notable wins against Baylor and Oklahoma State.

11. Florida Gators

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    Points: 101

    Record: 8-2

    Last Week's Rank: 8

    Notable Wins: Wisconsin (Home), Marquette (Home) 

    After starting the season with a 7-0 record, Florida is 1-2 in its last three games. After losing to Arizona on a buzzer-beater on December 15, the Gators were upset by Kansas State this past weekend.

10. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Points: 118

    Record: 9-2

    Last Week's Rank: 7

    Notable Wins: Washington (Neutral)

    With Ohio State's loss to Kansas on Saturday, the Buckeyes are now 0-2 against Top 25 teams this year. Their only respectable win this season was against 8-4 Washington.

    Thad Matta's club should be able to get back on a winning track with its next two games being at home against Chicago State and Nebraska.

9. Missouri Tigers

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    Points: 127

    Record: 10-1

    Last Week's Rank: 13

    Notable Wins: Stanford (Neutral), VCU (Neutral), Illinois (Neutral)

    In its first game against a Top 25 opponent since its loss to Louisville, Missouri upset previously unbeaten Illinois. After the Fighting Illini cut Missouri's lead to two points in the second half, the Tigers finished with a 9-3 run to secure the victory.

    Missouri will be tested in their final two non-conference games against UCLA and Bucknell.

8. Syracuse Orange

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    Points: 135

    Record: 10-1

    Last Week's Rank: 3

    Notable Wins: San Diego State (Neutral)

    Syracuse's perfect season came to an end with a loss to Temple at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. The Orange committed a pair of crucial turnovers in the final minutes that hindered their comeback.

    Syracuse should be able to pick up easy wins in its next two games as it faces Alcorn State and Central Connecticut State.

7. Cincinnati Bearcats

20 of 26

    Points: 140

    Record: 12-0

    Last Week's Rank: 10

    Notable Wins: Iowa State (Neutral), Oregon (Neutral), Alabama (Home), Marshall (Road)

    Cincinnati overcame an eight-point deficit against Wright State to remain undefeated in the 2012-13 season. The Bearcats will host New Mexico, which was undefeated up until this past weekend, on Thursday in their final non-conference game.

    The Bearcats are currently the number two rebounding team in the nation with 46.4 boards per game.

6. Kansas Jayhawks

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    Points: 166

    Record: 10-1

    Last Week's Rank: 9

    Notable Wins: Saint Louis (Neutral), Colorado (Home), Ohio State (Road)

    In its first true road game of the season, Kansas defeated No.7 Ohio State. Redshirt freshman Ben McLemore was the star with a game-high 22 points.

    The Jayhawks will play their next three games at home against American, Temple and Iowa State.

5. Indiana Hoosiers

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    Points: 169

    Record: 11-1

    Last Week's Rank: 6

    Notable Wins: Georgetown (Neutral), UNC (Home)

    Indiana took care of business last week with a 39-point win over Mount St. Mary's and a 36-point win over Florida Atlantic.

    The Hoosiers will host Jacksonville on Friday and then begin Big Ten competition with road games against Iowa and Penn State.

4. Louisville Cardinals

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    Points: 172

    Record: 11-1

    Last Week's Rank: 5

    Notable Wins: Missouri (Neutral)

    Louisville dominated in its two games this week, defeating Florida International by 24 points and Western Kentucky by 23.

    On Saturday, the Cardinals will play Kentucky in their final non-conference game before heading into Big East competition.

3. Arizona Wildcats

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    Points: 178

    Record: 10-0

    Last Week's Rank: 4

    Notable Wins: Clemson (Road), Florida (Home)

    Arizona was still unbeaten entering a late-night game against Miami (FL) on Sunday in the Diamond Head Classic.

2. Michigan Wolverines

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    Points: 191

    Record: 12-0

    Last Week's Rank: 2

    Notable Wins: Pitt (Neutral), Kansas State (Neutral), NC State (Home)

    Michigan manhandled Eastern Michigan for a 93-54 win on Thursday. It was their 14th consecutive regular-season win, dating back to last season. As a team, the Wolverines had 26 assists. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined for 15 of them while four other players had two assists apiece.

    The Wolverines will play their final non-conference game against Central Michigan on Saturday.

1. Duke Blue Devils

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    Points: 200

    Record: 11-0

    Last Week's Rank: 1

    Notable Wins: Kentucky (Neutral), Minnesota (Neutral), VCU (Neutral), Louisville (Neutral), Ohio State (Home), Temple (Neutral)

    Duke defeated Cornell and Elon on back-to-back nights last week to remain unbeaten. Against Elon, Mason Plumlee posted his seventh double-double of the season with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

    The Blue Devils will remain at Cameron this week to face an 11-2 Santa Clara team, which has won its last six games.