Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova, Kentucky Sort Through Chaos in B/R Top 25

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer IFebruary 1, 2010

LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 25:  Sherron Collins #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks goes up for a layup during the game against the Missouri Tigers on January 25, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Four teams. Four resumes. Four teams vying for the spot only one team can have. Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova, and Kentucky all sit near the top of the polls with just one loss.

Each can make a claim at that top position in the polls. Kentucky has the most talent in the country. With three sure-fire lottery picks and incredible athleticism, the Wildcats are slowly becoming more of a "team" with each passing game. The defense has been improving all season, and it's only a matter of time until Kentucky makes its run through the best teams in the SEC and John Calipari's club can make a legitimate claim at the top spot in the rankings.

Then there's Villanova. The Wildcats' offense is producing over 1.20 points per possession, a phenomenal amount considering the Cats don't get a lot of production out of their post players. Villanova hammered Notre Dame at home Wednesday, but that win isn't looking as important after the Irish lost to Rutgers on Saturday. 'Nova's defense is also suspect, as title-winning teams don't allow .93 points per possession, a mark that ranks 69th in the country.

The Big East has two legitimate title threats with the second being Syracuse. The Orange have the top RPI in the country with five wins and no defeats against teams ranked 12th or better. The 'Cuse has rolled through the Big East since losing to Pittsburgh, but that domination ended Saturday when SU needed a gigantic comeback to defeat the league's worst team, DePaul.

Finally, there is Kansas. The team picked to win the national title in the preseason will finally cycle back to the top of the polls. After a statement win on the road against Kansas State, the Jayhawks are building the resume of the best team in America. KU ranks first or second in both offensive and defensive efficiency, which are two hallmarks of a team that's head and shoulders above everyone else.

That's why Bleacher Report voters ranked Kansas first more than any other team combined.

If you're a Bleacher Report member and interested in voting in the Bleacher Report Top 25 poll, email Jameson Fleming at jamesonfleming@gmail.com to receive a ballot.


Ranking, Team (record through Sunday), votes (first place votes), ranking last week

1. Kansas (20-1) 442 (13) Last Week: 2

2. Syracuse (21-1) 426 (2) Last Week: 3

3. Villanova (19-1) 414(1) Last Week: 4

4. Kentucky (20-1) 405 (2) Last Week: 1

5. Michigan State (19-3) 378 Last Week: 6

6. West Virginia (17-3) 345 Last Week: 8

7. Georgetown (16-4) 328 Last Week: 9

8. Purdue (18-3)  320 Last Week: 10

9. Texas (18-3) 312 Last Week: 5

10. Duke (17-4) 269 Last Week: 7

11. Kansas State (17-4) 265 Last Week: 11

12. Brigham Young (21-2) 251 Last Week: 12

13. Tennessee (16-4) 179 Last Week: 14

14. Wisconsin (16-5) 165 Last Week: 16

15. Gonzaga (17-4) 164 Last Week: 13

16. New Mexico (20-3) 163 Last Week: 21

17. Temple (18-4) 155 Last Week: 17

18. Georgia Tech (16-5) 130 Last Week: 19

19. Ohio State (16-6) 129 Last Week: 24

20. Pittsburgh (16-5) 108 Last Week: 15

21. Butler (18-4) 100 Last Week: 23

22. Vanderbilt (16-4) 99 Last Week: 25

23. Mississippi (16-5) 76 Last Week: 18

24. Baylor (16-4) 74 Last Week: Not Ranked

25. Clemson (16-6) 52 Last Week: 22

Others Receiving Votes: Northern Iowa 46, Xavier 17, Rhode Island 16, Cornell 13, UNLV 8, Florida State 6, Missouri 6, Wake Forest 5, St. Mary's 4, Virginia Tech 4, Siena 3, UAB 2, UTEP 2

Participants: Jameson Fleming, Nick Mordowanec, Jesse Kramer, Ari Kramer, Drew Gatewood, Chris Burrows, JB McCandles, Paul Seaver, Paul Swaney, Patrick Goodpaster, Brad Frank, Scott Henry, Brandon Bohning, Dan Karell, Tyler Stimson, Mike Miller, Chris DiLuccio, Chris Golighty, Eric Adams