As the morning hours passed on Monday, there was some wonder going around the college basketball nation. Would Syracuse take over as the No. 1 team in the country?
The answer, yes. Out of the 31 first place votes, the Orange owned 23 of them. Seven went to Kansas, while a red-hot Duke squad got one vote.
The Orange were able to jump from their previous spot at No. 4 to No. 1 after the top three teams in the country lost this weekend.
All this being said, the Orange were one of just a few teams that got their deserved place.
The real trouble starts at number six. Purdue is a very good team. They lost one game to another quality team this week, Michigan St. who is now in the #12 slot. Purdue dropped three spots in the rankings.
It is obvious that they would have had a four, possibly five spot had they not lost their star Robbie Hummel this week for the rest of the season. The top 25 rankings should bear only on the team's level of play, not who is injured.
Another team that is unfairly placed in New Mexico. They are coming off two wins this week, one of them a shocker against now 15th ranked BYU on the road.
They haven't lost a game since Jan. 9, and they deserve to be ahead of Villanova and West Virginia at the eight seed.
Also related to that game is how the once 11th-ranked BYU team dropped four spots to 15 with just a two point loss to the No. 10 team in the country. It was their first home loss of the year, and they are playing amazing basketball. A loss like this should not take this much away from their overall standing.
Butler is fine at 11. They play in a lowly conference. However, you have to believe that a team like Gonzaga who has the hardest schedule in the country with only five losses could have that position as well.
Michigan State got a two-spot bump with their win over six ranked Purdue. Not bad.
Other notes include hot teams like UTEP and Maryland moving up. Xavier gets into consideration, and Northern Iowa is trying to fight it's way back in to the top 25.
People say the rankings aren't that important. However, there is not only a psychological impact on the opponents, but they also have a huge bearing on who is seeded where come tournament time.
Progress within top conference teams can be seen by looking how the team has gotten better or worse. The top 25 is now more important than ever, and even the tiniest mistake could mess up the balance of college basketball.
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