Top 20 College Hoops Teams Playing Way Out of Their League So Far in 2010

James Evens@JamesEvensCorrespondent IJanuary 1, 2011

Top 20 College Hoops Teams Playing Way Out of Their League So Far in 2010

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - DECEMBER 21:  JaJuan Johnson #25 of the Purdue Boilermakers dunks the ball during the game against the IPFW Mastodons at Mackey Arena on December 21, 2010 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    As college hoops season is starting to take full swing now as we get into conference play, we start noticing teams that are just playing way beyond their level of talent at the moment.

    While it is a great thing for these teams that this is happening to, it gives their fans and the rest of the nation a false perspective on whether or not they are actually that great or not.

    Here are 20 teams that are playing out of their shoes right now.

    James Evens is a Purdue student and Basketball/Football Featured Columnist for the Boilermakers, along with being a Writing Intern at Bleacher Report.    Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.


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    ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Stu Douglas #1 of the Michigan Wolverines looks to pass against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the Old Spice Classic at Disney's Milk House on November 27, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Marquette defeated Michigan 79-65.  (Phot
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The Michigan Wolverines are a very young team that is expected to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten this season.  They currently have a record of 10-3.  

    Two of their losses have came to ranked opponents, including a three-point loss to then eighth ranked Syracuse.  Their other ranked loss came to the 11th ranked Purdue Boilermakers at home where the Wolverines kept it close in the first half then were overcome with the Boilermakers depth.

    Michigan is really a year away from being successful in the Big Ten and even have the possibility of making the NCAA Tournament.

    Watch out for the Wolverines this season, they will beat at least one great team this year and will be a Big Ten title contender next season.

Cleveland State

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    MIAMI - MARCH 20:  Guard Norris Cole #30 (R) of the Cleveland State University Vikings takes a shot over  guard L.D. Williams #42 (L) of Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the American Ai
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Cleveland State has been playing great this season and have amassed a record of 14-1 (3-0).  They have played extremely well this season and might be a legitimate contender to Butler's reign atop the Horizon League.

    They are led by senior guard Norris Cole who is averaging almost 21 points a game and over two steals. Cole is the driving force to this team and is a great talent that could have a future in the NBA as he has the size and the ability to score.

    Cleveland State has lost to West Virginia this season and beat a Big East team in South Florida, who recently had UCONN on the ropes in a close overtime game.

    Cleveland State is just has not proved themselves as a legitimate team this season and will more than likely finish behind Butler in the Horizon League costing them the NCAA Tournament berth they want. 

Florida State

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    BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 19:  Chris Singleton #31 of the Florida State Seminoles looks on towards the end of the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HSBC Arena on March 19, 2010 in Buffalo, N
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Florida State has started off the season with a record of 11-3 with losses coming to Butler, Florida and Ohio State—all respectable losses for the Seminoles.  

    The highlight of their season came when playing defeated Baylor.

    They are led by Chris Singleton who is averaging almost 15 points a game and close to nine rebounds. He is a great player that will continue to grow.

    The Seminoles are going to be a bubble team as they face a tough schedule in the ACC and are a very inexperienced tribe.  They only have one senior on the team, and he has only appeared in three games this season.


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    PROVIDENCE, RI - DECEMBER 04:  Marshon Brooks #2 of the Providence Friars runs the offense against the Rhode Island Rams at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on December 4, 2010 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
    Chris Chambers/Getty Images

    Providence is another team that just hasn't faced many tough opponents this season and have suffered three losses.  

    They come in with a record of 11-3 with losses to Syracuse, La Salle and Boston College. They have no key victories on the year and will more than likely be put back into their place once Big East season gets into full swing.

University of Central Florida

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    This team is currently undefeated with a record of 13-0.  They are a young team that was not expected to make much noise, but are currently ranked in the Top 25 and have beaten teams such as Florida who is expected to finish the season strong once again.

    Central Florida is led by two sophomores who are combining for almost 32 points per game.

Washington State

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Reggie Moore #3 of the Washington State Cougars is defended by Tajuan Porter #12 of the Oregon Ducks in the second half during the first round of the Pac-10 Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 10, 2010 in Los Ange
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Washington State has recently fell into a spiral since the beginning of the season.  They have a record of 10-4 and have dropped their last three matchups. 

    They were playing out of their shoes until they ran into some stiff competition so they will still make this list.  They will need to really step it up if they plan on making the tournament this season, or the NIT will be calling their name.

Iowa State

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Craig Brackins #21 of the Iowa State Cyclones makes a move in the post in the second half against the Texas Longhorns during the first round game of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Cyclones have played very well so far this season, but just like the other teams on this list, they have played virtually no one.  They are highly overrated because of this, and the schedule really shows that.

    They have a record of 12-2 but are about to start league play in what could be one of the nation's toughest conferences the Big 12.


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    NEW YORK - MARCH 30:  Chris Warren #12 of Ole Miss drives past London Warren #1 of the Dayton Flyers during their semi final at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Yet another team that has played a horrendously weak schedule that will cost them when it comes to conference play.  They have virtually played no one and have a record of 10-3 on the season.

    They have yet to face a team that was ranked, and this will cost them when it comes to SEC play.


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    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20:  John Shurna #24 of the Northwestern Wildcats dunks against the St. Francis Terriers during the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden on December 20, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Ge
    Chris Chambers/Getty Images

    Northwestern has been playing some great basketball this season.  After seeing them play yesterday though, I'm not sure they are ready to be in the Tournament yet or not.  They started the season with a record of 8-0 but have dropped two of their last three and are not looking so great.

    After starting off conference play with such a horrendous start against the Boilermakers, the Wildcats are a bit overrated and will finish at the middle of the Big Ten.

Penn State

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    INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 11:  Guard Talor Battle #12 of the Penn State Nittany Lion stands on the court during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 11, 2010
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Penn State has a record of 8-4 and are looking decent this early in the season.  However, they will not finish the season strong.  Entering a tough Big Ten season, the Nittany Lions are going to be lucky not to finish last in the conference.

    A weak non-conference schedule and lack of talent is to blame, Taylor Battle can't do it all.


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    LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 31:  Josh Harrellson#55 of the Kentucky Wildcats defendes Gorgui Dieng #10 of the Louisville Cardinals during the game at the KFC Yum! Center on December 31, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky. Kentucky won 78-63.  (Photo by Andy Lyons
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Louisville has a great record starting the season 11-2 but just hasn't faced the schedule to prove themselves as one of the nation's elite college basketball programs.  

    They were manhandled by Kentucky and got beat by Drexel.  Kentucky isn't that great of a ball club, and to lose that badly to them is just plain and simple, ugly.


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    OKLAHOMA CITY - MARCH 20:  A cheerleader from the Brigham Young Cougars performs against the Kansas State Wildcats during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Ford Center on March 20, 2010 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    BYU has a record of 13-1 and are currently ranked 16th in the nation.  They have yet to have a victory to show they deserve to be off this list.

    That is why they are here, just like the rest of the teams on here; their schedule is too weak to consider them threats.


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    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 30:  Tre'Von Willis #33 of the UNLV Rebels brings the ball up the court against the Central Michigan Chippewas during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center December 30, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 73-47.  (Photo by Ethan
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Wow, UNLV has a record of 12-2 and are looking like one of the best teams in the nation.  They don't have a great load of talent but play as a team to get victories against high-calliber opponents.

    UNLV has knocked off teams such as Kansas State and Wisconsin.  They are a great team, but are definitely playing out of their talent zone right now.

New Mexico

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    SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 20:  Forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning #11 and Abdul Gaddy #10 of the Washington Huskies celebrates after a play against the New Mexico Lobos during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HP Pavilion on March 20,
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    New Mexico has a record of 12-2, but just like many others on this list, their schedule just is too weak to be considered one of the nation's elite.

    They have yet to face a real threat to their team and will need to continue winning in conference play if they want to make the tournament. 

St. Johns

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    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20:  Paris Horne #23 of the St. John's Red Storm drives against the Davidson Wildcats during the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden on December 20, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty
    Chris Chambers/Getty Images

    St. Johns has a record of 8-3 and are playing extremely well this early in the season. Although they have yet to face many talented teams, they did beat Northwestern and are looking to make the tournament.

    They don't have a lot of talent, but they do have a great coach.

    They will have trouble winning in the talent-filled Big East.


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    LINCOLN, NE - JUNE 11:  University of Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini jokes with members of the media at a press conference announcing Nebraska accepting an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference June 11, 2010  in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The university w
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Nebraska basketball has started the season with a record of 10-2 and seems to have really picked up their game with their move to the Big Ten next season.  

    They will really need to put in a high level of intensity to make the NCAA tournament this season, as they have yet to prove themselves on this weak schedule and are playing out of their talent level right now.

Oklahoma State

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    MILWAUKEE - MARCH 19:  Head coach Travis Ford of the Oklahoma State Cowboys talks with Marshall Moses #33 and Fred Gulley #21 while taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Bradle
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Oklahoma State is 11-2 right now going into conference play and are looking to once again make the NCAA tournament.  They have yet to face any stiff competition and in what looks like a stacked Big 12 this season it could be difficult for that to happen.

    Oklahoma State will really have to play well if they want to compete with the big boys of the conference.

San Diego State

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    PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 19:  Chase Tapley #22 of San Diego State Aztecs reacts after he was called for foul against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 19, 2010 in P
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    I mean wow, what more can one say when they talk about San Diego State.  They are one of the best teams in the country, and they are a team and just that.  They are very well-coached and love to play basketball; it's that simple.

    For the size and reputation of the school, they are doing very well with the talent level they have and will continue to do well.  This school is this year's Butler and has a real shot at making Houston.


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    NEW YORK - MARCH 11: Cashmere Wright #1 of the Cincinnati Bearcats handles the ball against Joe Mazzulla #21 of the West Virginia Mountaineers during the quarterfinal of the 2010 NCAA Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 2010 in New Y
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Cincinatti has put together a record of 13-0 but are still unranked; I bet you can guess why.  Yeah, that's right, they have yet to play anyone. 

    In non-conference play, they only faced one team out of the major conferences, and that was Oklahoma. This is just pitiful for a Big East team and will really hurt them when it comes time for Big East play. Although they have started 2-0 in the conference, look for them to drop off quickly.


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    PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 27:  Travon Woodall #1 of the Pittsburgh Panthers and Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies have a laugh at Petersen Events Center on December 27, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Pittsburgh defeated Connecticut 78-64.  (
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Although this team has proved to be a decent ball club this season, amassing a record of 11-1, and being ranked fourth, the Huskies are not that great this season.

    They are basically dependent on Kemba Walker, and if any team shuts him down, they will shut down the whole offense.  Once UConn gets into conference play, it will be tough for them to win being so one dimensional.