Bleacher Creature Top 25 College Basketball Poll: Week One

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer INovember 23, 2008

Fifteen B/R writers ranked the top 25 teams in the country. Last week's poll featured UNC as the top ranked team, and the same would go for this week.

If you would like to participate in the B/R Top 25 poll, email me at In your email, rank your top 25 teams, but also provide the link to your B/R profile. Voting will open for next week's poll on Friday, Nov. 28 and will close Sunday, Nov. 30 at 8PM EST.

Also, you can play Bleacher Report College Basketball Pick 'Em. Check out the games and email Ryan Brennan your picks as soon as possible (his email address is in the article linked).


Rank, Team, (First Place Votes), Total Votes, (Rank Last Week)

1. North Carolina (14), 374, (1)

The Tar Heels retained their top spot in the B/R Poll after finishing the week undefeated despite not having Tyler Hansbrough for the first games of the year. UNC did lose freshman phenom Tyler Zeller for the year with a broken wrist suffered in the waning moments of the Kentucky game.


2. UConn (1), 352, (2)

The Huskies are also coming off an undefeated week, winning their first four games of the year. The most notable of those wins came Sunday over another ranked team—UConn knocked off Miami by double digits behind Hasheem Thabeet. The Huskies have gotten contributions from a variety of players, including freshman Kemba Walker, who is living up to his five-star billing.


3. Louisville, 336, (4)

The Cardinals move up one spot in the B/R poll thanks to UCLA's loss in Madison Square Garden. U of L didn't open its season until Friday, but when the Cardinals finally played, they romped over their opponents. Louisville's margin of victory is over 30 points per game after the first week. Freshman Samardo Samuels is averaging 21 ppg so far.


4. Pitt, 316, (5)

The Panthers end the run of Big East teams after North Carolina. Pitt has been rolling through its schedule with incredible consistency. The Panthers have scored 86 points in three of their first four games. Pitt's competition hasn't been the toughest, but Jamie Dixon's team is beating its opponents by over 24 ppg.


5. Duke, 302, (8)

A Coaches vs. Cancer title has helped Duke leapfrog two teams who didn't lose in the opening week into fifth overall in the B/R poll. Convincing wins against Michigan and Southern Illinois helped convince voters that the Blue Devils are in fact once again a top-five team.


6. Texas, 281, (7)

The Longhorns have picked up two easy wins during the first week, but they will get a challenge in Maui as they'll likely face off against Notre Dame and North Carolina. D.J. Augustine's replacement, A.J. Abrams, has been quite capable in the early going, averaging 18 ppg.


7. Michigan State, 267, (6)

The Spartans fall one spot in the B/R Top 25, probably because of an accidental omission from one submission. Michigan State squeaked out a win on the road against IPFW but also has a blowout win under its belt. The Spartans and Longhorns will settle who should be sixth in a few weeks when the two teams square off on Dec. 20.


8. Gonzaga, 247, (11)

The Bulldogs jumped up three spots from last week after two blowouts against inferior competition. The only team that the Zags jumped over that lost this week was UCLA. Point guard Jeremy Pargo has been an excellent floor general with 18 assists and just three turnovers in Gonzaga's first two games.


9. Notre Dame, 240, (9)

An unconvincing win against Loyola-Marymount might be the reason voters moved Gonzaga past Notre Dame. The Irish are still 2-0, and National Player of the Year Candidate Luke Harangody has been nothing short of spectacular. The center has 57 points and 31 rebounds in his first two games.


10. Purdue, 238, (10)

The Boilermakers have dominated in their first four games in the opening week. Purdue holds steady at 10th, passing UCLA in the rankings, but at the same time being passed by Gonzaga. Purdue will get its first test of the year Wednesday against Boston College.


11. Oklahoma, 220, (14)

A big win over Davidson in the Preseason NIT Quarterfinals is probably the biggest reason for the Sooners' jump of three spots of the rankings. In four games, it seems like Blake Griffin has out-rebounded the rest of the country. The sophomore center is pulling down almost 20 boards a game, but also is dropping 26 ppg.


12. Memphis, 213, (13)

The Tigers went undefeated through the first week of the season until Sunday, when they fell to unranked Xavier in the finals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Memphis still has impressive victories over UMass and Seton Hall. The ballots for this poll don't reflect Memphis' loss or Xavier's win on Sunday—which is why Xavier only received 13 votes.


13. Tennessee, 212, (12)

The Volunteers really deserve the 12th spot now that Memphis has gone and lost after the majority of the ballots cast. The Volunteers have rolled in their first three games against Chattanooga, Tennessee-Martin, and Middle Tennessee State. Bruce Pearl's team will get a Thanksgiving challenge against Siena.


14. UCLA, 198, (3)

The Bruins' free-fall through the rankings finally ends as they fall to 14th in the B/R poll. UCLA lost a close game to unranked Michigan in the Coaches vs. Cancer semifinals. The Bruins also barely sneaked out of Pauley Pavilion with a five-point win over Miami (OH), a team Pittsburgh blew out.


15. Arizona State, 159, (15)

The Sun Devils stay steady at 15th, right behind the first Pac-10 team in the B/R Top 25. James Harden led ASU with 21 ppg in three wins in the first week. Harden sparked a rally against San Diego St. to prevent an upset in the Sun Devils' second game of the year.


16. Marquette, 15,7 (16)

The Golden Eagles are blowing teams out, and voters have noticed. The gap between ASU and MU is down 22 votes from last week to a margin of just two votes. The Golden Eagles have scored at least 95 points in each of their first three games. Wesley Matthews has been off the charts, scoring 26 ppg this year.


17. Florida, 131, (18)

Several impressive blowouts over Toledo, Bradley, and Southern Utah helped the Gators jump over Miami into the 17th spot. Billy Donovan's team started off red-hot against Toledo and Bradley from three-point range, but against Southern Utah, the Gators hit just one three-pointer, and that came really late in the contest. Florida will play Syracuse Monday night in Kansas City in the semifinals of the CBE Classic.


18. Miami, 128, (17)

The Hurricanes opened the season with two wins against Florida Southern and Southern Mississippi, but Sunday the 'Canes fell to second-ranked UConn. Jack McClinton has been solid so far for Miami, but the sharpshooter hasn't gotten a lot of help from his teammates.


19. Villanova, 79, (23)

The Wildcats had a productive first week, defeating three teams from the state of New York by an average of 24 points. Jay Wright has a balanced attack with six players averaging double figures. Two games against Monmouth and Towson should keep Villanova undefeated through the second week of the season.


20. Wake Forest, 74, (22)

Losses by Davidson and USC have propelled Wake Forest up two spots in the B/R Top 25. Dino Gaudio's squad has been dominant against North Carolina-Central and UNC-Wilmington, winning the two games by 78 points total. The sophomore duo of Jeff Teague and James Johnson is averaging 44 ppg.


21. Georgetown, 73, (19)

The Hoyas dropped two spots in the rankings mainly because the Hoyas haven't been winning as impressively as Villanova and Wake Forest, but Georgetown is still undefeated. Freshman star Greg Monroe leads the team in scoring at 17 ppg.


22. Kansas, 47, (T24)

The reigning national champions are off to a splendid start in 2008. Two blowout wins in the first two rounds of the CBE Classic have Kansas 2-0 so far. The Jayhawks will get two challenges this week against Washington on Monday and then either Syracuse or Florida Tuesday.


23. Wisconsin, 43, (unranked)


The Badgers enter the top 25 as a product of a pair of USC's losses against Seton Hall and Missouri. Wisconsin hasn't been too impressive yet—Bo Ryan's squad has a seven-point win against Big West doormat Long Beach State and a two-point win over the MAAC's Iona.


23. Davidson, 43, (20)

The Wildcats have been mostly "The Stephen Curry Show" as the junior has been going crazy thus far. Four games in, Curry is averaging 34 ppg and already has a 44-point performance against 11th ranked Oklahoma. Davidson lost the game against Oklahoma but has cruised to victories in its other three games.


25. Syracuse, 28, (24)

The Orange opened its opening week with three victories against Le Moyne, Richmond, and Oakland. Jonny Flynn has been outstanding, scoring over 20 ppg and five assists per game. The 'Cuse will travel to Kansas City to tip off against Florida on Monday and either Kansas or Washington on Tuesday.


Others Receiving Votes

Southern California (24), Baylor (23), Michigan (15), Xavier (13), St. Mary's (12), Ohio State (9), UNLV (6), Siena (6), UAB (4), Rhode Island (4), Mercer (2), Washington State (1), Texas Tech (1), BYU (1)



Jameson Fleming, Ari Kramer, Kristofer Green, Adam Conlon, Clayton Martin, Tim Pollock, Ryan Callahan, Samuel Silverman, Brad Frank, John Lorge, Lew Wright, Ryan Brennan, Alex Jesswein, Mitchell Golden, Nathan B.