Bleacher Creature Top 25 College Basketball Poll: Week Five

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Bleacher Creature Top 25 College Basketball Poll: Week Five

Twelve 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 jsflemin@syr.edu. 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, Dec. 26 and will close Sunday, Dec. 28 at 11 p.m. EST.

The rankings reflect the outcome of games up to Sunday, Dec. 21.

 

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

 

1. North Carolina 11-0 (11), 298 (1)

The Tar Heels stayed undefeated in a week where Tyler Hansbrough became the school's all-time leading scorer. The senior big man eclipsed Phil Ford's mark in UNC's 18 point win over Evansville. The Tar Heels have won every game by at least 15 points.

UNC ranked first on all, but one ballot, and ranked third on the ballot where they weren't ranked the top team in the country.

 

2. UConn 10-0 (1), 287 (2)

The Huskies needed an extra five minutes of basketball, but they are still undefeated after taking down fellow top ten team, Gonzaga on one of the best Saturdays of basketball all year. Guards A.J. Price and Jerome Dyson are finally showing some spark that's been missing all year.

UConn ranked first on one ballot and ranked as low as fourth.

 

3. Pittsburgh 12-0, 271 (3)

The Panthers haven't played a quality opponent in awhile, but got a challenge from Florida State Sunday night. Pitt also picked up a quality win over MAAC favorite Siena earlier in the week. Jamie Dixon's squad will take the rest of the week off before entering Big East play.

The Panthers ranked as high as third and as low as fourth.

 

4. Oklahoma 11-0, 270 (4)

The Sooners have been creeping up on the Panthers for awhile, and now find themselves just one point behind Pitt in the standings. It comes after another solid home victory over the Colonial Athletic Association favorites, Virginia Commonwealth.

OU ranked as high as second and as low as fifth.

 

5. Duke 10-1, 249 (9)

The Blue Devils made a statement on Saturday with their thrashing over another top ten team, Xavier. Duke led by 31 at halftime to coast to an 18 point victory. The Blue Devils have only one slip up this year which came in their second meeting with Michigan.

Duke ranked as high as second and as low as eighth.

 

6. Wake Forest 10-0, 230 (8)

The Demon Deacons haven't played too many good teams, but have taken care of business when they should have. Wake Forest held on to take down a scrappy Richmond squad on Friday. Next up for the Demon Deacons is a meeting with upstart East Carolina.

Wake Forest ranked as high as fifth and as low as 14th.

 

7. Gonzaga 8-2, 211 (6)

Despite a loss to UConn, Gonzaga only dropped one spot in the rankings. The Zags blew out Texas Southern and took the Huskies to overtime which was enough to convince voters to not drop them far.

Gonzaga ranked as high as fifth and as low as 14th.

 

8. Syracuse 11-1, 181 (11)

The Orange had a wild week. Monday brought a buzzer beater loss to Cleveland State. Later Eric Devendorf had his suspension reduced from the rest of the season to likely two games. Then the Orange traveled to Memphis and left town with a hard fought victory. The 'Cuse get a breather this Monday against Coppin State.

The Orange ranked as high as seventh and as low as 21st.

 

9. Ohio State 8-0, 174 (13)

The Buckeyes continue to roll even without star guard David Lighty. OSU knocked off both Jacksonville and Iona to remain undefeated. It will be a busy week for Ohio State with games against UNC-Asheville and Big East foe West Virginia.

Ohio State ranked as high as seventh and as low as 19th.

 

10. Purdue 9-2, 153 (16)

The Boilermakers didn't want to watch the Stephen Curry show. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Chris Kramer forced Curry into one of the worst performances of his incredible college career. Purdue jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back in its annihilation of the Wildcats.

The Boilermakers ranked as high as eighth and went un-ranked on one ballot.

 

11. Texas 9-2, 152 (5)

Michigan State dropped a late three to sink Texas in a game played on a "neutral" court in Houston. The Longhorns dropped its second game of the year against a ranked opponent, and they don't have a lot of time to rebound. Texas will take on another Big Ten team when they travel to Wisconsin on Tuesday.

The Longhorns ranked as high as sixth and went un-ranked on two ballots.

 

12. Villanova 10-1, 139 (12)

The Wildcats didn't play in the past week. Up next is one of the better teams in the Patriot League, Navy. 'Nova will have one more non-conference game before opening its conference slate against Buzz Williams' Marquette Golden Eagles.

Villanova ranked as high as eighth and as low as 21st.

 

13. Xavier 9-1, 134 (7)

The Musketeers fell behind 18-1 to Duke and never really showed a pulse the entire game. Because of Xavier's poor showing, the Musketeers dropped six spots in the B/R Top 25. XU will face a fellow mid-major power, Butler on Tuesday night.

Xavier ranked as high as seventh and as low as 22nd.

 

14. Notre Dame 8-2, 126 (15)

The Fighting Irish took down hapless Delaware State in their only game of the week. The Irish will look to continue its 42 game home winning streak this week against Independent Savannah State who lost to Georgetown by 62 points.

Notre Dame ranked as high as seventh and went un-ranked on two ballots.

 

15. Georgetown 8-1, 124 (14)

The Hoyas struggled to their eighth victory of the year against Northeast Conference squad Mount St. Mary's. MSM kept the game within a dozen points the majority of contest as the Hoyas couldn't quite put them away.

The Hoyas ranked as high as seventh and went un-ranked on one ballot.

 

16. UCLA 8-2, 115 (17)

The Bruins are slowly making their way back up the standings after a couple early season losses. The Baby Bruins beat down Loyola-Marymount and Mercer in an easy post-finals week.

UCLA ranked as high as ninth and as low as 24th.

 

17. Arizona State 9-1, 114 (19)

The second and last Pac-10 team to make the B/R Top 25 picked up a huge win this week against BYU on a neutral court. James Harden led the way with 30 points and is firmly cementing his place in the National Player of the Year race.

The Sun Devils ranked as high as eighth and as low as 24th.

 

18. Michigan State 8-2, 105 (20)

The Spartans didn't leap up through the standings like other teams have after knocking off ranked opponents. Tom Izzo's team went to Houston and beat Texas in front of a very hostile crowd.

Michigan State ranked as high as 10th and went un-ranked on two ballots.

 

19. Louisville 7-2, 102 (10)

The Cardinals suffered their second disappointing loss of the season when Rick Pitino's squad lost on a neutral court to a familiar coach. Former Kentucky coach, Tubby Smith led his Golden Gophers past Louisville by six points on Saturday.

Louisville ranked as high as ninth and went un-ranked on one ballot.

 

20. Baylor 9-1, 97 (22)

The Bears needed a strong second half to avoid an embarrassing upset against in-state opponent UT-Arlington. Curtis Jerrells continues to impress with 29 more points against Arlington. He's slowly gaining ground in the Big 12 Player of the Year race.

Baylor ranked as high as 12th and went un-ranked on one ballot.

 

21. Clemson 11-0, 84 (25)

The Tigers ended the week with an authoritative win on the road against Miami. Clemson trailed big early, but ended up winning by 19 points to open ACC play.

The Tigers ranked as high as sixth and went un-ranked on several ballots.

 

22. Tennessee 8-2, 63 (18)

The Volunteers redeemed themselves after losing to Temple by beating one of the Big East's best in Marquette and sneaking by Belmont. Tennessee remains the only SEC team to make the top 25 and only one other SEC team, LSU is even receiving votes.

The Vols ranked as high as 13th and went un-ranked on several ballots.

 

23. Minnesota 10-0, 60 (NR)

The Golden Gophers finally cracked the top 25 after playing nobody all year until Saturday when Tubby Smith's team tallied a six point victory over Louisville. The last time Minnesota started this well? 1976.

The Golden Gophers ranked as high as 14th and went un-ranked on several ballots.

 

24. Michigan 8-2, 39 (NR)

The Wolverines didn't do much in the past week, but it was enough to catapult them into the rankings. Michigan took down Oakland by 13 at home, but more importantly that game was the first for Laval Lucas-Perry who scored 14 points. Lucas-Perry is finally eligible to play after transferring from Arizona last year.

The Wolverines ranked as high as 13th and went un-ranked on several ballots.

 

25. Marquette 9-2, 16 (23)

The Golden Eagles are barely hanging onto their ranking after blowing an early lead to Tennessee in the SEC/Big East Invitational. Marquette did rebound on Friday to whip Western Carolina.

Marquette ranked as high as 20th and went un-ranked on many ballots.

 

Others Receiving Votes

Dayton (15), Memphis (15), Illinois (14), Davidson (11), Stanford (10), St. Mary's (10), BYU (8), Kansas (7), Illinois State (5), LSU (4), Butler (3), Missouri (2)

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