College Basketball Top 25: Syracuse Tops Bleacher Report Writers Rankings
Syracuse benefited the most from the weekend's upsets of Kentucky and Ohio State, surpassing the Wildcats and Buckeyes on its way to No. 1 in this week's Bleacher Report Writers Rankings.
Just how far did Kentucky and Ohio State drop and where do Indiana and Kansas stand after their respective coups?
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Others Receiving Votes
Dropped from Rankings
Others Receiving Votes
Murray State, 8
San Diego State, 7
Ole Miss, 5
25. Memphis Tigers
Previous Ranking: 20
Voting Points: 17
A convincing 71-54 win at Miami barely kept Memphis in the Top 25 after the Tigers fell to Murray State at home.
If Memphis can steal a win at Louisville on Saturday, the Tigers will certainly cement their reputation as Division I's Jekyll and Hyde of the year.
24. Vanderbilt Commodores
Previous Ranking: 23
Voting Points: 18
Vanderbilt used a road win at Davidson to bounce back from consecutive overtime losses to Xavier and Louisville, but the four-point victory couldn't earn the Commodores a higher ranking.
As Festus Ezeli returns to game form, the Commodores will only improve.
23. Michigan State Spartans
Previous Ranking: NR
Voting Points: 33
Since falling to UNC and Duke, Michigan State has reeled off eight consecutive victories. The Spartans, who beat Gonzaga in Spokane this weekend, finally surface in the Top 25.
22. Texas A&M Aggies
Previous Ranking: NR
Voting Points: 38
Billy Kennedy must have visited a fortune teller before planning Texas A&M's schedule. No Khris Middleton for the first month, no problem—for the most part.
Now that Middleton is back, the Aggies should be optimistic heading into Saturday's game against Florida.
21. Indiana Hoosiers
Previous Ranking: NR
Voting Points: 49
Indiana proved its legitimacy this Saturday, using Christian Watford's buzzer-beating trey to stun No. 1 Kentucky.
The Hoosiers had earned a quality win at NC State two weeks ago, but Saturday's statement win catapulted them into the Top 25.
20. Illinois Fighting Illini
Previous Ranking: 25
Voting Points: 70
Illinois survived Saint Bonaventure's upset bid and then finished Sunday night's contest with Coppin State on a 21-6 run.
While the Fighting Illini didn't necessarily win in convincing fashion this week, Vanderbilt's and Memphis' lackluster play helped Bruce Weber's squad leap five spots.
19. Alabama Crimson Tide
Previous Ranking: 14
Voting Points: 74
Alabama followed up its last-second loss to Georgetown with a staggering 74-62 loss at Dayton, a team that has lost to Miami-Ohio and Buffalo. At least the Crimson Tide defeated Detroit on Sunday night.
18. Georgetown Hoyas
Previous Ranking: 19
Voting Points: 85
Georgetown used cupcake games against NJIT and Howard to extend its win streak to six. The Hoyas' sole loss came at the hands of Kansas.
17. Michigan Wolverines
Previous Ranking: 17
Voting Points: 96
Michigan's 90-80 victory over Oakland kept the Wolverines at No. 17, and they certainly shouldn't fall after this coming week's cupcakes against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Alabama A&M.
16. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Previous Ranking: 18
Voting Points: 109
Mississippi State used a 38-point rout of Troy to leap past Michigan and into the No. 16 hole. Because of their size advantage, the Bulldogs should beat Florida Atlantic and Detroit this week.
15. Wisconsin Badgers
Previous Ranking: 16
Voting Points: 117
A week after losses to UNC and Marquette pitted Wisconsin at No. 16, the Badgers used wins over Green Bay and UNLV to ascend one spot.
Jordan Taylor still distributes the rock effectively, but Bo Ryan needs his point guard to score more efficiently. The senior is currently averaging just 11.6 points per game on 36 percent shooting.
14. Pittsburgh Panthers
Previous Ranking: 15
Voting Points: 137
Pittsburgh, which improved to 3-0 without Travon Woodall, could be the biggest winner of the Cincinnati-Xavier brawl—Yancy Gates will still be suspended when the Bearcats visit the Petersen Events Center on Jan. 1.
Now, Marquette on Jan. 14 is Pitt's next tough game.
13. Florida Gators
Previous Ranking: 13
Voting Points: 165
Florida remains at No. 13 after barely edging a Josiah Turner-less Arizona team.
Losses to Ohio State and Syracuse don't hurt, but a more convincing win over the Wildcats could have bumped the Gators a few spots higher.
12. Marquette Golden Eagles
Previous Ranking: 12
Voting Points: 167
Jae Crowder's corner three-pointer preserved Marquette's perfect record and kept the Golden Eagles at No. 12. This week, Buzz Williams' squad has an easy match with Northern Colorado.
11. Kansas Jayhawks
Previous Ranking: 11
Voting Points: 199
Kansas' inability to pull away from Long Beach State coupled with a win over a Jared Sullinger-less Ohio State dissuaded voters from ranking the Jayhawks in the top 10.
10. Missouri Tigers
Previous Ranking: 10
Voting Points: 202
Missouri has won each of its nine games by double-digits, but the Tigers stayed put at No. 10.
9. UConn Huskies
Previous Ranking: 8
Voting Points: 211
Despite a 14-point victory over Harvard, UConn fell to No. 9. The UCF loss and unimpressive finish against Florida State could continue to haunt the Huskies, who don't have another chance to prove themselves until Jan. 3 at upstart Seton Hall.
8. Xavier Musketeers
Previous Ranking: 9
Voting Points: 225
The brawl might have marred the Xavier-Cincinnati game, but it didn't diminish the result—a 76-53 Xavier victory. The Musketeers also beat Butler by 12 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
7. UNC Tar Heels
Previous Ranking: 7
Voting Points: 238
UNC trounced Evansville but couldn't close the door on Long Beach State until the final minute. If the Tar Heels had a more impressive showing against the 49ers, they might have mustered the three points they needed to top Duke at No. 6.
6. Duke Blue Devils
Previous Ranking: 6
Voting Points: 240
Wins over Colorado State and Washington kept Duke at No. 6.
5. Kentucky Wildcats
Previous Ranking: 1
Voting Points: 253
Kentucky couldn't maintain its No. 1 ranking after Christian Watford's buzzer-beater doomed the Wildcats.
John Calipari's young squad has a few games to regroup before a New Year's Eve match with Louisville.
4. Baylor Bears
Previous Ranking: 5
Voting Points: 254
Baylor didn't play this week but barely edged Kentucky for the No. 4 spot.
Though BYU isn't as potent without Jimmer Fredette, the Bears shouldn't sleep on their Dec. 17 game in Utah.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
Previous Ranking: 2
Voting Points: 262
Voters didn't judge Ohio State's loss at Kansas too harshly because back spasms relegated Jared Sullinger to the bench. Despite missing their star, the Buckeyes remained in the game until the final minutes.
2. Louisville Cardinals
Previous Ranking: 4
Voting Points: 276
By default, the undefeated Louisville Cardinals leapt to No. 2 after Kentucky and Ohio State lost.
Louisville hosts Memphis on Saturday.
1. Syracuse Orange
Previous Ranking: 3
Voting Points: 299
Syracuse received 11-of-12 first place votes after Kentucky and Ohio State failed to preserve the poll's top spots. The Orange should maintain their perfect record at least until a Jan. 7 game against Marquette, which has the shooting ability to overwhelm Jim Boeheim's zone.