Bleacher Creature Top 25 College Basketball Poll: Week Four

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer IDecember 14, 2008

Seventeen 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. 19th and will close Sunday, Dec. 21st at 10PM EST.

The rankings reflect the outcome of games up to Sunday, Dec. 14th.

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

1. North Carolina 9-0 (16), 423 (1)

The Tar Heels are just too good. UNC took the court just once during the past week, but thumped Oral Roberts in another 100-point outburst. Roy William's squad could probably compete with a few NBA squads with the handful of future NBA players that grace his roster.

UNC ranked first on all but one ballot, and ranked third on the one ballot UNC wasn't first (the world would love to hear an explanation for that).

2. UConn 8-0 (1), 397 (2)

The Huskies took the entire week for finals, but will return to action twice this week against doormat Stony Brook and a trip to Spokane to tip-off with another top team in Gonzaga.

UConn received one first place vote and ranked as low as fifth on one ballot.

3. Pittsburgh 10-0, 388 (3)

The Panthers' lead on fourth place is slowly closing. Last week, Pitt tallied 12 more votes than fourth, and this week, it's just eight. This despite a blowout win over Maryland-Baltimore County. In a combination of playing cupcakes and having a lot of good teams, no Jamie Dixon led team has started a season worse than 10-0.

The Panthers ranked second on several ballots and as low as fifth on a few.

4. Oklahoma 10-0, 380 (4)

The main reason for smaller gap between third and fourth is the Sooners pulled off two more solid wins against American East foe Maine and a good Mountain West team in Utah. The Utes' 7'2'' Luke Nevill sort of slowed down National Player of the Year front-runner Blake Griffin who didn't make a single field-goal. Griffin did have 11 free-throws to finish with a season low 11 points.

Oklahoma ranked second on a couple ballots and as low as fifth on a few.

5. Texas 8-1, 326 (6)

The Longhorns moved up one spot after tough wins against Villanova and Texas State. A.J. Abrams has continued to assert himself as one of the nation's best guards. Following in the footsteps of Danny "Boobie" Gibson and D.J. Augustine, Abrams is averaging over 20 points and almost four three-pointers per game.

Texas ranked as high as fourth and as low as 11th.

6. Gonzaga 7-1 319 (5)

The Zags probably deserve to finish seventh in the voting since several polls came in well before their loss to Arizona. With that said, Gonzaga still picked up a very impressive win against Washington State. The Zags have shown they can win any kind of game from slow-downs against Wazzau or up-tempo games against Tennessee.

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

7. Xavier 9-0 310 (8)

The Musketeers have gone from un-ranked to start the season to into the top seven (arguably top six with Gonzaga's loss). Xaiver picked up two solid in-state wins against Ohio and crosstown rival Cincinnati. The Musketeers will get a huge test on Saturday with a date with Duke.

Xavier ranked as high as fifth and as low as 11th.

8. Wake Forest 9-0 303 (10)

The Demon Deacons jumped over two teams that didn't lose this week and didn't notch any impressive victories (only played once, defeating Wright State by 13). Even still, voters might finally becoming aware of the great sophomore inside-outside duo Dino Gaudio possesses with guard Jeff Teague and forward James Johnson.

Wake Forest ranked as high as fifth and as low as 16th.

9. Duke 8-1 285 (7)

The Blue Devils spent the week studying for finals and stayed away from action for the week. Duke will return to the hardwood Wednesday against UNC-Asheville and on Saturday against Xavier.

Duke ranked as high as sixth and as low as 16th.

10. Louisville 6-1 276 (13)

It seemed like voters decided to punish the Cardinals for one week after their loss to Western Kentucky. Despite not picking up any quality wins during the past week, Louisville moved up three spots in the poll. Rick Pitino finally has two major-conference opponents on the slate this week with Mississippi and Tubby Smith's Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Louisville ranked as high as fifth and as low as 21st.

11. Syracuse 9-0, 265 (9)

The Orange had a rough week off the court with Eric Devendorf's season in the balance. Judicial affairs suspended the junior guard for allegedly hitting a women on Halloween, but Devendorf is appealing the decision. On the court, the 'Cuse crushed Long Beach State in the second half on its way to a 22-point victory. Memphis looms at the end of the week for SU on Saturday.

The Orange ranked as high as sixth and as low as 16th.

12. Villanova 10-1, 188 (12)

The Wildcats lost to Texas, squeaked by St. Joe's, and decisively beat La Salle and still managed to stay 12th in the rankings. 'Nova will get a much deserved week off after already playing 11 games, more than almost every other team in the country.

Villanova ranked as high as seventh and went un-ranked on one ballot. Villanova is the highest ranked team to not appear on all 17 ballots.

13. Ohio State 6-0 , 183(14)

The Buckeyes picked up another resume building win against Butler on Saturday. B/R voters have been quicker to rank OSU high as both the AP and Coaches Poll have OSU much lower. Thad Matta has a couple cupcakes (Jacksonville and Iona) on the schedule this week.

Ohio State ranked as high as tenth and as low as 20th.

14. Georgetown 7-1, 164 (21)

The Hoyas made the biggest jump over any team in the top 25, leaping over seven teams after a hard fought victory over Memphis. Hoya Paranoia also knocked off Savannah State by 62 points earlier in the week. John Thompson III's team has a week off until playing Mount St. Mary's on Saturday.

Georgetown ranked as high as ninth and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

15. Notre Dame 7-2, 163 (15)

The Fighting Irish stayed right where they were after a narrow victory against Boston University. Luke Harangody continues to keep pace with Blake Griffin for top player honors with 23 points and over 12 rebounds per game.

Notre Dame ranked as high as ninth and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

16. Purdue 8-2, 158 (17)

The Boilermakers moved up one spot after taking down two of the worst teams from the MAC and the Missouri Valley. Purdue does get a challenge this week with Stephen Curry coming to town on Saturday.

Purdue ranked as high as 12th and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

17. UCLA 6-2, 149 (16)

The Bruins played just once during the past week and that was against Big East bottom- dweller DePaul. Ben Howland's club won that game by 18 as UCLA controlled the entire game. The Bruins have dates with Loyola Marymount and SEC-slayer Mercer this week.

UCLA ranked as high as 11th and went un-ranked on one ballot.

18. Tennessee 6-2, 131 (11)

Christmas came early for the Volunteers as Bruce Pearl's club got a clinic on how to take a game over. Dionte Christmas scored 30 second half points to easily lead Temple past UT. Up next for Tennessee is a matchup with another ranked team, Marquette.

Tennessee ranked as high as ninth and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

19. Arizona State 8-1, 121 (19)

The Sun Devils squeaked by the acronym no one knows what it stands for, IUPUI in overtime in their own game of the week. After missing the NCAA Tournament last year because of a low RPI, ASU still doesn't have a marquee victory yet to hang its hat on.

Arizona State ranked as high as 11th and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

20. Michigan State 6-2, 99(20)

The Spartans stayed right were they were at after almost doubling up Alcorn State. This week won't be boring for MSU fans though as Tom Izzo has Texas on the schedule on Saturday.

Michigan State ranked as high as 12th and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

21. Davidson 8-1, 93 (22)

The Stephen (it's pronounced Steph-in not Steven like many announcers like to say) Curry show rolls on as the junior knocked the game winner against West Virginia and then dropped 40 on Chattanooga. Davidson continues to take advantage of being in the national spotlight by taking on ranked foe Purdue this week.

Davidson ranked as high as 11th and went un-ranked on one ballot.

22. Baylor 8-1, 83 (23)

The Bears played just once and knocked of Prairie View A&M by 27. Scott Drew's quartet of guards LaceDarius Dunn, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, and Tweety Carter continue to knock down threes at an alarming rate. BU hit 15 long bombs against PVA&M.

Baylor ranked as high as 13th and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

23. Marquette 8-1, 59 (25)

A pretty boring week for MU fans with just one game against Summit league doormat IPFW. Lazar Hayward did put up a solid 19-point, 18-rebound performance against the Mastodons. Up next is a contest against the SEC's only ranked team, Tennessee.

The Golden Eagles ranked as high as 17th and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

24. Memphis 5-2, 55 (18)

An overtime loss for the Tigers against Georgetown knocked John Calipari's club down four spots in the B/R Top 25. Things aren't going to get any easier for Memphis as the school plays one of the better teams in the Sun Belt, Arkansas-Little Rock and then host 11th ranked Syracuse on Saturday.

Memphis ranked as high as 16th and went un-ranked on multiple ballots.

25. Clemson 10-0, 41 (24)

The Tigers continued their undefeated streak with wins over Seth Curry's Liberty Flames and South Carolina State. Two years ago, Clemson started the season 17-0, but later missed the NCAA Tournament. Coach Oliver Purnell will try to prevent that from happening again this year.

Clemson appeared on just five ballots, but were ranked as high as 10th

Others Receiving Votes

Michigan (38), BYU (27), Dayton (15), Minnesota (13), LSU (10), Illinois (9), Miami (8), Florida State (8), Arizona (5), Missouri (5), Butler (3), Illinois State (2), Saint Mary's College (1),

Participating Voters

Jameson Fleming, Andrew Kahn, Ari Kramer, Brad Frank, Ron Knabenbauer, Richard DeLancey, Nathan B, Ryan Callahan, Samuel Silverman, Ryan Brennan, John Lorge, BabyTate, Lew Wright, Clayton Martin, HD Handshoe, Ryan Jelley, Kristofer Green


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