Ryter's Block: Top 25 Thoughts

    
December 1st, 2008

The Story: North Carolina, for the second straight week, will remain the unanimous No. 1 team in the country.  The Tarheels received all 31 first place votes in this week’s ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll. Followed by the Tarheels in the top 5 are No. 2 Connecticut, No. 3 Pittsburgh, No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Gonzaga. Louisville, previously No. 3, dropped 8 spots to No. 11 after a loss to Western Kentucky. Michigan State also fell out of the top 10. The Spartans, previously No. 6 dropped to No. 12 after losing to Maryland this past week in the Old Spice Classic. The two top 10 exits by Louisville and Michigan State allowed Oklahoma (No. 6) and UCLA (No. 10) to join this elite group. The only new team to join the top 25 this week is Syracuse at No. 20. Marquette dropped out of the rankings, previously No. 15, after losing to Dayton.  Here is a look at both the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll:

 

ESPN/USA Today Poll

1. North Carolina (31) 7-0 775
2. Connecticut 6-0 738
3. Pittsburgh 7-0 694
4. Duke 7-0 680
5. Gonzaga 5-0 640
6. Oklahoma 6-0 601
7. Notre Dame 5-1 550
8. Texas 5-1 535
9. UCLA 4-1 471
10. Purdue 5-1 463
11. Louisville 2-1 435
12. Michigan State 4-1 420
13. Tennessee 5-1 391
14. Xavier 6-0 322
15. Memphis 4-1 269
16. Villanova 6-0 248
17. Wake Forest 6-0 247
18. Georgetown 4-1 231
19. Arizona State 5-1 218
20. Syracuse 6-0 206
21. Florida 5-1 196
22. Miami (FL) 4-1 158
22. Wisconsin 5-1 158
24. Davidson 5-1 96
25. Kansas 4-1 91


Others Receiving Votes
Marquette 86, Baylor 35, Ohio State 32, Dayton 18, Washington State 14, Brigham Young 13, Illinois 11, Saint Mary's 11, Clemson 8, Butler 5, Western Kentucky 5, Texas A&M 1, Florida State 1, Michigan 1, North Carolina State 1.

 

Ryter’s Block: After winning the Maui Invitational with relative ease, North Carolina has undoubtedly been playing like the best team in the nation. I don’t think they will go unbeaten this season but right now they are stating their case for perfection. The Big East showed some weakness this week with Louisville and Marquette being upset by Western Kentucky and Dayton respectively. However, with that being said, the Big East still managed to maintain seven teams in the Top 25. Syracuse (No. 20) was very impressive this week and I think they will continue to impress the voters and continue to move up in the rankings. Jonny Flynn had an unbelievable week for the Orange.  Flynn’s clutch 3-pointer against Kansas as time was expiring brought the game into OT, which the Orange went onto win. Another impressive team this week is Gonzaga. The Zags deserve to be in the top 5 and Mark Few has had his players ready for anyone that stands in their way. I think UCLA (No. 9) is ranked too high. I see the potential; however they don’t deserve to be in the top 10 at this point in the season.

 

Here’s a look at a few games this week that will have an impact on next week’s rankings…

 

Tuesday, 12/2:              No. 4 Duke at No. 10 Purdue

Tuesday, 12/2:              Ohio State at No. 22 Miami (Fl.)

 

Wednesday, 12/3:         No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 12 Michigan State

 

Thursday, 12/4:             USC at No. 6 Oklahoma

Thursday, 12/4:             No. 9 UCLA at No. 8 Texas

 

Saturday, 12/6:              No. 22 Miami (Fl.) at Kentucky

Saturday, 12/6:              No. 22 Wisconsin at Marquette

Saturday, 12/6:              Ohio State at No. 7 Notre Dame

Saturday, 12/6:              North Carolina State at No. 24 Davidson

 

Sunday, 12/7:                No. 21 Florida at Florida State

Sunday, 12/7                 No. 6 Oklahoma vs. Tulsa