The Story: The top six teams in both polls remain the same as all stay unbeaten. Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, Purdue, Syracuse, and West Virginia are a combined 60-0. Kansas maintained all 31 first place votes in the Coaches’ poll, however lost six first place votes in the AP poll to Big 12 rival Texas. The Longhorns, after beating North Carolina this past Saturday in Arlington, earned seven first place votes this week and remains No. 2 in the land. Tennessee fell to No. 16/14 after losing to USC by 22 points. Georgetown, previously unbeaten, fell to No. 14/13 this week after losing to Old Dominion. Florida also dropped five spots to No. 18 after being upset by Richmond. The teams that benefited are No. 11 Connecticut (up 3 spots), No. 13/12 New Mexico (up 6 in AP and 7 in Coaches’) and No. 12/15 Kansas State (up 5 in AP and 7 in Coaches’). Georgia Tech and Cincinnati were both dropped from this week’s AP poll. Texas Tech was dropped from the Coaches’ poll. Replacing Georgia Tech and Cincinnati on the AP poll are No. 21 Temple and No. 24 Clemson. Temple also replaces Texas Tech in the Coaches’ poll at No. 25.
Ryter’s Block: Granted it was virtually a home game for the Texas, but they showed the nation why they will contend with Kansas for the Big 12 title, and even the national title. The Longhorns have a do-it-all leader (James), a great point guard (Bradley), a game changing big man (Pittman) and a solid supporting cast. Not to mention an outstanding coach in Rick Barnes. They have another tough test tonight against Michigan State. Their tough schedule will have them prepared come March. Speaking of Big 12 teams, Kansas State continues to climb up both polls and deservedly so. The Wildcats should be ahead of Tennessee in the Coaches’ poll, however seem to be ranked correctly at No. 12 in the AP poll. Congrats to Temple who, after beating Villanova and Seton Hall, has managed to earn enough votes to crack both polls. Texas Tech has managed to fall from the Coaches’ poll and will fall from the AP poll eventually; they will lose to Stanford this week. If Texas A&M can get past Washington this week (12/22) they will be ranked next week. They are currently receiving the most votes out of all the unranked teams in the Coaches’ poll. Who will emerge in the Pac-10? Only Washington is ranked, however USC helped out their conference by beating Tennessee. It seems as if Gonzaga is hanging on by a thread. They should have dropped after getting embarrassed by Duke at the Garden.
Games to watch this week as we head into Conference play…
Tuesday, December 22
#9 Michigan State at #2 Texas
California at #1 Kansas
Texas A&M at #19 Washington
Wednesday, December 23
#21 Mississippi at #6 West Virginia
Saturday, December 26
#6 West Virginia at Seton Hall