The Story: Who will be the last unbeaten team? Texas or Kentucky? For the first time this season, Kansas is not the No. 1 team in the country. No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Kentucky are the only teams to remain unbeaten and are the only teams to gain first place votes this week. Six teams from last week’s top 10 suffered a loss this week, highlighted by previous No. 1 Kansas losing at Tennessee. Amidst controversy, dismissals, and suspensions, the Volunteers move up to No. 9/10 after defeating the Jayhawks. Purdue, Duke, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Kansas State all suffered a loss this week, which enabled Villanova (No. 4) and Syracuse (No. 5) to jump into this week’s top 5. New Mexico is the only team to fall off both polls, previously No. 15/14, after losing twice last week to San Diego State and UNLV. Texas Tech joins the Lobos as the only other team to drop from the AP poll, while pre-season Pac 10 favorite Washington is dropped from the Coaches’ poll. Two ACC teams, Miami and Clemson, are the newcomers on this week’s AP poll. Pittsburgh and Baylor are now ranked in the Coaches’ poll.
Ryter’s Block: Surprise, surprise…both polls can’t agree on anything. The AP poll has Pitt at No. 16 and Coaches’ have them at No. 20. The AP has Clemson at No. 24 while the Coaches’ have them ranked at No. 19. The most bizarre ranking this week is Miami (FL) who broke into this week’s AP poll at No. 23, yet the Coaches’ poll has them as the 11th “other teams receiving votes” or No. 36. That’s 13 spots! I know they never agree on anything, but I had to point that out…anyway…let’s focus on some teams. After ranting about Tennessee last week and how I couldn’t imagine them rebounding after the loss of senior leader Tyler Smith, they go out and beat No. 1 Kansas. This is a great win for them, not only for the polls, but it helped them gain confidence. With that said, I still don’t seem them contending for the SEC title, I think the dismissal of Smith will haunt them and cost them a few SEC wins. Wisconsin has the best home-court advantage in the country. They have beaten Duke, Marquette, Ohio State, and Purdue at home this season. I wouldn’t want to play them on the road. The ACC has six teams ranked in the top 25 and may be the deepest conference in the nation. The Big East also has six teams currently ranked in the Top 25, however they have 16 teams in their conference and still have Rutgers and South Florida sitting in the basement.
Will Texas and Kentucky remain unbeaten after week’s end? They each face a tough test this week…here’s what to watch for…
Monday, January 11
#4 Villanova at Louisville
Tuesday, January 12
#2 Kentucky at Florida
Wednesday, January 13
#13 North Carolina at #19 Clemson
#20 Pittsburgh at #15 Connecticut
Saturday, January 16
Texas A&M at #1 Texas
#5 Syracuse at #9 West Virginia
#23 Mississippi at #10 Tennessee
#18 Georgia Tech at #13 North Carolina