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1. Syracuse (53)
Solid win over NC State. I talked last week about how I didn’t think they were deserving of the No. 1 ranking. While they aren’t the best team in the country, they’ve done nothing to dissuade me from thinking they deserve to be No. 1 right now.
They’ve done everything they’ve had to do. Also, I’ve been listening to “******** in Paris” a lot lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Kanye and Jay-Z are acolytes of Jim Boeheim.
Why else would they be so determined to get into their zone?
2. Ohio State (5)
They had strong wins over South Carolina and USC Upstate last week. Were they trying to make Clemson jealous?
3. Kentucky (4)
They beat Chattanooga 87-62 last week. That was their only game, and they should have won by a margin like that. Sadly, this is always the weakest portion of the college basketball schedule. The first month or so is filled with patsies, tournaments, and fantastic non-conference matchups.
Teams either look really good, play interesting games, or both. But, as December progresses and finals/Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years approach, teams pull back on scheduling non-conference games of any worth.
Since most conference schedules haven’t begun yet, there’s really very little to get excited for. Thankfully, that will end soon.
4. Louisville (2)
They beat Memphis in a shootout, 95-87. Josh Pastner has kept that program competitive, and this was a good win for the Cardinals.
5. North Carolina
The Tar Heels beat App State, which is not impressive because they were not playing football (Go SoCon!). It was also a home game, which simply isn’t interesting. Had they instead played in Boone (elevation 3,333 feet) where the Mountaineers come from, it would have been a different story.
This quintet played a series of increasingly obscure institutions, among them Bethune-Cookman, Northern Colorado and Kennesaw State. Since those programs obviously can’t be expected to compete at a serious level, here are some fun facts about them.
Northern Colorado is the alma mater of Sully Sullenberger, Bethune-Cookman’s mascot is known as Wil D Cat (a fan of will.i.am. to be sure), and Kennesaw State has nothing to do with Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
The only noteworthy event from this quintet last week (Kansas didn’t even play any games) was Xavier’s drubbing at the hands of Oral Roberts. The 64-42 loss is no huge surprise, and it tells you everything you need to know about the importance of the suspended players.
Nice job by the university taking that hit to stand by their principles.
18. Mississippi State
19. Michigan State
That’s cute. Michigan and Michigan State are right next to each other.
22. Murray State
Virginia!? I suppose they are deserving of inclusion, what with a 9-1 record and a win over No. 20 Michigan earlier in the season. I’m just having trouble conceptualizing them as a “good” team.
They’ve been an afterthought in the ACC as long as I can remember. I have no memories of their basketball program.