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Basketball AP Top 25 – Week 17

Kansas Was Simply Too Much For Missouri (AP Photo)

1. Kentucky (63)

The Wildcats are 28-1. Their only loss was on the road against the #18 team in the country. All of their starters could be taken in the first round of the NBA draft. What more is there to say?

2. Syracuse (2)

I would like to know which two writers keep voting Syracuse #1 every week. Their consistency is admirable, despite the fact that they’re wrong.

3. Kansas

I was all set to write about how the Big 12 is a rock-paper-scissors conference, and the top teams only have trouble with specific teams who swept their season series. Had Missouri won, they would have swept Kansas, Kansas State would have swept Missouri, and both Missouri and Kansas would have swept Baylor, with very few other conference losses to speak of. Then Missouri had to go and lose, and this whole idea went up in flames. What we did learn (it wasn’t much of a surprise) is that Missouri can’t slow the tempo down and effectively hold a lead.

4. Duke

I covered this last week, but the Blue Devils proved again with wins over Virginia Tech and #22 Florida State that they are cool under pressure. They trust their system and will run it efficiently for as long as they have to.

5. Michigan State

The Spartans at #5!? Ridiculous!

6. North Carolina
7. Missouri
8. Marquette
9. Baylor
10. Ohio State

The Golden Eagles at #8!? Ridiculous! They’re a good team, like Michigan State, but both rankings are simply the result of inertia. They’ve both won most of their games, but they simply aren’t elite the way UNC, Missouri or Ohio State are.

11. Georgetown
12. Murray State
13. Michigan
14. Wisconsin
15. Wichita State

A brief primer on Wichita State: they’re 26-4, 1st in the historically strong Missouri Valley Conference. Their four losses are to Drake (in triple overtime!), #25 Creighton (which was avenged later in the season), #23 Temple (also in overtime), and then-#16 Alabama. There’s not a bad loss in there, and they could very easily shock some people in the tournament.

16. Florida
17. UNLV
18. Indiana
19. Louisville
20. Notre Dame

I can’t help but think that we are giving the Big East teams a bit of a pass because they’re in the Big East. Despite the fact that both teams lose with some regularity and both lost last week, they’re still ranked. Notre Dame has nine losses, while eight spots ahead of them, Murray State has only one.

21. San Diego State
22. Florida State
23. Temple
24. Virginia
25. Creighton

Who’s more impressive – Florida State at 19-9 or Creighton at 25-5? While the Blue Jays’ biggest win was over San Diego State, the Seminoles have losses to BC, Princeton, and Harvard (who held them to 41 points).

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