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Basketball AP Top 25 (Week 3): Pittsburgh Panthers Fall

Long Beach State was too much for Pitt at home. (AP Photo)

1. North Carolina (62)
The Tar Heels didn’t do much this week. There were no games on aircraft carriers, just a sound victory over Mississippi Valley State, Jerry Rice’s alma mater. It wasn’t much of a test for them.

2. Kentucky
The Wildcats, however, beat a really good Kansas team. They also had solid wins over Penn State and Old Dominion. I’ve liked everything I’ve seen from them so far. They have gobs of talent.

3. Ohio State (1)
The Buckeyes won the week’s other big game, taking down a very strong Florida squad. They also beat Jackson State, but no one cares.

4. Connecticut (2)
The Huskies were not challenged this week, and it doesn’t seem like they will be any time soon. Their non-conference schedule is soft and their Big East schedule is so back loaded that they might not face a difficult team until February. Keep that in mind when they’re 17-0.

5. Syracuse
Jim Boeheim really hates to leave New York state, a fact that has been repeated at the beginning of every season as long as I can recall. They only have one true road game in 2011, and they were particularly New York-centric this week. All three games were home games against institution that are located in New York: Manhattan, Albany and Colgate.

6. Duke
7. Louisville
8. Memphis
9. Baylor
10. Florida
Besides Florida’s loss to Ohio State, this quintet was pretty quiet. Duke beat Michigan State and Davidson, Louisville beat Butler, and Baylor beat San Diego State. Those would have been great wins in recent years, but are nothing special this year.

11. Wisconsin
12. Xavier
13. Alabama
14. Kansas
15. Michigan
This quintet has more alphabetical diversity than every other quintet, a distinction that means absolutely nothing. This group of five didn’t do much this week. We’ve covered Kansas’ loss to Kentucky, but beyond that the most notable fact is that Alabama won all four games they played.

16. Marquette
17. Pittsburgh
18. Vanderbilt
19. Gonzaga
20. California
What happened to Pitt? Losing to Long Beach State at home? That shouldn’t happen. For years the 49ers have been one of the teams that puts up tons of points in a terrible league but never makes any sort of national noise. Given how difficult it is to win at Pitt, is it possible they’ve turned the corner?

Conversely, did we overvalue Pitt? They’ve been consistently good until the NCAA tournament for quite some time, is it possible we simply assumed the same thing would happen this year? This loss doesn’t feel like an aberration, and I’d be worried about them if I was a fan of theirs.

21. Missouri
22. Florida State
23. Arizona
24. Mississippi State
25. Texas A&M
Mississippi State beat both Arizona and Texas A&M this week. That’s one way to launch into the rankings – they didn’t even receive votes last week. Unfortunately though, their victories dropped the Wildcats eight spots and the Aggies six spots. That seems like a lot for a team that is now ranked.

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