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Top 25 Update, Rise and Fall

The Top five, The Kentucky Wildcats, Duke Blue Devils, Wisconsin Badgers, Arizona Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals are the creme de la creme of the college basketball world and they continue to prove it. The North Carolina loss to the Butler Bulldogs knocked em out of the Top five and their schedule does not get any easier from there.

When the season began, the preview of the Top 25 of college basketball was previewed. In the first month of the season, some have stay atop of the rankings, some new teams who have cracked the Top 25 while others seem to be lost and falling fast. So lets review some key teams and remember we are working off the USA Today’s coaches poll for these figures.

1. Florida Gators (3-2): The Florida Gators took the major blow when they lost to an un-ranked Miami Hurricanes team early in the season. The add another loss to an un-ranked Georgetown Hoyas team and the Gators and Coach Donovan look like a team that is really struggling to find the formula that got them their preseason ranking of 8th in the nation. Scoring is in short supply for the Gators and their defense is just not as it was expected to be. It is still early in the college season but the schedule for the Gators does not get any easier before they get into conference play as they have back to back games against ranked opponents, the North Carolina Tarheels and the Kansas Jayhawks. The Gators also have a very dangerous Florida State Seminoles team to face as well as a ranked UCONN Huskies squad who always finds a way to win. The Gators have a long season ahead of them if they fall too far behind and they could be singing NIT and not NCAA come March.

2. Kansas Jayhawks (3-1): While the Jayhawks are 3-1 and that one loss came at the hands of the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats, they still have championship concerns. Also the fact that there is much more competitive Big XII conference this year, University of Texas Longhorns living up to preseason hype and West Virginia is making some serious noise as the 21st ranked team in the nation as they play their inaugural season in the Big XII. The Jayhawks always managed to get things figured out but this year could very well be the year that falling behind comes back to bite em in the dare-air. A projected lower seed in the NCAA Tourney could and looks more and more probable the longer they keep their foot off the accelerator. Its early so there is plenty of time for the Jayhawks.

3. San Diego State Aztecs (5-1): Aztecs are clearly on the RISE in the nation. While they only moved up two spots in the USA Today poll, their game against the 3rd ranked Arizona Wildcats, proved that even in a loss, the Aztecs are able to handle themselves against the best the country has to offer. Coach Fisher collected his 700th win as coach and now can move forward with his team to get that elusive National Championship for the Red and Black attack that is San Diego State. This team is one that no one will want to face in the NCAA Tournament, that is for sure.

4. THE Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0): The Buckeyes are shooting the lights OUT at home as they are ranked 1st in FG percentage, 4th in assists and 6th in points per game. While the 2nd ranked Wisconsin Badgers are the cream of the crop in the Big Ten, these Buckeyes are no joke and the Badgers better have one eye on the National Champion and the other eye on their rear-view mirror for these Buckeyes as they are clicking on all eight cylinders.

Beware the Big Ten conference as it looks to be the undervalued and more competitive conference, second only to the ACC. YES it is still early in the season and conference play has yet to be reached, but if teams fall too far behind too early, it will be too much to overcome because conference play is always unpredictable.

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Ralph Garcia


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