Week 12 AP Top 25 Rankings:
1. Arizona (18-0)
Arizona has been top dog now since Week 6 and continues to barrel through this season at full speed. A 91-68 victory over Arizona State this past week keeps the Wildcats in the number one spot.
2. Syracuse (18-0)
The Syracuse Orange continue to exert their dominance across the ACC in their first year joining the conference. Victories over Boston College and Pittsburgh seal Syracuse as the 2nd ranked team in the country.
3. Michigan State (17-1)
Despite the Spartans early December hiccup versus North Carolina, Michigan State has been playing some superb basketball since entering conference play. 7-0 in the Big Ten conference, Michigan State’s marginal victories over Northwestern (54-40) and Illinois (78-62) move Sparty up one slot to number three.
4. Villanova (16-1)
If at the beginning of the season you would have told someone Villanova would be the 4th ranked team in the country and lead the Big East, they probably would have laughed at you. This is no joking matter though, as the Wildcats have made their to the 4th ranking this week. After a nasty home thumping at the hands of now Big East leading Creighton, Villanova will be expected to fall a few spots in next week’s poll.
5. Wichita State (19-0)
The Wichita State Shockers are only one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the country (No.1 Arizona, No. 2 Syracuse). Barring an ever possible upset bid, chances are the Shockers will ride their undefeated record into the NCAA Tournament. The lack of competition in the Missouri Valley Conference makes it difficult for me to believe Wichita State can be beaten. Indiana State was supposedly the toughest conference task for the Shockers and they made mince meat of them.
6. Florida (15-2)
Florida has somewhat been flying under the radar this season and find themselves all the way up at the #6 spot. The Gators two losses this season both come from tight matches against ranked opponents. Florida still has two meetings a piece coming up with tough Tennessee and Alabama teams, as well as a two game series with SEC powerhouse and Freshman studded Kentucky. The previous week’s victories over Georgia and Auburn keep the Gators peddling in the right direction.
7. San Diego State (16-1)
San Diego State has been absolutely sensational this season. Their only loss coming in a tough fought battle with now top ranked Arizona. The Aztecs really stated their case when they entered Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas and knocked off the Jayhawks, snapping their 68-game home winning streak over non-conference opponents.
8. Kansas (13-4)
Falling into the #8 spot and making the highest jump of the week, moving up 7 spots, the Kansas Jayhawks have been on a roll as of late. Kansas has defeated four ranked opponents in a row for the first time since the 96-97 North Carolina Tar Heels achieved the feat. Kansas looked rather questionable back in the loss to San Diego State, but since then the Jayhawks have defeated their last five opponents, all currently ranked. Kansas, who is probably better than #8 as of now, has to be pleased to make their way back into the Top 10.
9. Wisconsin (16-2)
Wisconsin hit quite the rough patch after jumping out to a 16-0 start on the season. After consecutive losses to Indiana and Michigan, Wisconsin is lucky to still remain in the Top 10, checking in a #9.
10. Iowa (15-3)
Iowa snags the final spot in the Top 10 after a 94-73 landslide victory over Minnesota. The Hawkeyes also took down #3 Ohio State the previous week.
11. Oklahoma State (15-3)
The Cowboys fall two spots and out of the Top 10 after their run-in with Kansas in Phog Allen Fieldhouse didn’t go according to play. Oklahoma State was blown away in the first half but managed to hinge onto the sharp shooting of Phil Forte and climb their way back into the contest, eventually losing 80-78.
12. Louisville (16-3)
Louisville, after a good week with wins over Houston and Connecticut, jumps six spots to the #12 ranking. The Cardinals three losses on the season all come at the hands of ranked opponents (#24 UNC, #18 UK, #24 MEM).
13. Massachusetts (16-1)
A 5-point loss to Florida State is the only blemish on the UMASS schedule thus far. The Minutemen were able to squeak away with a close victory versus George Mason and a marginal win over Elon to bump their way up to #13.
14. Kentucky (13-4)
Kentucky drops one spot after their rebounding debacle at Arkansas which cost them the game. Kentucky followed up the loss to Arkansas with a nice win over a tough Tennessee team.
15. Cincinnati (17-2)
Consecutive mid-December stumbles versus New Mexico and Xavier prohibit the Bearcats from being undefeated thus far into the year. Cincinnati has slowly been making their way up the rankings, finding the 15 spot after wins over Temple and South Florida.
16. Iowa State (14-3)
The Cyclones are struggling at this point in the season, much like Ohio State. The Cyclones were undefeated until a trifecta of losses to Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas bump Iowa State back to the 16th ranking.
17. Ohio State (15-3)
Ohio State has been having the same woes as Iowa State. Since starting the season off 15-0, Ohio State has lost their last 4 games, including a loss to Nebraska that will have it’s implications on the Buckeyes’ ranking next week.
18. Duke (14-4)
Duke has slipped a couple times already this season in conference play, dropping the home opener as well as their first meeting with Clemson this season. With two remaining match-ups with both Syracuse and UNC, the Blue Devil’s road could get a little rockier between now and March. For now, Duke manages to climb back from #23 up to #18.
19. Saint Louis (16-2)
Saint Louis climbs five spots to #19 after wins over St. Bonaventure and Fordham. The Billikens are currently 4-0 in Atlantic 10 play.
20. Pittsburgh (16-2)
Pittsburgh, despite the loss to #2 rank Syracuse, moves up two spots in the latest poll to #20. The Panthers also defeated Georgia Tech earlier in the season and are off to an impressive 5-1 start in conference play in their first season as part of the ACC.
21. Michigan (13-4)
Michigan cracks the Top 25 again after wins over Penn State and a slumping Wisconsin team. The Wolverines are currently 5-0 in Big Ten play.
22. Kansas State (14-4)
The Wildcats had a good week after wins against Oklahoma and West Virginia, but fall early in the new week to Texas and are set to face Iowa State on Friday who is looking to get back on track.
23. Memphis (13-4)
Memphis falls five spots after a loss to Connecticut earlier in the week. Good thing they beat LeMoyne-Owen though?
24. Baylor (13-4)
Baylor takes the biggest plunge of the week 12 spots to the #24 ranking after being sprayed left and right with losses. Falling in four of their last five outings, the Bears also lost this week’s opener to Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. Expect the Bears to depart from the Top 25 next week.
25. Oklahoma (14-4)
The Sooners were able to maintain the #25 ranking, regardless of their loss to Kansas State earlier in the week. Oklahoma is coming on as a strong unit in the Big-12, expect to see them in the tourney come March.
Others Receiving Votes: Creighton (98), Connecticut (62), Gonzaga (59), California (44), Colorado (26), UCLA (23), Harvard (12), George Washington (8), Missouri (6), Texas (5), Xavier (4), Southern Methodist (2), Virginia (1), New Mexico (1)
Dropped From Rankings: #20 Creighton, #21 Colorado, #25 UCLA