By Jack Ryan
Kentucky is still No. 1 on the CollegeBasketballTalk.com poll, but Villanova has ridden big wins over VCU and Michigan to jump from No. 10 to No.8
Here is the top 25:
1. Kentucky (7-0, LW: No. 1): Kentucky put on yet another defensive clinic on Sunday afternoon, allowingjust 38 points in a 20-point win over Providence. They’ve only given up more than 52 points in a game once this year. Their two high-major opponents scored a total of 78 points.
2. Wisconsin (7-0, LW: No. 3): The Badgers looked impressive as they ran through Georgetown and Oklahoma, two top 20-caliber teams, en route to the Battle 4 Atlantis title. Sam Dekker’s ankle isn’t right, but Nigel Hayes has more than stepped up as he gets healthy.
3. Duke (7-0, LW: No. 4): So on Tuesday, Duke plays at Wisconsin. No. 2 vs. No. 3. Frank Kaminsky vs. Jahlil Okafor. Duke’s loaded back court vs. Wisconsin’s size up front. This may be the best game we get all season long.
4. Arizona (6-0, LW: No. 2): Arizona took home the title in the Maui Invitational, beating San Diego State in a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 battle in the final. They still haven’t quite hit their stride offensively, and I’m not sure they will ever get that much better.
5. Gonzaga (6-0, LW: No. 5): I’ll elaborate on this thought later today, but as good as Kevin Pangos has been this season — and he’s been sensational — the reason that Gonzaga has a real chance to be a Final Four team is the versatility of their front court. (UPDATE: Here’s the link.)
6. Texas (6-0, LW: No. 8): Jonathan Holmes did this as Texas knocked off UConn in Gampel Pavilion on Sunday. He’s played like an all-american this year.
7. Louisville (5-0, LW: No. 9): Louisville’s given up just 59 points in their last two games, but they can struggle offensively — they managed 45 points against Cleveland State. They’ll get Ohio State this week in their first real matchup of the non-conference.
8. Villanova (6-0, LW: No. 10): Villanova made a statement with its 24-point win over VCU, following that up with a memorable battle with Michigan in the finals of the Legends Classic. JayVaughn Pinkston (photo above) has grown into being a star for this team.
9. Virginia (7-0, LW: No. 6): I’ll have more on this coming later in the day, but after seeing them live against Rutgers, I think Virginia was a bit overrated at No. 6 in the country. They haven’t lost yet this season, but that could happen at VCU on Saturday.
10. North Carolina (5-1, LW: No. 7): The Tar Heels lost to a better-than-we-thought, always-gritty Butler team last week. They got blown up on the offensive glass and couldn’t hit a shot. I’ll chalk that up to matchups and a bad day than I will UNC’s ability.
11. Wichita State (4-0, LW: No. 11)
12. Kansas (5-1, LW: No. 12)
13. San Diego State (5-1, LW: No. 14)
14. Iowa State (
15. Oklahoma (4-2, LW: No. 16)
16. Michigan (5-1, LW: No. 17)
17. Michigan State (5-1, LW: No. 18)
18. Ohio State (5-0, LW: No. 21)
19. Miami (7-0, LW: No. 14)
20. West Virginia (7-0, LW: No. 25)
21. Georgetown (4-2, LW: UR)
22. Maryland (7-0, LW: UR)
23. Providence (6-1, LW: No. 23
24. Butler (5-1, LW: UR)
25. VCU (4-2, LW: No. 12)