Despite struggling against UNLV at home, Arizona dominated the polls and landed its first top spot in a decade thanks to their 9-0 record and wins over Duke and San Diego State earlier on. The Wildcats lead a foursome with an undefeated record – Syracuse, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Michigan State, losing to North Carolina, dropped to #5, and it’s going to be a bunch of relatively easy games before conference play starts on December 31 against Penn State. Louisville, the defending national champions, have done quite well since losing to North Carolina, winning three games since then, all by 28 points or more.
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How about the Tar Heels, who have beaten the Spartans and the Cardinals but have also lost to Belmont and UAB? Well, the Tar Heels rise to #18 with their 6-2 record, but they do have to play Kentucky this weekend in a game that will be further demonstration of where they’re really going.
Voters still have a lot of faith in other two loss teams like Duke (#8), Kentucky (#10) and Kansas (#10). Maybe it has something to do with guys called Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins. Duke have already lost to two top-5 teams this season, but their win over a formerly ranked Michigan team has helped them avoid a steeper drop in the polls.
Kentucky continue to play bad basketball, which was evident in their loss to a now #14 ranked Baylor team. Both of Kentucky’s losses came against ranked opponents, but they still don’t have a meaningful win under their belt this season. That might change when they visit Chapel Hill in a few days.
Kansas were expecting more than 15.3 points per game from Andrew Wiggins, and no one saw their loss to Colorado coming. Kansas do have a big win over Duke to their name, but it’s going to be a rough month before conference play starts, having to play at Florida, against New Mexico, Georgetown and San Diego State.
UConn and Villanova close the top 10, both still undefeated. The Huskies are 9-0 with one win over a ranked team (Florida) thanks to a Shabazz Napier buzzer beater, but they do also have a one point win over Indiana to boost their SOS, although it’s clear that these aren’t the Hoosiers from last season. Villanova have got some impressive wins to kick off the season – Kansas and Iowa (in overtime), following up with wins over Penn and Saint Joseph’s this week, obviously without any trouble. They’ll have big test before their conference season begins, playing against former Big East rivals Syracuse on the road.