BC Men's Basketball Top 25 01/05/04

A look at the top 25 teams in the nation as voted by the Buff Country basketball fans. <b>Connecticut</b> overtakes <b>Georgia Tech</b> as our #1 team this week. Also, we have who is overrated, underrated, on the fringe, and the top team's regionally. The biggest surprise this week is that it appears Buff Country voters don't believe Duke is top 25 worthy.

1. Connecticut (11-1; 0-0 Big East) - With the frisky Yellow Jackets breathing down their neck, UCONN claimed a top spot in this week's poll, rolling to their eighth straight win, a 92-83 victory over Rice on Friday night. Last Week: 4th

2. Georgia Tech (12-1; 0-0 ACC) – Georgia Tech isn't a surprise anymore. The Yellow Jackets won 12 straight games to open the season, including UCONN and Texas Tech, before falling to in-state rival Georgia Saturday night. Last Week: 1st

3. Texas Tech (12-2; 0-0 Big 12) – After losing consecutive games to Georgia Tech and SMU to begin December,Bobby Knight's Red Raiders have claimed convincing victories over respectable teams, including an eight-point road win over Ohio State Sunday. Last Week: Unchanged

4. Pittsburgh (14-0; 0-0 Big East) – Potential Pitt recruit Kevin Mormin, a junior at Our Savior New American School was tragically killed when a van he was riding in rolled over on a stretch of road outside Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday night. Last Week: 2nd

5. Utah (10-3; 0-0 Mountain West) – Ute Nick Jacobson finished with 8 of 12 from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-point range in Utah's most recent victory over Weber State Saturday night in Ogden. Last Week: 11th

6. Arkansas State (10-2; 1-0 Sun Belt Conference) – The Indians outscored Florida International in both halves, on their way to a 55-46 victory over International Friday night. ASU has two players averaging better than 18 points per game. Last Week: 17th

7. South Carolina (13-1; 0-0 SEC) - The Gamecocks closed their nonconference schedule with one of their best scoring nights of the season. They shot 49 percent to whip Appalachian State 78-58 Saturday night. Last Week: Unchanged

8. Gonzaga (9-2; 0-0 West Coast) - Gonzaga forward Tony Skinner and center Richard Fox will both be sidelined indefinitely following injuries received in Wednesday's victory over Eastern Washington, the team said Friday. Last Week: 10th

9. Kentucky (9-1; 0-0 SEC) - Gerald Fitch nailed a difficult shot with time running out Saturday afternoon that sent Kentucky to another win and North Carolina to another loss. It was KU's fourth straight win over the Heels, who were ranked ninth in country going in. Last Week: 5th

10. Vanderbilt (11-0; 0-0 SEC) - The Commodores, playing their first true road game of the season, were sharp in all phases Saturday night as they decimated host Texas Christian 95-60. Their season opening 11-game win streak is the programs best since the start of the 1960 season. Last Week: 25th

11. Georgetown (10-0; 1-0 Big East) – Georgetown guard-forward RaMell Ross will undergo season-ending surgery next week to correct a chronic instability in his right shoulder. Last Week: 6th

12. BYU (10-2; 0-0 Mountain West) – Cougar big man Rafael Araujo continues to carry his team to early success. The 6-foot-11 senior scored 18 and 17, respectively, in BYU's two most recent victories over Santa Clara and St. Mary's. Last Week: 9th

13. Arizona (9-1; 0-1 PAC-10) - Arizona is using the quickness and jumping ability of its wings to replace the height of Luke Walton and Rick Anderson in keeping opponents hesitant on the perimeter shooting jump shots. They got Lute Olson his 700th win versus Arizona State on Saturday. Last Week: Unranked

14. Charlotte (8-3; 0-0 Conference USA) – The 49ers offense features three players averaging in double figures; including sophomore forward Curtis Withers, whose season average is good enough for a double-double (15.8 pts., 10 rebounds) average.

15. Kansas (8-2; 0-0 Big 12) - The Jayhawks, who will try to become the first KU team to win three straight league titles since a stretch of four straight crowns from 1995 to '98, begin conference play against Colorado in Boulder Monday night. Last Week: Unranked

16. Syracuse (9-1; 0-0 Big East) - Before 25,869 at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse shot 60.3 percent and four of its players scored at least 18 points in their 96-83 upset of Michigan State Saturday night. Last Week: Unranked

17. Delaware (7-3; 1-0 Colonial) – Delaware earned its first dose of national attention last week, as the Bluebirds fell to Saint Joseph's in their first nationally televised game in over two years. Last Week: 12th

18. Florida State (12-2; 1-0 ACC) - The only FSU player who didn't struggle in his team's most recent loss to Florida last week was senior Tim Pickett; he scored a season-high 25 points, and shot 8 of 13 from the field, including 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Last Week: Unranked

19. Iowa State (7-2; 0-0 Big 12) - The San Diego State backcourt of Wesley Stokes (17 points, eight assists, four steals and two turnovers) and Brandon Heath (team-high 24 points and one turnover) was especially proficient in handing Iowa State their second loss last week. Last Week: 13th

20. Louisville (9-1; 0-0 Conference USA) - Louisville scored the first 10 points of the second half on their way to their 91-69 win over Murray, crossing the wires of their frisky opponent's game plan on their way to their ninth victory of the season Saturday night. Last Week: 21st

21. Michigan (9-2; 0-0 Big 10) – The Wolverines committed 21 turnovers and attempted a season-high 26 threes, but made just six for a 23.1 percent mark from the field before being upset by Boston on New Year's Eve. Last Week: Unranked

22. West Virginia (7-3; 0-0 Big East) - Freshman Tyler Relph made his first career start and Jarmon Durisseau-Collins came off the bench for the first time since his freshman year in high school as West Virginia defeated IPFW 76-63 Sunday. Last Week: Unranked

23. Boston College (10-2; 0-0 Big East) - The Golden Eagles fell behind future Atlantic Coast Conference foe Clemson early and never seriously challenged en route to a 72-62 loss on New Year's Eve. Last Week: 15th

24. Florida (9-2; 0-0 SEC) - Florida had 36 points in the paint - with the dead-eye shooting of Anthony Roberson, whom coach Bill Donovan terms as his "shooting point guard," in his team's victory over Florida State last week. Last Week: 23rd

25. Oklahoma State (9-1; 0-0 Big 12) – Three Oklahoma State starters are shooting higher than 52 percent on the season, as Tony Allen, Ivan McFarlin, and Joey Graham are all scoring more than ten points per game. Last Week: Unranked

Caught Flopping

Illinois-Chicago – Unranked (Down from 18th) After winning seven of their opening eight games, the Flames dropped consecutive home games to Illinois and Detroit this week. ICU will have ample opportunity to rebound, as both of the Flames' next two games are at home.

Underrated

Arkansas State – 6th (Up from 17th) The Indians, unmentioned in even national media organization's mid-major lists, earned the respect of this poll from the start. ASU's first game of the season was on the road against Mississippi, and the Indians have claimed quality wins against Southern Miss and TCU. The Indians began conference play with a 55-46 victory over Florida International Saturday night.

Overrated

Duke – Unranked (Unchanged) Blue Devil coach Mike Krzyzewski is one of the best at his profession in the history of organized sport, and that's the reason his team is ranked so highly in both national polls. Duke is gaining ground in our Top 25, which favors heavily road victories, with their most recent victory over Clemson Saturday. With 10 of their first 11 games being played at home, though, the Devils will have to show us that they belong now that conference play has begun. Also, that they can win on the road.

On The Fringe

Villanova

One of the youngest teams in the country, but they also proved among the fearless in their loss to Kansas Friday night.

Creighton

Still one of a handful of undefeateds in the country, but with a leading scorer posting just 11.4, they lack firepower.

Rhode Island

Any of their five starters could put up 15 on any given night, but the Rams lack a presence inside.

Potential 16th Seeds… Old Dominion, Illinois-Chicago, Murray State, North Carolina State

Across The Board

Regionally…

Colorado 43rd; Colorado State 75th; Air Force 78th; Denver 84th

The Big 12… Texas Tech 3rd, Kansas 16th; Iowa State 20th; Oklahoma State 26th; Texas 39th; Colorado 43rd; Oklahoma 51st; Nebraska 67th; Kansas State 128th; Texas A&M 173rd; Missouri 180th; Baylor 275th

CU's Schedule… Utah 5th; Northwestern 114th; Richmond 131st; Oregon State 166th; Pepperdine 204th; California 215th; Cal Poly 234th; Tennessee State 281st; Savannah State 321st

Bottom of the Barrel Teams looking into Division-I chess programs…

UNC-Asheville (3-9), Maryland Eastern-Shore (0-6), Campbell (0-10), Charleston Southern (3-9), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-10).

Talk about this on the Inside the Foam Dome MESSAGE BOARD

**Send your TOP 25 to sc_fuller@hotmail.com by midnight Saturday**


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