2. Pittsburgh (16-0; 2-0 Big East) – The Panthers are closing ground fast on this week's number one UCONN. The Panthers do not have a single blemish on their overall record. Pitt's biggest jump came after their most recent double overtime win over Miami Saturday night. Last Week: 4th
3. Texas Tech (13-2; 1-0 Big 12) – Bobby Knight's Red Raiders posted an impressive 83-62 victory over a pesky Oklahoma State (24th AP/ 28th BC.com) Saturday night, outscoring the Cowboys 44-27 in the second half after leading by four at halftime. Last Week: Unchanged
4. Gonzaga (12-2; 2-0 West Coast) – Eight players scored points in the first half of Gonzaga's 87-70 win over Pepperdine Thursday, with senior point guard and All-America candidate Blake Stepp finishing with 19 points and dropping four 3-pointers in the second half to lead the Bulldogs to victory. Last Week: 8th
5. Georgia Tech (12-2; 0-1 ACC) – GT has fallen from its perch atop BC's poll after dropping a road game to North Carolina Sunday afternoon; the Yellow Jacket's second straight defeat after losing to Georgia last week. Last Week: 1st
6. Utah (12-3; 0-0 Mountain West) – Utah's 12-3 record after getting an early start on this regular season matches last year's 12-3 record entering league play as the most non-conference wins for a Rick Majerus-coached team. Last Week: 5th
7. Iowa State (9-2; 2-0 Big 12) – Hilton Magic? Real or not, Iowa State has definitely benefited from its share of good fortune at home as the Cyclones begin their Big 12 season. Iowa State's only two losses came back-to-back during a two-game road trip at Virginia and San Diego State. Last Week: 20th
8. Arkansas State (11-3; 2-1 Sun Belt) – Yup, Arkansas State. Sure, they're a well below mid-major from the Sun Belt, but the Sun Belt gets an NCAA bid too, and the Indians are a walk in the park away from owning it. ASU's only conference loss came Saturday to Arkansas-Little Rock having lost two of their starters to temporary injury. Last Week: 6th
9. Kentucky (10-1; 1-0 SEC) – What has Kentucky proven this season? Not much. UCLA, Michigan State, Indiana, Louisville and North Carolina have all shown themselves as being a red cape short of super since the Wildcats posted a 4-1 non-conference mark against the usual powers early this season. Last Week: Unchanged
10. South Carolina (14-2; 1-1 SEC) - Georgia had 10 first-half turnovers leading to 16 Gamecock points during South Carolina's 84-63 victory over the Bulldogs in their meeting Saturday night in Atlanta. Last Week: 7th
11. Syracuse (11-1; 1-0 Big East) – SU head coach Jim Boeheim tied legendary UCLA coach John Wooden in career victories (664) Saturday night in the Orangemen's 96-73 Big East victory over Boston College. The future hall-of-famer did it in one less year than the incomparable Wooden (28 seasons to Wooden's 29) Last Week: 17th
12. Charlotte (10-3; 2-0 C-USA) – 49ers sophomore forward Curtis Whethers is averaging nearly a double-double as his team begins Conference USA play, posting 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Last Week: 15th
13. Stanford (13-0; 4-0 PAC-10) – No love? Maybe. This weekend's victories over Arizona certainly bolstered their standing, but let's wait until the Cardinal plays less than seven in a row at home before we label them a national threat. Last Week: Unranked
14. Creighton (12-0; 4-0 MVC) – Creighton's defensive performance in their 66-49 win over Bradley last week was made easier with the absence of Phillip Gilbert, the Mountain Valley Conference's leading scorer (20.2 ppg) who missed the game for Drake with a stress fracture in his foot. Last Week: Unranked
15. Florida (11-2; 2-0 SEC) - Four players scored in double figures in Florida's trampling of Tennessee Saturday - led by Matt Walsh's 20 points - as the Gators enjoyed their best shooting day (64.8 percent) against an SEC club in head coach Billy Donovan's seven-plus seasons. Last Week: 25th
16. Louisville (11-1; 2-0 C-USA) – "They're good, but if they have a bad shooting night, I don't care if they're playing the Harlem Globetrotters or South Florida, they'll get blown out;" those were the comments of South Florida forward Jimmy Baxter before Louisville dismantled the Bulls 85-40 Saturday night. Last Week: 21st
17. Boston College (11-3; 1-1 Big East) - Boston College forward Craig Smith brought Georgetown back to earth last week, handing the Hoyas their first loss of the season with a powerful one-man performance (24 points, 19 coming in the game's final minutes). Last Week: 24th
18. Arizona (10-2; 2-1 PAC-10) – The sun rose in Arizona Sunday morning, despite the upset the Wildcats suffered at home to Stanford Saturday night. But with the rest of the Pac-10 looking up at the UA and Stanford, the game did tell us that one of the two needs to take a serious look at their approach in the conference season. Last Week: 14th
19. Rhode Island (12-4; 1-1 A-10) – The Rams are off to a 12-4 start and will challenge Saint Joseph's in the East Division of what will be surprisingly competitive Atlantic 10 conference. Last Week: Unranked
20. Vanderbilt (12-1; 1-1 SEC) – Despite suffering its first loss of the season this passed week, Vandy is still very much a force to be reckoned with. Already the Commodores have made an abrupt change from last season's effort. Vandy's 18 defeats in 2002-03 matched a school record set in 1925-26. Last Week: 10th
21. Kansas (9-2; 1-0 Big 12) - Kansas freshman center David Padgett will miss at least one week of action due to a stress fracture in his left foot, coach Bill Self announced on Saturday. Last Week: 16th
22. Mississippi State (13-0; 2-0 SEC) – State moved to 12-0 for the first time in school history by overcoming a 10-point second-half deficit to beat archrival Mississippi 61-54 last Wednesday night in the SEC opener for both teams. Last Week: Unranked
23. Rider (8-5; 2-1 MAAC) – Despite having three players scoring in double figures, Rider needed an overtime period to overcome Penn for their eighth victory of the season Saturday night. Last Week: Unranked
24. High Point (10-5; 1-0 Big South) – Zione White and Danny Gathings have each dropped better than 16 points per game for High Point, which has fought its way into our Top 25 poll for the first time this season. Last Week: Unranked
25. Lafayette (10-4; 1-0 Patriot) – After winning eight of their first nine to start the season, the Jaguars have dropped three of their last five since losing at USC on Dec. 28. Last Week: Unranked
On The Fringe
Who to watch out for next week…
Ranked as high as 6th in our poll to start the season, the Cougars dropped a deciding non-conference road game to N.C. State last week.
10-3's a good enough mark, but they'll have to do better than Sunday's 59-57 loss to Indiana at home to get recognition from this poll.
Texas Tech is one of the best teams in the country. Don't let OSU's loss to Bobby Knight this weekend make you think the Cowboys aren't loaded.
No shocker, but we were waiting for the Gators to begin their SEC campaign before we jumped on the Gainesville bandwagon. Florida shot 64.8 percent from the field in its win over Tennessee (which is nuts anyway) - the fourth time in eight home games UF has shot 60 percent or better (which is downright unfair) - which included a 7-for-13 performance from 3-point range. The Gators shot 65.5 percent in the second half against the ‘Vols, when their lead never shrunk below 17 points.
West Virginia has quietly fallen off the face of the college basketball world. Their most recent 62-58 win over Georgetown Saturday was overshadowed with the indefinite suspension of Drew Schifino, the team's leading scorer, for violating unspecified team rules the day before. Schifino, a junior from Pittsburgh, is averaging 17.6 points and 5.1 rebounds through 11 games. "I haven't talked to him since he walked out of here yesterday ... that's all I can say about it right now. The players aren't going to comment on it and I ask that you don't pry and ask for comments on it," coach John Beilein said Friday.
Across The Board
The Big 12…
Texas Tech (3rd), Iowa State (7th), Kansas (21st), Oklahoma State (28th), Texas (46th), Colorado (51st), Nebraska (57th), Oklahoma (83rd), Kansas State (113th), Missouri (153rd), Texas A&M (180th), Baylor (285th)
Bottom Of The Barrel
The worst of the cursed… Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-11), Alabama State (3-9), Charleston Southern (3-11), UNC-Asheville (3-12), Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-8)
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