BuffCountry.com Men's Top 25 – 02/06/04

UConn still holds a slight edge in our midweek look at college hoops, but a thrilling Duke victory over North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wednesday night has the Blue Devils closing in on the Huskies. We also profile the only two remaining undefeateds in our poll, and examine what smaller programs like Gonzaga, Air Force, and Dayton will need to do to make an impression as we close in on March.

1. Connecticut (18-3)
Was the Huskies' 84-56 victory over Syracuse Monday night the statement UConn needed to be taken seriously?

2. Kentucky (15-3)
I'm getting the feeling that the SEC is exacting a measure of revenge for last season's perfection.

3. Duke (19-1)
Just when you're starting to question your faith in humanity, along comes a reason for living… Duke over North Carolina by two in overtime.

4. Texas Tech (17-4)
Let the man say whatever he wants; there's adequate precedent that programs don't recover from losing Bobby Knight.

5. Pittsburgh (21-1)
The Panthers are no longer perfect, but certainly deserve to be mentioned among the elite teams as we enter February.

6. Saint Joseph's (19-0)
… But the Red Hawks are. With Joe's most difficult upcoming road tests at UMASS and Rhode Island, don't expect them to lose until April.

7. Mississippi State (18-1)
6-9 junior forward Lawrence Roberts has averaged a double-double (16.6 points, 10 rebounds) this season, while scoring more than 10 in 17 of his team's 19 games.

8. Georgia Tech (16-5)
It's tough to penalize the Jackets for dropping a few in ACC play, and Tech still has one of the most explosive offenses in the country.

9. Stanford (19-0)
Matt Haryasz, a backup power forward for the Cardinal, missed his team's 19th straight win Thursday night due to an ankle injury.

10. Oklahoma State (16-2)
Oklahoma State reserve forwards Marcus Dove and Tremaine Fuqua were suspended indefinitely from the team for violating team policy, the school said Tuesday.

11. Gonzaga (18-2)
Always straddling the line between mid-major and major, the Bulldogs will once again make us wait until Tourney time to see how good they really are.

12. Iowa State (13-5)
The Cyclones are 4-3 in Big 12 play after dropping an embarrassing 75-48 decision to Oklahoma Wednesday.

13. Arizona (14-5)
Saturday's game against Stanford went from ‘would help' status to ‘alright stop losing' after the ‘Cats five-point loss to Cal on Thursday.

14. Texas (15-3)
Look whose back. And look for the Longhorns to stick around for more than a week this time.

15. Kansas (14-4)
The Jayhawks have lost two of their last six, but they're 6-1 in Big 12 play after beating Missouri Monday.

16. Syracuse (14-4)
Did the Orangemen get a wake-up call after their 28-point loss at UConn Monday? Maybe, but their real problem is that they've dropped three of their last four.

17. Creighton (17-2)
Even if the Jays beat SIU on Saturday, they'll need to keep beaks clean and do so again in Illinois to likely share the title and earn a Tourney birth.

18. Wisconsin (15-3)
Wisconsin guard Maurice "Boo" Wade was released from jail Thursday on a signature bond a day after his arrest on charges he choked a 19-year-old woman.

19. South Carolina (19-3)
Junior Josh Garner, scoring just higher than 12 points per game on the season, dropped 22 in S.C.'s eight-point win over Alabama Wednesday.

20. Louisville (16-3)
The Pitino saga aside, this is a banged-up (and disgruntled) club right now. Getting healthy for March is top priority, not winning in February.

21. Utah (16-5)
The Runnin' Utes got their first win without head coach Rick Majerus last week, posting an eight-point win over BYU at home.

22. Air Force (15-3)
The Falcons dropped a tough 13-point decision at UNLV Monday, and a road trip to Wyoming Saturday will tell us a lot about how good Joe Scott's team really is.

23. Boston College (13-7)
The Eagles got a season-high 22-point effort from junior forward Jermaine Watson in B.C.'s 76-69 victory over Notre Dame Wednesday.

24. Lafayette (16-4) Lafayette has posted three less losses than St. Joseph's while playing just slightly weaker talent.

25. Dayton (18-3) Beating, or even playing well against Saint Joseph's this week would certainly open the nation's eyes to the Flyers.

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