1.) Memphis Tigers
After UNC dropped their first game this season to unranked Maryland (at home, no less), the Tigers gained the top spot in both national rankings and keep it in this poll. Big test this weekend as the Bulldogs of Gonzaga come calling.
2.) Kansas Jayhawks
I could almost put them at 1b, but for the sake of argument, I am going to put them at 2, simply because I feel that if there was one game, on a neutral court, right now, Memphis would beat the Jayhawks. However, in maybe a best of 5 or 7, I am not so sure. Things may change soon as they begin to get into the meat of the Big 12 schedule.
3.) Duke Blue Devils
Ohh, the Dookies. Is anyone else surprised at how quietly Duke is climbing up the rankings? This is Duke we are talking about, but their ACC counterpart is the team getting all the attention. All things are setting up for an epic UNC-Duke in early February where both teams could be in the top 5.
4.) Indiana Hoosiers
While the Hoosiers have not been destroying the competition and putting up gaudy numbers like some other teams, they are winning. There is no doubt that this team is one of the hottest in the nation, winners of 12 in a row. However, their climb in these rankings are more a result of teams ahead of them losing than impressive play. Big nonconfernce game this weekend against UConn, followed by a chance to make some real noise with a tough test at Wisconsin.
5.) UNC Tarheels
You have to expect the worst when you let an unranked and unimpressive Maryland team come into your house and steal one from you. UNC had a nice bounce back game against Florida State though, with POY candidate Tyler Hansborough "chipping in" with 35 points.
6.) Tennesse Volunteers
A tough loss to Kentucky, but in all honestly, not a terrible loss. Rupp is a hard place to come in and snatch a victory, even with Kentucky in a down year. Truth be told, this team is getting scarier and scarier by the day. Chris Lofton is beginning to come back to the same form as last season and Wayne Chism is emerging as a great complimentary player.
7.) UCLA Bruins
So OJ Mayo finally strikes! UCLA suffered a tough defeat (similar to UNC) in their house to an unranked and unimpressive team USC squad. Then, to make matters worse, they come out sluggish as all hell against Oregon and have to rally late to steal a W. I know rankings don't matter until that final poll of the season, but with all the talent on that team, Bruins fans must be getting a little worried.
8.) Michigan State Spartans
Sparty bounced back well after that horrid loss at Iowa. They held serve against Ohio State by coming out on top at home, then went into the Barn and beat a very tough and underrated Minnesota team before capping off the three game stretch with a win at Northwestern. Anyone who is sleeping on this team would be foolish - Sparty and Izzo always turn it on in March. A date with destiny lurks at Indiana with the College GameDay crew in late Feb.
9.) Georgetown Hoyas
Two solid wins this week help the Hoyas rise a little, but the team still lacks a signature win. Furthermore, Georgetown might not even have a chance to pick up one: they only have two games left against ranked opponents in Marquette and Villanova, both of which are dropping in stature. With Pitt holding the tiebreaker in the conference, the Hoyas may need a little help from the rest of the Big East in winning the conference, or will need a deep run the Big East tourney to secure a high seed come March.
10.) Wisconsin Badgers
Sorry, but I wasn't sold on Wazzou before and certainly am not now after losing to Arizona. Meanwhile, the Badgers have won 10 straight and currently reside at the top of the Big 10 with Indiana. A tough road game at Purdue on Saturday, followed by a showdown of the top teams looms when Indiana will come to the Kohl Center to snap the Badgers tough home court advantage.
Also Receiving Votes: Washington State, Pitt, Texas