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NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 1:24pm

And now things get really serious in college basketball...

Conference play begins in earnest this week and, as any coach will gladly proclaim, those are the toughest games to play because the opposition always has you scouted so well and knows your personnel just about as well as you do.

Some cool conference contests this week include No. 3 Ohio State at Purdue (Big Ten/Tuesday); San Diego State at Colorado State (Mountain West/New Year’s Day); 12-0 and No. 14 Oregon at once-beaten Utah (Pac 12/Thursday); and No. 5 Michigan State at Indiana (Big Ten/Saturday).

Rank (Last Week)
Record
Comment
1. Ohio State (1)
13-0
Nine players have played in each game and each average at least 12.8 minutes per outing.
2. Arizona (2)
13-0
The Wildcats handled the non-conference portion of their regular-season quite nicely, thank you very much.
3. Syracuse (3)
12-0
Barring shockers, three tune-ups before the Tar Heels come to the Carrier Dome for a Jan. 11 battle between the new and old powers in the ACC.
4. Wichita State (4)
13-0
If any team has a real chance of being unbeaten going into the NCAA Tournament, this is the squad.
5. Michigan St. (5)
11-1
Center Adreian Payne (.457) is shooting a lot better from behind the arc than is guard Gary Harris (.292).
6. Duke (6)
10-2
Sophomore Amile Jefferson is averaging 5.8 rebounds in only 16.2 minutes per game.
7. Louisville (7)
11-1
The last six victories have come by an average margin of 30 points or so. The comp gets tougher on Saturday.
8. Oklahoma State (8)
11-1
Most everyone should be aware that the Cowboys are a lot more than “just Marcus Smart” by now.
9. Iowa State (9)
11-0
The Cyclones are one of the reasons the Big 12 is a bit deeper in “very good teams” than even the conference’s most loyal boosters might have suspected.
10. Wisconsin (10)
13-0
The starters are scoring from 9.0 to 14.6 points per game.
11. Villanova (11)
11-1
The Wildcats are good enough to be up 20-5 on Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. How many clubs can we say the same about?
12. Florida (13)
10-2
Tag these dates – Feb. 4 (Missouri is in Gainesville) and Feb. 15 (Gators are in Lexington).
13. Kansas (14)
8-3
Two potential toughies – 12-0 Toledo (Monday night) and 10-1 San Diego State (Sunday) – in Lawrence before the start of Big 12 play.
14. Oregon (15)
12-0
The Ducks are shooting .427 from behind the arc – that’s called really stretching defenses.
15. North Carolina (16)
9-3

ACC game at Wake Forest (10-3) Sunday could prove a lot tougher than some would have thought a couple of months ago.

16. Baylor (NR)
10-1
The only loss – to Syracuse in Maui finale – certainly qualifies as a “good” one.

THE NEXT 16 (alphabetical): Butler 10-2, Cincinnati 11-2, Colorado 11-2, Connecticut, Harvard 11-1, Illinois 11-2, Iowa 11-2, Kentucky 10-3, Louisville 11-2, Massachusetts 11-1, Memphis 9-2, Missouri 11-1, Oklahoma 11-1, Pittsburgh 11-1, SMU 10-2, UCLA 11-2 and San Diego State 10-1.

TEAMS OF THE WEEK

*Iowa State. The Cyclones came from down seven points at intermission to toppled Boise State and improve to 11-0 with their Diamondhead Championship win.

*Kentucky. The Wildcats collected easily their most impressive – and, no doubt, satisfying – victory of the season while holding off Louisville, 73-66, Saturday in Lexington.

*Massachusetts. Derrick Gordon had a follow shot with 1.1 seconds to go to help the Minutemen improve to 11-1 with a 69-67 win over Providence.

*Missouri. The Tigers rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit to win in their first game on an opponent’s home floor, 68-64 over North Carolina State Saturday.

*Syracuse. The Orange came from 15 points down (20-5) early to throttle unbeaten Villanova – 78-62 – Saturday in the Carrier Dome.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

*Cleanthony Early. The JC transfer standout of last season has evolved into one of the best forwards in the country, as he showed while scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as Wichita State improved to 13-0 Sunday with its win over Davidson.

*Tyler Ennis. The freshman point guard had 20 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and no turnovers in 37 minutes of his team’s come-from-way-behind victory over Villanova.

*DeAndre Kane. The transfer from Marshall earned Diamondhead Tournament MVP honors while averaging 17.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists during three games in Honolulu.

*Evan Payne. The freshman guard scored 27 points as Loyola Marymount stunned BYU on Saturday, 87-76, in a West Coast Conference opener.

*James Young. The 6-7 freshman had 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists to help Kentucky knock off Louisville.

Frank Burlison has been covering hoops for 30+ years for a variety of publications.

Follow Frank on twitter @FrankieBur. Also make sure to follow his website at www.burlisononbasketball.com. College coaching staffs interested in Burlison’s scouting service should contact him at [email protected]

dcase
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Ohio State over Syracuse is a

Ohio State over Syracuse is a joke. Other than Marquette, who has Ohio St. played and beat so far this year? They have only played one road game and one neutral court game in NYC vs. Notre Dame. Every other game has been at home. On the other hand Syracuse won the Maui Invitational (w/ a win vs. Baylor), crushed Indiana and just beat previously undefeated Villanova.

ball4life23
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Re: Ohio State over Syracuse is a

Half this list is a joke homie. Still very early in the season and the teams will eventually fall where they will.... except Witchita State cause that team doesn't have any talent, 20 other teams could go undefeated too with there schedule they aren't much to concern for in March.

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