NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Sun, 12/06/2009 - 6:24pm

By Josh Cochran and Joel Steiner
NCAA Power 16: December 7th

Most schools are experiencing finals this week or next, so focus is the key for the top teams around the country. The top 8 teams from last week did not lose a game so there is little change at the top of the poll. The major news of the week is the Ohio State Buckeyes’ loss of Evan Turner for 8 weeks. This is the first major injury of the season and probably takes him out of national player of the year consideration. This is an example of how a season can turn in the blink of the eye and teams that stay healthy should always feel lucky as the season progresses.

Rank (Last Week)
1. Kansas (1)
The big match up at Pauley Pavilion was disappointing, but not because of the Jayhawks. We expect this team to hold the #1 spot for a while.
2. Texas (2)
Texas is shooting 62.2% from the line. For a team that is 13th in the country at getting to the line based on FTA/FGA, this is a little worrisome.
3. Purdue (3)
Does anybody play better team defense than Purdue? Only Tennessee who plays at an accelerated pace has scored over 65 points against this team.
4. Kentucky (7)
John Wall played as advertised against UNC and this week he will gain even more attention with national games against UCONN and Indiana. The biggest concern for this team is how they play when Wall is not in the game. The offensive production is sluggish when he is on the bench.
5. Syracuse (4)
Ho-Hum week leading up to a showdown with Florida on Thursday.
6. Villanova (5)
Who needs Dante Cunningham when Antonio Pena is averaging 13.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg and shooting 58.2% from the floor?
7. West Virginia (6)
Bye week last week and cupcakes this week.
8. Florida (9)
Huge match up this week versus Syracuse. The Gators are getting it done with a balanced scoring attack as six guys are averaging over 8.0 ppg.
9. Tennessee (11)
Coach Pearl set up a soft December schedule in preparation for January when they open of SEC play along with scheduling Memphis and Kansas.
10. Duke (2)
The Kohl Center is one of the toughest arenas to get W’s in the Big Ten as Duke found out. Love how this team plays offensively and it shows as has them ranked #3 in offensive efficiency.
11. North Carolina (12)
You can’t kill this team for the loss at UK especially with the great comeback. Loved what they did against Sparty especially the way Carolina’s perimeter players outplayed Michigan State’s.
12. Michigan State (10)
Tom Izzo’s club is off to a somewhat slow start versus a difficult schedule. But this team is too talented and well coached…expect them to peak in March.
13. Texas A&M (13)
We’re giving the Aggies some overdue love because of their performance in Anaheim last week. Wins over Clemson and Minnesota will carry weight come selection time.
14. Georgetown (NR)
We finally get to find out how good Greg Monroe and the Hoyas are with games against Butler and Washington.
15. UConn (NR)
This team is still struggling to figure it out. They better do so in a hurry, because John Wall & Patrick Patterson lead Kentucky to battle the Huskies at MSG Wednesday night.
16. Ohio State (16)
Two years in a row the Buckeyes have had a major injury that will impact their season. Turner was playing like the National POY as the Buckeyes handled a good FSU team. Let’s keep the Buckeyes here and see how they react Saturday at Butler.

The Next Five: Ole Miss, Cincinnati, UNLV, New Mexico, Washington

Games to Watch:

Robbie Hummel cheers on PurdueRobbie Hummel cheers on PurdueTuesday December 8th

Butler vs Georgetown – This is Georgetown’s first major test of the season. While Butler needs to start taking advantage of its tough non-conference schedule.

Vanderbilt at Illinois – Two likely Tournament teams battle in Champaign. A chance to see A.J. Ogilvy square off against big men, Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale.

Wednesday December 9th

Kentucky vs UConn – John Wall and Eric Bledsoe versus Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker. Can the Wildcats put a full 40 minutes together? This is the showcase game in the Big East – SEC Invitational (at MSG).

Thursday December 10th

Syracuse vs Florida – The two biggest early season movers in our Power 16 rankings face off in the Big East – SEC Invitational in Tampa. Can the Gators handle Boeheim’s zone?

Saturday December 11th

Ohio State at Butler – Can the Buckeyes tread water while Evan Turner recovers from a back injury? A win at Butler would do wonders for their tournament resume`.

Georgetown vs Washington – Georgetown’s second opportunity this week to prove that they are a Power 16 team. This is an important game for Washington after its loss to Texas Tech.

Marquette at Wisconsin – Emotions will run high in this in-state rivalry. The Badgers showed how tough it is to play in the Kohl Center with their win against Duke.

Texas A&M vs New Mexico – Two teams that have played very well to start the season meet in Houston. After a solid win against Cal, New Mexico gets another opportunity to fortify its resume`.

Sunday December 12th

Cincinnati at Xavier – Another intra-city rivalry and one that gets overlooked around the country.

Follow Joel and Josh on Twitter at NBADRAFTNETJJ.

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I'd hate to toot my own horn, but the top 4 teams in this ranking were my preseason Final 4 picks. Thank you very much!!

Jeff Fox

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