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College Basketball Power Rankings

1. Syracuse 21-0
The Orange managed to hold on to beat Duke at home in front of the largest crowd for a college basketball game ever. Senior C.J. Fair continues to take over in big games, scoring 28 points to carry 'Cuse over Duke. Along with the backcourt play of fabulous freshman Tyler Ennis (3.9 assist to turnover rate, 2.5 steals per game) and sophomore sharpshooter Trevor Cooney, Syracuse has the talent to win the ACC.
2. Arizona 21-0
As of me writing this, the Wildcats are 21-0 and will tip off against a dangerous California team in thirty minutes. Junior guard Nick Johnson has become a legitimate Wooden Award threat, leading the Wildcats in scoring with 16.7 points per game. Arizona doesn't have that difficult of a schedule remaining inside the Pac-12, this game against Cal tonight might be their toughest left.
3. Florida 19-2
Florida received a pretty late Christmas gift this week when freshman Chris Walker was finally
Casey Prather
declared eligible to play. The 19-2 Gators are getting major contributions from career role-player Casey Prather and speedy senior Scottie Wilbekin, who is averaging nearly 2 steals a game. With the addition of Walker, Florida has another reliable scorer and offensive weapon to go along with Patric Young.
4. Wichita State 23-0
The undefeated Shockers were down 15 at one point to Evansville but used the play of Cleanthony Early to stay flawless. Early has had a tremendous year for the Shockers this year, averaging 16.3 points per game and 6.5 boards. A matchup against Indiana State on the road could be the biggest obstacle of an undefeated regular season for Wichita.
5. San Diego State 19-1
Steve Fisher managed to snatch up his 300th win of his coaching career today, leading the Aztecs to victory over Colorado State. San Diego State has won 18 straight games, and their lone loss this season has been to Arizona. Senior guard Xavier Thames continues to lead the Aztecs, who have impressive wins over Kansas and Creighton.
6. Villanova 19-2
After getting bombed by Ethan Wragge and Creighton's three-point assault, Villanova has recovered quite nicely, winning three straight Big East games. Senior James Bell continues to be Villanova's most reliable backcourt option and JayVaughn Pinkston has turned to be reliable in the paint.
7. Kansas 16-5
Although Kansas lost their first Big 12 game of the year with a tough loss to Texas in Austin but still have been playing great after some early struggles. Freshman big man Joel Embiid continues to dominate in the post, snatching 7.6 rebounds per game and nearly 3 blocks a game. Though, the loss to Texas proved if Andrew Wiggins struggles, the offense is not very effective.
8. Michigan 16-4
Perhaps no team is hotter right now than the Wolverines who are rolling through the brutal Big Ten. Sophomore Nik Stauskas should be the Big Ten Player of the Year if he continues his high level of play. Maybe the most impressive part of this Michigan team is Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford who have been playing fantastic in the absence of sophomore Mitch McGary.
9. Cincinnati 20-2
Any list of the hottest college basketball teams in the nation would not be complete without the Bearcats, who have won 13 straight and are rolling through the new American Athletic Conference. Sean Kilpatrick continues to make plays on the wing and managed 28 points in Cincy's pivotal win over Louisville.
10. Michigan State 19-3
The Spartans suffered a setback in a non-conference loss to Georgetown at Madison Square Garden. They are still playing extremely well even without star senior Adreian Payne and a very banged-up roster. Sophomore Gary Harris has definitely turned into the star that the Spartans have needed and Keith Appling continues to be the leader of the team.
11. Kentucky 16-5
Kentucky had a road setback against LSU despite freshman James Young's 23 points but responded nicely against a sneaky Missouri team. Julius Randle has been absolutely fantastic all year and is averaging a double-double with 16.1 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. If they can get some consistency from the Harrison twins the 'Cats are still a major threat.
12. Louisville Cardinals 17-4
The Cardinals' offense has been fantastic this year, putting up an average of 82.4 points per game. Junior Russ Smith continues to score on a consistent basis, putting up 18 points a game, but still taking a lot of dumb shots. Chane Behanan is now gone, meaning depth could be a concern for the Cards.
13. Oklahoma State Cowboys 16-5
A home loss to Baylor was definitely a wake-up call for Travis Ford's club who should have beaten the struggling Bears. Marcus Smart is doing it all for the Pokes, leading the team in points per game with 17.3 a game, rebounds and assists. Markel Brown is known for his stunning dunks but his game also has substance, with good touch around the rim and the athleticism to get to it.
14. Pittsburgh 18-3
Even with one of his least-talented teams in years, Jamie Dixon continues to produce at Pitt even inside the tough ACC. Lamar Patterson has been the focal point of the Pittsburgh offense, with 17.7 points and 4.5 assists per game. A win at home against a good Virginia team would be very important for the Panthers.
15. Iowa 17-5
The Hawkeyes got a solid victory on the road today against Illinois today but is opening a tough stretch against Ohio State and Michigan. Senior guard/forward Roy Devyn Marble has been great all year leading Iowa in scoring. Along with Aaron White and Melsahn Basabe, the Hawkeyes have a great frontcourt and the depth to compete in the Big Ten.
16. St. Louis 20-2
The Atlantic 10 has been an underrated league this year with some very strong teams with UMass, VCU and an interesting George Washington team. Even with those teams, the Billikens are 7-0 inside the conference thanks in large part to forward Dwayne Evans and reliable senior guard Mike McCall. The Billikens should still be weary, they still have VCU twice and UMass left on their schedule.
17. Wisconsin 17-5
A 16-0 start with victories over St. Louis and Florida has been overshadowed by an extremely difficult stretch. Sophomore forward Sam Dekker has been the breakout player people expected when the year began and senior Ben Brust has been a reliable option. But, their offense needs some more playmakers to compete in a great Big Ten.
18. Creighton 18-3
Senior Doug McDermott, the son of coach Greg McDermott, is looking the no-doubt Wooden Award winner and the Bluejays are looking like a real threat in the Big East. McDermott, who is averaging 25 points per game, draws defenders down low while senior Ethan Wragge drowns them with his three-point shot.
19. Iowa State 16-4
The Cyclones got a much needed victory over 23rd-ranked Oklahoma today but still look like a completely different team than the one that started off 14-0 and had wins over Iowa and Michigan. Marshall transfer DeAndre Kane has cooled down a little bit after a fantastic start but is still hurting teams from beyond the arc. This Monday night against Oklahoma State will go along way in proving what the rest of the year will look like for Iowa St.
20. Duke 17-5
Duke has been playing very well lately, winning five straight before falling tonight to Syracuse in overtime at the Carrier Dome. Jabari Parker continues be a real offensive weapon but the loss tonight to the Orange showed that the Blue Devils still really need another low-post option with him and Amile Jefferson.
21. Texas 17-4
Rick Barnes should be in serious conversation for what he has done with this Texas group. Even with a roster that isn't very talented the Longhorns are 17-4, took down Kansas today and are a real Big 12 title threat. Guards Javan Felix and Isaiah Taylor, a mere freshman, have been huge to Texas' success this year and must continue to stay healthy and play well.
22. Ohio State 17-5
The Buckeyes also started off the year on fire but have fallen apart lately due in large part to the lack of a go-to scorer. Junior LaQuinton Ross sometimes looks like he can be a big-time scorer but is not consistent at all. Senior Aaron Craft sure plays with a lot of heart but has struggled to make a big difference in Big Ten play yet.
23. Gonzaga 19-3
It should stand as no surprise to anyone that the 'Zags are once again ruling the West Coast Conference. Junior guard Kevin Pangos has been a great scorer this year and has cut down on his turnovers. With hard-working Sam Dower inside the Bulldogs have enough to work with to easily win the WCC.
24. Oklahoma 17-5
The Sooners' recent hot streak was halted with a road loss to Iowa State but they still are a real threat in the conference. Ryan Spangler, a Gonzaga transfer, has been a monster on the boards, averaging 10.1 boards per game with 3.4 of them being offensive. Senior Cameron Clark (16.5 points per game) gives the Sooners enough scoring punch.
25. Virginia 16-5
Despite a very pedestrian offense that is only averaging 67 points per game, the Cavaliers are 16-5 and are 2nd in the ACC. Senior Joe Harris has had a fantastic final year with Virginia and is shooting extremely efficiently. The Cavs are hoping their fantastic defense can carry them to a win in a huge ACC battle with Pitt.

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