Top 25 Rankings for the Week of Dec. 29

Photo: Chet White / Kentucky Athletics
Photo: Chet White / Kentucky Athletics

1. Kentucky (13-0). Last week: 1

Kentucky got passed its toughest regular season test Saturday at Louisville. Kenpom gives the Wildcats a 24.1% chance of finishing the regular season with a perfect record.

2. Duke (10-0). Last week: 2

Duke returns home this week to host Toledo, Wofford and Boston College.

3. Villanova (12-0). Last week: 5

Villanova dominated NJIT in the second half Tuesday to avoid the same ill fate Michigan met a few weeks ago. The Wildcats enter Big East play with a perfect record, and they begin conference play Wednesday against Butler.

4. Wisconsin (12-1). Last week: 4

Wisconsin scored an impressive win at California and then returned home to hold off Buffalo. The Badgers begin Big Ten competition Wednesday against Penn State.

5. Virginia (11-0). Last week: 7

Virginia hosts 9-1 Davidson in its final non-conference game Tuesday. The Cavaliers are 4-0 in December with an 23.3-point average margin of victory.

6. Louisville (11-1). Last week: 6

Louisville fell short Saturday against No. 1 Kentucky. The Cardinals look to bounce back with another home game Tuesday against Long Beach State.

7. Arizona (12-1). Last week: 3

Arizona’s perfect season ended Tuesday at UNLV. The Wildcats return home Sunday for their Pac-12 opener against Arizona State.

8. Gonzaga (12-1, 1-0 WCC). Last week: 8

Gonzaga recorded an impressive win Saturday at BYU in its WCC opener. The Bulldogs remain on the road this week at San Diego and Portland.

9. Iowa State (9-1). Last week: 13

Iowa State should have no trouble Wednesday against Mississippi Valley State, but the Cyclones will be tested Saturday against South Carolina.

10. Texas (10-2). Last week: 9

Texas lost at home for the first time at the hands of Stanford in overtime. The Longhorns host Rice in what should be an easy win for their final non-conference game.

11. Utah (9-2). Last week: 14

Utah held off South Dakota State in its final Division I game before Pac-12 play. After hosting Carroll (Montana), the Utes begin conference play Friday against USC.

12. St. John’s (11-1). Last week: 15

St. John’s beat Long Beach State and then blew out Tulane last week. The Red Storm enter Big East play with their only loss coming to Gonzaga.

13. Maryland (12-1). Last week: 16

Maryland knocked off Oakland 72-56 to finish non-conference play on a five-game winning streak. The Terrapins begin their first-ever Big Ten season Tuesday at Michigan State.

14. Wichita State (10-2). Last week: 10

Wichita State’s six-game winning streak ended Thursday to George Washington. The Shockers move on to MVC with their opener coming Wednesday at Drake.

15. Notre Dame (12-1). Last week: 17

Notre Dame has been a dominant winner in each of its last five games. The Fighting Irish host Hartford Tuesday in their non-conference finale.

16. Oklahoma (8-3). Last week: 18

After losing to Washington, Oklahoma trounced Weber State. The Sooners continue their three-game home stand Wednesday against George Mason.

17. Kansas (9-2). Last week: 11

After seemingly putting the pieces together during an eight-game winning streak, Kansas struggled mightily again in a 77-52 loss at Temple. The Jayhawks have two more non-conference tuneups this week against Kent State and UNLV.

18. Ohio State (11-2). Last week: 19

Ohio State dominated Miami (Ohio) and Wright State last week. The Buckeyes remain home for the start of Big Ten season this week. They host Iowa and Illinois.

19. West Virginia (11-1). Last week: 21

West Virginia easily blew by Wofford for its fourth straight win. The Mountaineers are in shape for another victory Tuesday against Virginia Tech.

20. Northern Iowa (11-1). Last week: 22

Northern Iowa knocked off South Dakota State to improve to 6-0 at home. The Panthers begin MVC play this week against Evansville and Loyola (Chicago).

21. North Carolina (9-3). Last week: 23

North Carolina blew out UAB Sunday for its third straight win. The Tar Heels finish non-conference play Tuesday against William & Mary.

22. Washington (11-1). Last week: 12

After a close call with Tulane, Washington’s perfect season ended Sunday against Stony Brook. The Huskies begin Pac-12 play with a tough road trip to California and Stanford.

23. Colorado State (13-0). Last week: 20

Colorado State’s perfect non-conference campaign nearly ended Saturday in its finale. The Rams needed overtime, but they got by New Mexico State 58-57.

24. San Diego State (10-3). Last week: 24

San Diego State enters Mountain West play on a three-game winning streak. The Aztecs begin conference competition Wednesday against Air Force.

25. Minnesota (11-2). Last week: 25

Minnesota finished non-conference play with a 108-82 victory against UNC Wilmington. The Golden Gophers’ offense is averaging 90.1 points per game this month.

 

Past Rankings

Week of Dec. 22

Week of Dec. 15

Week of Dec. 8

Week of Dec. 1

Week of Nov. 24

Preseason Rankings

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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