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College Basketball Talk’s Latest Top 25

Feb 24, 2014, 9:12 AM EST

source: Getty Images

Arguing over whether or not Wichita State deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country is a conversation that is going to overtake college hoops over the next couple of weeks.

Here’s my take:

Florida deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country this week, even with their struggles over the course of the last seven days. They’ve played like the best team in the country for an extended period of time, and with the Orange finally dropping a pair of games this week, Billy Donovan’s club hops on up into the top spot.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Shockers get a number of votes when the polls come out, however. When you are undefeated in late-February, you’ll deserve any ranking you get. I may not agree, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a valid argument for ranking the Shockers as the best team in the country.

Personally, I don’t think Wichita State is. I think they are very good, capable of making a Final Four and deserving of a No. 1 seed should they enter Selection Sunday undefeated, but they wouldn’t be one of the five teams that I’d pick to win the NCAA tournament before the brackets get released.

All you can do is beat who is on your schedule, and the Shockers have done that. They are a tough-minded, well-coached basketball team with size up front, exceptional guard play and a couple of potential NBA players. They’re legit.

I’m not sure they are on the same level as Florida or Kansas or any of the other national title contenders.

THE TOP 25

1. Florida (25-2, LW: No. 2): The Gators had a couple of close calls this week, watching Auburn pull an Auburn to survive at home and overcoming a 22-point first half against Marshall Henderson on the road. They deserve that No. 1 rankings.

2. Wichita State (29-0, LW: No. 3): The Shockers are the first 29-0 team since Illinois in 2004-2005.

3. Kansas (21-6, LW: No. 6): I jumped the Jayhawks passed Duke and Arizona because, with Joel Embiid healthy, I think that this is the most talented team in the country. He sure looked healthy this week.

4. Duke (22-6, LW: No. 4): The Blue Devils lost to North Carolina in the Dean Dome, but followed that up with an impressive win over Syracuse in Cameron.

5. Arizona (25-2, LW: No. 5): Was the 88 points that Arizona scored at Colorado a sign they’ve figured out their offensive issues, or did they just beatdown a depleted team?

6. Syracuse (25-2, LW: No. 1): The Orange came back down to earth a bit with close losses to Boston College and Duke this past week. They need Tyler Ennis to break out of this three-game slump he’s mired in. He was 2-for-13 at Duke.

7. Creighton (23-4, LW: No. 9): The Bluejays just keep on winning. They beat Seton Hall on Sunday night behind 29 more points from Doug McDermott.

8. Louisville (23-4, LW: No. 15): Louisville made a statement when they went into Cincinnati and knocked off the Bearcats. They still visit Memphis and SMU and host UConn this season.

9. Kentucky (21-6, LW: No. 11): Things are starting to click for Kentucky. You can see growth every time out. This will be one of the most interesting teams to track in March.

10. Cincinnati (24-4, LW: No. 8): The Bearcats lost by a point at home to Louisville on a Russ Smith buzzer-beater. Can’t drop them too far after a loss like that.

11. San Diego State (23-3, LW: No. 7)
12. Villanova (24-3, LW: No. 12)
13. Wisconsin (22-5, LW: No. 17)
14. Saint Louis (25-2, LW: No. 13)
15. Virginia (23-5, LW: No. 14)
16. Michigan (19-7, LW: No. 23)
17. Iowa State (21-5, LW: No. 16)
18. Michigan State (22-6, LW: No. 10)
19. North Carolina (20-7, LW: No. 25)
20. Ohio State (22-6, LW: No. 22)
21. Iowa (19-7, LW: No. 18)
22. Texas (20-7, LW: No. 19)
23. Memphis (21-6, LW: No. 21)
24. UConn (21-6, LW: No. 20)
25. New Mexico (21-5, LW: UR)

  1. Florio_Jr. - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    The top 13 in the nation could all lose and you’d still move SLU down three spots off a win.
    83 days, bro.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Feb 24, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    UA beat a beat up CU team. Not a terrible team without Dinwiddie, just not the Top 15 they could be.

  3. bo1210 - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Must you continue humming on SLU? The two chances they had to beat a ranked team and they blew it. Get over it.

  4. Florio_Jr. - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Bo, I’m not saying put them at #1 but it’s ridiculous that he keeps moving them down after wins.

  5. mt10425 - Feb 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Are you kidding yet again? Kansas isn’t a top ten team. I love these in incredibly biased polls. SDSU maybe #10. New Mexico #15. But, we get all the east coast crotch-licking bias. If that idiot Vitale was voting, no one West of Mississippi would make his top 50.

    • dexterismyhero - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      that’s sarcasm right? Though I do agree with your Vitale comment. Maybe if he had 2 eyes!!!!

  6. floriojr - Feb 24, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Duke is too high. They should be 6. Rob has a hard on for Coach Lisp.. I mean Coach K

  7. florida727 - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    I guess it’s nice to be ranked #1, but I still think Wichita State should be first. Criticize their schedule all you want; the bottom line is they’ve beaten everyone put in front of them. If they’re a fraud, they’ll get exposed come tournament time and then they can be criticized. Should give them their due, I think. The case for Florida is sketchy. The SEC is not a great basketball conference, at least not this year, but then again, Florida’s only two losses are both on the road… at #13 Wisconsin, and at #24 UConn, by 6 and 1 points respectively. And people wonder why we love college basketball and want college football to follow suit and have a serious playoff system… not this upcoming, stupid, 4 team playoff. They need to model what the other levels of college football do. End of soap box. Sorry.

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