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Week 9 College Basketball Rankings: Ohio State Stays #2, Cleveland State Receiving Votes

Ohio State has the #2 spot locked up, while the Cleveland State Vikings continue to dominate their competition and are pulling in some top 25 votes.

Behind William Buford's 24 points, Ohio State pummeled Indiana on New Year's Eve and did enough to remain entrenched in the #2 ranking in both the AP Poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes, behind superstar freshman Jared Sullinger, moved to 14-0, but are still looking for a statement win, as none of their marquee non-conference wins are really holding up thus far (Florida, South Carolina and Florida State are all underachieving and their non-con SOS stands at 220th overall). But their dominating performances have earned them the top spot in the KenPom rankings, and they hold the #3 offensive efficiency and #1 defensive efficiency in the country. Not too shabby. 

Cincinnati entered the polls this week (24/25), but I am still not sold on the Bearcats. Their 14-0 start, albeit gaudy, is a bit of a mirage. Cincy's best non-conference win is a semi-home contest over Dayton, followed by Wright State and 8-6 Oklahoma. Starting 2-0 in the Big East was a big help to UC, but we'll see what the Bearcats are really made of in their next five games, where they take on cross-town rival Xavier, then @ Villanova, home against South Florida, @ Syracuse and @ Notre Dame. If Cincinnati can make it out of that stretch 3-2, I'll start to take them seriously, but they better not overlook Xavier, who is desperately searching for a solid non-conference win to help their at-large chances (which aren't looking good at the moment).

Meanwhile, all Cleveland State does is win, win, win. After their hiccup @ West Virginia, the Vikings have won their last three games (USF, Loyola Chicago, Illinois-Chicago) by a combined 49 points and are now 4-0 in the Horizon, good for some votes in both the Coaches and AP Polls.  Butler is next up for CSU, and the Vikings better be ready because the Bulldogs are looking to make up for their embarrassing loss to Wisconsin Milwaukee on Monday. The Vikings may not have the signature bullet point win this year, but while Cincinnati's non-con SOS is 340th in the country, CSU's was 161 by comparison. The Vikings just need to take care of business in the Horizon to put themselves in contention for an at-large bid, but they MUST beat Butler at least once.

Here is the full Top 25 (from ESPN):

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Duke (65) 13-0 1,625
2 Ohio State 14-0 1,551
3 Kansas 13-0 1,491
4 Syracuse 15-0 1,437
5 Pittsburgh 13-1 1,358
6 San Diego State 15-0 1,198
7 Villanova 12-1 1,187
8 Connecticut 11-1 1,168
9 Missouri 13-1 1,116
10 Kentucky 11-2 1,052
11 Purdue 13-1 930
12 Texas 11-2 902
13 Georgetown 12-2 834
14 Notre Dame 12-2 688
15 Brigham Young 14-1 648
16 Texas A&M 12-1 569
17 Kansas State 11-3 523
18 Michigan State 9-4 504
19 UCF 13-0 490
20 Illinois 12-3 328
21 Memphis 11-2 313
22 Vanderbilt 11-2 238
23 Washington 10-3 173
24 Cincinnati 14-0 159
25 UNLV 12-2 136

 

 

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Duke (31) 13-0 775
2 Ohio State 14-0 742
3 Kansas 13-0 714
4 Syracuse 15-0 678
5 Pittsburgh 13-1 639
6 San Diego State 15-0 600
7 Villanova 12-1 577
8 Missouri 13-1 536
9 Connecticut 11-1 516
10 Purdue 13-1 489
11 Kentucky 11-2 477
12 Texas 11-2 424
13 Georgetown 12-2 417
14 Brigham Young 14-1 356
15 Notre Dame 12-2 316
16 Texas A&M 12-1 285
17 Kansas State 11-3 271
18 UCF 13-0 204
19 Michigan State 9-4 203
20 Illinois 12-3 142
21 Minnesota 11-3 128
22 Memphis 11-2 110
23 Louisville 11-2 73
24 Vanderbilt 11-2 71
25 Cincinnati 14-0 56

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.