Best Team in College Basketball Right Now - 11-27-13

        Which is the best team in the nation right now? I think most analysts would agree that right now that crown belongs to the Michigan State Spartans. At No. 2 in the rankings most people would choose the Kansas Jayhawks, not all but most. After the Spartans and the Jayhawks, this is where a monkey wrench is thrown into the equation. The next few spots in the rankings are all up for grabs and should change often throughout season.

1. Michigan State Spartans - Nobody should argue that the Spartans are not the No. 1 team in the nation right now. To prove it, the Spartans are 6-0 and are the favorite to win the Big Ten. Coach Tom Izzo has his team off to a fierce start. Michigan State should win their next game as they play Mount Stain Mary's. On Dec 4th, Coach Izzo and his team will be tested as they square off against the No. 16 ranked UNC Tar Heels. If the Spartans can come away with a victory at home against the Tar Heels, they should cruise to an undefeated ranking heading into the new year where they will face many tough opponents.

Key Players: Gary Harris , G (17.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.0 SPG), Adreian Payne, F/C (17.2,PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.5 APG), Keith Appling, G (16.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.3SPG), Branden Dawson, G/F (11.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.7 SPG)

2. Kansas Jayhawks -  Star Freshman Andrew Wiggins and their crop of talented freshman faced a tough task early on against The Duke Blue Devils. The Jayhawks ended up on top 94-83 but, the game was much closer than the final score indicated. The Jayhawks next big test comes on Dec. 10 against the Florida Gators in Florida. After that matchup, the Jayhawks have some tough games scheduled against some tough conference competition in the Big 12.

Key Players: Perry Ellis, F ( 16.8 RPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.3 APG), Andrew Wiggins, F (16.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 SPG), Wayne Selden Jr. (10.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.3 RPG), Joel Embiid, C (8.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 BPG)

3. Arizona Wildcats - The Arizona Wildcats also have a talented young freshman in Aaron Gordon. The Wildcats are 5-0 on the season winnings pretty handily in all of their games so far. The Wildcats could be set for a showdown against Duke this Friday in the NIT Tipoff. Arizona could prove their No.3 ranking with a  victory over the Blue Devils if both team should keep on winning.

Key Players: Nick Johnson, G (16.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.2 BPG), Aaron Gordon, F (13.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.8 BPG), Brandon Ashley, F (12.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, F, (10.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.4 APG)

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys - The Cowboys are undefeated this season with a 5-0 record. Oklahoma State and Marcus Smart pulverized the #11 Memphis Tigers on Nov. 19. 101-80. There was lots of talk that Marcus Smart returning to school was the wrong decision because of this year's strong freshman class, but in the early going he is proving everyone wrong. Smart is leading the Cowboys in scoring and has increased is shooting percentage from a season ago. The Cowboys should cruise to an easy first half of the season before Jan. 18 where they take on conference foes Kansas.

Key Players: Marcus Smart, G, ( 21.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.6 APG, 4.2 SPG), Markel Brown, G ( 18.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.2 APG), Phil Forte, G, (14.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG) Le'Bryan Nash, G/F ( 12.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.4 APG)

5. Ohio State Buckeyes - The Buckeyes are 5-0 with a win against a top 15 team when they beat Marquette in Wisconsin 52-35. Ohio State had a scare last game when they were losing to Wyoming but came back to win by 15 points. The Buckeyes have one of the most difficult conferences in college basketball but do not have any top ranked opponents until they face off against Michigan State in January.

Key Players: Lenzelle Smith Jr. G, (11.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG), Shannon Scott, G (11.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.6 APG, 2.0 SPG), Aaron Craft, G (10.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.8 SPG), Amir Williams, C (10.0 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.2 BPG)

The next 5 team in: 6. Kentucky Wildcats; 7. Duke Blue Devils; 8. Syracuse Orange; 9. Louisiville Cardinals; 10. Wisconsin Badgers

By Steven Spector -11-27-13