What a crazy week in college basketball. There were fans rushing the court in Charleston when the C-of-C defeated the 9th ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina, and in Knoxville when Tennessee's beat the nation's top team, Kansas. There were nail-biters like Temple's overtime win on the road at Rhode Island, Villanova's two-point win over Marquette, Georgia Tech's four-point win over Duke and Georgetown's comeback win over the UConn Huskies. And there were blowouts: Texas Tech's 29-point loss to the Cowboys of Oklahoma State, Baylor's 31-point win over the Oklahoma Sooners and Washington's two 17-point losses on the road to Arizona State and Arizona. But this weekend had it all and the common factor were the Top 25 teams involved in last week's drama.
In the 8th week of the college basketball season, the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pretenders or teams that broke away due to their out-of-conference schedule start to fall back to earth. Rankings are generally unimportant until they help determine seedings come March. However, last week, 15 of the nation's Top 25 teams lost at least one game, confusing teams, coaches and fans. Who is the nation's best team? Is it 15-0 Texas or 16-0 Kentucky? Does Kansas earn any consideration after losing a close game to previously ranked Tennessee on the road? Where seeds are North Carolina and UConn worthy of? Both teams are still in the AP Top-15, despite losing four games apiece, the most out of any teams nationally ranked.
The Top-25 teams, as voted on by the Associated Press, are supposed to represent the nation's elite. Literally and figuratively, the nation's top-25 teams. Last week, the AP Top-25 seemed very pedestrian, posting a 28-17 record (or a winning percentage of .622), despite the fact that the average winning percentage of teams in the Top 25 is .866. When playing at home, ranked teams fared well- winning 23 of 25 games played. On the road however, these "top" teams posted a meager 5-15 record. Texas, Gonzaga, Temple, Pittsburgh and BYU were the only teams able to win a road match, none of which did so against fellow ranked teams.
This week the new AP Top-25 hope to redeem themselves, but may find a difficult task a head of them in Week 9- 27 of their 48 games are on the road. Six ranked teams will face-off (Mississippi @ Tennessee, Georgetown @ Villanova, Syracuse @ West Virginia, Pittsbrugh @ UConn, North Carolina @ Clemson and Georgia Tech @ North Carolina), with North Carolina seemingly having the toughest week in the nation as they travel to Clemson Wednesday evening and then host Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon.