College Basketball Rankings: Top 25 Through Non-Conference Play

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Some have been asking why I haven’t posted a Top 25 ranking since the preseason. There are several reasons for this.

First of all, unlike other outlets that produce rankings each week, I like to take time to watch, analyze and break each team down. Ranking teams is so much more than box scores and wins and losses. It’s about the eye test — how each team has looked in their games — as well as who each team has played, injuries, suspensions, home court advantage and much more. In essence, it’s easy to put out a preseason ranking and then change it every week based on the outcomes of each game. It’s much more meaningful to wait and see how teams fare after a number of games, not just one or two each week.

Now, after a full month of games played, it is the appropriate time to put out a definitive Top 25 ranking through Dec. 19. To recap, the Hoops Habit preseason Top 25 is listed below:

Dec 3, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) reacts after scoring against the Michigan Wolverines at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 3, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) reacts after scoring against the Michigan Wolverines at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

1. Michigan State

2. Duke

3. Kentucky

4. Louisville

5. North Carolina

6. Oklahoma State

7. Florida

8. Michigan

9. Ohio State

10. Kansas

11. Syracuse

12. Arizona

13. Wichita State

14. Virginia

15. Memphis


17. Gonzaga

18. Indiana

19. VCU

20. Creighton

21. Baylor

22. Notre Dame

23. UCLA

24. Colorado

25. New Mexico

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  • crazedhermitwizard

    After all the talk you do about how superior you are to other writers for putting SO much more thought into these rankings than anyone else, I find it odd that you then just slap the rankings out there with no analysis or commentary at all. Are we mere mortals unworthy to see the gargantuan thought process that goes on for some of your frankly curious rankings? At least other writers try to justify their rankings with novel things like stats and analysis instead of justifying them by saying, “Well but I thought about it more.” Lazy writing.

    • Nathan Giese

      I understand where you can think this is lazy, but in my opinion a lot of the polls out there, just for an example, would have Ohio State in the top three which is very high for a team that hasn’t played a quality opponent. They are one of those teams that because of their high ranking in the beginning of the season and those ahead of them continuing to lose keep climbing. It’s a different perspective is all.

      • Dwayne Pendergrass

        Laying out a poll is never easy under any circumstances. I find your poll, Nathan, to be close to a very good projection of the state of college BB. At this point in the season, the top 5 teams listed in your poll could very easily be considered for the number one ranking. I do see Arizona playing and getting better and stronger as the season progresses and Wisconsin, Syracuse, Ohio State, Oregon, ‘Nova, and UMass finding their own identities on the court. I see nothing but the makings for a very exciting season, and the level of competition reaching higher than it has been in a while. The only ranking that counts will be the one at the end of march madness. Let’s all sit back and enjoy the season, ’cause it is gonna get better!

        • Nathan Giese

          Thank you, Dwayne. I appreciate the kind words and I agree with everything you have said as well. This season is so full of good teams but with no great teams everything is up in the air. It makes everything so much more fun.

  • Sandi K

    and obviously you do NOT know what you are talking about….Didn’t see WISCONSIN on this list…12-0 and doesn’t make your TOP 25. Shows that you are just silly

    • Paul Jordan

      ummm Wisconsin was ranked at #3. Wondering who feels silly now

      • Sandi K

        Not on this list. Kentucky is there. Maybe your list is kinda silly

        • Paul Jordan

          Or you could just try READING COMPREHENSION and realize that what you were looking at was a PRESEASON poll …. you have to click on the arrows to see the new poll?

  • Paul Jordan

    IF North Carolina made Louisville “look silly” and Louisville hasn’t played anyone, shouldn’t they be lower than 7?

    • Nathan Giese

      Louisville was on the cusp of dropping further, but they stayed at 7 because, much like Michigan State, they didn’t let that bad game get to them and drop to a lesser team. I see where you could be wondering this but they were between the 7 and 10 range.