There will be a new number one in college basketball this week -- again.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – I started this college basketball season with Kentucky ranked first on my Associated Press college basketball Top 25 poll ballot. Then the Wildcats lost to Michigan State.
So I shifted to Kansas. Andrew Wiggins. Joel Embiid. Bill Self. All that Rock Chalk, cover of Sports Illustrated stuff. Then the Wildcats lost to Villanova in The Bahamas (and backed it up by losing to Colorado).
Time for a change. Michigan State got the call. Seemed like a solid, blue-collar pick that would be good for at least a couple of weeks. Right? Wrong. Sparty lost at home to North Carolina, losers to Richmond and UAB, in the Big Ten/ACC challenge. Ouch.
I narrowed the choice to four teams (in alphabetical order) – Arizona, Ohio State, Syracuse and Wisconsin.
I'd be shocked if Arizona is not the consensus pick of the 65 AP voters. The Wildcats earned two first-place votes last week. They were ranked second in the poll. They're good.
But they didn't look overpowering beating a mediocre UNLV team in Tucson Saturday. They're a bad free throw shooting team. Their guards don't dazzle me.
Ohio State? Very nice club. Looking better because LaQuinton Ross is playing better. All eight of their wins are by double figures. But other than Marquette, the Buckeyes haven't played anybody.
Syracuse? Backed up a strong winning performance in Maui by overwhelming Indiana in the second half at the Carrier Dome Tuesday night. They're sixth in the country in offensive efficiency and Jim Boeheim has developed a nice three-point shooter in Trevor Cooney.
But the Orange, surprise, surprise, have yet to play a road game.
Then there is Wisconsin. Ten games. Ten wins – seven against teams ranked in Ken Pomeroy's Top 80, four in Pomeroy's top 50 and two on the road. Nicely done.
And the winner is?
Syracuse, by a nose.
Time to call the roll – and wait for the rebuttals.