BOZICH | My weekly AP college basketball Top 25 ballot - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | My weekly AP college basketball Top 25 ballot

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Conference play is here. Ask Villanova. Or Baylor. Or Ohio State. Or St. John's.

Especially St. John's.

We're down to three unbeatens – the three teams at the top of my Associated Press college basketball Top 25 ballot. And the third team, Virginia, was one possession from giving its game to Miami Saturday afternoon.

The Cavaliers are collectively terrific, but don't ask me to pick a Virginia player who would start for Kentucky or Duke. Can't do it.

After too many weeks of Savannah States and Grand Canyons, the fun is here. Kentucky and Duke look like locks for number one seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The other two spots figure to be a dogfight for the next two months, although I like Wisconsin's chances of separating from the rest of the Big Ten.

After that? Game on. I had to drop three teams this week, and I expect that's the way it's going to remain for the rest of the season. I even found a new second-best team from the Southeastern Conference. Read on.

1. Kentucky (13-0) – Ken Pomeroy puts UK's chances of going unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference at 28.1 percent. I'm thinking 78.1 percent sounds more reasonable.

2. Duke (13-0) – Jahlil Okafor is better than Jabari Parker – and it isn't close.

3. Virginia (13-0) – The Cavaliers struggled to win at Miami Saturday – and could struggle again at Notre Dame this Saturday.

4. Wisconsin (14-1) – Can the Badgers go unbeaten in the Big Ten? Discuss.

5. Louisville (13-1) – The Cards play North Carolina (away) and Duke (home) the next two Saturdays. Welcome to the ACC.

6. Arizona (13-1) – The Wildcats bounced back from a mediocre effort at UNLV to punish Arizona State Sunday.

7. Gonzaga (14-1) – The Zags have already won three conference games – all on the road. Nice. Very nice.

8. Texas (12-2) – The Longhorns got their injured point guard, Isaiah Taylor, back and won by nine at Texas Tech.

9. Maryland (14-1) – Nobody is talking about the second-best team in the Big Ten. Why? The Terps won at Michigan State.

10. Villanova (13-1) – The Wildcats will have to bounce back from losing at Seton Hall by winning at St. John's.

11. West Virginia (13-1) – The Mountaineers are one possession from being unbeaten. One.

12. Utah (12-2) – The Utes pounded UCLA (71-39) almost as thoroughly as Kentucky pounded the Bruins.

13. Notre Dame (14-1) – Show Me Week for the Irish – at North Carolina Monday night, Virginia in South Bend Saturday.

14. Wichita State (12-2) – The Shockers survived a 19-day gap between home games.

15. Kansas (11-2) – The Jayhawks begin conference play at Baylor Wednesday – and Ken Pomeroy projects the Bears will win by four.

16. North Carolina (11-3) – If the Tar Heels expect to finish at the top of the ACC, they need to win home games against Notre Dame (Monday) and Louisville (Saturday).

17. Oklahoma (10-3) – Too high for a three-loss team? Not really. Ken Pomeroy has the Sooners ranked 10th.

18. VCU (11-3) – The improving Rams are working on a six-game winning streak. And remember two of their losses were to Virginia and Villanova.

19. Seton Hall (12-2) – Welcome, Kevin Willard. Your Pirates earned their way with Top 25 wins over St. John's and Villanova.

20. South Carolina (9-3) – In case you missed it, the Gamecocks have wins over Oklahoma State, Clemson and Iowa State. And their losses are by 4, 2 and 5.

21. Iowa State (10-2) – If you lose to South Carolina on a neutral court, you fall behind the Gamecocks on my ballot.

22. Iowa (10-4) – The Hawkeyes' win at Ohio State was the most impressive victory during the first week of Big Ten play.

23. Baylor (11-2) – As I mentioned, Pomeroy's numbers project a Baylor win over Kansas. Let's see if the Bears can deliver.

24. Ohio State (12-3) – The Buckeyes finally junked the zone defense – and beat Illinois.

25. St. John's (11-3) – Losing at Seton Hall? It happens. Losing at home to Butler? The Red Storm have lost their margin of error with me.

Newcomers: Seton Hall, South Carolina, Iowa.

Dropped out: Georgetown, Northern Iowa, Colorado State.

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