College Basketball Power Rankings for Dec. 26th, 2012

Anybody who checked out our last power rankings will notice that not much has changed in the top two spots. Both Duke and Michigan continue to win, which means they hold down first and second once again. However, there has been plenty of change throughout the rest of our top 10, and you can see this below.

1. Duke Blue Devils (11-0) – Following nearly two weeks away from the court, Duke returned with easy victories over cupcakes Elon and Cornell. Of course, the Blue Devils can rest on their laurels until the ACC schedule begins since they’ve already captured victories over Louisville, Ohio State and Kentucky.

2. Michigan Wolverines (12-0) – Michigan continues to sit behind Duke, but will hope to leapfrog them once conference play begins. Sophomore Trey Burke seems to get better as the season rolls along; he’s currently averaging 17.4 PPG and 7.1 APG. Freshman Nik Stauskas is also chipping in 13.4 PPG and shooting 55.7% from 3-point land.

3. Arizona Wildcats (12-0) – The Wildcats make one of the biggest jumps from last week (previously number six) after wins over East Tennessee State, Miami and 17th-ranked San Diego State. The latter was a thrilling one-point victory that required a Nick Johnson block to seal the victory. Interestingly enough, the 6’3″ guard is only averaging 0.2 BPG; but Johnson is also averaging 12.8 PPG and shooting 53.3% from the field.

4. Louisville (11-1) – The Cardinals move up three spots along with Arizona following a sixth straight victory. They’ll get a chance to steal more poll votes with a win over upcoming opponent Kentucky. The Wildcats aren’t as strong as usual with a 9-3 record, which includes losses to Notre Dame and Baylor.

5. Indiana Hoosiers (11-1) – After opening the year atop the AP polls, Indiana has been trying to get back there following an earlier OT loss to Butler. They get one more cupcake game against Jacksonville before Big 10 play opens. Cody Zeller continues to lead the Hoosiers with 16.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 62.6% shooting.

6. Kansas Jayhawks (10-1) – The Jayhawks leap into our top 10 following a solid victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. They haven’t lost since the second game of the year – when they dropped a 67-64 contest against Michigan State. An upcoming home game against Temple should prove to be tough for Kansas.

7. Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0) – After dealing their crosstown rivals, Xavier, a 60-45 loss, the Bearcats also defeated Wright State. We’ll really get to see Cincinnati tested when they face 24th-ranked Pittsburgh on the road soon.

8. Syracuse Orange (10-1) – Syracuse drops from three to seven in our rankings following a close loss to Temple. Seeing as how the only real good team that Syracuse has beaten at this point is San Diego State, we aren’t really sure where they sit right now. Once the Big East schedule opens, they should get a better chance to prove themselves.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini (12-1) – We’ve been pretty high on Illinois this year, but they drop four spots after a 9-point loss to Missouri. But we can’t completely knock the Fighting Illini out of the top 10 since they do own a victory over Gonzaga. Brandon Paul (19.2 PPG) continues to have an excellent senior year.

10. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2) – It was between Missouri and Ohio State as to who would grab our tenth spot. And while the Buckeyes have two losses to Missouri’s one, they did come against Duke and Kansas. The Jayhawks loss hurts worse because it was at home by eight points. Deshaun Thomas is looking like a definite NBA product at this point with 20.0 PPG and 6.8 RPG.

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