Hope’s 25 in 25: College basketball Top 25 rankings (Dec. 2)

We finally have basketball being played, and teams are already beginning to separate themselves from the pack. This week’s 25 in 25 includes analysis from all games played through Dec. 1, 2020.

As the season continues, we are bound to have more high-profile matchups that will go a long way in determining who truly belongs, and who is just a blip on the radar.

Let’s take a look at my Top 25 after one week of play.

MAILBAG: Iowa’s outlook, NC State’s upside
The legend of LMU’s Keli Leaupepe

SUBSCRIBE to  today!

25) San Diego State Aztecs (2-0)

I am not making the same mistake I made last season — Matt Mitchell and the San Diego State Aztecs are *checks notes* still friggin’ good.

24) UConn Huskies (2-0)

UConn was here last week, and there hasn’t been a reason to drop them. It has two big games this week before Big East play.

23) Saint Louis Billikens (2-0)

If you haven’t been able to watch the Javonte Perkins show, you better fix that issue immediately. Behind his scoring, Saint Louis has been incredible.

22) Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1)

The Red Raiders’ loss on Sunday told me more about Houston’s defense than Texas Tech, but there are still issues that need to be addressed.

21) Florida State Seminoles (0-0)

Wednesday is finally Scottie Barnes Day. There’s little to say about this team because they have played exactly zero minutes of meaningful basketball this season.

20) Richmond Spiders (2-0)

By beating Kentucky, the Richmond Spiders showed us exactly what everyone thought they were: an experienced team with Top 20 upside early in the season.

19) Oregon Ducks (0-0)

Oregon may still be the team to beat in the Pac-12, and should give a good sense of its capabilities in Wednesday’s game against Missouri.

18) Stanford Cardinal (1-1)

I could not, in good conscience, count the UNC loss against Stanford. It was the better team until a ridiculous technical foul flipped the momentum.

17) North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0)

It would still be unfair of me pretending like UNC lost that game, after it successfully took advantage of an opening. Call it a mulligan.

16) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0)

While the competition hasn’t been great, Rutgers has played well without Geo Baker. Once he comes back from injury, they will be tough to beat.

15) Virginia Cavaliers (2-1)

The San Francisco loss isn’t THAT bad, but the fact remains that the Cavs lost to a team beaten by Rhode Island and UMass Lowell.

14) Texas Longhorns (3-0)

Through two rounds, Texas has looked like the best team in the Maui Jim Invitational in Asheville. Shaka Smart should never shave his head again.

13) Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0)

Luka Garza has looked incredible, and the Hawkeyes offense is as solid as ever. But their rough stretches on defense has still left me unsold.

12) Wisconsin Badgers (3-0)

Wisconsin is a team that has looked very good. But against lower competition, it is difficult to say just how good they are right now.

11) Duke Blue Devils (1-1)

This young Blue Devils team is almost good enough to be considered a National Championship contender. Expect them to get there as the season progresses.

10) Creighton Bluejays (2-0)

Things have not started particularly well for Marcus Zegarowski’s National Player of the Year campaign, but they have certainly been good for the Creighton Bluejays.

9) Villanova Wildcats (3-1)

A 3-1 record with a win over Arizona State is still impressive enough to believe that Villanova is the best team in the Big East.

8) Houston Cougars (3-0)

Kelvin Sampson’s squad looks really good, and it all starts with its incredible work on the defensive end. Do not doubt the Cougars this season.

7) West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0)

I really like this West Virginia team, and its Crossover Classic championship performance definitely makes the Big 12 look more like a three-team race.

6) Tennessee Volunteers (0-0)

I had Tennessee at No. 6 last week, and I absolutely refuse to punish them for not playing right now. That is all. Send Tweet.

5) Kansas Jayhawks (2-1)

Sure, Kansas has a loss already. But that loss came against the very best team in the country in the first game of the season.

4) Michigan State Spartans (3-0)

While there is still some reason to be wary of the Spartans, their win over Duke is probably the second-best victory of the season.

3) Illinois Fighting Illini (3-0)

If there was any doubt about Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn being one of the best duos in college basketball, it should be gone now.

2) Baylor Bears (2-0)

No proven bigs? No problem. Baylor’s backcourt has been nothing short of incredible so far, and are the reason Baylor is a Final Four favorite.

1) Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-0)

Whoever doesn’t have Gonzaga at the top probably needs to explain themselves. The Zags are the best team in the country by a clear margin.

Connor Hope is a college basketball writer for HeatCheckCBB. He is also co-host of Hope & Rauf presented by HeatCheckCBB, a college basketball podcast. His content has been featured by Bleacher Report and FanSided, among other publications. Hope is a current Rockin’ 25 voter.



Categories: Words

Tags: ,