TCU closing in on Top 25



Villanova returned to No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll Monday, leapfrogging Kansas after a week out of the top spot.

The Wildcats (17 1), who fell to third last week after five weeks as No. 1, moved back on top following No. 1 Baylor’s loss in its only week ever as a top ranked team.

Villanova received 28 first place votes and 1,580 points from the 65 member national media panel while Kansas (16 1) remained No. 2 despite getting more first place votes than the Wildcats. The Jayhawks had 32 No. 1 votes and 1,562 points.

Villanova beat Xavier and St. John’s last week while Kansas swept Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

UCLA (18 1) moved up one place to third and received three first place votes. Gonzaga (17 0), the only unbeaten team in Division I, went from fifth to fourth and had the other two No. 1 votes.

Kentucky moved up one place to fifth and was followed by Baylor, West Virginia and Creighton, which were tied for seventh, North Carolina and Florida State.

South Carolina and Maryland are the week’s newcomers, replacing Minnesota and Kansas State and Southern California, which were tied for 25th.

Oregon is 11th followed by Louisville, Butler, Arizona, Notre Dame, Virginia, Wisconsin, Duke, Florida and Cincinnati.

The last five ranked teams are Purdue, Xavier, Saint Mary’s, South Carolina and Maryland.

South Carolina and Maryland were both ranked earlier in the season. The Gamecocks (14 3) were ranked for four weeks reaching as high as No. 16 and the Terrapins (16 2) were 25th in the preseason poll.

Minnesota and Kansas State were both ranked for the first time this season last week and both lost two games. The Golden Gophers lost to Michigan State and Penn State while the Wildcats fell to Texas Tech and Baylor.

Southern Cal, which was ranked for the last five weeks, lost to Utah and beat Colorado.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first place votes in Cheap Jerseys from China
parentheses, records through Jan. 15, total points based on 25 points for a first place vote through one point for a 25th place vote and last week’s ranking:

What Texas Tech must do to make the NCAA Tournament



Postseason play is starting to become an inevitable outcome after Texas Tech topped Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., before defeating TCU in United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders have three road wins in Big 12 play this season after only winning three games total in conference play last season.

As the Big 12 continues to maintain the highest RPI ranking of any conference, seven teams are projected to make the tournament from the conference, tied for the most along with the ACC and Big Ten.

A win against No. 11 West Virginia on Wednesday would give Texas Tech wins against five of the six teams ranked ahead of the Red Raiders in the Big 12 standings. The Red Raiders lost to No. 1 Kansas, 67 58, last week in Lawrence.

CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jerry Palm and USA Today Sports cheap college basketball jerseys bracketologist Shelby Mast both currently project the Red Raiders will make the tournament as a seven seed, taking on Connecticut in the Midwest region.

ESPN’s Joe Lundardi projects Texas Tech will make the tournament as an eight seed, facing South Carolina in the South region while Sports Illustrated’s Michael Beller predicts the Red Raiders will face Temple in the East region as the seventh seed. The common theme: Texas Tech is in the dance, save the date.

Tech needs a win against either West Virginia or Kansas State in its final week of regular season Cheap NCAA Jerseys
play. After losing to the Jayhawks, the Red Raiders must avoid closing their season on three straight losses. A trio of losses would prove detrimental to coach Tubby Smith’s team, particularly if the Red Raiders were to drop their next two followed by a first round exit in the Big 12 Tournament.

In order to continue making progress in the Big 12 where seven of its 10 teams are projected to make an NCAA Tournament appearance Tech must continue playing competitive basketball, in spite their limited roster, similar to Tech’s five game winning streak in the second half of Conference play.

With games remaining against West Virginia and Kansas State, Tech has two final opportunities to continue boosting its resume prior to the Big 12 Tournament and essentially Selection Sunday.

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SMU sees big fall in preseason rankings



CBS’s Matt Norlander took the trouble to rank all 351 Division I basketball programs before the college hoops season starts. It’s a long read but a good way to get yourself ready for the college basketball season that starts next month.

Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, defending champions Villanova and Xavier fill out the top five. The highest ranked local team is Texas at No. 17. Norlander noted that he ranked the Longhorns higher than most will in the preseason because of his high expectations for sophomores Kerwin Roach and Tevin Mack and freshman Jarrett Allen.

“This is a projection on how we think the sport shakes out, so cheap college football jerseys from china while Texas won’t be a top 20 team in November, by the time Shaka (Smart) molds these guys in February, we think UT will be contending for a No. 4/5 seed,” Norlander wrote.

Texas A was the next local school on the list, coming in at NCAA Jerseys China
No. 28, though Norlander wrote that he might be being generous with the Aggies given the loss of four starters. Hogg will probably average 14 points, but overall, the Aggies need to overcome losing four starters and still keep pace with a top 10 defense. A tough ask,” the CBS analyst wrote.

The next local school was No. 35 Oklahoma, who Norlander thinks will survive the loss of Buddy Hield with big years from Khadeem Lattin and Jordan Woodard. Baylor soon followed at No. 40. Norlander wrote that while Johnathan Motley is an All Big 12 caliber player, the offense will still miss Taurean Prince and Rico Gathers this season.

Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were Nos. 47 and 50, respectively, as they go through their coaching changes.

SMU is another local team going through a coaching change with Larry Brown stepping away and Tim Jankovich taking over. The change caused Norlander to admittedly “settle” with the Mustangs at No. 56 despite the team being among the AP Top 25 for much of last season.

“They lose Nic Moore, he was a big piece. They still got plenty there and Tim Jankovich is a good coach (but) I just don’t see SMU as a top 50 team right now,” Norlander said in a video accompanying the rankings.