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College Basketball Talk Top 25: It is time for you to be on board with Gonzaga

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Last Monday, we had to sift through the carnage of a week that saw, roughly, 73 top 25 teams lose.

This week is very different, as the upsets were limited and the big games were won by the teams we expected to win. Duke beat North Carolina at home. UCLA beat Oregon at home. Gonzaga won for the 26th consecutive game.

The result is a top 25 that looks an awful lot like the top 25 we saw last week.

What that means is that on Monday, the biggest talking point is going to be the Selection Committee’s early reveal of the top 16 teams, which didn’t include a single member of the Big Ten – notice where Wisconsin, home losers to Northwestern on Sunday night – and which saw Gonzaga rated as the fourth-best No. 1 seed hours before those same Zags all-but locked up an undefeated regular season with a win at Saint Mary’s.

And to a point, I get it.

Gonzaga is always hyped and never delivers. They play in a conference where the majority of the league is ranked in the triple-digits of every metric and the bottom of the league has multiple teams with crooked numbers in the front. Compare that to the Big East or the Big 12 or the ACC and of course they’re profile is going to look pedestrian. No, Gonzaga is not the only title contender that would run the table in the WCC. Yes, the Zags would have taken a loss or two by now if they played in a high major conference.

No one is saying otherwise.

But don’t act like Gonzaga isn’t No. 1 in KenPom’s rankings. Don’t ignore the fact that they’re the only team in the country with a top five offense and a top five defense. Don’t pretend that you can’t figure out that this is the best defensive team that Mark Few has ever had by a good amount. And don’t overlook the fact that they’ve beaten Arizona (first place in the Pac-12), Florida (first place in the SEC), Iowa State (won at Kansas), Tennessee (beat Kentucky) and swept No. 20 Saint Mary’s by an average margin of 16.5 points.

So you can ignore them when you fill out your bracket if you’d like.
But do not deny what they’ve done this season.

Because given their circumstance, I’m not sure how much more impressive their run this season could be.

Anyway, here’s the top 25:

1. Gonzaga (26-0, Last Week: No. 1)
2. Villanova (24-2, 2)
3. Kansas (22-3, 3)
4. Louisville (20-5, 4)
5. Baylor (22-3, 5)
6. Oregon (22-4, 6)
7. North Carolina (21-5, 7)
8. Arizona (23-3, 9)
9. UCLA (23-3, 10)
10. West Virginia (20-5, 11)
11. Kentucky (20-5, 12)
12. Duke (20-5, 17)
13. Purdue (20-5, 16)
14. Virginia (18-7, 13)
15. Florida (20-5, 20)
16. Wisconsin (21-5, 8)
17. Florida State (21-5, 14)
18. Cincinnati (22-3, 15)
19. SMU (22-4, 22)
20. Notre Dame (19-7, 23)
21. Saint Mary’s (22-3, 18)
22. South Carolina (20-5, 19)
23. Northwestern (19-6, NR)
24. Xavier (18-7, t25)
25. Creighton (21-4, t25)

DROPPED OUT: No. 21 Maryland, No. 24 Iowa State
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 25 Northwestern

VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.