Remember how much we talked about the rule changes that were put into effect prior to last season? The emphasis on changing the charge call and focusing on allowing freedom of movement in the college game?
It was nonstop.
But what you may not have realized is that those rules were changed back this season, that we’ve gone back to Everything Is A Charge and allowing cutters and drivers to get bumped and shoved on their way through the lane.
And while this may help the flow of games — no one wants to see a whistlefest-turned-free throw contest with everyone in foul trouble — it certainly won’t make the game all that aesthetically pleasing.
It’s also worth noting that five of the top ten teams in our Top 25 are structured around their defense and have had some issues offensively this year: Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, Louisville and Virginia. Will this be a benefit for those teams this season?
Anyway, here is the top 25:
1. Kentucky (7-0, LW: No. 1): Kentucky put on yet another defensive clinic on Sunday afternoon, allowing just 38 points in a 20-point win over Providence. They’ve only given up more than 52 points in a game once this year. Their two high-major opponents scored a total of 78 points.
2. Wisconsin (7-0, LW: No. 3): The Badgers looked impressive as they ran through Georgetown and Oklahoma, two top 20-caliber teams, en route to the Battle 4 Atlantis title. Sam Dekker’s ankle isn’t right, but Nigel Hayes has more than stepped up as he gets healthy.
3. Duke (7-0, LW: No. 4): So on Wednesday, Duke plays at Wisconsin. No. 2 vs. No. 3. Frank Kaminsky vs. Jahlil Okafor. Duke’s loaded back court vs. Wisconsin’s size up front. This may be the best game we get all season long.
4. Arizona (6-0, LW: No. 2): Arizona took home the title in the Maui Invitational, beating San Diego State in a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 battle in the final. They still haven’t quite hit their stride offensively, and I’m not sure they will ever get that much better.
5. Gonzaga (6-0, LW: No. 5): I’ll elaborate on this thought later today, but as good as Kevin Pangos has been this season — and he’s been sensational — the reason that Gonzaga has a real chance to be a Final Four team is the versatility of their front court. (UPDATE: Here’s the link.)
6. Texas (6-0, LW: No. 8): Jonathan Holmes did this as Texas knocked off UConn in Gampel Pavilion on Sunday. He’s played like an all-american this year.
7. Louisville (5-0, LW: No. 9): Louisville’s given up just 59 points in their last two games, but they can struggle offensively — they managed 45 points against Cleveland State. They’ll get Ohio State this week in their first real matchup of the non-conference.
8. Villanova (6-0, LW: No. 10): Villanova made a statement with their 24-point win over VCU, following that up with a memorable battle with Michigan in the finals of the Legends Classic. JayVaughn Pinkston has grown into being a star for this team.
9. Virginia (7-0, LW: No. 6): I’ll have more on this coming later in the day, but after seeing them live against Rutgers, I think Virginia was a bit overrated at No. 6 in the country. They haven’t lost yet this season, but that could happen at VCU on Saturday.
10. North Carolina (5-1, LW: No. 7): The Tar Heels lost to a better-than-we-thought, always-gritty Butler team last week. They got blown up on the offensive glass and couldn’t hit a shot. I’ll chalk that up to matchups and a bad day than I will UNC’s ability.
11. Wichita State (4-0, LW: No. 11)
12. Kansas (5-1, LW: No. 12)
13. San Diego State (5-1, LW: No. 14)
14. Iowa State (
15. Oklahoma (4-2, LW: No. 16)
16. Michigan (5-1, LW: No. 17)
17. Michigan State (5-1, LW: No. 18)
18. Ohio State (5-0, LW: No. 21)
19. Miami (7-0, LW: No. 14)
20. West Virginia (7-0, LW: No. 25)
21. Georgetown (4-2, LW: UR)
22. Maryland (7-0, LW: UR)
23. Providence (6-1, LW: No. 23
24. Butler (5-1, LW: UR)
25. VCU (4-2, LW: No. 12)
Dropped out: No. 19 Florida, No. 20 UCLA, No. 24 Stanford