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Updated Top 25 (and one)

I want to chat with you guys for a moment about something -- specifically the difference between "dropping" and being "pushed down" in the rankings. Because there is a difference. It comes up multiple times a week, and I get asked about it multiple times a week. So what I'm hoping this morning is that a short explanation will help folks differentiate between the two to the point where we never have to discuss this again.

(Note: I realize there's no scenario under which we'll never have to discuss this again.)

Here's the deal: Not every school that moves down in rankings actually drops in the sense that most think of that word. Some do, obviously. But not all. Take North Carolina, for instance. The Tar Heels lost at UAB on Sunday, and they dropped out of the Top 25 (and one). Everybody understands how that works. So I won't spend any more time on that. What confuses some people, though, is when a school records a significant victory, makes a major move up the rankings, and pushes down other schools. That always leads to questions.

"How did my favorite school drop without even playing a game?"

I get that question all of the time.

It drives me nuts.

So I'm going to use Connecticut to try to make it make sense to everybody. UConn, you see, beat Florida last night. Before that game, I had UConn ranked 18th and Florida ninth. What I decided to do in response to that development is move UConn up to 12th and drop Florida to 13th -- one spot below the Huskies -- and I don't think anybody will have a problem with either of those decisions. But what some people will get hungup on is that the teams ranked 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th yesterday are one spot lower today, and what those people will want to know is why Duke, Oregon, Iowa State, Virginia and UCLA dropped in the Top 25 (and one) despite doing nothing to suggest they should've dropped.

My answer?

They didn't drop.

They were pushed down.

(Note: Apologies to everybody who already understands this very basic concept. I realize I'm wasting your time. But, trust me, not everybody understands this very basic concept.)

See, when UConn jumps from 18th to 12th while Florida stays in the top 18, that forces everybody from 13 to 17 in yesterday's rankings to move down one spot. There's no way to avoid that once I decide to jump UConn ahead of Florida but keep Florida ahead of others that were ahead of UConn the previous day, meaning Oregon, for instance, didn't drop as much as Oregon was pushed down by Connecticut's impressive victory over Florida.

So ... everybody got that?

(Please tell me everybody understands that.)

Anyway ...

The Top 25 (and one) updates every morning and also on Sunday nights.

Here's the latest version:

(Click this link to view each team's previous ranking, recent results, future schedule, etc.)

  1. Michigan State (7-0)
  2. Arizona (7-0)
  3. Kentucky (7-1)
  4. Ohio State (6-0)
  5. Syracuse (7-0)
  6. Wisconsin (8-0)
  7. Villanova (7-0)
  8. Kansas (6-1)
  9. Memphis (5-1)
  10. Oklahoma State (7-1)
  11. Louisville (6-1)
  12. Connecticut (8-0)
  13. Florida (6-2)
  14. Duke (6-2)
  15. Oregon (7-0)
  16. Iowa State (6-0)
  17. Virginia (7-1)
  18. UCLA (7-0)
  19. Wichita State (8-0)
  20. Baylor (7-1)
  21. Dayton (6-1)
  22. Michigan (5-2)
  23. Florida State (5-2)
  24. UMass (6-0)
  25. Gonzaga (7-1)
  26. Indiana (6-1)

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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