College Basketball Insider

Updated Top 25 (and one)

When you update rankings everyday you get a lot of questions about rankings everyday, and, lately, a lot of the questions have been about Pittsburgh. Specifically, some folks want to know what Pittsburgh must do to crack the Top 25 (and one).

My answer is simple: Beat a quality opponent.

And, yes, I realize not everybody in the Top 25 (and one) owns a win over a quality opponent; Louisville and Kentucky come to mind. But the difference between Louisville and Kentucky and Pittsburgh is that Louisville and Kentucky were ranked in the preseason, meaning those schools didn't have to win their way into the rankings. They started ranked and will stay ranked unless they lose their way out of the rankings. Meantime, Pitt started unranked, and what you'll learn about me someday (if you haven't already) is that I rarely bring new schools into the Top 25 (and one) without them first beating a notable opponent. For instance, Iowa State got in after a win over Michigan, UMass got in after a win over New Mexico, Missouri got in after a win over UCLA, and so and so forth. Basically, the current Top 25 (and one) is comprised entirely of schools that were ranked in the preseason or have recorded impressive wins during this season. Or both. And that's why Pitt remains unranked here, because Jamie Dixon didn't schedule aggressively enough to give his team early opportunities to record notable victories like the ones Iowa State, UMass, Missouri and several other schools that were unranked in the preseason already own.

I realize not everybody will agree with this explanation.

I realize a reasonable mind could reasonably do things differently.

That's why I've never used the Poll Attacks to mock someone for ranking a team that's undefeated (regardless of the schedule), and it's why on Monday I won't use the Poll Attacks to question anyone for ranking Pitt. Seriously, somebody could rank the Panthers No. 1, and I wouldn't blink, because they are 9-0 and rated fourth at KenPom.com. The data suggests Pitt is good. So everybody can rank Pitt however they see fit. I'm cool with it. But me? I've never made a habit of ranking teams that started the season unranked without them first beating a quality opponent, and I don't think I'm going to start now. Consequently, Pitt, for better or worse, will remain unranked here -- at least until after its game with Cincinnati.

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

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.
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