College basketball rankings: Syracuse can make statement with good showing vs. KU

Syracuse is off to a 6-0 start and in possession of a win over Maryland. But is Jim Boeheim's program really better than the 10th-best team in the ACC, which is where the Orange were projected to finish in the preseason?

Yes, I think so.

And Syracuse has a big opportunity to prove it Saturday when the Orange play Kansas in the Hoophall Miami Invitational at American Airlines Arena. KU is a 10.5-point favorite. So Syracuse is a heavy underdog against the team ranked second in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one). But a good showing, win or lose, could help Syracuse convince fans a trip to the NCAA Tournament is very much possible.

The complete Top 25 (and one) is below.

Biggest Movers
1 Duke The Blue Devils own three wins over teams (Florida, Gonzaga, Texas) also in the Top 25 (and one). Marvin Bagley is averaging 22.0 points and 11.2 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game. --9-1
2 Kansas Bill Self has already recorded two victories over fellow Hall of Famers (John Calipari, Jim Boeheim) this season. Devonte' Graham is averaging 18.6 points and 8.0 assists in 33.6 minutes per game. --8-0
3 Michigan St. The Spartans have top-15 KenPom wins over North Carolina and Notre Dame. Their lone loss is a single-digit loss to Duke. --8-2
4 Notre Dame The Irish only grabbed five offensive rebounds in Thursday's loss at Michigan State. That resulted in their lone loss of this season. --6-3
5 Wichita St. The Shockers' lone loss is a single-point loss to Notre Dame. Shaquille Morris is averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game. --5-4
6 Kentucky The Wildcats' lone loss is a single-digit loss to Kansas. Kevin Knox is averaging 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 35.3 minutes per game. --7-2
7 Villanova Six of Villanova's eight wins are double-digit victories. Mikal Bridges is averaging 17.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in 29.9 minutes per game. --8-3
8 Texas A&M Robert Williams grabbed 14 rebounds in 25 minutes during Thursday's win over UT Rio Grande Valley. He's averaging 8.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game. --3-4
9 Florida The Gators squandered a 17-point lead in Sunday's loss to Duke. Florida only scored 10 points in the final nine minutes. --5-4
10 Miami (Fla.) The Hurricanes' perfect record features a win over Minnesota. Bruce Brown is averaging 11.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game. --5-4
11 N. Carolina The Tar Heels' lone loss came to Michigan State on a neutral court. Luke Maye is averaging 20.6 points and 10.4 rebounds in 31.9 minutes per game. --7-2
12 USC The Trojans shot just 28.2 percent from the field in Sunday's loss to Texas A&M. The loss snapped USC's 21-game non-league winning streak at home. --5-4
13 Cincinnati Gary Clark is averaging a team-high 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds. The Bearcats have won 30 consecutive home games. --9-1
14 Gonzaga The Zags' only loss is a 2OT loss to Florida. Mark Few's team owns victories over Texas, Creighton and Ohio State. --9-1
15 Minnesota The Golden Gophers shot 31.3 percent from 3-point range in Wednesday's loss to Miami. Jordan Murphy is averaging a team-high 21.4 points and 12.5 rebounds in 31.4 minutes per game. --9-2
16 Alabama Collin Sexton finished with 22 points in Wednesday's win over Louisiana Tech. The five-star freshman is averaging 24.7 points, 4.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per game. --6-3
17 Virginia The Cavaliers have the nation's best defensive-efficiency rating. They've held four of their eight opponents to fewer than 50 points. --9-0
18 Arizona St. The Sun Devils' perfect record features wins over Xavier, Kansas State and San Diego State. Tra Holder is averaging 22.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 35.4 minutes per game. --7-1
19 Xavier The Musketeers' lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Arizona State. Their resume features three top-50 KenPom wins, most notably victories over Baylor and Cincinnati. --6-4
20 Baylor Manu Lecomte has missed nine more shots than he's made in Baylor's past two games. The Bears' lone loss came at Xavier. --5-3
21 Creighton The Bluejays' two losses are to Gonzaga and Baylor. They led both of those games at the half. --6-3
22 TCU The Horned Frogs have won 13 straight games dating back to last season. Kenrich Williams is averaging 12.4 points and 10.1 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game. --7-1
23 W. Virginia The Mountaineers have won seven straight since losing to Texas A&M. Jevon Carter is averaging a team-high 19.0 points, 5.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds. --6-3
24 Nevada The Wolf Pack's perfect record features wins over Rhode Island and Davidson. Caleb Martin is averaging 19.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per game. --10-0
25 Texas The Longhorns' two losses are OT losses to Duke and Gonzaga. Mohamed Bamba is averaging 10.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in 27.2 minutes per game. --6-3
26 Arkansas The Razorbacks' lone loss came to North Carolina on a neutral court. Jaylen Barford is averaging a team-high 20.8 points in 30.0 minutes per game. --6-2
CBS Sports Insider

Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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