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Blogger Power Poll: Syracuse falls to fifth after Louisville loss

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Purdue over Syracuse? Ohio State over Michigan State? Texas still in the poll?

Yes, our nine bloggers had some tough choices to make in the third edition of our weekly power poll, especially after a rash of upsets in the Big East this weekend shook up the rankings a little bit.

Kansas maintained its hold on the top spot for the third straight week, followed by Kentucky, Villanova and Purdue. Syracuse dropped to fifth after an uninspired victory over Connecticut and a bad home loss to Louisville.

Georgetown and West Virginia also were victims of the Big East upset bug, but neither dropped out of the top 12. The fastest riser in this week's poll was Ohio State, which shot up to No. 8 from No. 12 thanks to a convincing win at Illinois on Sunday afternoon.

Entering the poll this week were New Mexico and Temple at No. 14 and 15 respectively after each scored emphatic wins over conference rivals. Tennessee dropped out after a two-loss week to Vanderbilt and Kentucky, as did BYU despite winning its only game of the week by 43 at Air Force.

1. Kansas (144)

Comment: Marcus Morris' transformation from big body to legit force down low makes Kansas that much scarier. (Last Week: 1)

2. Kentucky (135)

Comment: Expect opponents to throw plenty of zone at the Wildcats the rest of the way, but it won't matter unless they also slow down Kentucky's fast break. (LW: 3)

3. Villanova (125)

Comment: Heck of a week for Scottie Reynolds, who made his case for Big East player of the year by leading the Wildcats past West Virginia and Providence. (LW: 4)

4. Purdue (114)

Comment: Victories at Michigan State and Iowa give the Boilers seven wins in a row since a three-game Big Ten losing streak in January. (LW: 6)

5. Syracuse (112)

Comment: Narrowly escaped UConn's upset bid on Wednesday, then came crashing down to earth with a comatose loss to Louisville. (LW: 2)

6. Duke (96)

Comment: The Devils are clearly the class of the ACC after shredding Maryland on Saturday, though that title doesn't mean as much as it typically does. (LW: 10)

7. Kansas State (83)

Comment: Clobbered Colorado by 17 points to remain in a second-place tie behind Kansas in the Big 12 standings. (LW: 9)

8. Ohio State (73)

Comment: Wasn't Illinois supposed to be a Big Ten title contender? The Illini didn't look like one on Sunday as Ohio State rolled to a big win in Champaign. (LW: 12)

9. West Virginia (66)

Comment: Losses don't get much harder to swallow than the one West Virginia suffered Friday night at Pittsburgh in three overtimes. (LW: 5)

10. Michigan State (64)

Comment: Road win at Penn State would typically be no big deal, but the Spartans needed that one to snap a three-game slide. (LW:8)

11. Georgetown (51)

Comment: How does a team that beat Duke and Villanova this month also lose to Rutgers on Sunday? The Hoyas have talent aplenty but need better focus. (LW: 7)

12. Wisconsin (41)

Comment: The home loss to Illinois cost the Badgers a share of the Big Ten lead, but they bounced back to rout Indiana and remain just a game back. (LW: 11)

13. Gonzaga (33)

Comment: The Zags shredded Saint Mary's on Thursday, doing major damage to the WCC's hopes of getting a second team in the NCAA tournament. (LW: 15)

14. New Mexico (28)

Comment: An impressive road win at UNLV avenged a previous loss to the Rebels and established New Mexico as perhaps the team to beat in the Mountain West. (LW: NR)

T15. Temple (13)

Comment: The Owls had to wait a whole week to play after a loss to Richmond, so they took out their frustration on Rhode Island to gain a season sweep. (LW: NR)

T15. Texas (13)

Comment: It was only Nebraska, but nonetheless, there were some encouraging signs from the talented but struggling Longhorns in Satuday's blowout win. (LW: 14)

Others receiving votes: Butler (10), BYU (10), Wake Forest (6), Vanderbilt (4), Pittsburgh (2)

Voters:

Jeff Eisenberg and Matt Norlander, The Dagger

Zach Hayes, Rush The Court

Scott Procious, NBE Basketball Report

Gary Moore, The College Hardwood

Chris Kulenych & Craig Gately, Bracketology 101

Rob Dauster, Ballin' is a Habit

Ryan Kish, George Mason Basketball

Jameson Fleming, Bleacher Report

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