Kansas climbs back to top perch in college basketball

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College Notebook by Micah Roberts |

Jayhawks get back No. 1 crown, for now

It only took Kansas two weeks to recapture their top spot in the rankings after both Texas and Kentucky dropped their first games immediately after being crowned No. 1.

Two weeks ago, Texas became the top ranked team and lost both games that week and came back last week going 1-1 with a loss to Baylor.

Kentucky didn’t fare much better with the weight of being No. 1 losing at South Carolina before the ink dried on the T-shirts the school had made that said, “Back on top.”

Last week it wasn’t just the top teams that fell, just about every team in the top 25 took a tumble led by five of the top 10 schools and 15 of the overall top 25. Connecticut went down a notch losing two games in Big East play to Providence and Marquette.

Marquette has been the heart-break team of the season playing well enough to go 9-0 in Big East conference play but only having a 4-5 record to show for their play. Their 70-68 win at U-Conn was a nice turnaround for a team that has two 2-point losses to Villanvova, a 1-point loss at West Virginia, a 1-point loss at DePaul and a 5-point loss at Syracuse.

No. 2 Villanova, meanwhile, has won convincingly in Big East play, with the exception of the Marquette games, going 8-0. They have a tough game this week at Georgetown and then the big battle at Syracuse later this month.

No. 3 Syracuse is a team that many are saying could win it all because of their versatility. They can play any style they like, fast pace or slow down, to force their opponents into a game they don’t want.

Teams to watch down the stretch

Purdue has gone through their rough moment in the season where they lost three games in a row and have now come back to win four straight since then. They still have two tough games against Michigan State and a road game at Columbus, but they look to be firing on all cylinders after digging deep and soul searching during those losses.

Ohio State is showing in their play just how important Evan Turner and his 18 points and 10 rebounds per game are to the success of the team. They look strong and they go for the throat looking to bury teams. After missing almost the entire month of December, Turner has come back and looks like his old self again leading the Buckeyes to a 6-2 record in January.

Player of the Week:

Dominique, the New Highlight Reel

South Florida’s Junior guard Dominique Jones was always intended to be the Bulls go to guy, but what he’s done since Big East play started is pretty remarkable.

Prior to the conference opener Dec. 30 at Louisville, Jones had a season high of 28 points against marginal opponents. Since then, playing against all the Big East heavyweights, Jones scored 28 points or more in five of South Florida’s nine Big East games.

Over his last three games, all wins, Jones has averaged 37 points a game with a high of 46 points at Providence where he missed a triple-double by 2 assists. On Sunday, he poured in 37 points to upset Pittsburgh. This week he has a couple tough road games at Georgetown and Notre Dame.

Game of the Week

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 – 9 am (PT) TV:ESPN

No. 2 Villanova (19-1) @ No. 9 Georgetown (16-4): The teams met in Philadelphia two weeks ago with Villanova winning by five. Georgetown is fresh off a home win over Duke and is 10-1 at home. Look for the Hoyas to pull off a mild upset here.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Micah Roberts

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