The coldest edition of the Top Freking 10 to date sees a former Indianapolis high school star continue to light up the home state competition while the top four squads in the rankings remain intact for the fifth straight week. Also, I examine a few notable win streaks on the line this week.
1. ARIZONA (last week: 1)
Let’s have a moment of silence for the poor Washington State Cougars, who missed enough shots in a 60-25 loss at Arizona Thursday to rebrick a Tucson suburb. Wazzou — which was missing leading scorer DaVonte Lacy and another starter — shot 9-of-45 (20 percent) from the field and recorded the program’s lowest point total since Jan. 15, 1938.
2. SYRACUSE (LW: 2)
The Orange traveled to Virginia Tech Tuesday night for their first road game as a member of the ACC. Here’s to hoping Syracuse finds the bottom of the net more often than it did Saturday vs. Miami, when it made 36 percent of its shots and shot 3-of-15 from beyond the arc in a 49-44 win.
3. OHIO STATE (LW: 3)
Ohio State faced by far its most challenging test of the season to date Tuesday night at Michigan State, which has seemingly regained its rhythm after a strange home loss to North Carolina in early December. Buckeye fans shouldn’t sleep on the team’s next opponent — the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa visits Columbus Sunday owning wins over Xavier and Notre Dame.
4. WISCONSIN (LW: 4)
Provided the Badgers can get by a surging Illinois squad tonight, they will roll into Bloomington Tuesday with a 16-0 mark. As for signature win-needing Indiana, the higher the pedestal Wisconsin is on coming into that game, the better.
5. WICHITA STATE (LW: 7)
The Shockers picked up double-digit victories over Southern Illinois and Northern Iowa last week to begin Missouri Valley Conference play, winning easily in both games. Wichita State shot well (54 percent) vs. the Salukis and not-so-well (38 percent) against the Panthers. The Shockers have now won 15 straight games to begin their season, a new program record for consecutive wins.
6. MICHIGAN STATE (LW: 8)
Spartan guard Gary Harris sure loves facing teams from his home state. After pouring in 26 points in Michigan State’s 73-56 win over Indiana Saturday, the Hamilton Southeastern product is now averaging 17.7 points per game in six career games against Hoosier State programs — three vs. Purdue, two vs. Indiana and one vs. Valparaiso.
7. IOWA STATE (LW: NR)
I’ve admittedly overlooked the Cyclones, who moved to 13-0 Tuesday with a 87-72 home win over Baylor. DeAndre Kane is Big 12 Player of the Year at this moment, as the senior guard is averaging 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists on 51 percent shooting.
8. FLORIDA (LW: NR)
The Gators have been beating up on the likes of Fresno State and Savannah State lately, but do own impressive wins over Kansas and Memphis. With a win over South Carolina tonight, Florida claims its 24th straight victory at Stephen C. O’Connell Center, which would tie the school record for consecutive home wins set from 2006-07.
9. VILLANOVA (LW: NR)
After a one-week hiatus, the Wildcats are back in my top 10. I still believe coach Jay Wright’s team is the best the Big East has to offer, and so far Villanova is off to a good start. It outlasted Butler in overtime at Hinkle Fieldhouse on New Year’s Eve and blasted Providence by 30 Sunday.
10. SAN DIEGO STATE (LW: NR)
You walk into Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse and end KU’s 68-game nonconference home win streak, you get a spot in the rankings. The Jayhawks shot 30 percent in defeat, the lowest shooting percentage for a Bill Self-coached Kansas team at home, per ESPN.
Dropped out: Duke (5), Oklahoma State (6), Baylor (9), Oregon (10)
Grant Freking is a sportswriter for the Daily Reporter. Contact him at (317) 477-3230 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.