After that plate of turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving, you know you are going to need a nap. It happens every year. It’s the same thing with college basketball. The feast of tournaments the past week had games piling up on your plate like mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Slowly push away from the TV set and take a rest. It’s time to digest the upsets that created indigestion for some, and served as an appetizer for others.
Oklahoma State, Butler and Colorado enter the rankings this week, while Notre Dame, Saint Joseph’s and Murray State say goodbye. Georgetown almost created chaos at the top of the rankings, but couldn’t stop Indiana in overtime. The Hoyas will visit the rankings soon. No doubt about it.
Here’s a look at the new rankings:
1. Louisville –- The Cardinals haven’t had a stiff test yet, but they are handling their schedule with authority. Last week included an 80-54 victory over Samford and an 80-39 victory over Miami (Ohio). Three-point shooting, defense and center Gorgui Dieng is a powerful combination.
2. Indiana –- Talk about Cody Zeller all you want, but the Hoosiers wouldn’t be the well-rounded, efficient team they are without Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford. All three responded when Georgetown pushed the Hoosiers to overtime Tuesday night. Good teams win games such as that one.
3. Ohio State -– Deshaun Thomas tied his career high with 31 points as the Buckeyes won the Hall of Fame Tip Off by beating Washington 77-66. Aaron Craft chipped in with 18 points.
4. Syracuse –- The Orange used 67.9 percent shooting in the second half and a defensive effort that converted 23 turnovers into 29 points to crush Wagner 88-57.
5. Michigan -– The Wolverines have been idle since that 77-47 destruction of Cleveland State. Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden will be a good barometer for both teams.
6. Duke –- Can’t blame Duke for being a little sluggish at the start against Florida Gulf Coast. The Blue Devils made up for with a 30-0 run to take control. Mason Plumlee’s free throw exhibition (10 of 11) was quite impressive.
7. Kentucky –- Poor Lafayette. The Leopards ran into Kyle Wiltjer’s three-point shooting and the Kentucky buzzsaw after the Wildcats lost to Duke in Atlanta.
8. Florida –- Center Patric Young decided he wanted to be part of the college hoops parade for centers Tuesday night. His 13 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks rocked the world of Savannah State in a 58-40 win for the Gators.
9. Kansas –- Saint Louis decided not to guard Travis Releford in the first half Tuesday. That was a big mistake. Then, when the Billikens picked up Releford, big Jeff Withey killed them inside. Good win for the Jayhawks.
10. Creighton –- The Blue Jays have won their first four games by margins of 20, 27, 29 and 48 points. Doug McDermott scored 17 points in the game. Creighton deserves Top 10 recognition and could stick around a long time.
11. Arizona -– The Wildcats are 3-0 and can savor the taste of that all through Thanksgiving break. Arizona’s next game is Nov. 28 against Northern Arizona.
12. Michigan State -– A four-point win over Boise State? Was this a preview of the Big East division of the Big Ten? Keith Appling saved the day again after a slow start for the Spartans.
13. North Carolina -– Maui hasn’t always been kind to coach Roy Williams. Tuesday night it was Butler kicking the Tar Heels around in the first half. A furious effort in the second half wasn’t enough to save UNC.
14. Missouri –- UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi can block shots and rebound. Tigers coach Frank Haith wants some point production from Oriakhi too. If that happens inside, it will help Mizzou’s perimeter game.
15. North Carolina State –- Things were going smoothly for the Wolfpack. A win over Penn State. A win over Massachusetts. Then came the bump in the road, a 76-56 loss to Oklahoma State in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tipoff. A bad start for the Wolfpack and poor rebounding led to the stunning result.
16. UNLV -– Jacksonville State tried to slow the Rebels down. It didn’t work. UNLV led 32-14 at halftime and finally won 77-58. Mike Moser filled up the box score with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and one block.
17. UCLA -– Shabazz Muhammad’s debut was spoiled by UCLA’s loss to Butler. Things got better for Muhammad and the Bruins one night later as he scored 20 points in a win over Georgia.
18. Memphis –- Coach Josh Pastner said he was disappointed in his team’s “lack of everything” in a 65-54 victory over Samford. Pastner said the Tigers were slow in all areas. With VCU next on the schedule that has to change.
19. Gonzaga -– The Bulldogs are headed to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to play undefeated Clemson on Thursday, but Gonzaga doesn’t intend to play any Mickey Mouse games. This Gonzaga team is seriously talented.
20. Oklahoma State –- The Cowboys make their power-ranking debut after big victories over Tennessee and North Carolina State. It was the 20-point triumph over the Wolfpack that really got everyone’s attention. Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart combined for 43 points.
21. Cincinnati –- It’s a good time to head to Las Vegas when things are going well. The Bearcats understand that right now, as they are putting up some big numbers including a 91-72 win over Campbell.
22. Butler -– Coach Brad Stevens has Butler riding the big waves in Maui. A dramatic win over Marquette and a dominating effort against North Carolina is a good way to get the attention of the basketball world. Illinois is up next.
23. Colorado –- Coach Tad Boyle was hired by the Buffaloes to put some life in a dormant program and put fans in the seats. And indeed he has Colorado fans fired up after back-to-back victories over Baylor and Murray State.
24. Baylor -– The Bears bounced back from their loss to Colorado to defeat a young St. John’s team 97-78. Brady Heslip was the main man with 29 points on eight three-pointers. Scott Drew’s team is talented inside and outside.
25. San Diego State -– The Aztecs get busy again this week with a game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday and at USC on Nov. 25. Steve Fisher’s team has won two since losing to Syracuse.