What happens when the final two unbeaten teams tumble in college basketball? We found out last weekend when Duke and Michigan lost to North Carolina State and Ohio State, respectively. You will notice shuffling at the top -- Louisville and Kansas are No. 1 and No. 2 now. And at the bottom we welcome Oregon, Wisconsin and Ole Miss into the mix.
1. Louisville -- Louisville has climbed back to the top spot. In case you forgot, the Cardinals were our preseason No. 1 pick. Louisville has fought its way back with 11 consecutive wins -- and some help from Duke and Michigan losing. Rick Pitino’s team has a big test coming up Saturday at home against Syracuse.
2. Kansas -- Relax, KU fans. Word out of Lawrence is that Ben McLemore’s ankle is OK. Allen Fieldhouse fell silent when McLemore went down Monday night, but evidently it wasn’t as bad as it looked. The Jayhawks are playing as well as any team in the country right now.
3. Michigan -- Michigan’s offensive machine sputtered at Ohio State in the first half and that cost the Wolverines their unbeaten record and the No. 1 spot. Give Michigan credit for that big rally and the dramatic finish. It’s never easy in the Big Ten. Thursday the Wolverines are at Minnesota.
4. Duke -- The Blue Devils experienced defeat for the first time Saturday at North Carolina State. Nobody stays perfect in this age of college hoops. Duke’s bigger concern now is adjusting the rotation with starting forward Ryan Kely out indefinitely with a foot injury.
5. Syracuse -- James Southerland, who was averaging 13.6 points, has been suspended because of an eligibility matter. The Orange survived its first game without him, but the impact could be felt Saturday at Louisville. C.J. Fair has been riding to the rescue.
6. Indiana -- Wisconsin really has Indiana’s number. The Badgers made a statement Tuesday night with a 64-59 win at Bloomington. Guess it shouldn’t have been a big surprise since Wisconsin now has won 11 consecutive games in the series. The Hoosiers were held under 60 points for the first time this season.
7. Arizona -- The Wildcats were knocked from the unbeaten ranks before Duke and Michigan, losing at Oregon 70-66 Thursday night. Arizona’s run of magical escapes finally ended but the Wildcats did bounce back to win at Oregon State.
8. Gonzaga -- It seems the Bulldogs are always preparing for a big non-conference game. It’s happening again, with great anticipation building for Saturday’s game at Butler. First, Gonzaga has to take care of business at Portland on Thursday.
9. Florida -- The Gators have bolted to a 2-0 start in the crazy SEC and play at Texas A&M on Thursday. But everyone will be watching Saturday when conference newcomer Missouri visits Gainesville. Forward Casey Prather (ankle) is the latest injury concern for Billy Donovan.
10. Minnesota -- The Golden Gophers are 1-1 in their brutal three-game Big Ten stretch, with Michigan coming to Williams Arena on Thursday. Tubby Smith’s squad had an impressive win at Illinois before a wild ride and a seven-point loss at Indiana.
11. Creighton -- Only Doug McDermott can get off to a “slow start” and finish the night with 31 points. That’s what he did in a win over Northern Iowa. That’s two straight 30-point games and five for the season for McDermott. This time he had 21 in the second half.
12. North Carolina State -- It was a special day in Raleigh on Saturday for NC State fans as the Wolfpack knocked off rival Duke, then ranked No. 1. Now the Pack has to put that in the rear view mirror and move on. Maryland and Clemson are up next for the ACC co-leaders.
13. San Diego State -- The Aztecs have been quietly going about their business, beating Fresno State and Colorado State last week. That’s about to change with big games coming up against UNLV Wednesday and then a trip to Wyoming on Saturday.
14. Butler -- The Bulldogs last lost Nov. 21 to Illinois. And while everyone is pointing to Saturday’s showdown with Gonzaga, Butler fans are concerned about the health of leading scorer Rotnei Clarke, who will miss the next two games with a sprained neck. Clarke was injured last Saturday at Dayton.
15. Ohio State -- The Buckeyes were impressive against Michigan -- at least in the first half. But Ohio State did hold on for the big victory. Will that momentum carry over to the game at Michigan State on Saturday? That remains to be seen.
16. Kansas State -- Rodney McGruder got some help from Shane Southwell in the scoring column last Saturday as the Wildcats won an emotional game at West Virginia against former K-State coach Bob Huggins. Big game looming against Kansas on Jan. 22.
17. UCLA -- Don’t look now but the Bruins have won nine straight, including a 78-75 win at Colorado. UCLA is the only 4-0 team in the Pac-12, heading into this week’s games against Oregon State and surprising Oregon.
18. Missouri -- The Tigers played a real stinker in Oxford, Miss., and were welcomed to road play in the SEC by rude chants from the Ole Miss crowd we won’t repeat here. Missouri was without Laurence Bowers, who has a sprained MCL in his right knee. And Ole Miss is on top of the SEC standings at 3-0.
19. Michigan State -- Since losing to Minnesota 76-63 on Dec. 31, the Spartans have defeated Purdue, Iowa and Nebraska to move to 3-1 in the Big Ten. Ohio State visits on Saturday but first Michigan State must take care of business at Penn State. Jury still out on the Spartans.
20. VCU -- The Rams got 17 points from Treveon Graham in a win at St. Bonaventure as VCU remained undefeated in Atlantic 10 play. Saint Joseph’s visits on Thursday, then VCU has three of its next four on the road.
21. New Mexico -- New Mexico and UNLV seem to be caught in the power rankings revolving door. This time Steve Alford’s team moves back in after a 65-60 win over UNLV and a 72-45 victory over Fresno State. But the Lobos are on upset alert Wednesday night, playing at Boise State (13-2, 1-0 MWC).
22. Oregon -- So the Ducks got some national headlines with that 70-66 victory over Arizona. Oregon followed that up with another home win over Arizona State. Let’s see how Oregon does on this week’s journey to Los Angeles, with games against USC and UCLA.
23. Wisconsin -- Just when you thought the Badgers were irrelevant, they go into Bloomington and defeat mighty Indiana, ruining a night for Hoosiers fans. That’s seven straight wins for Wisconsin and a 4-0 record in conference play that puts Bo Ryan’s team alone on top in the Big Ten.
24. Ole Miss -- Truly unexpected visitors, the Rebels check in with a 14-2 record and a 3-0 start in the SEC. Ole Miss went on the road and crushed Tennessee, then held Missouri to 49 points at home. With an 89-79 overtime win at Vanderbilt, Ole Miss is on top of the SEC standings. The Rebels could be 6-0 heading into a home game with Kentucky on Jan. 29.
25. Notre Dame -- The Irish were rolling until Connecticut came to South Bend on Saturday. The Huskies ended Notre Dame’s 12-game winning streak and then the Irish lost at St. John’s Tuesday night. Consecutive losses to unranked teams means a big drop and a warning to turn things around.