Around the Top 25: Jan. 17

Story posted January 14, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Dale Ostrander

College basketball is at the midway point of its season. Conference play has started around the country after many Covid-19 delays throughout the NCAA.

Most teams in the top 25 rankings stayed within the top 25 however, there was one team that did fall out of the top 25 rankings.

The Colorado State Rams were removed from the top 25 after a 79-49 loss to the San Diego State Aztecs. The Rams shot 27.9% from field goal range in that game and only 15% from three-point land.

However, after the rough performance to the Aztecs, the Rams bounced back and defeated Utah State 77-72 and kept themselves in others receiving votes.

Baylor stayed at the top of the polls for the new week, but after losing to Texas Tech in a 65-62 loss there's room for Baylor to drop from the number one spot. The loss to Texas Tech breaks the Bears’ 21 game winning streak that they were on dating back to last season.

Auburn made a huge jump in the polls this week as they climbed up to No. 4 after previously being ranked No. 9. The jump was due in large part to a win over Florida and an 81-77 road win over the No. 24 team in the country and rival, Alabama.

Jabari Smith has had his name rising draft boards across the country with his play recently and with his play against Alabama, there’s a reason why. Smith was able to finish with 25 points seven rebounds four blocks and two steals while shooting 50% from behind the arc.

Sticking in the SEC the No. 12 Louisiana State University Tigers currently sit with a 15-1 record on the season with its only loss to Auburn.

They have had three conference wins after that loss with two wins over ranked opponents of Kentucky and Tennessee. Tari Eason has been leading the Tigers in scoring this year all while coming off the bench.

The No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers are on fire right now in the Big Ten. Wisconsin has rattled off six straight wins with three against two ranked opponents, Ohio State and Purdue, as well as defeating Iowa. Johnny Davis has been leading the Badgers in that winning streak averaging 23.2 points per game.

The newest team in the top 25 rankings checking in at No. 25 is Illinois.  The Fighting Illini have been resurgent since Kofi Cockburn has returned from suspension leading Illinois to the top of the Big Ten. Illinois has been without guard Andre Curbelo after only playing four games this year, but Curbelo is primed for a return soon.

Dale Ostrander is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email dko5097@psu.edu.