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Hoosier headache: Indiana falls to No. 20

Three questions regarding the latest AP Men’s Basketball Rankings:

Vanderbilt is back, but for how long?

The last time Vanderbilt was ranked was way back in Week 6, when the Commodores ended up tied with Creighton for the 25th and final spot in the AP Poll.  The Preseason No. 7 has been hot ever since their embarrassing December 17th loss to the Indiana State Sycamores on their home floor.  Now, Vanderbilt has won 10 of its last 11 games, including a win over then No. 13 Marquette, with the only loss coming in an overtime thriller against then No. 15 Mississippi State.  In fact, when you look at Vanderbilt’s losses, they are excusable for the most part.  While loses to Cleveland State and Indiana State are tough to rationalize, the other three losses have all come against ranked teams and have all gone to overtime.  While Vanderbilt has been playing well, it seems highly unlikely that it will stick in the Top 25.  This Saturday the Commodores travel to Gainesville to face the No. 11 Gators and then will have to host No. 1 Kentucky the following Saturday.  While they probably won’t last for now, don’t be surprised to see the Commodores back in the Top 25 again soon.

Can Murray State Last in the Top 10?

Thanks to a Georgetown loss, Murray State has made it all the way to No. 10 in the AP Poll this week.  What’s more, they will be in the Top 10 for the foreseeable future.  There have been grumblings about Murray State’s schedule and how they haven’t had to face tough teams, but that doesn’t mean the Racers can’t.  It only means that Murray State hasn’t had the opportunity to.  They have faced one ranked team this season, and the Racers went into Memphis (then No. 20) and won on the road.  There should be little resistance as the Racers move towards an undefeated regular season record.  While they may not fare as well in the tournament later on, there is no doubt Murray State deserves its high ranking.

Will Indiana follow UConn right out of the Top 25?

Indiana was the sweetheart of college basketball as the nation watched the Hoosiers rise all the way to No. 7 back in week 10.  Now, just three weeks later, Indiana is back at No. 20.  In that time they are just 2-4.  The Hoosiers did lose games to ranked Ohio State and Wisconsin on the road, but that doesn’t excuse the losses to Nebraska and Minnesota.  Indiana is going to have yet another tough test Wednesday when the travel to Michigan to face the No. 22 Wolverines.  However, if Indiana takes care of business when they travel to Purdue on Saturday, they should remain in the Top 25 even with a loss to Michigan.  After scoring 103 points against Iowa last week, Indiana should have enough success left over to stick around the rest of the regular season.

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