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NCAA Basketball top-25 rankings: Arizona, Ohio State rise, Kentucky, Texas fall

PISCATAWAY, NJ - DECEMBER 09: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers fights for position with Ron Harper Jr. #24 and Dean Reiber #21 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half of a game at Jersey Mike's Arena on December 9, 2021 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers defeated Purdue 70-68. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PISCATAWAY, NJ - DECEMBER 09: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers fights for position with Ron Harper Jr. #24 and Dean Reiber #21 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half of a game at Jersey Mike's Arena on December 9, 2021 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers defeated Purdue 70-68. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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NCAA Basketball Andre Jackson Connecticut Huskies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NCAA Basketball Andre Jackson Connecticut Huskies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

16. Connecticut (9-2)

The Huskies have played a bizarre combination of challenging games away from home paired with numerous low major opponents in Storrs. They’ve taken care of business at home and picked up a few nice wins away from Connecticut, but this past week was further proof of the challenge. They picked up their second loss of the season on Wednesday, losing 56-53 in a rough shooting effort at West Virginia. The Huskies bounced back this weekend, toppling St. Bonaventure 74-64, with 15 points from RJ Cole to lead the way.

Losses to Michigan State and West Virginia aren’t horrible, especially when the Huskies have a few nice wins, including against Auburn. The Huskies have stockpiled wins and look like an improved team this season, but that Big East is looking especially great in recent days. Conference play begins next week against Providence for the Huskies, and it’s going to take consistent play to finish among the leaders in the Big East. There are no more cupcakes on the schedule; even that home date with the Friars poses a challenge.

15. USC (9-0)

Even with the Mobley brothers, few expected last season’s run to the Elite Eight for USC, but those who remain on the Trojans are looking to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Sure, the Trojans haven’t exactly played a ton of elite programs, but nine wins to start the season is never something to complain about. This past week saw USC play just once, picking up a solid 80-68 win at home over Eastern Kentucky, getting 23 points and 13 rebounds from Isaiah Mobley.

USC already has a pair of wins against the Pac-12 and has taken care of business against a meager schedule to this point. Their defense has been solid, while the interior offense has stepped up in their last few outings. The Trojans don’t get conference play started in earnest until just before New Year’s, but they still have a couple intriguing matchups ahead.

For now, the next week brings three games, home dates with Long Beach State and UC Irvine and then a neutral-site matchup with Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Trojans look to keep that hot start alive and should be 12-0 a week from now.