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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 Auburn Tigers forward Chris Moore John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball Auburn Tigers forward Chris Moore John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

14. Auburn (8-1)

They don’t have an elite win like rival Alabama got over Gonzaga, but Auburn has looked nothing short of solid in the early parts of this season, running their record to a respectable 8-1. Wins over Loyola-Chicago and Syracuse still look okay, though Auburn may need to wait until SEC to build their resume for the Selection Committee. They picked up another win this past week, though it won’t help them much, picking up a 99-68 win over Nebraska, with Jabari Smith’s 21-point effort leading the way.

The SEC looks pretty solid near the top this season and Auburn can certainly be one of those teams near the top of the standings. Aside from a double-overtime loss to UConn in the Bahamas, the Tigers have taken care of their business and look formidable. They take care of the basketball, though their free throw shooting has been troublesome in recent weeks.

Next week they get two more opportunities, first at home against North Alabama and then an intriguing road game against Saint Louis on Saturday. Picking up another true road win, even against a mid-major, would certainly help that resume look better.

13. Ohio State (8-2)

They may have lost at Xavier and got beaten at the buzzer against Florida, but the Buckeyes have bounced back in a major way these last few weeks. The Buckeyes got back on track with that home win over #1 Duke before adding three more wins to their total this past week. It began on Sunday, with their first win on the road and in Big Ten play, knocking off Penn State 76-64.

After dispatching of Towson on Wednesday, in a game closer than it should’ve been, they took down Wisconsin on Saturday 73-55, getting a dynamic 28-point effort from EJ Liddell, who looks like a legitimate candidate for national player of the year.

The Big Ten is going to be really interesting this year and Ohio State looks like one of the teams that will finish near the top of the conference once again. The Buckeyes played their best defensive game against the Badgers and are ranked in the Top 10 in offensive efficiency. Things are coming together for Ohio State at a great time, especially with a difficult matchup next week against Kentucky. The Buckeyes look like they could do some damage this season, but you never know what’s going to happen when Big Ten play begins in earnest in January.