Top 45 countdown

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This week’s ballot took forever to piece together.

Forever to figure out where I really should place a Florida team I had vastly overinflated last week.

Forever to figure out how to make heads or tails of the scrum of above-average Big Ten.

Forever to discern where bumping Georgetown up an extra spot or knocking Connecticut down too far was the right way to acknowledge the happenings in the first week of Big East play.

And then Boston College had to provide a bigger headache. It is tough to leave a 13-2 team with a victory over the pretty much consensus No. 1 team on its home floor out of the top 25, even if it fell at Saint Louis earlier this season.

For those looking for Maryland, the Terps are at No. 28 – just behind Gonzaga and few spots clear of Michigan.

Speaking of Gonzaga, that’s the nuttiest team of all at this point. What to make of a team with three victories in Orlando and an overtime loss to Connecticut that somehow also lost to Portland State and Utah? Fortunately, the Zags play at Tennessee on Wednesday, and their spot just outside the top 25 is sort of a holding cell until someone can figure out what’s going on in Spokane.

All right, on to this week’s top 45:

1. Pittsburgh (14-0)
2. North Carolina (13-1)
3. Duke (12-1)
4. Wake Forest (13-0)
5. Georgetown (10-2)
6. Connecticut (12-1)
7. Syracuse (14-1)
8. Oklahoma (13-1)
9. Michigan State (11-2)
10. Texas (11-2)
11. Clemson (14-0)
12. UCLA (12-2)
13. West Virginia (11-2)
14. Butler (12-1)
15. Xavier (11-2)
16. Notre Dame (10-3)
17. Purdue (11-3)
18. Davidson (10-2)
19. Saint Mary’s (13-1)
20. Tennessee (9-3)
21. Boston College (13-2)
22. Marquette (13-2)
23. Villanova (12-2)
24. California (13-2)
25. Baylor (12-2)

26. Arizona State (12-2)
27. Gonzaga (8-4)
28. Maryland (11-2)
29. Memphis (10-3)
30. Wisconsin (11-3)
31. Michigan (11-3)
32. Illinois (13-2)
33. Minnesota (13-1)
34. Ohio State (10-2)
35. UNLV (13-2)
36. Brigham Young (11-2)
37. Miami (10-3)
38. Florida State (13-2)
39. Illinois State (14-0)
40. Arkansas (11-1)
41. Florida (12-2)
42. Texas A&M (13-1)
43. Stanford (11-1)
44. Missouri (12-2)
45. Dayton (13-1)

Patrick Stevens

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