The Syracuse Orangeman, 10-0, moved up from No. 3 and assumed the top position in the country after both the Kentucky Wildcats and Ohio State Buckeyes lost since the previous AP poll was released on Dec. 5.
Meanwhile, the Golden Gophers have won four straight since star forward Trevor Mbakwe was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Minnesota is also 10-1 overall, but failed to make the Top 25 again. In fact, they did not even receive a single vote in either the AP or ESPN/USA Today top 25 polls. In all, 67 voters are polled in the AP poll and 30 in ESPN/USA Today.
Minnesota has blown out its last three opponents, defeating the Southern California Trojan 55-40, the Appalachian State Mountaineers 70-56, and the St. Peter Peacocks 69-47. The team's only loss thus far was an 86-70 decision to the Dayton Flyers on Nov. 27. The Flyers are now 5-1.
Working against Minnesota? The Gophers have yet to play a true road game all season and also have not faced a ranked team yet this season. With five Big Ten teams in the top 25 (Ohio State Buckeyes, Wisconsin Badgers, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana, Michigan State Spartans), that will soon change. Minnesota opens its Big 10 schedule at Illinois on Dec. 27.