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Golden Gophers Check In At No. 20 In New NCAA Basketball Rankings

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have experienced quite a bit of success early on in this season, sporting a 7-1 record as we get closer to the start of conference play. This has not gone unnoticed by the other coaches in NCAA men's basketball, as the Gophers are in at No. 20 in this week's installment of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

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This past week, the Gopher men notched two victories to push their record to that 7-1 mark. The defeated St. Joseph's back on Dec. 8 by a score of 83-73, and they followed that up with a 71-58 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. This week, the team only has one game scheduled, as they will host the mighty Zips of Akron on Wednesday. After that, they will have eight days off before hosting the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State on Dec. 23 at Williams Arena.

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The Big Ten boasts a total of five teams in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25, counting the Gophers. The Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0) are currently ranked as second in the nation, the Illinois Fighting Illini (10-1) are currently at No. 14, the Michigan State Spartans (7-3) are right behind them at No. 15, and the Purdue Boilermakers (9-1) come in at No. 17.

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The AP poll is not quite as kind to the Gophers this week, as that poll has them ranked at No. 22 in the nation. Ohio State still finds themselves at No. 2 with the AP, Illinois is at No. 12, Michigan State is at No. 14, and Purdue finds themselves as No. 19.

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So, in comparing the two polls, we have one Big Ten team ranked in the same spot, two that are ranked higher by the AP than they are by the coaches, and two that are ranked higher than the coaches than they are by the AP. Ah, the joys of early season college basketball polls.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.