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Sunday, January 31, 2010
If KU is No. 1, then who's No. 2?

By Andy Katz

Polls are a snapshot of a team over the course of a week, a quick glimpse of who is playing well from Monday to Sunday.

Kansas deserves to be No. 1. The Jayhawks won at Kansas State in overtime in a place where Texas could not. The win will be enough to propel the Jayhawks to No. 1 in the country when the polls are announced on Monday.

But who is No. 2?

That’s where the debate gets interesting between late Saturday and Monday morning.

I would lean toward Syracuse. The Orange had quite a week. Remember, this is about what you have done during the week. It's not necessarily about a team's entire body of work.

Syracuse
Syracuse rallied from a big early deficit to beat Georgetown.
Syracuse had one of the more impressive wins earlier in the week when the Orange steamrolled Georgetown in the final 30 minutes at home last Monday. That's the same Georgetown team that took out Duke in convincing fashion Saturday.

Villanova has quite an argument as well with a home win over Notre Dame for its only game of the week. But Syracuse has played a tougher slate than Villanova. Overall, if you compare their sole losses, then losing to Pitt, even at home, may be a tad better than losing at Temple. This argument has holes on both sides so deciding who is most worthy of the No. 2 spot right now might come down to how you feel about the pair. And right now, after Syracuse found a way to win at DePaul when it didn’t play well, the edge could go to the Orange.

Of course, the Kentucky nation would have an issue with the Wildcats not being No. 2 after dismantling one of the hottest teams in the country in Vanderbilt. The Wildcats looked quite special in running away from the Commodores. The question is does Kentucky get knocked down this week because it lost a game, even though it was on the road at South Carolina? The answer for now is yes. Remember the poll isn’t about where teams will finish in March but how they’re playing over the course of a week.