Jerardi's Top 15, Dec. 29

1. North Carolina (12-0): Tar Heels dumped Rutgers, 97-75, last night.

2. Connecticut (11-0): Big East season gets serious quickly with tonight's game against Georgetown.

3. Pittsburgh (12-0): Big men Sam Young and DeJuan Blair average a combined 34.8 points and 18.8 rebounds.

4. Oklahoma (12-0): Blake Griffin (23.0 points, 14.1 rebounds) is making an early run at Player of the Year.

5. Duke (10-1): Off to a great start despite shooting just 33.3 percent from the arc. Averaging 83.3 points so they are finding other ways to score.

6. Wake Forest (11-0): Averaging 84.6 points and shooting 52.1 percent from the field.

7. Georgetown (9-1): Hoyas are already good on their way to being very good by March.

8. Butler (10-1): Despite losing four starters, this is still the team nobody wants to play. Already have five road wins, including last week at Xavier.

9. Baylor (10-1): Has to deal with Portland State, conqueror of Gonzaga, tonight.

10. Arizona State (10-1): Has James Harden, the most efficient guard in America, racking up an amazing 1.91 points per shot.

11. Clemson (12-0): Going to be a serious factor in the ACC. Averaging 81.8 points and shooting 50.1 percent.

12. Minnesota (12-0): Tubby Smith's team beat his alma mater, High Point last night, 82-56.

13. Syracuse (12-1): Wins over Florida, Kansas and Memphis offset that bizarre half-court heave loss to Cleveland State. Eric Devendorf is back from suspension after missing just two games.

14. West Virginia (10-2): Blew out previously unbeaten Ohio State, 76-48, in Columbus. Starting to get healthy.

15. Louisville (8-2): Rick Pitino changed the starting lineup for his underachieving team and got results against undermanned UAB, winning 82-62.

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