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TOP 25

TIMES STAFF WRITER

1. Connecticut (1-0)

What a pair: Hamilton and El-Amin.

2. Duke (2-0)

New Brand (Elton) of Blue Devil.

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3. Stanford (2-0)

They put the Alto in Palo Alto.

4. Kentucky (1-0)

Tayshaun Prince poised to start.

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5. Michigan State (2-0)

As Cleaves goes, so go the Spartans.

6. Maryland (2-0)

They’ll be calling him St. (Steve) Francis.

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7. Arizona (1-0)

Better than you thought.

8. Temple (3-0)

Some opponents scoring in 40s.

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9. North Carolina (3-0)

In top 10 out of habit.

10. Cincinnati (0-0)

Bearcats play Rhode Island tonight.

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11. Washington (1-0)

Wants to recapture March magic.

12. Purdue (3-0)

Will Keady ever make it to Final Four?

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13. Utah (1-1)

Still has Miller and Mottola.

14. Tennessee (2-1)

Arizona sure dampened start.

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15. UCLA (0-0)

It’s going to take time.

16. Oklahoma State (1-0)

Not an easy Wooden matchup for Bruins.

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17. Kansas (2-0)

Looking shaky.

18. Indiana (4-0)

Hoosiers never really go away.

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19. Syracuse (1-0)

Jason Hart could step up.

20. Xavier (1-0)

Posey’s a former sixth man.

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21. New Mexico (1-0)

Waiting for Kenny Thomas.

22. Arkansas (2-0)

Kareem Reid a noted playmaker.

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23. Rhode Island (2-1)

Lamar Odom eligibility an upset.

24. Massachusetts (1-1)

Another Atlantic 10 representative.

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25. Nevada Las Vegas (2-0)

Interesting test for USC on Friday.

TOP CONFERENCES

1. Pacific 10

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2. Atlantic Coast

3. Southeastern

4. Big Ten

5. Atlantic 10

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6. Conference USA

7. Big East

8. Big 12

9. Western Athletic

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10. Mid-American

WORTH ATTENDING

Five Early-Season Games to Drive To

--UCLA vs. Oklahoma State, 4:30 p.m., Dec. 5 in the Wooden Classic at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

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--Utah at Long Beach State, 7 p.m., Dec. 5 at the Pyramid.

--Arizona at UCLA, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 2 at Pauley Pavilion.

--Arizona at USC, 1 p.m., Jan. 4, Sports Arena.

--Stanford at UCLA, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 16 at Pauley Pavilion.

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WORTH WATCHING

Five Early-Season Games to Watch on TV

--Connecticut vs. Washington, Dec. 1, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

--Duke vs. Michigan State, Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

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--Stanford vs. Maryland, Dec. 6, 10 a.m., Channel 7

--Maryland at Kentucky, Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

--Duke vs. Kentucky, Dec. 22, 6 p.m., ESPN

CREAM OF THE CROP

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First Team

F: Richard Hamilton, Connecticut

F: Wally Sczcerbiak, Miami (Ohio)

C : Elton Brand, Duke

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G: Trajan Langdon, Duke

G: Khalid El-Amin, Connecticut

Second Team

F: Lee Nailon, Texas Christian

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F: Scott Padgett, Kentucky

C: Evan Eschmeyer, Northwestern

G: Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State

G: Andre Miller, Utah

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