1. Kansas (23-3, 13-1 Big XII; 0)
2. Baylor (24-2, 13-1 Big XII; +1)
3. Duke (23-4, 13-3 ACC; -1)
4. Dayton (25-2, 14-0 A-10; +2)
5. San Diego State (25-1, 15-1 MWC; -1)
6. Gonzaga (27-2, 13-1 WCC; -1)
7. Louisville (23-5, 14-3 ACC; +2)
8. Florida State (23-4, 13-3 ACC; +2)
9. Maryland (22-5, 12-4 Big Ten; -2)
10. Auburn (23-4, 10-4 SEC; -2)
11. Villanova (21-6, 10-4 Big East; +2)
12. Creighton (21-6, 11-4 Big East; +5)
13. Oregon (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12; -1)
14. West Virginia (19-8, 7-7 Big XII; -3)
15. Kentucky (22-5, 12-2 SEC; +4)
16. Colorado (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12; -2)
17. Seton Hall (20-7, 12-3 Big East; +1)
18. Arizona (19-8, 9-5 Pac-12; -3)
19. BYU (22-7, 12-3 WCC; +8)
20. Houston (21-7, 11-4 AAC; +1)
21. Penn State (20-7, 10-6 Big Ten; -5)
22. Michigan State (18-9, 10-6 Big Ten; +1)
23. Ohio State (18-9, 8-8 Big Ten; -1)
24. Iowa (19-8, 10-6 Big Ten; +6)
25. LSU (19-8, 10-4 SEC; +1)
26-30. Northern Iowa, Michigan, St. Mary’s, Butler, Wichita State
This was a really great week for college basketball, and we saw some of the first big shakeups in a while. Let’s get into it!
Starting at the top, we had a mammoth rematch on Saturday between #1 KANSAS and #2 BAYLOR in Waco. It ended up a really excellent game, Baylor’s second-half comeback bid coming up just short. So KU remains #1, but this loss doesn’t really affect Baylor’s standing too much in my eyes. The game went basically exactly how I’d expected – if Baylor had, for some reason, made a 2-point basket at the buzzer, I would have gotten the score dead on.
Baylor actually rose in this week’s power rankings from #3 to #2 despite the loss, thanks to a shellacking suffered by #3 DUKE in nearby Raleigh against NC State. I see a lot of people clamoring for Duke to be swept out of the top 10 entirely, but I think people just hate Duke. They’re still 23-4 and will have a decent chance to nab a #1 seed in the tournament.
Not much on #4 DAYTON this week, but I wanted to make note that the Flyers are one of only two teams remaining without a loss in a conference game (the other being #98 New Mexico State in the lowly WAC).
And, of course, the team most notably missing from that class is #5 SAN DIEGO STATE, whose undefeated dreams came crashing down this weekend in a home loss to #127 UNLV. The Aztecs do still have a shot at being a #1 seed, but probably can’t afford another loss if they want to do so.
Saturday’s other most anticipated game was a late-night WCC showdown and probably the biggest game of the year in that conference, #6 GONZAGA visiting #19 BYU. It wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the final score indicated, but BYU came out as 13-point winners on their home floor and definitively punched their tourney ticket. The Zags hadn’t lost in the United States this season (their lone loss came to Michigan in the Bahamas) so no sense dropping them further than #6. For their part, BYU is one of the new teams entering the top 25 this week. The AP poll had them in last week, but this algorithm was a bit more cautious at #27.
One of the best teams in the college basketball world right now has got to be #12 CREIGHTON, who continue to rocket up rankings everywhere. Every week in the Big East is difficult, but this one especially so – the Bluejays took down #31 Marquette in Milwaukee and then returned home to beat #29 Butler. Speaking of which, Butler and Marquette are two of the three teams that fell out of the top 25 this week, and both are riding three-game losing streaks in this killer of a conference. Neither of them is above .500 in conference play now, and though they’ll both make the tournament easily, both teams have reason to be worried.
Two teams near the bottom of this list are returnees, those being #24 IOWA and #25 LSU. The Iowa Hawkeyes only played 1 game this week, but it was a nice win over #23 Ohio State. LSU actually had a loss this week, but it was to #15 Kentucky, but responded by handling #65 South Carolina to basically tread water for the week.
The other team dropping out of the top 25 is #26 NORTHERN IOWA, who continue to be ranked highly despite having just a 4-4 road conference record in a not-particularly-good MVC. The Panthers are looking like a pretty likely 12 seed in the tournament this year and I can see them being a pretty popular upset pick in brackets this year.
Notable unranked teams include #32 Arizona State, #34 Virginia, #37 Wisconsin, #40 Indiana, #43 Illinois, #44 Memphis, #46 Arkansas, #49 USC, #50 Stanford, #57 Saint Louis, #68 UCLA, #72 Texas, #78 Purdue, #92 Loyola (IL), #107 Washington, #120 Missouri, #140 Murray State, #148 North Carolina, #179 California, #241 Illinois State, #248 Northwestern (the worst power-conference team), #338 SIUE, and #342 SEMO. You can check out daily rankings at thebracketbot.com/rankings as well, so you can get a look at all 353 teams in Division 1!
Games of the Week – times Central
Monday: Louisville/Florida State, 6:00 on ESPN; FSU, 71-69
Tuesday: Texas Tech/Oklahoma, 8:00 on ESPN2; TTU, 69-67
Wednesday: Maryland/Minnesota, 8:00 on BTN; Maryland, 66-65
Thursday: Arizona/USC, 9:00 on ESPN; UA, 72-67
Friday: Davidson/Dayton, 6:00 on ESPN2; Dayton, 78-65
Saturday: Michigan State/Maryland, 7:00 on ESPN; Maryland, 70-68
Sunday: Michigan/Ohio State, 3:00 on CBS; tOSU, 69-65
Top Game of the Week – a rare win for Monday, make sure to watch Louisville/FSU tonight!
That’s it for this week’s update – I hope all your favorite teams win!