College Basketball Power Rankings: A New #1

Duke lost to Boston College, while Arizona State went to Lawrence and knocked off Kansas. Neither neither take the top spot. Michigan State sits at 12-1 while Villanova remains undefeated. 1-2 is an entertaining debate.

1. Villanova 11-0

The Wildcats blew out Temple by 20 to remain undefeated, and vault to #1 thanks to Boston College’s huge win.

2. Arizona State 11-0

Entering the year, Arizona was #2 and their in-state rival was unranked. When the teams meet on December 30, Arizona State will be #2. It’ll be a matchup of ranked teams, and the atmosphere will be electric.

3. Duke 12-1

Losing to BC hurts, and seeing Duke at the bottom of the ACC standings is amusing. However, the Blue Devils will get back on track.

4. Michigan State 12-1 

The Spartans racked up four quick wins against weak opposition, and don’t rise in the rankings.

5. Miami 9-0

Miami played only one game the past two weeks, but the ‘Canes stayed undefeated against George Washington. Miami and Villanova are the only unbeatens to appear in every top 25.

6. Kentucky 9-1

Edit: This post was written Friday, and hasn’t accounted for Saturday’s results.

Finally the Wildcats played some quality teams, as Kentucky knocked off Monmouth and Virginia Tech. They won’t be challenged until a January 6 trip to Tennessee. (Update: UCLA disagrees)

7. Texas A&M 11-1

The SEC is shaping up to be incredible this year. The Aggies follow Kentucky as the second top-10 team, while #14 Tennessee is one of the most dangerous teams in the country. Texas A&M will face a brutal January, coming up against Tennessee, Kentucky, and Kansas. . . all on the road.

8. Xavier 11-1

J.P. Macura is outperforming Trevon Bluiett, but Xavier doesn’t mind. The flamethrowing duo is averaging a combined 31 points per game, and that number will rise when Big 12 play begins, and there’s little garbage time for the bench.

9. Wichita State 9-2

The Shockers were upset by Oklahoma, and fall a few spots. Trae Young outdueled Landry Shamet on both ends of the floor, but don’t expect that to happen to Shamet often. Markis McDuffie’s imminent return will add another explosive weapon for coach Gregg Marshall.

10. Kansas 10-2

The Jayhawks snapped out of a skid, destroying Stanford by 21. Someone circled January 6 on the calendar, as TCU comes to Lawrence in the day’s 2700th ranked matchup.

11. West Virginia 10-1

The Mountaineers haven’t lost since the season opener, but that might change when WVU faces Oklahoma on January 6, (when else?) Baylor on the 9th, and Kansas on the 15th. However, all of those games are at home.

12. North Carolina 10-2

UNC picked up a great win over a terrific Tennessee team by 5, and is in good shape heading into ACC play.

There’s just one little problem called Wofford.

13. TCU 11-0

The Horned Frogs haven’t lost since last March, and coach Jamie Dixon has TCU in the thick of Big 12 contention. The conference is incredible this year, and TCU looks to be headed for the NCAA Tournament.

14. Tennessee 8-2

While the AP Poll has the Vols #21, Tennessee has been impressive. They controlled the game against North Carolina for 35 minutes before falling short. The nation’s fifth-youngest team just needs experience finishing games, and is a genuine threat to win the SEC.

15. Purdue 12-2

The Boilermakers blew out Butler by 15 while becoming the second-highest Big 10 team in the rankings. Purdue will answer the question of Michigan State’s toughest challenger on January 13, a trip to Minnesota.

16. Cincinnati 10-2

The two-loss barrage continues with Cincinnati, the American Athletic’s second team in the rankings. The Bearcats recovered from a tough loss to Florida by knocking off formerly unbeaten Mississippi State. Then UCLA fell to the elite defense. Wichita State’s greatest challenger rises again.

17. Baylor 10-2

Sick of the Big 12 yet? Baylor hasn’t played anyone for half a month, and won’t until a stretch against Texas Tech and TCU. Oh wait, their next two games.

18. Oklahoma 9-1

Trae Young is now the frontrunner for Player of the Year after a dominating performance against Wichita State. Oklahoma shocked the Shockers, and Young followed it up with 29 points and  22 (twenty freaking two!) assists against Northwestern State. Trae Young immediately went off again for 31 points and 12 assists as Oklahoma ran Northwestern off the court.

19. Arkansas 9-2

The Razorbacks knocked off Minnesota while vaulting into the top 25. A blowout loss to Houston earlier in the year hurts, but Arkansas could start 4-1 in the SEC. However, a December 30th clash with Tennessee could see Arkansas blown out.

20. Virginia 10-1

The Cavaliers didn’t really do anything, cruising against Davidson and Savvanah State. Skip!

21. Arizona 10-3

The preseason #2 is back in the rankings with impressive victories over Alabama and Texas A&M. The nation must despise the sight of a healthy Rawle Alkins.

22. Clemson 10-1

The Tigers are quietly putting together a solid resumé, and knocking off formerly-ranked Florida eliminated any obstacle preventing Clemson from being ranked.

23. Creighton 10-2

The Bluejays pulled off a nine point win over a good Texas-Arlington team, and move up thanks to. . .

24. Seton Hall 10-2

Rutgers is 10-3! Rutgers beat Seton Hall! Will wonders never cease?

25. Minnesota 10-3

The Gophers hit their annual December rough spot, dropping games to Nebraska and Arkansas before squeaking by Drake. Minnesota will get back on track eventually, and the Big 10 should be afraid.

Rounding out the 32: Texas Tech 10-1, Florida State 11-1, Gonzaga 10-3, Notre Dame 8-3, Houston 10-2, Syracuse 10-1, Auburn 11-1.

 

 

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College Basketball Power Rankings: Upset Special

Don’t point out the 7-1s to Brazil.

Kansas, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and Florida all lost to unranked teams. Just a typical week in college basketball.

1. Duke 11-0

The Blue Devils’ cramped schedule finally pays off, as Duke only plays three games for the rest of December. Duke put up a massive 124 points in a game against Saint Francis, including 71 in the first half. Mental.

2. Michigan State 8-1

Blowout victories over Notre Dame and North Carolina have buoyed the Spartans, and MSU keeps blowing out opponents. Rutgers is the latest opponent to stand no chance against Miles Bridges and Co.

3. Villanova 9-0

The Wildcats asserted themselves as a Final Four threat with a win over Gonzaga, an 88-72 blowout. Mikal Bridges has transformed into a star, and Jalen Brunson is a terrific point guard.

4. Miami 8-0

Nothing noteworthy, as the ‘Canes beat Boston U by 15, and remain stationary.

5. Wichita State 7-1 

The Shockers took care of South Dakota State, but the most impressive aspect is the improvement of Baylor, who Wichita State handled 69-60. Gregg Marshall’s team has a great chance at a #1 seed come March.

6. North Carolina 9-1

Many teams in this range lost, so UNC vaults a few places despite only playing Western Carolina. Luke Maye’s incredible production continues to astound the nation, but can the forward string good performances together in ACC play?

7. Kentucky 7-1

The Wildcats haven’t played anyone good other than Kansas, but continue to win games. Kentucky thanks preseason projections.

8. Xavier 8-1

The Musketeers’ meteoric rise (#12 last week) continues, as some help provides Xavier with a top 10 appearance. However, Trevon Bluiett’s inconsistency needs to resolve itself if the shooting guard wants to lead Xavier anywhere.

9. Texas A&M 7-1

In preseason, every Aggie fan would’ve taken a three point loss to preseason #2 Arizona. Now, the three-loss Wildcats seem uncertain of where they want to go. Texas A&M falls to #9, and should hang around until games against Tennessee and Kentucky.

10. Kansas 7-1

Devonte Graham is human. Kansas dropped a strange game to Washington, and falls to the ten spot. Sunday, the Jayhawks face a massive non-conference test against Arizona State.

11. Arizona State 7-0

The Sun Devils will need to get past an interesting game against St. John’s before the massive Kansas clash. Sunday will be fun.

12. Minnesota 8-2

Losing to Nebraska hurts, but the Golden Gophers could get on a roll heading into a Feb. 13 Michigan State clash. Pending Purdue, the Spartans have circled the Gophers in red.

13. West Virginia 8-1

Not only beating Virginia, but dominating the Cavaliers is what catapults WVU so high. The Mountaineers haven’t lost since the Texas A&M game, and could be the best challenger for Kansas in the Big 12.

14. Tennessee 6-1

The Vols keep winning. The latest to be trounced is Georgia Tech, which is not a given. Tennessee could be on the brink of something special. In the words of Rick Barnes, “Look at little ol’ Clemson Tennessee!”

15. Gonzaga 7-2

The Zags may be WCC favorites, but Gonzaga will need to stay close against high-quality opposition. Villanova had its way against the lackluster side. Gonzaga needs to get better.

16. Seton Hall 7-1

The Pirates wrecked Louisville and Texas Tech, and rise to the #16 spot. The Desi Rodriguez—Angel Delgado tandem is working well.

17. Notre Dame 7-2

You can’t lose to Ball State and expect not to plummet. The Irish were awful in their second loss of the season, and fall a long way.

18. Cincinnati 7-1

The Bearcats were blown out in the Crosstown Shootout by Xavier, and fall due to a nonexistent strength of schedule otherwise. Western Carolina keeps showing up on the records of top 25 teams.

19. Purdue 9-2

The Boilermakers are off to a 2-0 start in Big 10 play, and looked impressive. Expect Purdue to keep winning until a mid-January showdown with Minnesota.

20. Florida State 8-0

A demolition of Florida helps, and an undefeated record isn’t too bad either. FSU won’t drop off too much in the loaded ACC, and that’s a wonderful achievement.

21. TCU 9-0

The Horned Frogs find themselves ranked after demolishing SMU, and undefeated records look nice.

22. Baylor 6-2

The Bears didn’t play.

23. Virginia 8-2

The Cavaliers did play, and West Virginia says thanks.

24. Creighton 6-2

See Baylor.

25. USC 4-2

Argh.

First five out: Clemson, Houston, Georgia, Syracuse, Oklahoma

College Basketball Power Rankings: Duke claims the top spot

Photo source: Flickr

Disclaimer: This post was written Thursday afternoon, November 16th. Anything that happened afterwards will be reflected next week. 

Just to make sure nobody shouts at me if Miami loses to Florida A&M.

 

The first regular season edition of After the Whistle’s CBB Power Rankings is filled with chaos, rising, falling, and a new #1. In a week where many top 25 teams dominated, teams that produced lackluster performances (ahem, Northwestern) fell, making way for others. This will be interesting.

1. Duke

The Blue Devils delivered the week’s marquee win over former #1 Michigan State. Grayson Allen’s 37 points were the deciding factor in a terrific win for Duke.

2. Arizona

Dusan Ristic is off to a terrific start manning the paint, although Arizona’s dominant wins are over Northern Arizona and UMBC. I have no reason to drop the Wildcats, for now.

3. Kansas

The Jayhawks’ win in the Champions Classic buoys Kansas up four spots. As Kentucky will attest, Devonte’ Graham is going to be a problem for opposition all year long.

4. Wichita State

Rounding out today’s top seeds, the Shockers destroyed a very good College of Charleston and put up over 100 points on an average UMKC defense. Once Landry Shamet lights up, look out!

5. Michigan State

A loss to Duke in the Champions Classic hurts MSU, and sinks the Spartans to fifth, out of the #1 seed line. Miles Bridges and company will rise eventually.

6. Villanova

Struggling for a half against Columbia hurts the Wildcats, and Nicholls State isn’t a difficult opponent. Villanova won’t have the opportunity to pick up their first solid resume-boosting win until December, when Gonzaga visits.

7. Miami

Unlike Villanova, the Hurricanes do have a solid win. Navy is decent, and Miami beat them by 34. Bruce Brown is transforming into an NBA lottery prospect.

8. USC

The Trojans struggled against North Dakota State, and haven’t played anyone decent. That will change when USC visits Vanderbilt Sunday night.

9. Kentucky

The Wildcats have struggled against Utah Valley and a good Vermont team. Losing to Kansas doesn’t help Kentucky’s case, but preseason projections are playing a big part after only one week of basketball.

10. Minnesota

Preseason projections are the reason Minnesota isn’t in the top seven. That and I’m bending over backwards trying not to be too biased. Richard Pitino’s Golden Gophers ran away with what was projected to be a close game at Providence, and put up 59 points in one half against Niagara, the team coming off a win against Saint Bonaventure.

11. Cincinnati

Similar to many teams in this range, the Bearcats haven’t played any good teams. . . but Cincinnati is blowing out all comers. The American Athletic could easily have two top-10 teams entering March.

12. North Carolina

The Tar Heels drop one spot after struggles in an eight point win over Bucknell. A dominating performance against a Northern Iowa helps the nation’s greatest question mark.

13. Notre Dame

Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson have formed a dynamic point guard-to-center combo, beating two decent teams (DePaul and Mount St. Mary’s) along the way.

14. Texas A&M

Missing Robert Williams, a loss to former #16 West Virginia would have been excusable. Texas A&M decided to give me no headaches by destroying WVU 88-65. The Aggies are this week’s highest risers, vaulting up ten spots.

15. Seton Hall

The Pirates delivered solid wins against Monmouth and Indiana by double digits, and Desi Rodriguez continues to be a matchup nightmare. Khadeem Carrington is no slouch from behind the arc.

16. Xavier

There’s not much to see here. The Musketeers benefit from others struggling while Xavier blew out Morehead State and Rider.

17. Louisville

Mired in controversy, the Cardinals won their only game—a 72-61 win over George Mason. Brian Bowen may be ineligible, but Deng Adel is playing well.

18. Saint Mary’s

The Gaels are the higher of the two teams entering this week’s rankings. Jock Landale and Co. are off to an undefeated start, and will challenge Gonzaga for the West Coast crown.

19. Florida

The Gators stay out after playing one game, a 116-74 demolition of Gardner-Webb. There’s not much to be gleaned here.

20. Missouri 

Defeating Iowa State by 15 is impressive. Doing it without NBA lottery prospect Michael Porter Jr. sends a message to the rest of the SEC.

21. Purdue

It seems the nation has underestimated how good Isaac Haas is at basketball. Caleb Swanigan who?

22. UCLA

The Bruins would take a mulligan. Not only did UCLA need overtime to beat Georgia Tech, but three players were arrested for stealing sunglasses. LiAngelo Ball is back, but isn’t helping.

23. Alabama

Alabama boasts a dominant win over Memphis without their best player. Expecting the Tide to continue winning without Collin Sexton is an unfortunate view, but the five-star recruit could be eligible soon.

24. West Virginia 

Jevon Carter and Co. look back on track after destroying American University. The issue is getting blown out by a Robert Williams-less Texas A&M.

25. Baylor

Others have vaulted over the Bears and their weak schedule, even though Baylor is undefeated. Opportunities for marquee wins will present themselves when Big 12 play begins.

Next five in consideration: TCU, Gonzaga, Rhode Island, Virginia, Northwestern