Week 9 Power Rankings
This past week saw nearly everyone lose, this included seven losses from my Top-10 teams from last week and 21 losses total by teams I had ranked last week. Obviously with all these results it is time for a new Power Rankings to reflect all these changes, that being said here’s my new power rankings.
1.West Virginia: The Mountaineers are up six spots to number one after taking care of Oklahoma on Saturday night. Overall the Mountaineers have won 14 straight since their opening night loss to Texas A&M and if you’re looking at teams that could end Kansas’ Big 12 titles streak, look no further than the West Virginia Mountaineers.
2.Virginia: The Cavaliers have looked good all season as they have a record of 14-1, however they didn’t necessarily have the wins to back it up. Well now they have a 78-52 road win at Virginia Tech and a 61-49 win against North Carolina. The Cavaliers only loss thus far came on the road at West Virginia who is my number one team, so not having them ranked in the top-5 would be silly on my part. The Cavaliers now have a two game lead on Duke in the ACC standings, so it is very likely the Cavaliers end up winning the ACC this year.
3.Villanova: The Wildcats followed up their loss to Butler by putting up 100 on Marquette in a 100-90 win. The Wildcats haven’t been playing well on the defensive end of late but they scored enough on the offensive end to beat Marquette. This week will see the Wildcats go up against Xavier at home, this game very likely is a must win for the Wildcats if they want to win the Big East again.
4.Texas Tech: The Red Raiders lead start to finish at Allen Fieldhouse in their 85-73 win over Kansas. They right now are tied atop the Big 12 standings with West Virginia at 3-0 and at 14-1 overall the Red Raiders right now seem like a top five team. That being said they’ll play at Oklahoma and against West Virginia this week so they could easily find themselves 3-2 in Big 12 play after next weekend.
5.Oklahoma: The Sooners went into Morgantown Saturday and did what many teams have done over the years, lose. That being said the Sooners are still 12-2 overall and 2-1 in Big 12, while Trae young is averaging 29.4 points and 10.2 assists per game, so their overall outlook on the season is a good one.
6.Purdue: The Boilermakers took care of Rutgers and Nebraska this past week, which is good but the problem is that neither of those teams are competing for a tournament appearance so it doesn’t look as good. This week they’ll play their toughest week of games this month as they’ll play Michigan and Minnesota on the road. If the Boilermakers win those games, there’s a legitimate chance they enter their game at Michigan State on February 10th undefeated in Big Ten play.
7.Seton Hall: The Pirates are the team atop the Big East standings after beating Butler on the road Saturday. Khadeen Carrington had 19 and Angel Delgado had 28 points and 15 rebounds in the Pirates big win. Moving forward if they can take care of business this week they could potentially have a two game lead in the Big East standings this time next week.
8.Duke: The Blue Devils lost 96-85 to NC State on Saturday night in a game that put the Blue Devils behind the eight ball in their chase for the ACC title. Overall this team has yet to commit to play defense and it is showing up against teams that are decent. If the Blue Devils don’t commit to play defense they’ll find themselves losing the ACC and losing early in the NCAA Tournament like last year.
9.Michigan State: The Spartans looked flawless in their blowout win over Maryland Thursday, then they followed that up by forgetting their was a game Sunday in a 80-64 loss at Ohio State. The Spartans really don’t have any big wins this year, so moving forward they’ll have to finish at the top of the Big Ten and also win the Big Ten tournament to get a number one seed.
10.Arizona State: The Sun Devils had a rough game at Colorado on Thursday but they rebounded with a nice win at Utah. After such a great start, it is not surprising that they regressed a little bit but a win at Utah shows they are very much in the Pac-12 race.
11.Kansas: The Jayhawks forgot to show up against Texas Tech on Tuesday night but then as usual they followed that up by beating TCU on the road Saturday night. The Jayhawks have an easy week this week, so in all likelihood they will find themselves either tied or one game back in the Big 12 standings this time next week. Depending upon when the NCAA acts on the Silvio de Sousa and Billy Preston situations, Kansas could be a much more dangerous team in a week.
12.Xavier: The Musketeers played well against Butler on Tuesday but followed that up with a lackluster performance at Providence. The Musketeers will play at Villanova Wednesday and if they win that game, they’ll have a definite advantage in the Big East race.
13.Auburn: In a turn of events nobody saw coming, Auburn is atop the SEC standings through two games. The Tigers went on the road at Tennessee and won 94-84, then came back to handle Arkansas winning 88-77. Overall the Tigers are 14-1 overall and are looking like a legitimate threat to win the SEC at the moment.
14.Cincinnati: The Bearcats faced two of the AAC’s four bubble teams this week and won at Temple on a Jacob Evans game-winning jumper, they then followed that up by blowing out SMU at home. This week they’ll be faced with a tough road test playing at UCF, if they win that game they should enter the month of February with only two losses.
15.Wichita State: The Shockers returned to their normal form this week, beating Houston by 18 and beating USF by 38. The Shockers will get more chances to beat up on the bottom half of the AAC this week, before playing three of the four AAC bubble teams next Wednesday.
16.Clemson: The Tigers won at Boston College and beat Louisville at home to move to 14-1 overall and 3-0 in ACC play. Both these games the Tigers would have lost last year but this years team is different as they are 5-0 in games decided by two possessions or less, which is much different from the team who couldn’t win a close game last year to save their life.
17.Arizona: To say this season has been a disappointment for the Wildcats would be an understatement and Saturday’s loss to Colorado just backs that statement up.The problem I found was when Sean Miller said after their loss to Colorado “Our guys struggle playing for me” which indicates that there is something more to Arizona’s struggles than just bad play. The Wildcats overall are 12-4 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play, which is likely good enough for them to still be favorites to win the Pac-12.
18.TCU: The Horned Frogs toughed out a win at Baylor on Tuesday night but then they lost at home against Kansas. Overall what I’ve taken away from the Horned Frogs first three Big 12 games is that they are a top-25 team but they are not quite good enough to compete to win the Big 12.
19.Tennessee: There’s not a whole lot you can takeaway from this weeks loss to Auburn but what the Volunteers did do is follow that loss up with a double-digit win against Kentucky. Overall the Volunteers at 1-2 in SEC play have put themselves into a hole in terms of winning the SEC but they still look like a top-20 team.
20.Kentucky: The Wildcats hadn’t played in a road game until this week and this past week they played in two road games and went 1-1. The Wildcats lackluster performance against Tennessee to me looks more like Freshmen being freshmen to me, overall I think the Wildcats still should be considered the favorites to win the SEC even after their loss to Tennessee.
21.North Carolina: The Tar Heels are amongst those teams to lose two games this week as they lost a tough road game at Florida State by one, they then lost by 12 to Virginia. The Tar Heels have wins over a couple of top-25 teams already but they seemed to progress to preseason expectations this week in their two losses. The Tar Heels have a couple of upcoming chances to pick up wins this week as they play Boston College and at Notre Dame, so they have a good chance to move up the rankings this week.
22.Texas A&M: The Aggies had a bad week as they lost to Florida handily with no DJ Hogg (suspension) and Admon Gilder (knee). Then they lost to LSU on a heartbreaking three pointer by Tremont Waters but they were without Admon Gilder and Duane Wilson (knee) and Robert Williams (illness). If the Aggies are at 100 percent, I’m still convinced they are capable of making a Final Four but through SEC play they have yet to be fully healthy.
23.Miami: The Hurricanes lost pretty handily at Georgia Tech but they then returned home to beat a good Florida State team on Sunday. The Hurricanes have yet to show any consistency on the offensive end, which has hurt them in their two losses thus far, however they can defend pretty good. This week they’ll get a few days off before playing a back to back at Clemson and against Duke.
24.Rhode Island: The Rams have wheeled off six straight wins since their early December loss at Alabama. Jared Terrell has played at an all-league level, while EC Matthews has returned and fit in quite well for the Rams. With the play of St. Bonaventure this past week, it is clear that the Rams are going to win the Atlantic-10 conference and they should not have to break a sweat come Selection Sunday if they take care of business in the A10.
25.Ohio State: The Buckeyes picked up a program changing win Sunday against Michigan State. The Buckeyes now are tied for first in the Big Ten with Purdue at 2-0 and they should at this point be a lock for the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes have wins over both Michigan and Michigan State and with no bad losses on their resume they more than deserving to make my power rankings.