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We’re five weeks into the season and the ACC, Big 12, Big East and Big Ten still have their collective hands in a stranglehold on the Power 16 rankings.
The Big 12 is especially dominant at the top, holding onto the No.’s 2, 3 and 4 slots as Iowa State, Oklahoma and Kansas are a collective 24-1.
And the only loss by those three happened because Kansas lost a big second-half lead and was beaten at still-unbeaten and now-No. 1 ranked Michigan State.
Last week’s “1-2” squads in the Power 16 suffered their first losses of the season last week, which translated into the six squads that were immediately below them to move up a couple of notches each.
The losses by Maryland and Kentucky helped create the best matchup of this week: when now-No. 3 Villanova visits No. 4 Oklahoma on Monday night.
With the upper-level movement, the Big 12 Conference continues to look mighty strong with three of the six top squads in this Power 16.
The annual December clash of the ACC and Big Ten provides us with most of our tastiest post-Thanksgiving Weekend dishes.
First and absolutely foremost among those takes place in Chapel Hill Tuesday night where the top-ranked University of Maryland Terps will take on the No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels.
Then, Wednesday night, it will be the unbeaten (and certainly “untested”) Louisville Cardinals trekking it into East Lansing for a real test vs. No. 6 Michigan State – which has aced all of its tests so far.
The national scene will come into a bit sharper focus this week by way of tournaments in Hawaii and Southern California.
The Maui Invitational, which tips Monday morning in Lahaina, has a field that includes No. 3 Indiana and No. 14 Kansas, as well as an intriguing opening-round game late Monday night pitting UCLA and UNLV.
The championship game is set for Wednesday night.
Last season produced a NBA Draft record 13 “one-and-done” players selected in the 1st round. All 14 freshmen that entered the 2015 draft are currently on NBA rosters at this point in time. The impact of freshmen at the top of the draft was substantial with 9 of the first 15 picks.
The 2015-2016 season is upon us, and once again, the Big Ten is right in the thick of the discussion of conference superiority. Seeking to pick up where it left off, getting a nation-high 7 NCAA Tournament bids (tied with the Big 12), the conference could potentially be even stronger this year, thanks to an influx of talented freshmen, including 16 of ESPN’s top 100 recruits. Maryland, in its second season in the Big Ten, is already receiving hype as a potential national title contender, the Michigan and Indiana schools return several key players and are all likely to get
Big East basketball is back and while six teams (Butler, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Villanova and Xavier) made it to the NCAA tournament, this is in no way a powerhouse conference filled with star-studded teams. Last year, Villanova won the conference by four games and the Wildcats look to win their third straight Big East Title. Although this is a deep conference, the question remains: can anybody compete with Villanova in the Big East?
1. Villanova Wildcats
2014-15 Record: 32-2 (16-2)