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NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 6:09am

In what turned out to be the craziest week of the year, the Power 16 sees a lot of changes. From last week’s Power 16, nine teams suffered losses, some teams more than just one. Kansas and Florida both faced multiple losses, previous #1 Duke lost, and Arizona seemed to be the powerhouse everyone expected at the season’s start.

All in all, 7 ranked teams dropped games to unranked opponents including Florida who lost both games to unranked teams. Villanova and Arizona State are the last two unbeaten teams in the rankings and if this week is any indication, that could change quickly.

Rank (Last week's rank)
Record
Comment
1. Villanova (2)
10-0
Villanova moves up to #1 after wins against Gonzaga and La Salle. Mikal Bridges is looking more and more like a Top-10 pick after a 28-point performance against the Zags. Jay Wright’s defense has been giving teams troubles, especially against Gonzaga where they forced 19 turnovers. Villanova looks like an extremely balanced team with solid depth who should be around the top of the rankings all season long.
2. Michigan St. (4)
9-1
Since losing to Duke in their 2nd game of the season, Michigan State has been playing elite basketball winning each of their last 8 games. They’ve beaten Notre Dame and UNC proving they can compete with anyone. Miles Bridges and freshman, Jaren Jackson are the leading forces on Tom Izzo’s team and should lead the Spartans to a very successful season, quite possibly another title.
3. Duke (1)
11-1
Duke’s record got its first blemish of the year this week with a loss against Boston College. While from afar this loss seems bad, it took a season best shooting performance from BC and an atrocious 5-20 shooting performance from Grayson Allen to squeak out a 5-point win. This loss is still concerning however. With a young core, there will be adversity to overcome. Nonetheless, the young squad will likely benefit from some early learning experiences.
4. Wichita St. (6)
8-1
The Shockers jump up a couple spots in the rankings due to all of the high profile upsets this week. Wichita State handled their business against South Dakota State and Oklahoma State. Wichita State will in all likelihood hover around the Top 10 for the duration of the season and will be a tough team to face come tournament time.
5. MIami (8)
8-0
Miami bested Princeton and Boston to continue their undefeated season and improve to 8-0 on the year. Lonnie Walker had a breakout week including a 26-point performance against BU in Bruce Brown’s absence. Miami’s young core could prove to be deadly as the season progresses.
6. Kentucky (10)
8-1
Kentucky seems to be getting better and better every game this year. As an extremely young roster, there was bound to be early season struggles and it seems Coach Calipari is moving his team in the right direction. Kansas is still the only tough opponent Kentucky has faced, but the next stretch of games will show us how much progress they’ve really made.
7. North Carolina (11)
9-1
UNC is another beneficiary of this week’s madness. UNC has only faced two respectable opponents this season in Michigan State and Michigan and fell against MSU. Luke Maye has been the primary weapon for Roy Williams this season and has been spectacular. However, a 45-point performance against their only ranked matchup this year leaves questions on how they can perform against quality opponents.
8. Arizona State (NR)
9-0
Arizona State continued its undefeated season this week with wins against St. Johns and Kansas. The Sun Devils have looked extremely impressive this year and have quality wins over Xavier and Kansas. Led by Tra Holder, Arizona State has a powerful offense, putting up at least 90 points in 7 of their 9 games.
9. Texas A&M (7)
8-1
In what was one of the best games of the early season, the Aggies fell just short to a very respectable team in Arizona. This was the first loss of the season for Texas A&M and it should remain the only loss until their next real test against Alabama on 12/30.
10. Xavier (13)
9-1
Xavier took care of business against Kent State and Colorado with ease and advanced to 9-1 on the season. With convincing wins over Cincinnati and Baylor, Xavier, led by Trevon Blueitt and JP Macura seem to be in the conversation for national powerhouses.
11. West Virginia (NR)
9-1
Jevon Carter led West Virginia past Virginia and Pitt this week to improve their record to 9-1. The West Virginia fast paced offense and stingy defense have helped the Mountaineers experience success, winning each of their last 9 games. Press Virginia is a team that nobody will want to face when the postseason rolls around.
12. Kansas (3)
7-2
The Pac-12 had its way against Kansas this week. The Jayhawks lost to Washington and Arizona State, both games at home. Kansas’ offense hasn’t been playing aggressive, getting to line for just 17 attempts in the two losses. A week like this is almost unheard of for a Bill Self team, you can be sure this will be the worst week of Kansas’ season.
13. Notre Dame (9)
8-2
Notre Dame was on the wrong end of one of the biggest upsets in the NCAA season so far. Ball State bested the Fighting Irish 80-77. Bonzie Colson continues to be one of the most reliable players in the nation, and while the surrounding cast is still filling into their roles, Notre Dame has looked like a team with serious potential.
14. Arizona (NR)
7-3
After an early season struggle, the Wildcats have bounced back with 4 straight wins highlighted with a win over Texas A&M. Deandre Ayton has looked like debatably the best player in basketball and has solidified himself as a Top 5 pick. Between Ayton and Allonzo Trier, Arizona has one of the more talented rosters in the NCAA and should return to their expected dominance.
15. Gonzaga (12)
7-2
Gonzaga fell to Villanova this week in a pretty sloppy game. Despite looking relatively poor, the Zags only two losses have come to ranked opponents. Mark Few still has one of the deepest and most balanced teams in the nation and will look to bounce back in the weeks to come.
16. Florida (5)
6-3
In what was a rough week for Florida, the Gators were able to end it on a high note. After dropping back-to-back games to unranked opponents in Florida State and Loyola-Chicago Florida was able to beat Cincinnati in a late-game thriller. Florida relies heavily on three ball, which wasn’t there this week shooting 6-25 and 2-19 in there two losses. This week shows that Florida may need to be hitting three-pointers in order to be successful.

First Five Out

TCU, Virginia, Purdue, Seton Hall, Baylor

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