NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 11:21pm

This week only 6 AP Top 25 teams suffered losses, much less than what we’ve been used to this year. But still, a national powerhouse and tournament favorite lost another game. For the most part, teams handled their business, and Kansas proved once again they are not to be overlooked.

Amidst all of the college basketball recruiting controversy, Arizona is at the middle of what could be a revolutionary change in the NCAA landscape. College basketball has been at the forefront of the sports world this week and many of the teams involved in the accusations find themselves on this weeks Power 16.

Rank (Last week's rank)
1. Michigan St. (1)
Michigan State’s only losses this season are to ranked teams and have acquired a handful of ranked wins on their own part. In what many consider to be a weak schedule, I would argue that the Spartans have a very impressive resume. Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson, Nick Ward, and Cassius Winston make up one of the most talented and skilled teams in the league and are very deserving of the #1 ranking in any poll.
2. Virginia (2)
Having just two losses in the best conference in basketball this late in the season is an extremely impressive feat for any team. Virginia has been able to stop virtually every team on the defensive end while making the most of every possession on offense. They don’t have a player that we can definitively say will be in the NBA, yet they are as elite as any team in the nation. Virginia epitomizes what it means to be a team and should see their success continue for weeks to come.
3. Gonzaga (4)
Gonzaga clinched yet another WCC title this week with a win over BYU and seem to have hit their stride at the perfect time. Johnathan Williams has been the leader Gonzaga has needed this year and will look to continue their push straight into the NCAA Tournament and hopefully make another run at the crown.
4. Duke (6)
After a stretch of games without star player Marvin Bagley, Duke seems to have found the ability to win as a team. Grayson Allen has found his shot and could form the dynamic duo we’ve wanted to see all season. This Duke roster is littered with talent, it’s just a matter of putting it all together. As much as most people hate Duke, college basketball is far more interesting when the Blue Devils are a contender. Look for Duke to be one of the final teams standing.
5. Kansas (7)
Kansas proved that they are as dominant as usual in the Big 12 this week with a win over Texas Tech. The Jayhawks pushed themselves further towards a 14th consecutive Big 12 regular season title which is quite an impressive feat. Devonte Graham has filled in for Frank Mason just fine and has been the teams primary option on offense. Kansas is once again a legit contender and should see themselves making a real push in the postseason.
6. Villanova (3)
After an impressive start to the season, Villanova has seen a bit of a decline. They have lost 3 of their last 6, all to unranked teams. While it might be fair to say that Nova is getting bored with the regular season and is waiting for the big games to start, these losses are still concerning. The Wildcats are loaded with skill and are as disciplined as any team in the country. Villanova is still one of the favorites to win it all.
7. Xavier (8)
Xavier remains one of the hardest teams to get a real feel on for me. They beat just about every team, but lose (pretty badly) to teams like Villanova. Trevon Blueitt is one of the best players in basketball and has real potential to be a NBA all-star. Whether or not Xavier as a team is legit, is still up in the air, but they will have the chance to prove people like me wrong.
8. North Carolina (9)
UNC is another team that seems to hit their peak as the season comes to a close. The Tar Heels had lost three straight but have rattled off 6 straight wins since then. Cameron Johnson seems to be the X-factor for UNC, having the ability to score in bunches when other players are off their game a bit. North Carolina’s frontcourt depth will likely be the fall of their season, but they do have the ability to overcome their weaknesses and beat anyone in the country.
9. Purdue (11)
Carsen Edwards and become one of the most exciting players to watch in the country and has done all he can to lead Purdue to this impressive season. The Boilermakers are dangerous and one of the best fit teams to run the table this March. Whether or not they end up doing so is one question, but we all know it will be fun to see if this is the season Purdue finally cuts down the nets.
10. Texas Tech (5)
Texas Tech has lost three straight games in the Big 12 and have shown that they might not be the team everyone thought they were. However, after playing Kansas very tough, they have proven they at least have the ability to hang in there with the big dogs. Keenan Evans has been the heart and soul for Texas Tech and he will be sure to do all he can to keep this Red Raiders team at the top of their game.
11. Cincinnati (12)
PCincinnati still needs a signature win of their resume to prove to me that they have a real shot at taking down the top tier teams in the nation. They will have a chance to play Wichita State next week which would be their final shot at getting a ranked win on the year. For all I know, Cincinnati could be the best team in the NCAA, they just have to give me a reason to believe it.
12. Michigan (14)
Led by Moritz Wagner, Michigan is one of my sleeper picks to make a deep push into the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines have a good balance between guards and big men and also have a variety of skillsets. Michigan has shown they have the ability to grind out late-game wins as well as straight up out classing their opponents. Michigan is a dangerous team that could ruin brackets if taken lightly.
13. St Mary's (15)
The Gael’s bounced back from their back-to-back losses with three straight wins to end their season. St. Mary’s might not be the best team in the world but they have game-in and game-out competed to their best of their ability to have a fantastic season. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they get bounced in the first round, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a run into the Final Dour. Regardless, the Gael’s are a real contender, it’s just a lack of experience could prove to be detrimental.
14. Auburn (10)
Another loss to Florida this week adds to the rough stretch of play for Auburn. They’ve lost 3 of their last 6 games, but still remain atop the SEC. Auburn is very talented and have the ability to beat any team on any given night. Auburn is a fun team to watch and basketball fans should hope they are able to play in the Sweet 16 or further.
15. Wichita State (16)
Wichita State has slowly but surely been becoming the team we’re used to seeing. They still have the ability to take down Cincinnati for the AAC crown, but will need a late season win over the Bearcats to do so. The Shockers are infamous for their NCAA tournament abilities, and it will be exciting to see if they have the same magic as years past to create another miracle run.
16. Creighton (NR)
Creighton got their signature win this week with a win over Villanova. Creighton ahs been on and off this year but when they play at their best, it’s good enough to beat anyone. Their inconsistency has been worrisome for sure, but beating Villanova further reinforced the notion that they can be a legitimate contender.

First Five Out

Ohio State, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Clemson, West Virginia

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