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NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Mon, 02/11/2013 - 1:46pm

Shane LarkinShane LarkinWho is fielding the best college hoops team in the land right now?

That would probably be the University of Miami.

But you should all be well-versed on my Top 16 rules of engagement by now: Teams don’t leap-frog teams that don’t lose in the previous week.

And that’s why the Hurricanes, despite their remarkable 10-0 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference, only climbed to No. 6 (after being No. 12 last week) in this week’s updated ratings.

The Indiana Hoosiers hung on to the top spot for a second consecutive week despite dropping a Big Ten Conference game at the University of Illinois.

Coach Tom Crean’s club – which was well in front of the Illini most of that Thursday night contest – remained atop these ratings because of its oh-so-impressive performance at Ohio State Sunday.

There are plenty of quality, conference race- and ratings-impacting games this week, including: Monday – Kansas State at Kansas; Marquette at Georgetown; Tuesday – Michigan at Michigan State; Kentucky at Florida; Wednesday – North Carolina at Duke; Syracuse at Connecticut; San Diego State at Colorado State; Thursday – Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s; Arizona at Colorado; Friday – Georgetown at Cincinnati; Saturday – Pittsburgh at Marquette; Oklahoma at Oklahoma State; Sunday – Ohio State at Wisconsin.

Rank (Last Week)
Record
Comment
1. Indiana (1)
21-3

The Hoosiers let one slip through their collective fingers at Illinois Thursday night but then rebounded – pun intended – with a 13-point victory over host Ohio State Sunday afternoon.

2. Gonzaga (3)
23-2
The Bulldogs’ average winning margin is 17 points while winning their first 10 WCC games. It gets much tougher Thursday night – at Saint Mary’s.
3. Duke (5)
21-2
The Blue Devils were oh-so-close to joining the three-loss club Sunday in Chestnut Hill, MA.
4. Syracuse (7)
20-3
Return to active duty by James Southerland a big plus to Big East and NCAA tourney hopes of Orange.
5. Michigan State (11)
20-4
The Spartans are 9-1 in 2013, with the only loss a five-point decision at Indiana on Jan. 27.
6. Miami (12)
19-3
In the ACC this season, older apparently is better – posts Kenny Kadji (born: May 19, 1988) and Reggie Johnson (born: Dec. 16, 1989) are darn-near senior citizens.
7. Michigan (2)
21-3
If the Wolverines lose at least a piece of the Big Ten regular-season title by one game, there is no question which one game they’ll rue.
8. Florida (4)
19-3
Ok, try to explain what happened against Arkansas? And then what happened to the Razorbacks when they played Vanderbilt? Go figure . . .
9. Louisville (8)
19-5
The Cardinals might have kicked themselves after the five-OT loss in South Bend but were too exhausted to make the effort.
10. Butler (13)
20-4
The Bulldogs get an A-10 rematch with Saint Louis on Feb. 22.
11. Kansas (6)
19-4
Even more motivation than normal – a three-game losing streak – for the Jayhawks’ Monday home game vs. Kansas State.
12. Ohio State (10)
17-6
Five of Buckeyes’ losses to the first 11 teams in these ratings; the other was to Illinois.
13. Arizona (9)
20-3
Wildcats’ slippage at home to Cal on Sunday left a three-way tie (with Oregon and UCLA) for top spot in Pac 12.
14. Kansas State (15)
19-4
Who would have thought? The Wildcats atop Big 12 standings for Monday night game at Kansas.
15. Pittsburgh (NR)
20-5

It’s all relative in a conference as challenging as the Big East but the final six games of the Panthers’ regular season are somewhat “favorable”.

16. Kentucky (NR)
17-6
Is this collection of youthful Wildcats ready for another deep NCAA Tourney run? What transpires in Gainesville, FL, Tuesday night will give us a pretty good idea.

On the cusp: Akron 19-4, Colorado State 19-4, Connecticut 16-6, Georgetown 17-4, Illinois 17-8, Louisiana Tech 21-3, Marquette 17-5, Memphis 20-3, Minnesota 17-7, Missouri 17-6, New Mexico 20-4, North Carolina State 17-7, Notre Dame 19-5, Oklahoma 15-7, Oklahoma State 17-5, Oregon 19-5, San Diego State 18-5, Saint Louis 18-5, Saint Mary’s 21-4, UCLA 18-6, UNLV 18-6, Virginia 17-6, Virginia Commonwealth 19-5 and Wisconsin 17-7.

TOP PERFORMANCES OF FEB. 4-10

TEAMS

Illinois. The Illini got themselves firmly back into strong NCAA at-large consideration, rallied from 10 points down late to edge Indiana and the buzzer at home, then hold off host Minnesota two days later by four points.

Miami. The Hurricanes continued their stunning dominance of ACC competition, cruising past visiting Boston College and North Carolina to improve to 10-0 in conference.

Montana. The Grizzlies remained unbeaten after 14 Big Sky games with home victories over Northern Colorado and North Dakota. They visit second-place Weber State Thursday night.

Notre Dame. The Irish lost at Syracuse to begin the week but then wrapped up the week in phenomenal fashion – edging Louisville Saturday night (and into Sunday morning) in exhausting fashion . . . in five overtimes, 104-101.

Oklahoma State. The Cowboys defeated Baylor in overtime in Stillwater and knocked off host Texas to extend their Big 12 winning streak to five.

PLAYERS

Ben Brust (Wisconsin). The junior guard scored 18 and 14 points, respectively, in Big Ten overtime wins against Iowa and Michigan. His 3-point from near mid-court sent the game with the Wolverines into overtime, and then his 3-pointer proved the difference in OT.

Tyler Griffey (Illinois). The senior forward scored 14 points – including the winning layup after a baseline inbounds pass – and grabbed eight rebounds in the win over Indiana, then followed that effort 16 points during a win at Minnesota.

Shane Larkin (Miami). The sophomore point guard makes his third consecutive appearance here after scoring 28 points with seven rebounds, 14 assists and just four turnovers in the Hurricanes’ 22- and 26-point ACC victories over Boston College and North Carolina, respectively.

Garrick Sherman (Notre Dame). The junior transfer center from Michigan State, who didn’t play in the previous two games, didn’t get into the game with Louisville until the first overtime. He was then on the floor for 22 of the 25 OT minutes, scoring 17 points and grabbing six rebounds.

Nate Wolters (South Dakota State). The 6-3 senior guard had quite the productive pair of games, going for 53 points during a win at IPFW and 36 in the loss at Oakland. The cumulative numbers: 29 of 48 from the field (including 12 of 23 behind the arc), 10 rebounds, 10 assists and just five turnovers.

Frank Burlison has been covering hoops for 30+ years for a variety of publications.


Follow Frank on twitter @FrankieBur. Also make sure to follow his website at www.burlisononbasketball.com. College coaching staffs interested in Burlison’s scouting service should contact him at [email protected]

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