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NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 4:34pm

As I’ve cautioned so many Arizona fans over the past weeks, things will continue to play out.

And that’s what happened, with Ohio State dropping a couple of Big Ten contests while the Wildcats continued lopping off Pac 12 opponents and moving atop this week’s Power 16 ratings.

And I caution again: Don’t get too comfortable in that top spot with three other unbeatens (Syracuse, Wichita State and Wisconsin) and at least a couple of one-loss clubs (Michigan State and Villanova) nipping at their heels, uh, paws.

There are some potentially terrific tilts on tap for Monday (Kansas at Iowa State and Virginia at Duke) as well as a dandy Big Ten clash set for Tuesday (Wisconsin at Indiana).

Rank (Last Week)
Record
Comment
1. Arizona (2)
17-0
Nick Johnson & the Wildcats continued playing well in opponents’ venues, this time those belonging to Pac 12 foes UCLA and USC.
2. Syracuse (3)
16-0
Point guard Tyler Ennis warrants strong national Freshman of the Year and All-American consideration.
3. Michigan St. (5)
15-1
“Cutting it close” doesn’t come any more definitive than was the case for the Spartans last week.
4. Wisconsin (7)
16-0
That flawless record will get severely tested this week.
5. Wichita State (4)
17-0
If the Shockers are unbeaten going into the NCAA Tournament the Saturday game at Missouri State (won in OT) will be one of the biggest reasons why that is the case.
6. Villanova (8)
15-1
Jan. 20 is the answer to the question “When do Creighton and Villanova play?”
7. Florida (9)
13-2
Tuesday night game with Georgia a bit more compelling after Bulldogs’ success last week.
8. Oklahoma State (10)
14-2
Sure, the Cowboys are short-handed but there remains no shortage of skill and late-game heroics on the roster.
9. Iowa State (6)
14-1
No one is going unbeaten in the Big 12, Kansas included.
10. San Diego State (13)
14-1
The Aztecs were oh-so-close to losing a big lead completely at home last week to Boise State.
11. Ohio State (1)
15-2
Losing in OT at Michigan State doesn’t potentially severely hurt Big Ten championship hopes. The same can’t be said of losing at home.
12. Cincinnati (14)
15-2
Few coaches are getting as much out of their teams as Mick Cronin is out of the Bearcats.
13. Creighton (NR)
14-2
If the John R. Wooden Award was awarded today Doug McDermott would be posing for a lot of pictures.
14. Pittsburgh (NR)
15-1
The Panthers make their 2013-14 Power 16 debut.
15. Kansas (NR)
11-4

All things considered, the performances against Kansas State may have been the club’s best of the season.

16. Baylor (12)
13-2
I remain of the belief that Brady Heslip may have the “purest” of jump shots in college.

THE NEXT 16 (alphabetical): THE NEXT 16 (alphabetical): Cal 12-4, Connecticut 13-3, Duke 12-4, Gonzaga 14-3, Harvard 14-2, Illinois 13-4, Iowa 14-3, Kentucky 12-3, Louisville 14-3, Massachusetts 14-1, Memphis 12-3, Missouri 13-2, North Carolina 10-6, Oklahoma 13-3, Saint Louis 15-2 and UCLA 13-3.

TEAMS OF THE WEEK

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson*California. Despite playing without key freshman Jabari Bird, Coach Mike Montgomery’s team remained unbeaten in the Pac 12 (deadlocked for first with Arizona) with its fourth consecutive victory.

*Memphis. The Tigers had one of their more impressive weeks in the “Josh Pastner Era” with road victories against Louisville and Temple.

*Michigan State. Coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans had to dig hard twice for a couple of home Big Ten victories with overtime decisions against Ohio State and Minnesota.

*Nevada. Following a 5-8 non-conference performance Coach David Carter’s club is definitely the surprise group in the Mountain West with its 4-zip start.

*Wichita State. The Shockers rallied from 19 points down at Missouri State Saturday to prevail in OT, 72-69, improve to 17-0.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

*Keith Appling (Michigan State). The 6-3 senior averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in overtime Big Ten wins against Ohio State and Minnesota.

*Justin Cobbs (Cal). The senior point guard (who started his college career at the University of Minnesota) average 20.0 points, 10.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds as the Bears won at Oregon and Oregon State to improve to 3-0 in the Pac 12 – all on the road.

*Cleanthony Early (Wichita State). The senior forward scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds during his team’s stunning come-from-behind Missouri Valley Conference victory at Missouri State Saturday.

*Shaq Goodwin (Memphis). The sophomore post averaged 19.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in road wins against Louisville and Temple.

*Doug McDermott (Creighton). The possible John R. Wooden Award leader averaged 27.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists as the Blue Jays won twice to improve to 4-0 in the Big East.

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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