A couple of powerhouses who had endured “struggles”, of late, were back to putting the hammer to foes last week.

The Wildcats from Lexington and Tucson won their four games by a collective margin of 105 points.

And another set of Wildcats – these from Philadelphia – went to 17-1 as Villanova continued to play as if intends to methodically pull away from the rest of the Big East Conference pack.

There are plenty of interesting conference clashes on the college hoops menu this week, including in the Big East (Villanova at Georgetown/Monday), Big Ten (Iowa at Wisconsin/Tuesday; Maryland at Indiana/Thursday), Pac 12 (Arizona at Stanford/Thursday) and WCC (Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga/Thursday).

Rank (Last week’s rank)
1. Kentucky (1)
All in all, it was a dominant week for the Wildcats, who spanked SEC foes Missouri and Alabama by 51 and 22 points, respectively.
2. Virginia (2)
The Cavaliers continued their dominance of ACC opposition in wins over Clemson and Boston College. They’ve allowed 57 or more points only three times.
3. Gonzaga (4)
The Bulldogs are 5-zip on the WCC road.
4. Villanova (5)
Only three of those 17 Ws have come via margins of less than 10 points.
5. Duke (3)
That Blue Devils’ mojo – with the aid of a zone to patch a defense that had been springing leaks of late – was back in full force in Louisville Saturday afternoon.
6. Arizona (6)
The Wildcats’ status as Pac 12 favorites was back in full bloom Saturday in Tucson against a Utah team that had been dominant in conference.
7. Notre Dame (7)
The Irish are away from South Bend for five of their next seven ACC contests.
8. Wisconsin (9)
The Badgers have surrendered 65 or more points just four times.
9. Wichita St. (10)
Size is relative, of course, but the Shockers may be the shortest team, collectively, in the Power 16.
10. Maryland (12)
The only regular-season meeting with Wisconsin is still a month or so (Feb. 24 in Madison) away.
11. Louisville (8)
The Blue Devils certainly took them out of their comfort zone – via a zone – in the Yum! Center on Saturday.
12. Utah (11)
The Utes got the Wildcats’ undivided attention at both ends of the floor in the McKale Center on Saturday.
13. Iowa State (13)
There should be reasonable expectation that the Cyclones will win their next four games before a Feb. 2 rematch with Kansas in Lawrence.
14. Kansas (14)
How many projected Frank Mason III as the program’s best player before the start of the season? And the thing is . . . he might be that right now.
15. North Carolina (NR)
The only toe stub in the past nine games was a one-point loss to Notre Dame in Chapel Hill on Jan. 5.
16. Northern Iowa (NR)
Is 6-8 senior Seth Tuttle one of the country’s most vastly underrated players? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

ON THE CUSP: Colorado State 17-2, Dayton 15-2, Indiana 14-4, Iowa 13-5, Louisiana Tech 14-4, North Carolina State 13-6, Old Dominion 15-2, Providence 14-5, Saint Mary’s 15-3, San Diego State 14-4, SMU 14-4, Texas 13-4, Tulsa 12-5, VCU 15-3, West Virginia 15-3 and Wyoming 16-3.


*Darius Carter (Wichita State): The 245-pound senior averaged 21.5 points and 7.0 rebounds as the Shockers padded their MVC mark to 6-zip.

*Jake Layman (Maryland): The 6-8 junior averaged 17.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.0 assist as the Terps recorded home Big Ten wins against Rutgers and Michigan State.

*TJ McConnell (Arizona): The senior point guard averaged 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and just 2.0 turnovers in the Wildcats’ 14- and 18-point victories in Tucson over Colorado and Utah, respectively.

*Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton): The junior forward was exceptional in a pair of Flyers’ wins that improved them to 5-0, averaging 13.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

*James Webb III (Boise State): Webb, a 6-9 sophomore from Augusta, GA, averaged 17.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game as the Broncos collected MWC wins at home against UNLV and at New Mexico. In the latter he hit all seven attempts from behind the arc.

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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