We’re five weeks into the season and the ACC, Big 12, Big East and Big Ten still have their collective hands in a stranglehold on the Power 16 rankings.
The Big 12 is especially dominant at the top, holding onto the No.’s 2, 3 and 4 slots as Iowa State, Oklahoma and Kansas are a collective 24-1.
And the only loss by those three happened because Kansas lost a big second-half lead and was beaten at still-unbeaten and now-No. 1 ranked Michigan State.
The only “outsiders” are No. 5 Kentucky (SEC) and No. 16 Arizona (Pac 12).
Rank (Last week’s rank)
1. Michigan St. (1)
|There is nothing negative about “narrow home wins” when they come against the likes of Louisville and Florida.|
2. Iowa St. (2)
|The Cyclones didn’t have much wiggle room vs. Iowa in the best “comeback” of the season, did they?|
3. Oklahoma (3)
|The Sooners looked every bit this good while pasting previously unbeaten Villanova in Pear Harbor.|
4. Kansas (6)
|It took 20 minutes’ worth of Tres Tinkle 3-pointers (five of them) to shake out the Jayhawks’ cobwebs at intermission against Oregon State Saturday in Lawrence.|
5. Kentucky (7)
|The Wildcats may not be the “fifth best” team in the country right but the ingredients remain in place to be at least that good come March.|
6. North Carolina (5)
|The Tar Heels didn’t defend the arc particularly well in either loss (Northern Iowa and Texas were a combined 23 of 52 on 3s).|
7. Maryland (8)
|“Balance” is what a team is that has each starter averaging from 10.5 to 15.8 points per game.|
8. Duke (9)
|The Blue Devils play Georgia Southern (Tuesday) and Utah (Saturday) this week then have a nine-day layoff before next game (Elon, Dec. 28).|
9. Virginia (10)
|That Georgetown game is starting to look like just a blip on the radar of the Cavaliers’ normal offensive efficiency and defensive stickiness.|
10. Xavier (11)
|The Musketeers are better than No. 10 right now but need some more teams in front of them to lose before ascending.|
11. Villanova (4)
|The game vs. Oklahoma was a like a jolt of ice water tossed in the face of someone in the middle of slumber.|
12. Providence (12)
|Only Kobe could have helped Bryant upset the Kris Dunn-less (ill) Friars Sunday.|
13. Purdue (14)
|The Boilermakers have allowed 59 or fewer points seven times.|
14. West Virginia (13)
|Not a lot of shame in losing to Virginia on a neutral court – although doing so after a holding a six-point lead at the half has to be tough.|
15. Miami (15)
|Barring significant upset the Canes will be 11-1 when they play hosts to Syracuse in a Jan. 2 ACC-opening contest.|
16. Arizona (16)
|The Wildcats’ foes are in-state (Northern Arizona) and adjacent state (UNLV) this week.|
ON THE CUSP: Arkansas-Little Rock 8-0, Baylor 7-1, Butler 8-1, Cincinnati 8-2, Connecticut 6-3, George Washington 9-1, Gonzaga 6-3, Louisville 7-1, SMU 7-0, Texas 6-3, UCLA 7-3 and Wichita State 5-4.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (Dec. 7-13)
*Myles Davis (Xavier): Davis scored 17 points (he was three of four on 3s) to help the Musketeers knock off cross-town rival Cincinnati Saturday to stay unbeaten. Four nights earlier he scored 13 in a win over Wright State.
*Javan Felix (Texas): The senior guard scored 25 points – two of those via a buzzer-beating (barely) jumper that gave the Longhorns their 84-82 victory over North Carolina Saturday in Austin.
*Anthony Gill (Virginia): The 6-8 senior scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Cavaliers came from six points down at intermission to toppled then-unbeaten West Virginia Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden during one half of the Jimmy V Classic.
*Melo Trimble (Maryland): The sophomore guard dropped in 25 points, 14 of those coming on 15 free-throw attempts, as the Terps held off a Connecticut rally to knock off the Huskies in the other side of the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday night. He added 18 points and four assists Saturday vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore.
*Fred VanVleet (Wichita State): In only his second and third games since returning from injury, the senior point guard averaged 13.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists as the Shockers knocked off UNLV and Utah at home.
Frank Burlison / BurlisonOnBasketball 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]