The field is starting to take shape for March Madness, but that doesn’t mean there’s been any shortage of fireworks in college basketball this week. Tennessee fell twice at the hands of a buzzer-beater, Stanford took down a top-five team and Bill Walton is making the case for nine Pac-12 teams in the NCAA Tournament. It must be college basketball season.

Now that the NFL season is over, following the legendary Patrick Mahomes Super Bowls MVP performance, stay up to date with the sport taking center stage in our latest power rankings below!

1. Houston (23-2)

Since rising to the top spot in our rankings last week, the Cougars dismantled Tulsa in their only game of the week, holding them to 42 points and winning by 38. The defense seems to be clicking again and a top eight efficiency on both ends of the floor is something only Houston can claim this year.

2. Purdue (23-3)

Northwestern pulled off the upset, which was obviously the biggest win of the day in all of sports. That’s two losses in the last three games for Purdue who are starting to look mortal after an incredible start to the season. I’d still take them over every team except Houston, which is why they stuck at No. 2 this week.

3. Alabama (22-3)

The consistency of the Tide in conference play is something to behold after last season was marred with unpredictability and upsets seemingly every week. Now they’re unbeaten in the conference with a 22-3 record that is third best in the country. Not even a raucous Neville Arena could stop them, but a trip to Knoxville could prove to their first defeat on Wednesday night.

4. UCLA (21-4)

The regular season Pac-12 race is all but over after a win in Eugene for the Bruins and a loss in Stanford for Arizona. Amari Bailey enjoyed a breakout performance earlier in the week and if the former five-star recruit starts living up to his recruiting hype, UCLA will be that much more dangerous.

5. Kansas (20-5)

The Jayhawks are inevitable in the Big 12 regular season and after a slow start, they’re right back to within a game of the top spot after their win over Texas on Monday night. A convincing win on the road was the cherry on top of a perfect week in Lawrence.

6. Texas (20-5)

They may have dropped a tight game in Allen Fieldhouse on Monday, but the Longhorns still hold their advantage in the conference standings after steamrolling West Virginia by 34 on Saturday. Sir’ Jabari Rice continues to play like the best sixth man in the country after 24 more points to lead the team in that win over the Mountaineers.

7. Virginia (19-4)

Controversial doesn’t quite cover the call that allowed Virginia to escape with a win over Duke this weekend, but it all counts the same as the Cavaliers improved to a league-best 11-3 in ACC play. They could be in line for a one-seed on Selection Sunday if they run the table, but Tony Bennett knows better than anyone that no one is safe in the Round of 64.

8. Baylor (19-6)

Nine wins over their last ten have Baylor in terrific shape heading into the final stretch of a loaded Big 12 schedule. They were 0-3 to begin play in the conference but are just one game back with total control over their own destiny in the final six games.

9. Creighton (17-8)

A ranking this high for Creighton could be a bit controversial, but this is one of the last teams I’d want to see with my season on the line in a few weeks. They’ve increased their winning streak to eight, which is the longest among high-major teams, and the Blue Jays are playing as well as any team in college basketball.

10. Indiana (18-7)

The same theory applies to Indiana as it does to Creighton. The Hoosiers are 8-1 in their last nine games and boast a win over No. 1 Purdue in that period. With the hottest player in the sport and a terrific freshman point guard, who would want to play this team right now?

11. Arizona (22-4)

Tommy Lloyd’s tenure with the Wildcats has been all about explosive offense, but what changed the trajectory of their season was the emergence of one of the most efficient defenses over the last few weeks. They reverted to their old ways late Saturday night, surrendering 88 points to Stanford in a loss that effectively eliminates them from contention for a regular season Pac-12 title.

12. Marquette (20-6)

A blowout loss to UConn was especially disappointing for a scorching hot Golden Eagles team, but there’s no time to dwell on it with a pair of ranked matchups coming up over the next week for Shaka Smart’s Big East leaders.

13. Tennessee (19-6)

Losses don’t get any more heartbreaking than the one Tennessee endured on Wednesday night against Vanderbilt. Except the one they endured Saturday. The Vols fell to a buzzer-beater in consecutive games, but both were against teams they should’ve handled before they came down to the final shot. I just don’t see this team as a legit contender come March.

14. Miami (20-5)

The Canes are quietly on a four-game winning streak in the ACC, climbing to within a half-game of conference leaders Virginia and Pittsburgh. Will they be able to handle Armando Bacot and the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill with their small-ball lineup? We’ll find out Monday night.

15. Kansas State (19-6)

There’s no questioning whether Kansas State is a good team – their 6-4 quadrant 1 record wouldn’t be possible if they weren’t. But a 1-4 stretch in conference play is creating reasonable skepticism about whether the Wildcats are pretenders or contenders. Their rebuild under Jerome Tang is well ahead of schedule, but maybe this team isn’t quite ready to be in the top tier of the best conference in basketball.

16. Saint Mary’s (22-5)

The Gaels opened the door to a WCC comeback for Gonzaga with a loss to LMU, who have now knocked off the top two teams in the conference this season. Still, Saint Mary’s are in position to be a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament with an experienced and talented roster that ranks seventh in the latest KenPom rankings.

Next 5: Gonzaga, Xavier, Iowa State, Duke, Oklahoma State

Players of the Week:

Trayce Jackson-Davis, No. 18 Indiana Hoosiers

Another week, another appearance for TJD on the players of the week list. It’s hard to exclude him when his team goes 2-0 and he averaged 24 points, 13 rebounds and nearly five assists. The player of the year shortlist should be down to him, Zach Edey and Jalen Wilson. To be honest, I’m leaning toward Jackson-Davis right now.

Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy Titans

One of the most prolific scorers in college basketball history is closing in on the ultimate record to prove it. Davis has played over 50 more games than Maravich, but surpassing his mark will be impressive, nonetheless. He scored 41 and 42 points this week to help his case and if the Titans only play one game in the Horizon Tournament, he’ll need to average 37 points to reach the historic mark.

Adam Flagler, No. 14 Baylor Bears

Baylor rotates each week which of their star guards will step up and it was Flagler’s turn this week, reaching 20 points in each game while shooting 5-10 from the perimeter in a comeback win at TCU on Saturday. Don’t be surprised if the senior guard is this year’s NCAA Tournament darling, because nobody plays better than him when the lights are the brightest.

Taevion Kinsey, Marshall Thundering Herd

Kinsey is back on draft radars due to his terrific season for Marshall, which he added to with a 37-point performance against Georgia State on Saturday. The fifth-year senior has been a double-digit scorer for The Herd every season of his career and is averaging nearly 22 points this season with his outstanding shotmaking inside the 3-point line. Keep an eye out for this guy if Marshall ends up in the NCAA Tournament this March.

Tucker DeVries, Drake Bulldogs

DeVries is another sleeper draft prospect who shined this week as he scored 32 points in consecutive games before registering 15 more in just 19 minutes on Saturday. The 6’7 sophomore has outstanding size on the wing and is a terrific shooter with a 41% percentage from the perimeter on nearly seven attempts per game.

Play of the Week:

Brandon Miller is the best freshman in college basketball this season and just entered his nomination for the best play of the season against Auburn. The terrific freshman got out in transition late in the first half and made Allen Flanigan regret going up for the block with a sensational poster slam. His look at the end of this clip tells you everything you need to know.

Video Credit: ESPN


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