The No. 1 team in the latest Power 16, Syracuse continued to manage to avoid that initial loss. No. 2 Arizona continued to look like a club capable of claiming No. 1 when it matters most. No. 3 Wichita State continued its systematic handling of all Missouri Valley Conference competition.

The aforementioned 1 and 3 – Syracuse and Wichita State — remained unbeaten even while No. 4– Florida – looked every bit the best team in the country while extending its winning streak to 17 after knocking off the host Kentucky Wildcats Saturday night, jumping up to 2.

“Big” games this week include: (Tuesday) Kansas at Texas Tech; (Wednesday) Arizona at Utah; UCLA at Cal; (Thursday) Duke at North Carolina; Gonzaga at BYU; (Saturday) Syracuse at Duke; San Diego State at New Mexico; Louisville at Cincinnati; Texas at Kansas; St. John’s a Villanova; Wisconsin at Iowa; UCLA at Stanford; Minnesota at Ohio State; (Sunday) Michigan State at Michigan; SMU at Connecticut.

Rank (Last Week)
1. Syracuse (1)
The Orange made the most of the oh-so-slight margin of error it faced against Pittsburgh and North Carolina State down the stretch of each of those ACC games.
2. Florida (4)
There are six regular-season games remaining but, yeah, the Gators have proven they are far and away the class of the SEC even with all of those “future lottery picks” on the roster in Lexington.
3. Wichita State (3)
The Shockers keep moving ever-so-smoothly on the road to an unbeaten regular season.
4. Arizona (2)
Wildcats should be been shooting two FTs, down three, and then had the ball out of bounds with .5 seconds to go ASU after Jahii Carson chinned himself on the rim after his celebratory “clinching” dunk Friday night.
5. San Diego State (5)
The Aztecs’ so-so strength of schedule outside of the MWC could cost Steve Fisher’s a club could leave it on a less-than-expected seed line on Selection Sunday.
6. Cincinnati (6)
Sean Kirkpatrick is a strong to be a first- or second-team All-American on anyone’s AA team.
7. Creighton (8)
I’m gonna dare to suggest that Doug McDermott will win the John R. Wooden Award.
8. Kansas (7)
In strongly suggest that the Jayhawks are going to win their final six regular-season games.
9. Duke (10)
Two-game ACC road trip capped with that long haul to Chapel Hill on Thursday for make-up of UNC contest.
10. Virginia (11)
It’s reasonable to assume this team will be 15-1 in ACC play when it plays host to Syracuse on March 1.
11. Villanova (9)
The Wildcats’ “non-Creighton” record stands at 22-1.
12. Wisconsin (14)
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is the best team in the Big Ten – at least for the time being.
13. Pittsburgh (13)
Five of the Panthers’ losses are by a combined margin of 15 points.
14. Iowa (15)
The Hawkeyes’ game with Wisconsin on Saturday will be of more significance if they don’t stumble in Bloomington on Tuesday.
15. St. Louis (NR)

Not to dip too deeply into sentimentality but, yeah, the late and great Rick Majerus would be pleased with this team.

16. North Carolina (NR)
The Tar Heels’ turnaround (six wins in a row) gets tested at Florida State and home to Duke this week.

THE NEXT 16: Arizona State 19-6, Connecticut 20-5, Gonzaga 23-4, Green Bay 21-5, Iowa State 19-5, Kansas State 17-8, Kentucky 19-6, Louisville 21-4, Memphis 19-6, Michigan 18-7, Michigan State 21-5, New Mexico 19-5, Ohio State 20-6, Oklahoma 19-7, SMU 20-6, Texas 20-6 and UCLA 20-5.


*Creighton. The Blue Jays rallied to win at Butler then dropped the McDHammer on Villanova for the second time this season in the Big East.
*Florida. The Gators are showing why very good seniors beat very good underclassmen – especially freshmen and sophomores – almost every time out. Tennessee and Kentucky got the lessons last week.

*Nebraska. The Huskers extended their Big Ten winning streak to three with victories at home over Illinois and at Michigan State.

*Saint Louis. The Billikens pulled a two-point A-10 victory over second-place VCU to improve its winning streak to 17.

*Syracuse. The Orange are 24-0 after too-close-for-any-comfort ACC buzzer-beating wins over Pittsburgh and North Carolina State.


*Jordan Adams. The sophomore wing helped the Bruins sweep Colorado and Utah in Pac 12 play (moving a game behind Arizona in the standings), averaging 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game.

*Billy Baron. The senior guard for Canisius (and son of the program’s head coach) averaged 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference wins over Niagara and Siena. He was 29 of 33 from the free-throw line in the games.

*Frank Kaminsky. The junior 7-footer averaged 21.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in Wisconsin’s Big Ten victories over Minnesota and Michigan.

*Doug McDermott. The top candidate for the John R. Wooden Award kept up his JRWA-leading ways, averaging 32.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in ACC wins at Butler and at home against Villanova.

*Scotty Wilbekin. The Florida Gators’ senior point guard helped clear up any doubt as to who is fielding the SEC’s best team right now, averaging 22.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game in wins at Tennessee and Kentucky.

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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