NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 9:00am

The national scene will come into a bit sharper focus this week by way of tournaments in Hawaii and Southern California.

Denzel ValentineDenzel ValentineThe Maui Invitational, which tips Monday morning in Lahaina, has a field that includes No. 3 Indiana and No. 14 Kansas, as well as an intriguing opening-round game late Monday night pitting UCLA and UNLV.

The championship game is set for Wednesday night.

And then in Orange County in Southern California, the eight-team John R. Wooden “Legacy” tips on Thanksgiving afternoon at Cal State Fullerton. Action resumes on Friday with Saturday off and the last day of play at the Pond Arena in Anaheim.

No. 6 Arizona and No. 11 Michigan State are set up for a possible championship showdown.

But the UC Irvine vs. Boise State matchup should provide the most compelling first-day competition.

Rank (Last week's rank)
1. Maryland (1)
May not have looked the part of “the best team in the country” while wobbling to wins over Georgetown and Rider.
2. Kentucky (3)
Tyler Ulis looked the part of “best point guard in the country” over the first four games.
3. Indiana (7)
The Hoosiers will get a chance to prove their at least this good in Lahaina.
4. Gonzaga (8)
Bulldogs play the “Pac 12” portion of their schedule over next three games (Washington, Washington State and Arizona).
5. Iowa St. (9)
Still adjusting to new coaching but no doubting how offensively gifted this team remains.
6. Arizona (14)
Possible showdown with Michigan State next Sunday down the street from Disneyland.
7. Villanova (12)
Plus-29 points per game so far . . .
8. California (13)
First non-Berkeley tilt takes place not on tap until Dec. 5 game in Laramie.
9. Oklahoma (10)
The win was by way of equal bits experience, grit and Buddy Hield.
10. LSU (15)
I know which trio of freshmen I would want representing me in a national “3 on 3” tournament.
11. Michigan St. (NR)
The Spartans’ victory over Kansas in Chicago way out in front so far in “Most Impressive Win of Season” derby.
12. North Carolina (2)
The “senior showcase/hometown” game for senior guard Marcus Paige went array at Northern Iowa in two ways.
13. Miami (NR)
Truth to be told . . . no team was more impressive last week than the Hurricanes.
14. Kansas (5)
Missing some key elements right now before Jayhawks can “be the team everyone thinks they can be”.
15. Duke (11)
Instillation of freshman Derryck Thornton into starting lineup gave Blue Devils much more offensively fluidity in Madison Square Garden than what was on display vs. Kentucky in Chicago.
16. Utah (16) Virginia (4)
After loss at George Washington the Cavs were barely challenged over three games in Charleston.

ON THE CUSP: Butler 3-1, Connecticut 3-0, George Washington 4-0, Louisville 3-0, Notre Dame 3-0, Oregon 4-0, Purdue 5-0, SMU 3-0, Utah 4-1, Vanderbilt 4-0 and Wichita State 2-1.


*Ben Simmons (LSU): 18.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game with 62 percent FG shooting. Not a bad debut for his only college season before being next June’s No. 1 NBA draft choice.

*Denzel Valentine (Michigan State): For those who forgot what a key element he was to the Spartans’ Final Four run last spring, Valentine re-introduced himself perfectly via his triple-double (29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists) in the come-from-behind win over Kansas in Chicago Tuesday night.

*Buddy Hield (Oklahoma): After his 30-points and 8-rebounds effort at Memphis it’s apparently he’s not going to surrender his Big 12 POY status this season.

*Tyler Ulis (Kentucky): Best sub 6-footer in college hoops? This guy is way out in the lead following a start that includes his 18 points, six assists and zero turnovers effort vs. Duke.

*Grayson Allen (Duke): The sophomore is looking like a strong ACC Player of the Year candidate after his jump-shooting performance in Madison Square Garden: nine of 14 behind the arc and 31.0 points per game.

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 College coaching staffs interested in Burlison’s scouting service should contact him at [email protected]

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Is Utah "on the cusp" or #16?

Is Utah "on the cusp" or #16?

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