Fourth Quarter Sports’ College Basketball power rankings: Week six

Welcome back to another edition of the College Basketball Power Rankings. 

If you haven’t seen where I ranked each team last week, take a look here. As you will notice, there has been a lot of change to the rankings over the last week. The changes have to do with the strength of schedule and record of each team.

But you will see several teams that have losses ahead of those who are undefeated. Don’t worry, I will explain why that is. Let’s see where each team ranks in this week’s rankings.

20170213_Villanova-Depaul_Villanova_starting_5.jpg
Late season starting 5 huddle” by TonyTheTiger is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  1. Kansas (8-0)
  2. Virginia (9-0)
  3. Gonzaga (9-1)
  4. Nevada (10-0)
  5. Tennessee (7-1)
  6. Michigan (10-0)
  7. Duke (9-1)
  8. Auburn (8-1)
  9. Michigan State (8-2)
  10. Florida State (8-1)
  11. Texas Tech (8-0)
  12. North Carolina (7-2)
  13. Virginia Tech (8-1)
  14. Kentucky (7-2)
  15. Buffalo (9-0)
  16. Villanova (8-2)
  17. Wisconsin (8-2)
  18. Iowa (7-2)
  19. Ohio State (8-1)
  20. Arizona State (7-1)
  21. Mississippi State (8-1)
  22. Oklahoma (8-1)
  23. Nebraska (8-2)
  24. Maryland (8-2)
  25. Furman (10-0)

 

On the Bubble

Iowa State, Boston College, Syracuse, North Carolina State, UCLA, UConn, Indiana, Cincinnati, Butler and Minnesota

 

Dropped From the Rankings

Kansas State, St.  John’s

 

Top 25 Breakdown

Numbers One through Five

The top five is the interesting part of the rankings, because this week we have a new No. 1. Who should it be? For me, it’s Kansas, despite the weak schedule as of late. Kansas has beaten Tennessee and North Carolina earlier this season to earn them the top spot, but we might have another No. 1 next week if they don’t take advantage of their revenge game against Villanova this coming week.

Virginia will remain at No. 2, despite their win over Virginia Common Wealth. Gonzaga,  who was previously No. 1, will drop to three after their loss to Tennessee. However, their win against Duke is what is keeping them there! Nevada is still undefeated and their win against Arizona State secured their spot in the top five. For Tennessee, it’s tough to see them not be higher because of their win against Gonzaga, but it’s a packed house at the top of the rankings.

Numbers Six through 10

For the next five teams, any of them could be in the top five. In fact, Michigan and Duke were just there last week, but dropped because of the weak schedule this past week. Despite Michigan being 10-0 and having big wins against Villanova and North Carolina, they drop because really, what have they done for us lately? They played two smaller schools who probably won’t make the tourney.

It’s the same with Duke and why I have them dropping. For a team that is so talented, they have a fairly easy schedule. Their loss to Gonzaga hurts them, especially with Zags losing to the Volunteers. Auburn actually helps Duke stay ranked higher on my list because at least they have beaten a top 10 team. Auburn doesn’t change in position of the ranking, because they didn’t do anything to move up or down the list. Michigan State is the first two loss team to be in the top 10, but that’s okay because of who they lost to. A loss to Kansas and Louisville is what keeps Michigan State out of the top five for now, but maybe we’ll see them there soon enough. How about Florida State? Their only loss on the season is against the defending National Champions, Villanova. They have earned their spot in the top 10, but how much longer will we see them there?

Numbers 11 through 15

The middle five teams all have games this week that will impact where they end up in the rankings next week. I will talk about some of those games in the weekly preview later this week. Texas Tech looks to stay undefeated and continue to climb up the rankings, while others around them start to fall. Maybe North Carolina will be one of those teams who falls, or maybe with a win over Gonzaga, they’ll jump over Texas Tech despite their two losses.

Virginia Tech, like everyone in this group, jumps up one spot because of other teams losing. They will look to continue their jump in the rankings. Kentucky has dropped out of the top 10 because of their loss to Seton Hall. Seton Hall isn’t a good team. When you’re suppose to be one of the best in the nation, you should be winning those games. I do think Kentucky will rebound and continue to have an average season, but this game has pushed them back and they haven’t even played a conference game yet. Buffalo has also jumped into the top 15. As long as they can stay undefeated, they will continue to climb and could be a favorite in the tourney.

Numbers 16 through 20

The next group of five features teams more than capable of making big runs in the tourney. We have the reigning National champions, Villanova, slowly making a run to the top after two early surprise losses. Villanova has a tough task this week, and a win could put them high up in the rankings. Wisconsin might not deserve to have fallen as much as they did, especially when it was a loss to a Marquette team who is pretty good, but every team in front of them now has won their last game and shouldn’t been moved down.

A team like Iowa should be right where they are. We won’t kick them out the top 25, despite their two losses, because they were against two conference rivals who are ranked higher. Although Ohio State could make the case they deserve to be a bit higher, I’m just not impressed with the way they have played so far this season. But maybe they will change my mind after another week or so. Until then, we’ll have Arizona State rebound from a tough loss to Nevada and try to continue leading the PAC-12 as the only representative of the conference who is ranked. Hopefully that will change with the season about to get down to the important games.

Numbers 21 through 25

The last five has two new teams, with Kansas State and St. John’s falling out. Kansas State lost back-to-back games against Marquette (7-2) and Tulsa (7-3), which has dropped them out of the top 25 for now. St. John’s still hasn’t lost a game, but will be left out because of their strength of schedule.

Mississippi State has moved up one spot with Kansas State falling. They have a tough challenge coming up this week that will determine if they stay in the top 25 or not. We have plenty of other teams waiting to jump in. Oklahoma has made it all the way to 22 in the top 25, with only one loss to Wisconsin. They have beaten Notre Dame and other teams to get to the top 25 and will likely be here for a while. Nebraska, despite their loss to Minnesota, should also be still be in the top 25 for a little bit more. They will have a chance to rebound from that loss and keep themselves in it.

Maryland is on a thin rope. I’ll give them one more loss before they get knocked out of the top 25. With a loss to Virginia, they were safe, but the loss to a four loss Purdue team  might make things a bit difficult for us to want to keep them in. Furman still remains in the top 25 and has Villanova to thank for that. They are 10-0 and should be higher than they are, but let’s see how far they can get with a record like that.

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Will we see the same teams in the top 25 next week? Who will rise? Who will fall? Can one of the bubble teams make their case for a top 25 spot? Stay tuned next week and see who’s in and out of the top 25. Also, share who you believe should be in the top 25 based on what you’ve seen this season!

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