Fourth Quarter Sports’ College Basketball power rankings: Week eight

There has been a lot of change in the top 25 this week, at least for our rankings! Most of the teams in the top 25 played important games for their season.
In fact, this week we had nine important games featuring top 25 teams. Of those nine, five of them were top 25 versus top 25, including two undefeated teams who are no longer undefeated. Those teams are Texas Tech and Buffalo, but we can add Furman to that list as well.
Texas Tech lost to Duke, while Buffalo lost to a really hot Marquette team. Furman got dropped by LSU. Let’s not forget about Kansas-Arizona State and North Carolina-Kentucky that ended with the lower seeds winning and another No. 1 team going down. That makes this week’s rankings all the better to pay attention to, as we look at the difference between this week and last week’s.
  1. Virginia (11-0)
  2. Nevada (12-0)
  3. Tennessee (10-1)
  4. Michigan (12-0)
  5. Duke (11-1)
  6. Kansas (10-1)
  7. Michigan State (10-2)
  8. Florida State (11-1)
  9. Virginia Tech (10-1)
  10. Gonzaga (11-2)
  11. Marquette (10-2)
  12. Kentucky (9-2)
  13. Mississippi State (11-1)
  14. Ohio State (11-1)
  15. Wisconsin (10-2)
  16. Texas Tech (10-1)
  17. Arizona State (9-2)
  18. Auburn (10-2)
  19. Houston (11-0)
  20. Indiana (11-2)
  21. Buffalo (11-1)
  22. Iowa (10-2)
  23. North Carolina State (11-1)
  24. Nebraska (10-2)
  25. Oklahoma (11-1)

On the Bubble

St. John’s, Temple, Cincinnati, Maryland, Iowa State, Butler, Mississippi, LSU and Minnesota

Dropped from the Rankings

Furman and North Carolina

Top 25 Breakdown

Numbers One through Five

Fortunately, the top five didn’t change as much, besides the former No. 1 Kansas falling out of the top five after they blew the lead against Arizona State late Saturday night. Duke proved themselves worry of being back in the top five. I still believe Virginia is the team to beat in the ACC right now, but they and Duke still have to play each other twice this season, so it may change later on.

The real question is, how long can Nevada and Michigan remain undefeated? They have both been really impressive in the earlier stages of this season, but have yet to play any conference games. I am a believer of Michigan and the Big TEN having a chance this year, but Cullen and Joel don’t necessarily agree with me in our latest “Buy or Sell.” I just like what Michigan has been able to do this season. Tennessee has also be a proven team who has only lost to Kansas. So you ask why Kansas still isn’t in the top five. Let me take you to the next five and explain.

Numbers Six through 10

Okay, so why is Kansas No. 6 instead of being in the top five despite then having a win over Tennessee earlier? Let me explain. Yes, Kansas beat Tennessee, Michigan State and Villanova, but a loss to an Arizona State team who’s coming off a poor performance in their last game cost Kansas a spot in the top five. We should expect to see them back in the top five as long as they can rebound from the poor effort at the end of their last game.

Michigan State, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Gonzaga all had the week off in terms of tough opponents. We will keep them in the top 10 for now. Gonzaga made the biggest jump back into the top 10 with the North Carolina and Texas Tech losses.

Numbers 11 through 15

Marquette and Mississippi State continue to climb their way up to the top. They have gotten help over the last few weeks with other teams around them losing. This week Marquette helped themselves by beating an undefeated Buffalo team.

At the same time, Kentucky saved themselves from being knocked out the top 25 with their win over North Carolina. As you can see, UNC has been knocked out of the top 25 because of that loss. You can read more about it here.

Ohio State and Wisconsin are part of the seven Big Ten teams in the top 25. They are looking to continue their success early on. We may be able to see eight or nine teams from the Big Ten at some point this season with Maryland and Minnesota looking to stay on the bubble. How long can they stay that way with all of them still having to play each other?

Numbers 16 through 20

Texas Tech, Arizona State and Auburn all lost games this week, which explains why they have been pushed down in the rankings. Well at least for Auburn, that’s the reason. Auburn has dropped 11 spots in the top 25 rankings, and yeah it may be a bit harsh to drop them so much after a loss to NC State. That loss in the committees eyes was against an unranked NC State team, but I gave them the ranking last week.

Arizona State saved themselves from being removed from the top 25 with their big come back against Kansas on Saturday night. Had they lost that game, we wouldn’t be speaking about them in the top 25. So for this week they are safe.

Houston and Indiana have continuously proven themselves worthy of a top 25 spot. That’s why we have given them the jump in the spot top 20. As well as both teams are playing, we could likely see them continue to climb their way to the top of the rankings.

Numbers 21 through 25

Buffalo’s loss has knocked them down, but not out just yet. For Furman, it was different because they were already on the boarder of being knocked out if they didn’t continue to win. Buffalo also has had a few impressive wins lately that have kept them in the top 15 for so long. Hopefully they can bounce back nicely after this terrible loss to Marquette.

Iowa hasn’t been all that impressive lately, but have still managed to win games. That’s why they have been able to stay in the top 25. All it takes is one loss and they will be one Big Ten team out of the top 25 picture. Fortunately they don’t have any big time opponents, so they should be able to continue winning and jump their way back up.

North Carolina State, Nebraska and Oklahoma are all teams who are looking for a huge jump as the season goes along. All three teams have proven they can win the big games against top ranked opponents. I mean, previously ranked No. 7 Auburn did just lose to NC State.

Oklahoma deserves to be in the top 25 based on how they have been playing lately. They seem to be winning all the games we wouldn’t have thought they would. Their only loss on the season so far is to Wisconsin. Will the committee give them a chance in the top 25 this week?

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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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