Fourth Quarter Sports’ College Basketball power rankings: Week 17

We are now three weeks away from selection Sunday which means that all teams still in the hunt to make the tournament.

Later this week, I will give you a preview of some of the smaller conference teams who I think could be a force in the tournament. Teams that may or may not have appeared in the top 25 all season.

We still also be needing to pay closer attention to the teams we see here. Teams like Duke, Nevada, Michigan, and Tennessee who have taken losses this week and hurt their chances of the top overall spot.

Although Duke rebounded nicely without one of their star players, they still have a lot of adversity to face without another game against North Carolina next week. Michigan also has another game against their in-state rival, Michigan State.

We can’t forget about conference tournaments as well. That will play a huge factor in where each team places, especially those teams in the Big East, Big XII, and PAC-12 who are fighting for a spot in the tournament ahead of other smaller schools. Villanova, Kansas, Iowa State, and Arizona State are just a few to be named.

So let’s see where all the teams will end up in the top 25 after several of them continue to move down with consecutive losses or bad losses over the last week.

Allen Fieldhouse during the KU Oklahoma State game during the 2006-2007 Season.” by Jonnybsay is licensed under Public Domain

Top 25 Rankings

  1. Gonzaga (27-2)
  2. Duke (24-3)
  3. Virginia (24-2)
  4. Kentucky (23-4)
  5. Tennessee (24-3)
  6. Michigan State (23-5)
  7. Michigan (24-4)
  8. Marquette (23-4)
  9. Houston (26-1)
  10. North Carolina (22-5)
  11. LSU (22-5)
  12. Texas Tech (22-5)
  13. Nevada (25-2)
  14. Purdue (20-7)
  15. Kansas (20-7)
  16. Virginia Tech (21-6)
  17. Florida State (21-6)
  18. Iowa (21-6)
  19. Kansas State (21-6)
  20. Buffalo (24-3)
  21. Maryland (21-7)
  22. Villanova (20-8)
  23. St John’s (20-8)
  24. Wisconsin (19-8)
  25. Washington (22-5)

 

On the Bubble

TCU, UCF, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Temple, VCU, North Carolina State, Minnesota and Ohio State

 

Dropped from the Rankings

Iowa State and Louisville

 

Top 25 Breakdown

Numbers One through Five

I dropped Gonzaga out of the top five last week because of the simple fact that they don’t have any games left against top opponents, but they have been one of the best team in the nation all season long. They have only lost to Tennessee and North Carolina, but they beat Duke and are currently on a 17-game winning streak.

Duke has dropped from the top spot for now because of their loss to North Carolina. But we should expect them to finish the season strong and aim to get revenge against the Tar Heels.

Virginia and Kentucky stay put in their spots as they continued to win games and try to get themselves one of the top seeds in the tournament as well. They could probably do it as they head into the final week of play against weaker opponents.

Tennessee also did not move out of the top five despite their loss to LSU. Had Michigan beaten Michigan State,  Tennessee would’ve been dropped,  so let’s thank the Spartans for that one.

Numbers Six through 10

Speaking of the Spartans, they have made their way back up to six with their win.  It was hard having them jump Marquette and Houston given how great those teams have been this week. But they have continued to prove us why they deserve to be there.

Michigan has dropped out of the top five and might have ruined their chance of being one of the top four seeds in the tournament. They will be looking ahead to their rematch with Michigan State as a final push back in the top.

Marquette and Houston look to continue to prove that they can compete with the best of the best in College basketball. It was more of a question for Houston then it was for Marquette. Houston has picked up big wins this season like the one against LSU earlier in the season.

North Carolina earned their way back into the top 10 courtesy of Nevada’s loss last week. North Carolina also best Duke, although, I’m not too convinced by it seeing how Duke’s Zion Williamson for injured and messed up all of Duke’s game plan. North Carolina will be looking to get the season sweep on Duke next week as we wrap up the season.

Numbers 11 through 15

LSU makes a tough argument as to why they should be in the top 10. I mean they have beaten both Kentucky and Tennessee on last few weeks.  But let’s be honest, it’s hard to determine who should be in the top 10 with most teams are playing well.

Nevada was six last week and most of the second half of the season into their loss, but now they are 13th. You see how important it is to win every game. One loss of a small school like Nevada or even Houston can drop and that’s actually what happened to Nevada.

For Texas Tech and Kansas, they have pretty much swapped places after Texas Tech whopped Kansas. I’m not sure if either one of them will win the Big XII, but they should both be in the tournament as potential 4 or 5.

Purdue should also be a 4 or 5 in the tournament as well as they look to finish strong and even win the conference tournament. So let’s see how they will finish.

Numbers 16 through 20

All these teams have managed to hold their own the last few weeks and have dropped from where they were originally to start the season, but they all managed to stay ranked in the process.

Kansas State and Buffalo are the two teams that have a chance to win their regular season conference title and their games this week could be the deciding factor.

But we could see Virginia Tech, Florida State and Iowa try to move up in their conference and try to win themselves an outright bid.

Numbers 21 through 25

As you can see, Villanova has dropped to 22 in the rankings and it was tough not removing them altogether. Villanova has lost three straight games and four of the last five and if they can’t turn it around tutu could be in trouble.

Maryland and Wisconsin have continued to represent the Big 10 well this year as they are two of six teams in the top 25. It’s been like that all season, but can a Big Ten team win the National title this year?

How about St. John’s chances? They will be in the tournament, but they want more then just a berth to the tournament and they could have a big chance if Villanova continues to struggle.

But Washington was pretty much already clinched the PAC-12 regular season title as they have only lost one game in the conference. They are one of those teams that haven’t been given enough credit for how they are playing. They are also the only PAC-12 team in the top 25. I mean it’s only fair, somebody got to represent the pacific coast. How will they finish the season though? Let’s watch and see.

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Until then, we will be looking forward to seeing if the same teams are 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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