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Fourth Quarter Sports’ College Basketball power rankings: Week 18

We are narrowing down the games and teams left in the top 25. This past week we saw several teams lose again. We saw losses by half of the teams in the top 10, including two losses by No. 10 Marquette. Houston, Michigan State and Kentucky also lost last week. 

With these losses, things get even more complicated in the conferences that don’t have outright winners yet. Duke’s loss moves them to third in the conference, as well as Kentucky’s. Marquette and Houston still have the top spot in their conference, but let’s see where each team is ranked and how it will impact them this week compared to last.

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Top 25 Rankings

  1. Gonzaga (29-2)
  2. Virginia (26-2)
  3. Tennessee (26-3)
  4. Kentucky (24-5)
  5. Duke (25-4)
  6. North Carolina (24-5)
  7. Michigan (26-4)
  8. Michigan State (23-6)
  9. Houston (27-2)
  10. LSU (24-5)
  11. Texas Tech (24-5)
  12. Purdue (22-7)
  13. Kansas (22-7)
  14. Marquette (23-6)
  15. Virginia Tech (22-6)
  16. Florida State (23-6)
  17. Kansas State (22-7)
  18. Buffalo (26-3)
  19. Wofford (26-4)
  20. Nevada (26-3)
  21. Cincinnati (25-4)
  22. Washington (23-6)
  23. Villanova (22-8)
  24. Central Florida (22-6)
  25. Utah State (24-6)

 

On the Bubble

Iowa State, Arizona State, Auburn, Mississippi State, Syracuse, Temple, VCU and North Carolina State.

 

Dropped from the Rankings

Iowa, Maryland, Wisconsin and St. John’s.

 

Top 25 Breakdown

Numbers One through Five

I don’t think there’s any debate here! Gonzaga and Virginia have been the best two teams in the nation all season long.  They, like everyone else, have had their hiccups which resulted in a loss. Gonzaga is done with regular season play, so they can’t hurt themselves. But Virginia and others like Tennessee and Kentucky could jump them.

Tennessee came off a rough two weeks, as they lost to both Kentucky and LSU. They did bounce back nicely with a beat down of their own against Kentucky. That’s why we see the switch here. And then there’s Duke. I think not having Zion Williamson is more of a problem than we think, as they have lost two of their last four games without him in the lineup.

Numbers Six through 10

Now I know North Carolina should be in the top five, but they have lost to three of the teams ahead of them. It’s hard putting them over those teams who beat them.

Michigan limps over Michigan State and several other teams who were in the top 10 before now.  Michigan State was fortunate enough to have not fallen too much. In fact, it was only one spot down. I did that because I want Michigan State versus Michigan round two to be even more interesting. Check out the schedule later today to find out more about that.

Houston lost their second game of the season to Central Florida, and it hurt their chances of getting into the the top five. This week is another week full of tough matchups, as the Cougars try to stay atop the American Atlantic Conference.

LSU has finally cracked the top 10 thanks to their win over Tennessee early last week. Of course, they got some help with Marquette losing consecutive games.

Numbers 11 through 15

Texas Tech and Purdue have continued to remain on top of their conference despite their overall records. They have played well in the conference and could claim the regular season conference title. Kansas hopes to spoil that hope for Texas Tech, as they look to overtake them again.

Marquette has not only fallen from the top 10, but they are not the conference leader anymore, with Villanova passing them.

Virginia Tech has been one of the better teams this season, but they are also in one of the best conferences in all of College Basketball, the ACC. Their fate in the top 25 and conference tournament is already sealed.

Numbers 16 through 20

Like Virginia Tech, Florida State has been one ACC team clawing themselves into the top 25. They’re currently fifth in the conference. Virginia Tech is fourth, and they have a date in the final week of the season.

Kansas State is still in the mix for the Big XII title as well. They also want to be able to move up in the rankings before the season ends. Can they use their games this week to do so?

Buffalo, Nevada and Wofford are all teams in smaller conferences. At one point in the season, Buffalo and Nevada were ranked in the top 10. Buffalo lost a pair of games and dropped down to the 20-25 range, until they recently starting to get things going again. Nevada has lost two straight conference games, and went from sixth all the way to 20th. Wofford makes their first appearance in my rankings this week, but they are one of my favorite schools to go far from a smaller conference. Read about it more here.

Numbers 21 through 25

All five of these teams have been proving themselves all season long. Villanova has struggled to get through this season, but managed to win big games when they matter. Their biggest game of late was against Marquette, where they took over the Big East lead, which is why they are still ranked.

Cincinnati and Central Florida are set to tip off this week, and Central Florida wants to prove that their win over Houston was the real deal.

Washington wants to prove they can compete with the best teams in the nation, especially after struggling in the PAC-12. I think Washington and Arizona State will be the only teams from this conference to make the tournament.

Utah State? Who are they, you ask? They are the team who just took down Nevada and earned themselves a look into the top 25. I’m not sure if they can actually make any real statements against the big teams, but this would be a nice story to watch.

 

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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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