More change this week! Surprised, right? Just another wild week in college basketball. I can get used to this, and I think many of you would agree with me! I’m keeping the intro short and sweet this week. Here’s my Top-25 for January 21!
25. Duke (14-5, 3-3)
I really wanted to leave Duke out of my Top-25 this week, but they do have very good wins, like ones over VCU, Georgetown and Indiana. But they are now on a 3-game losing streak, the last two of which came at Cameron Indoor. It doesn’t get easier for them, as a murderer’s row of ACC opponents lurks in the near future
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ NC State; Mon 1/25 @ Miami FL
24. Michigan (14-5, 4-2)
Following their huge win over Maryland, Michigan went on the road and lost to Iowa. That’s no penalty against them, as Iowa is red-hot. They were able to beat Minnesota at home last night to get back on track. Caris LeVert remains out, but if he comes back, Michigan will be a big threat.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ Nebraska; Wed 1/27 vs Rutgers
23. Indiana (16-3, 6-0)
Your current Big Ten leader, Indiana is off to an impressive 6-0 start in conference play. They are on an 11-game win streak, but their toughest competition is yet to come. We’ll see how the Hoosiers are able to navigate the toughest part of their schedule in February.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Northwestern; Tue 1/26 @ Wisconsin
22. Wichita State (13-5, 7-0)
The Shockers are still undefeated in conference play, easily defeating Indiana State and Northern Iowa this week. The biggest game remaining on their schedule is coming up on January 31 when they travel to face Evansville, who they beat by 3 at home earlier this month. If they win that game, they should cruise to a regular season MVC title.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Bradley; Wed 1/27 vs Loyola Chicago
21. Kentucky (13-4, 3-2)
Kentucky suffered a brutal loss to Auburn this past weekend, dropping them even further down my rankings. This team is extremely talented, but they have very little chemistry. Tyler Ulis is a Player of the Year candidate, but I don’t know how far he can carry this team.
Upcoming Games: Thu 1/21 @ Arkansas; Sat 1/23 vs Vanderbilt; Wed 1/27 vs Missouri
20. Iowa State (14-4, 3-3)
The Cyclones became the third team from Iowa this season to knock off a #1 team when they triumphed over Oklahoma on Monday. They have more tough tests coming though, as they host Kansas on Monday before travelling to take on Texas A&M in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ TCU; Mon 1/25 vs Kansas
19. Baylor (15-3, 5-1)
Baylor survived two tough tests this past week, winning at Texas Tech on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Lester Medford, and then outlasting Kansas State at home in double-OT last night. The Bears have a chance to prove that they really belong on Saturday when they host Oklahoma.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Oklahoma; Wed 1/27 @ Oklahoma State
18. USC (15-3, 4-1)
We haven’t seen the Trojans play in eight days, but they move up a little by way of other results. They get a chance for a big road win tonight when they take on a tough Oregon team. I considered putting Oregon in the Top-25 this week, and they present a difficult test for USC.
Upcoming Games: Thur 1/21 @ Oregon; Sun 1/24 @ Oregon State
17. Purdue (16-3, 4-2)
Purdue went to Rutgers and won by 50 this week, and that moves them up in the rankings. Rutgers is not good, but to go on the road and win by 50 points is super impressive. They can impress me more this week if they can go to Ames and beat Iowa.
Upcoming Games: Thur 1/21 vs Ohio State; Sun 1/24 @ Iowa; Wed 1/27 @ Minnesota
16. Miami FL (14-3, 3-2)
Miami rebounded from back-to-back road losses to Virginia and Clemson with a road win over Boston College. I’m having a hard time figuring out just how good this team is. They have wins over Butler and Florida, but losses to Clemson and Northeastern. A huge home match-up with Duke is coming up on Monday.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Wake Forest; Mon 1/25 vs Duke
15. Louisville (15-3, 4-1)
The Cardinals dominated Pitt and Florida State at home this week, and they now sport the nation’s most efficient defense according to KenPom. That being said, they are just 2-3 away from home, so it’s hard for me to take them as a legit threat until they prove they can beat a good team on the road.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ Georgia Tech; Wed 1/27 @ Virginia Tech
14. Michigan State (16-4, 3-4)
Thank you Michigan State for making me look like a complete fool. They look about as far from the best team in the country as possible. And now they will look to end their 3-game losing streak against Maryland on Saturday. Not an easy task.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Maryland
13. Providence (16-3, 4-2)
Providence had a disappointing loss to Seton Hall on Saturday, but bounced back with a big win over Butler. Providence has a great record and some really good wins, but the advanced analytics tell a different story. They have a chance to put a huge stamp on their resume when they head to Philly to take on Villanova.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ Villanova; Tue 1/26 vs Xavier
12. Arizona (15-3, 3-2)
Arizona answered some of the questions about how they’d perform without Allonzo Trier by blowing out Washington and Washington State at home. The rest of the questions may be answered this week as they face two tougher opponents on the road.
Upcoming Games: Thur 1/21 @ Stanford; Sat 1/23 @ California
11. Maryland (17-2, 6-1)
The Terrapins blew Ohio State out of the water, but followed that up by needing overtime to beat Northwestern at home. That’s not a top-10 worthy performance. They can get right back in there, though, if they can take advantage of a struggling Michigan State team.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ Michigan State
10. Xavier (16-2, 4-2)
Xavier suffered their second loss of the season in a home loss to Georgetown, a disappointing result for sure. This is still a very good team, and one that could easily win the Big East this season.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Seton Hall; Tue 1/26 @ Providence
9. West Virginia (15-3, 4-2)
The Mountaineers could have made a case for #1 had they knocked off Oklahoma on the road, but they lost on a tip-in with one second remaining. Unfortunately, they followed that up with a home loss to Texas. West Virginia is still a really good team, and in the Big 12, there are a lot of resume-building wins to have.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ Texas Tech; Tue 1/26 vs Kansas State
8. SMU (18-0, 7-0)
Larry Brown’s Mustangs survived a tough home test from Houston this week, and now at 18-0, they are just 12 wins away from a perfect season. That is about all they have to play for, as they are ineligible for the postseason. This weekend, they will brave the conditions in Philly as they travel to take on Temple.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ Temple
7. Virginia (14-4, 3-3)
Another bad loss for Virginia, but that is sandwiched between wins over Miami and Clemson. This is a team that can beat anybody in the country, but can also lose to almost anybody. But the more I watch them, the more I feel like they are a championship contender, and that is why they are ranked this high.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Syracuse; Mon 1/25 @ Wake Forest
6. Texas A&M (16-2, 6-0)
Your current SEC leaders, the Texas A&M Aggies are one of the fastest rising teams in the country. This past week, they dominated Georgia on the road, and then returned home to easily defeat Ben Simmons and LSU. Texas A&M is on fire, and a non-conference meeting with Iowa State is on the horizon.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Missouri; Wed 1/27 @ Arkansas
5. Kansas (15-3, 4-2)
Bill Self and Oklahoma State just do not go together. He is now 2-3 in his last 5 games in Stillwater, but he still has an extremely talented team. Kansas is still a legit championship contender. They have great guard play, and Perry Ellis is a veteran capable of carrying this team to great things.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Texas; Mon 1/25 @ Iowa State
4. Iowa (14-3, 5-0)
I feel like I’m being criminal having Iowa ranked this low. That is how good this team looks right now. They took the season series from Michigan State, and followed that up with a win over a good Michigan team. The Hawkeyes are very balanced, and they can beat any team in the country. I have them as the favorite to win the Big Ten.
Upcoming Games: Thu 1/21 @ Rutgers; Sun 1/24 vs Purdue
3. Oklahoma (15-2, 4-2)
The Sooners were able to escape with a win over West Virginia, but they weren’t as lucky in Hilton Coliseum, becoming the 3rd #1 team this season to lose in the state of Iowa. They have a chance for a big bounce-back win on Saturday in Waco against Baylor.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 @ Baylor; Tue 1/26 vs Texas Tech
2. Villanova (17-2, 7-0)
It is amazing that in a season with this much chaos, there is still a team undefeated in the brutal Big East. Yet, here Villanova sits, 7-0 in the conference with a home match-up against Providence next on the docket. The Wildcats don’t win easy, and they aren’t sexy doing it, but they win, and this season more than ever, that is the most important thing.
Upcoming Games: Sat 1/23 vs Providence
1. North Carolina (17-2, 6-0)
North Carolina is my new #1 team, and if the past is any indication, they will now lose their next game, which is a road game against Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels have yet to play the toughest teams in the ACC, and they have back-to-back road games in the first week of February against Louisville and Notre Dame. If they can win both of those games, they’ll solidify their standing at the top.
Upcoming Games: Sun 1/24 @ Virginia Tech
That does it for this week’s Top-25 ranking. Visit the page tomorrow to view a preview of this weekend’s action. If the weather forecast is any indication, we all may be snowed in on Saturday, and maybe even Sunday, so you’ll have plenty of time to watch all of the great games!