#1 – Villanova (10-0) — UP
A perfect ten out of ten, including wins over Gonzaga and Tennessee. Ranked #1 in KenPom as well as the polls.
#2 – Michigan State (9-1) — UP
Perhaps the most talented team in the country. The Spartans own wins over North Carolina and Notre Dame, and their only loss is on a neutral court to Duke.
#3 – Wichita State (8-1) — UP
Only loss was by a single point in Maui to a Notre Dame team they dominated for most of that game. Own wins vs Baylor and @ Oklahoma State.
#4 – North Carolina (9-1) — UP
They got killed by Michigan State on a neutral court, but they’ve been perfect otherwise, and have faced a strength of schedule about 250 spots tougher than 8-0 Miami.
#5 – Miami (8-0) — UP
The Strength of Schedule is bad, but they are undefeated, own a win over Minnesota on the road, and are ranked in the KenPom top 15 (unlike Arizona State). Won’t be challenged until they face two top-35 teams in three days on January 13/15.
#6 – Duke (11-1) — DOWN
Lost to a Boston College team that is outside of the top 80 in KenPom, but they still have neutral court wins over Michigan State, Texas, and Florida.
#7 – Texas A&M (8-1) — DOWN
Texas A&M feels a little high at #7, but the head to head over West Virginia keeps the Mountaineers from overtaking the Aggies. They drop a spot after losing to Arizona.
#8 – West Virginia (9-1) — UP
They frankly looked bad in the season opener against Texas A&M, but since they’ve recovered and have taken down UCF, Missouri, Pitt, and most notably, Virginia.
#9 – Virginia (8-1) — UP
A top-five team according to KenPom. Their only loss is by single digits on the road to the #8 team. Wins over VCU, Vanderbilt, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin will carry the Cavs into next year where they’ll face Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Syracuse in the span of a week.
#10 – Arizona State (9-0) — UP
Arizona State has a case to be #1 resume wise, but talent-wise they’re a fringe top-25 squad. Wins over San Diego State, Kansas State, Xavier, St. John’s, and a win in Allen Fieldhouse against Kansas is probably the best group of wins in the nation, but anyone that has watched them play knows they aren’t #1 quality. A defense that doesn’t rank in the top-150 will come back to bite them come conference play.
#11 – Xavier (9-1) — UP
Only loss is to Arizona State, and they have wins against Baylor, Cincinnati, and @ Wisconsin. The Musketeers will continue to climb.
#12 – Kentucky (8-1) — DOWN
Kentucky drops a spot this week. The schedule is just so, so, bad. Here are the KenPom ranks of the teams they’ve played during this six-game streak: 126, 160, 174, 226, 153, 151. They’ve still got three games vs top 50 teams left in 2017 to make me a believer.
#13 – Florida State (9-0) — NEW
Undefeated, the Florida win got immediately devalued when the Gators fell to Loyola-Chicago, but it is a top 25 win nonetheless. They have no other wins vs top 100 teams.
#14 – Gonzaga (8-2) — DOWN
The loss to Villanova drops them one spot. The Zags beat Washington on Sunday by 27, the same Washington team that beat Kansas earlier on this year.
#15 – Purdue (10-2) — UP
Six straight wins, including Arizona, Louisville, and Maryland rocket the Boilermakers into the top 15.
#16 – Kansas (7-2) — DOWN
I dropped Kansas 14 spots this week, and that might not have even been enough. The Arizona State loss is explainable. The Sun Devils play extraordinary offense, but the loss to Washington is just mind-boggling. The Huskies were ranked #140 in KenPom at the time the game was played.
#17 – TCU (10-0) — UP
TCU fans have got to love me keeping the Horned Frogs behind two-loss Kansas. I stayed up till three AM Eastern to watch the Horned Frogs battle Nevada, and I’ve got to say… despite the sub-170 strength of schedule, I’m impressed.
#18 – Seton Hall (8-1) — UP
People kind of forgot about Seton Hall after the Pirates lost to Rhode Island, but they’ve rebounded with wins over Texas Tech and Louisville, two tournament level teams.
#19 – Notre Dame (8-2) — DOWN
Oh how the mighty have fallen. I kept Notre Dame in my top five even after the loss to Michigan State, but that loss to a Ball State team that ranked #129 at the time the game was played just tanked their resume. The Wichita State win is the only thing keeping them ranked.
#20 – Arizona (7-3) — NEW
My preseason national championship pick is back in the rankings after a win over #7 Texas A&M, they’ll continue to climb now that Rawle Alkins is back.
#21 – Tennessee (7-1) — NEW
The overtime win over Purdue back in the Battle 4 Atlantis earns them a spot in the rankings, but they kind of struggled with Georgia Tech and Lipscomb in their last two games. North Carolina comes to town on Sunday.
#22 – Baylor (7-2) — DOWN
They didn’t really do anything bad this week. They played Sam Houston State and Division-2 Randall, they just got jumped by Arizona and Tennessee. Only two losses are to teams ranked in my top eleven, and the win over Creighton is the biggest piece on the resume.
#23 – Creighton (7-2) — DOWN
The Bluejays didn’t do anything bad this week, they just, like Baylor, got jumped. The only losses the Bluejays have are to Baylor and Gonzaga, and they led both of those games at the half.
#24 – Florida (6-3) — DOWN
Florida lost three straight games. The first two were to Duke and Florida State, both top 15 teams, but the third one was to Loyola-Chicago. That sounds pretty bad, but both Kansas and Notre Dame had worse losses this week (Loyola Chicago is ranked at #73 right now), but its still a bad loss, and this is still a three loss team. The win over Cincinnati keeps them ranked.
#25 – Cincinnati (7-2) — DOWN
Gah, Cincinnati. The Bearcats have exactly zero wins against top 100 teams, its just, nobody in the “others considered” group has a nice enough resume to jump them. The Bearcats play incredible defense (#5 in the nation) and with games against undefeated Mississippi State, and preseason top 25 team UCLA this week, we’ll find out if they are for real.
Others Considered (No Order): Louisville, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Texas, Texas Tech