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  • College Basketball Top 25 (1/29) – Whether you like it or not, Virginia is a title contender

College Basketball Top 25 (1/29) – Whether you like it or not, Virginia is a title contender

#1 – Villanova (20-1) — No Change

Villanova owns three wins over teams ranked in my top 12, and the Wildcats deserve to stay at #1 for now, the ‘Cats only loss is by single-digits on the road to #28 Butler.

#2 – Virginia (20-1) — Up 1

Virginia picked up a big win @ Duke this week in what might have been the biggest game of the college basketball regular season, the ‘Cavs are back up to #2 after finally adding a big road win to their resume, which I found lacking last week. Whether you like it or not, Virginia is a title contender.

#3 – Purdue (21-2) — Down 1

Purdue struggled this week in games against Michigan and Indiana. This week should be a cakewalk with Maryland and Rutgers, but Ohio State and Michigan State await on February 3rd and 7th.

#4 – Duke (18-3) — No Change

Duke lost by two to one of the top two teams in the country and the surefire ACC Champion, they don’t deserve to be jumped by a Michigan State team that they beat.

#5 – Michigan State (20-3) — No Change

For a while, it looked like Michigan State was going to have a repeat of the Ohio State game on Sunday as the Spartans had to come back from down 13 to beat Maryland.

#6 – Cincinnati (19-2) — Up 2

Cincy has won twelve games straight, and their only two losses are to teams ranked in my top 25 away from home. Mick Cronin’s team is a near-lock to win the AAC.

#7 – Auburn (19-2) — Up 8

The Tigers have lost just once in the past two and a half months, a road game against rival Alabama. Other than that, the Tigers own five KenPom “A Level” wins, including @ Tennessee.

#8 – Kansas (17-4) — Down 1

After losing to Oklahoma on Tuesday, the Jayhawks rebounded with a double-digit victory over Texas A&M. Kansas State provides a tough test on Monday night, but even with a loss, the Jayhawks will remain in 1st place in the Big 12.

#9 – Xavier (19-3) — Up 1

Xavier has been consistently overrated all year, the Musketeers are just 3-3 in KenPom A-Level games. Given that, they should breeze by St. John’s and Georgetown this week.

#10 – West Virginia (16-5) — Down 4

West Virginia has lost four of their past five games, but all of those losses have been by single-digits, and I think people are overreacting way too much.

#11 – Gonzaga (19-4) — Up 1

Gonzaga is currently ranked 7th in KenPom and a clear best team on the West Coast. The neutral court victory over Ohio State is their most impressive win.

#12 – Tennessee (15-5) — Up 5

People aren’t giving the SEC enough credit, all five of Tennessee’s losses are to top-50 teams, and they are one of only two teams to beat #3 Purdue.

#13 – Texas Tech (17-4) — Up 6

I picked South Carolina to beat Texas Tech on Saturday, and the Red Raiders proved me wrong, they move up for that.

#14 – Saint Mary’s (21-2) — Down 1

Saint Mary’s breezed by a BYU team that was on the bubble this week and in desperate need of a win, but their loss to a Washington State team outside of the top-150 back in November really drags the resume down.

#15 – Oklahoma (15-5) — Down 1

Oklahoma drops a spot after losing to Alabama on Saturday. The Sooners have lost three of four.

#16 – Ohio State (18-5) — Down 5

Ohio State’s loss to Penn State on Thursday hurts, the Buckeyes await a matchup with #3 Purdue on February 7th.

#17 – Kentucky (16-5) — NEW

We all counted the ‘Cats out, but this week they came back from down double-digits to upset West Virginia on the road. Watch out on Saturday as they travel to face a Missouri team that is hungry for a win to get off of the bubble.

#18 – Florida State (16-5) — Up 6

The “upper middle class” of the ACC hasn’t gotten a lot of attention this year, but Louisville, Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and Louisville have all had tournament-caliber seasons.

#19 – Louisville (16-5) — Up 3

See above, the ‘Cards get a chance to knock off rival Virginia for the first time since UVA’s Justin Anderson suffered an injury in the 2015 game. The ‘Cards has a 1-5 record against Virginia since joining the ACC.

#20 – Clemson (17-4) — No Change

See above, Clemson needs to sweep a tough two-game stretch this to stay in the top 25. The Tigers have UNC at home and then travel to play @ Wake Forest.

#21 – Wichita State (17-4) — Up 2

It will be hard for Wichita State to climb into the top 15 without beating Cincinnati.

#22 – Florida (15-6) — Down 6

Florida has lost to three teams outside of the top 50: Loyola-Chicago, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Believe it or not, Loyola-Chicago has the best KenPom rank of those three by a wide margin.

#23 – Arizona (18-4) — Down 5

My preseason national title pick looks shakier and shakier. The Wildcats’ last three wins have all been by single digits, and Arizona deserved to have lost to Utah on Saturday, they were outplayed.

#24 – North Carolina (16-6) — Down 15

Losses to Wofford and NC State at home will make it near impossible for the Tar Heels to make their way back into the top ten.

#25 – Michigan (17-6) — NEW

Michigan gave Purdue their toughest game since the Bahamas on Thursday, and that has to count for something. Had one or two baskets gone differently, Michigan would be in everybody’s top 25. People need to care less about wins and losses, and more about how the team actually played in those wins and losses.

Others Considered: #26, Kansas State, #27 Arizona State, #28 Butler, #29 Rhode Island, #30 TCU

Dropped Out: Then-#21 TCU & Then-#25 Creighton

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