My NCAA March Madness tournament bracket came out ahead of Houston’s home loss to Temple. That may not have knocked the Cougars off the No. 1 line, but it certainly meant they were lower in the top 10. That’s two home losses for the Cougars this season.
Purdue is expected to be the best team in the country, jostling with Alabama for first place in all rankings/polls. Kansas’ stunning home loss to TCU, combined with a road loss at Kansas State, knocked them off their perch.
Gonzaga had to drop out of the top 10 after losing to Loyola Marymount. The Lions, my March Madness National Team of the Week, ended Gonzaga’s 75-game winning streak. LMU is enjoying a resurgence under Stan Johnson. The Lions won 68-67 behind Cam Shelton’s 27 points. The Lions are 14-7 overall and 4-3 in the WCC. But the victory changes the LMU program and gives hope to all the other teams not named Saint Mary’s to be able to beat the Zags.
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The highest newcomer to the Power 36 is Indiana, recording 14 behind March Madness National Player of the Week, Trayce Jackson Davis. TJD returned to the limelight as an all-American first-team contender and possible player of the year with two standout performances. TJD scored 35 points in 35 minutes in a 15-point win over Illinois. Then on Sunday, TJD went 31 and 15 in a home win over Michigan State. Those two results helped catapult the Hoosiers into the conversation for a possible second-place finish in the Big Ten (sorry, I don’t see a team catching Purdue yet).
Men’s College Basketball Ranking: The Power 36 for Week 9
Last week’s ranking in parentheses
1. Purdue (2): The split continues with Purdue and the rest of the Big Ten. Sure, the games are getting closer, but they can always close them.
2. Alabama (6): The Tide has established itself as the best in the SEC – so far.
3. Tennessee (10): The Vols are gearing up for a monster showdown with the Tide on February 15 in Knoxville.
4. Kansas State (12): The Wildcats won the home sweep against Kansas and Texas Tech.
— K-State Men’s Basketball (@KStateMBB) January 21, 2023
5. TCU (11): The Horned Frogs bounced back from the loss to West Virginia and outshot Kansas in Lawrence.
6.UCLA(4): The Bruins were within possession against Arizona of sweeping the state.
7. Kansas (1): The Jayhawks are suddenly in a real fight for the Big 12 title after losing at Kansas State and at home to TCU.
8. Texas (7): The Longhorns were swept on a road to Iowa State and Oklahoma State, ending the trip on the latter.
9. Houston (3): The Cougars lost at home to Temple by one, the second home loss of the season.
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10. Baylor (34): The Bears are 4-3 and are back in pursuit of the Big 12.
11. Iowa State (9): The Cyclones beat Texas but lost by two to Oklahoma State.
12.Arizona (30): The Wildcats are back. Arizona swept USC and UCLA and returned to the Pac-12 title chase.
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) January 21, 2023
13. Auburn (18): The Tigers have won five straight and are tied for first in the SEC with rival Alabama.
14. Indiana (NR): The Hoosiers are back. Indiana won at Illinois and beat Michigan State behind the American performance of Trayce Jackson-Davis.
15. Javier (8): The Musketeers suffered their first loss in the Great East in stunning fashion – against DePaul.
16. Gonzaga (5): The Zags have been playing with fire lately and eventually got burned, losing for the first time in 75 home games when LMU won.
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17. Charleston (22): The Cougars have won 20 in a row. 20.
18. Virginia (24): The Cavaliers have won five in a row and are starting to look like the ACC favorite again.
19. Marquette (21): The Golden Eagles are having an overall outstanding season under Shaka Smart.
20. New Mexico (27): The Lobos won an OT thriller against Boise State at the Pit and have already won at San Diego State.
— Basketball Lobo (@UNMLoboMBB) January 21, 2023
21. Michigan State (20): The Spartans suffered a late possession loss to Purdue and beat Rutgers, but couldn’t get a W at Indiana.
22. North Carolina (31): The Tar Heels have won five out of six and are going to be tough going forward.
23. Duke (NR): The Blue Devils beat Miami at home. Jeremy Roach is back, and so is Duke.
24. Kentucky (NR): The Wildcats have figured out how to play together and come together, beating Tennessee and Texas A&M in two of their last three games.
25. Clemson (13): The Tigers lost their first game in the ACC, falling to Wake Forest.
26. Saint Mary (25): The Gaels continue to win and are now at the top of the WCC. W quality over rival Santa Clara.
LAST RANKING: Here’s the AP Top 25 poll
27. Rutgers (15): The Scarlet Knights got revenge on Ohio State but couldn’t stay with Michigan State at East Lansing.
28. Providence (14): The Brothers descended on Earth in the Great East with road losses at Creighton and Marquette.
29. Southern California (29): The Trojans got the share they needed on the tough road through Arizona by beating Arizona State after the loss in Tucson.
30. Iowa (17): The Hawkeyes’ winning streak ended at Ohio State, a team that desperately needed a W after losing five in a row.
31. San Diego State (33): The Aztecs got a much-needed road sweep in Colorado State and Wyoming, which isn’t an easy trail for a Mountain West team.
32. Oklahoma State (NR): The Cowboys are officially mounting a bid campaign for the NCAA Tournament after a sweep of Oklahoma and Iowa State last week.
— OSU Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) January 21, 2023
33. Temple (RN): The Owls are now a threat to finish in America’s top two after beating Houston on the road, now just a game off the lead.
34.UConn (NR): The Huskies are back in good graces after a blowout home win over Butler and Dan Hurley returned to the bench after missing the one-possession loss to Seton Hall with COVID-19.
35. VCU (35): The Rams have won five straight and are now the last team to beat in the A-10.
36. AUF (36): The Owls have won 18 straight and are 9-0 in Conference USA.
Abandoned: Arizona State (16), Illinois (19), Pitt (23), NC State (26), Texas A&M (28), Tulane (32).