After coming in at No. 6 in the latest AP and Coaches Polls on Monday, along with No. 58 in the first NET Rankings of the season, the NCAA split the difference (kind of) with Kentucky in their updated Power 36 rankings.
This afternoon, Andy Katz of NCAA.com released his latest NCAA Power 36 rankings, with – like the AP and Coaches Polls – Kansas and Gonzaga sitting at No. 1 and No. 2 overall, respectively.
From there, all hell breaks loose, as Auburn (No. 3), Oregon (No. 4), and Ohio State (No. 5) round out the top five, followed by Duke (No. 6), Baylor (No. 7), Louisville (No. 8), and Dayton (No. 9). And then to close out the top ten, Kentucky slides in at No. 10 overall.
Here are the top 36 teams in college basketball as things stand currently, with the number in parenthesis indicating the team’s standing last week:
- 1. Kansas (3): The Jayhawks will step up in schedule with a road game at Villanova.
- 2. Gonzaga (6): The Zags picked up their third top Pac-12 win away from Spokane by knocking off Arizona in Tucson.
- 3. Auburn (7): The Tigers continue to look like the top team in the SEC.
- 4. Oregon (13): The Ducks have played a brutal schedule exceptionally well. The win at Michigan will do wonders for their resume.
- 5. Ohio State (2): The Buckeyes suffered their first loss of the season at Minnesota Sunday night. They can climb back toward the top spot with a win over Kentucky in Las Vegas this Saturday.
- 6. Duke (8): The Blue Devils defense will be its staple this season and Vernon Carey is playing like a first-team all-American.
- 7. Baylor (10): The two Kansas-Baylor games this season will be must watch.
- 8. Louisville (1): The Cardinals lost to Texas Tech in New York, even though the Red Raiders were without their top scorer. Let’s see if this was an outlier performance by the Cards.
- 9. Dayton (9): Obi Toppin will stay in the conversation for first-team all-American honors all season.
- 10. Kentucky (11): The Wildcats have a huge week in Las Vegas against Utah and Ohio State.
- 11. Memphis (21)
- 12. Michigan State (14)
- 13. Maryland (4)
- 14. Virginia (16)
- 15. San Diego State (18)
- 16. Michigan (5)
- 17. Butler (17)
- 18. Florida State (27)
- 19. Marquette (28)
- 20. Texas (26)
- 21. Villanova (22)
- 22. Penn State (NR)
- 23. Washington (24)
- 24. West Virginia (25)
- 25. NC State (32)
- 26. Wichita State (33)
- 27. Arizona (12)
- 28. Illinois (NR)
- 29. Creighton (29)
- 30. DePaul (NR)
- 31. Iowa (NR)
- 32. Saint Mary’s (NR)
- 33. Texas Tech (NR)
- 34. Arizona State (NR)
- 35. Liberty (36)
- 36.Duquesne (NR)
As for the media outlet’s Team of the Week, NCAA.com named a future road opponent on Kentucky’s schedule:
Team of the Week
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders stunned then-No. 1 Louisville 70-57 without their top scorer, freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey (hamstring) who averages 17 points a game. The win redirected the Red Raiders season after three-straight losses in Las Vegas and Chicago. The win, led by Davide Moretti’s 18, also unveiled a new star for Texas Tech — former walk-on Avery Benson. Benson’s scrappy play was on display with 10 points, four boards in 22 minutes. Texas Tech desperately needed this win — as it was the last prior to the Big 12 against a possible quad 1 opponent. The Red Raiders will get one more possible non-conference quad 1 game against Kentucky on Jan. 25 in Lubbock.
Needless to say, Kentucky’s stretch of games over the next month or so won’t be easy.