The top seven had a tremendous week. The top two in the Big Ten found out there is no chance to go through the deepest league in the country unscathed.
And the bottom of the Power 36 college basketball rankings continues to get overhauled.
Onto the debate:
1. Tennessee (1): The Vols have won 16 in a row and have taken everyone’s best shot. They are going to enter the NCAA tournament as one of the favorites.
2. Duke (2): The Blue Devils dumped Notre Dame on the road and then dispatched St. John’s at home. This machine is getting stronger.
3. Gonzaga (3): The Zags are absolutely crushing their competition in the WCC. You may not see them in prime time but they are primed for the title run.
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4. Virginia (4): The Cavaliers are dealing with a Ty Jerome injury, but hopefully they are healthy for the Duke showdown, Part II Saturday.
5. Kentucky (5): The Wildcats have won eight in a row. The first clash with Tennessee comes on Feb. 16.
6. Nevada (8): There are two potential pitfalls left for the Wolf Pack: at San Diego State on Feb. 10 and at Utah State on March 2.
7. Villanova (9): The Wildcats have won 10 in a row. That is all you need to know.
8. Michigan State (6): The Spartans didn’t play well, lost in overtime at home to Indiana and Joshua Langford is done for the season. Still, this team is the team to beat in the Big Ten — for now.
9. Purdue (11): The Boilermakers are scorching right now. Purdue is tied for first in the Big Ten after winning seven straight.
10. Houston (10): The Cougars avenged their lone AAC loss to Temple. A showdown at UCF awaits on Thursday.
11. Michigan (7): The Wolverines got handled at Iowa. And that is why they drop.
12. Marquette (12): The Golden Eagles have won eight in a row and get their first crack at Nova on Saturday.
13. North Carolina (15): The Tar Heels have won five in a row and avenged the Louisville loss by beating the Cardinals on the road.
14. Washington (17): There aren’t many teams hotter than Washington right now, winners of 11 in a row and the clear favorite/top team in the Pac-12.
15. Wisconsin (18): The Badgers have won five in a row and are back to being in the hunt to finish in the top four of the Big Ten.
16. Louisville (14): North Carolina got payback on the Cardinals. But Louisville has still exceeded expectations this season.
17. LSU (13): The Tigers were rolling before being stunned by Arkansas at home for their first SEC loss. They only get Tennessee and Kentucky once each.
18. Baylor (22): The Bears are tied for first with Kansas State, and this has all happened without key starter Tristan Clark, who's done for the season after 15 games.
19. Kansas (16): The Jayhawks are vulnerable. But the win over Texas Tech showed this team is going to be extremely tough to take down.
20. Virginia Tech (19): The Hokies were a part of one of the most brutal offensive games of the season/decade(?) but they still won: 47-24 over NC State.
21. Kansas State (26): The Wildcats are tied for first in the Big 12 at the halfway point. Not bad at all.
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22. Cincinnati (23): The Bearcats have won seven straight and yet have had little to no national recognition.
23. Iowa (30): The win over Michigan was season-changing for the Hawkeyes.
24. Iowa State (25): The Cyclones are in the thick of the Big 12 chase to knock out Kansas.
25. Mississippi State (27): Beating Ole Miss has reignited the Bulldogs and put them on the path for a top four SEC finish.
26. Syracuse (31): The Duke win has changed the narrative for this season. The Orange are trending up.
27. Maryland (20): I'm still high on the Terps. The frontline will be hard to handle in March.
28. Minnesota (21): The Gophers are going to be a tough out the rest of the way.
29. Florida State (NR): The Seminoles have won three in a row after a mini January skid.
30. Davidson (34): My preseason conference favorite is the favorite now in the A-10.
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31. Buffalo (24): I’m not giving up on the Bulls because they lost at Bowling Green. It’s about time the MAC gets respect and an elite team doesn’t get penalized for losing on the road.
32. Texas Tech (29): I can’t dump the Red Raiders just yet after losing to Kansas.
33. Auburn (NR): The Tigers are back in after crushing Alabama.
34. Belmont (35): The Bruins have won five in a row.
35. Arizona State (NR): The Sun Devils dispatched rival Arizona and still own the best non-conference win in the Pac-12 over Kansas.
36. Lipscomb (NR): The Bisons beat Liberty and have won nine straight. Lipscomb is the team to beat in the ASUN.
Dropped out: TCU (28), NC State (32), Hofstra (33), Memphis (35)
LOWEST SCORING GAMES: NC State's 24 points was lowest by a ranked team in the shot clock era
The Weekly Honors
Team of the Week
Iowa: The Hawkeyes crushed Michigan 74-59 for their most significant win of the season. Iowa is above .500 in the Big Ten and is finally looking the part of a team that could make its way to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. This team can score. And now it has figured out how to defend.
Player of the Week
Makai Mason, Baylor: The Yale transfer put up 40 on TCU, including nine 3s. That came after he helped Baylor beat Oklahoma by 30 in Norman with a dozen. Baylor is tied for first in the Big 12. Amazing.
The backup five
Carsen Edwards, Purdue: Edwards scored 38 points in an overtime win at Penn State and then dropped 17 in a win over Minnesota.
Tremont Waters, LSU: Waters scored 36 in a win over Texas A&M.
Zion Williamson, Duke: He scored 26 at Notre Dame and 29 against St. John’s.
Zion doesn't miss much 🔥 pic.twitter.com/nD4d2HsEM7— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 2, 2019
Caleb Martin, Nevada: Martin dropped in 30 in a rout over Boise State.
Remy Martin, Arizona State: He scored 31 in the Sun Devils' win over Arizona.
The most significant win of the week goes to….Indiana.
The Hoosiers stopped a seven-game losing streak by winning at Michigan State in overtime and reclaimed their season.
Nebraska has lost five in a row.
Ole Miss has lost four in a row.
Vermont’s John Becker: He won his 100th America East game with a road win at UMass-Lowell after beating Stony Brook on the road the previous week.
Illinois and Rutgers for….keeping the faith and not imploding this season when it appeared they wouldn’t be a factor in the Big Ten race. Well, both are now playing the spoiler role quite well.