Get ready for your bracket to be trashed by the end of the first weekend. This March should truly be mad.
Trying to rank the back half of the power rankings each week is going to get tougher as teams continue to beat each other.
Take Indiana. I was ready to put them high up in the rankings after beating Florida State. But then the Hoosiers got run at Wisconsin, down by 30 at one point, before losing by 20.
Oklahoma State was rolling, before losing two. DePaul lost at home to Buffalo after beating Texas Tech. Florida found a way to lose again on the road.
The list goes on. There will be more turmoil before there is any sense of calm. Onto the weekly honors and our attempt the volatile Power 36.
1. Louisville (5): Cardinals took down Michigan and Jordan Nwora continues to look like an All-American.
2. Ohio State (8): The Buckeyes are looking like the Big Ten’s best after knocking off North Carolina on the road and over Penn State.
3. Kansas (2): The Jayhawks haven’t gotten worse. Ohio State just had a more significant week. But Kansas' win over Colorado was mightily impressive.
4. Maryland (4): The Terps should have lost to Illinois. But they didn’t. Anthony Cowan Jr., made sure of it with a 3-pointer, steal and free throw.
5. Michigan (1): The Wolverines had the rough assignment of going to Louisville after the Bahamas. But then they rebounded with a home win over Iowa.
6. Gonzaga (6): The Zags outlasted Washington in Seattle in a big-time game Sunday night. Joel Ayayi is blossoming into a major contributor.
7. Auburn (9): The Tigers are the SEC’s best team right now, finding ways to win and getting high-level play from experienced players Samir Doughty and Austin Wiley.
8. Duke (18): The Blue Devils had a dominating second-half win over Michigan State in East Lansing. Defense will dominate Duke's identity. Getting the road win at Virginia Tech completed a solid week.
9. Dayton (10): The Flyers are the real deal. The dominating win over Saint Mary’s Sunday will help them come March.
10. Baylor (11): The Bears are the top contender to challenge Kansas for the Big 12 title. The win over Arizona was another indicator.
11. Kentucky (19): The Wildcats haven’t played the loaded part of their schedule yet. They are getting better. Just be patient.
12. Arizona (12): The Wildcats lost a close road game at Baylor for their first loss of the season. There’s no shame in that to drop them.
13. Oregon (15): The Ducks are going to be one of the toughest outs this season. Payton Pritchard continues to be a stellar lead guard.
14. Michigan State (17): The Spartans have yet to be whole, now playing without Rocket Watts. The home loss to Duke was deflating. But the potential is there for the Spartans to be just fine.
15. Purdue (NR): The Boilermakers stunned Virginia by making 13 triples and shutting down the Cavaliers’ offense.
16. Virginia (3): The Cavaliers looked the part of a stingy defense again by taking down North Carolina. They will still need to find more offense with Braxton Key sidelined.
17. Butler (36): The Bulldogs were sensational in taking apart Florida at Hinkle Fieldhouse. There’s no reason the Bulldogs can’t compete near the top of the Big East.
18. San Diego State (27): All the Aztecs have done is win: 10-0 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain West.
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19. Colorado (13): The Buffaloes did lose at Kansas, but should bounce back with an experienced, Pac-12 title crew.
20. Xavier (30): The Musketeers took care of Cincinnati in the Crosstown Shootout.
21. Memphis (26): Precious Achiuwa continues to be one of the top freshmen in the country that is getting no love.
22. Villanova (32): The Wildcats still don’t have that signature win, but they will and it may come Dec. 21 against Kansas.
23. Tennessee (21): The Volunteers' only loss was to Florida State on a neutral court. Tennessee will play Memphis Saturday. Big-time game.
24. Washington (23): I know the Huskies lost at home to Gonzaga. But I love the potential of this group. They will be a major factor in the Pac-12.
25. West Virginia (20): The Mountaineers did lose their first game of the season at St. John’s in a late possession game. Fine. This is still an elite squad.
26. Texas (34): The Longhorns are winning the games they should, something they didn’t always do last season.
27. Florida State (14): The Seminoles slipped up at Indiana. They then rebounded to beat Clemson.
28. Marquette (35): The Golden Eagles picked up a road win at Kansas State, a sign this team is maturing quickly.
29. Creighton (NR): Remember the name Marcus Zegarowski. He scored 30, nine boards and six assists in a rivalry win over Nebraska.
30. Iowa State (NR): The Cyclones avenged an earlier loss to Seton Hall by beating the Pirates in Ames. Tyrese Haliburton has the look of a player ready to lead this team to the NCAA tournament.
31. Seton Hall (16): The Pirates put forth a valiant effort at Iowa State but the loss was tainted by the wrist injury to Sandro Mamukelashvili.
32. NC State (NR): The Wolfpack destroyed Wisconsin by 15 before the Badgers pummeled Indiana, which had beaten Florida State. Got it. The Wolfpack are still worthy.
33. Wichita State (NR): The Shockers crushed Oklahoma State on Sunday. Their only loss was to West Virginia in Cancun.
34. North Carolina (7): The Tar Heels lost twice last week and struggled mightily offensively. But they fell to Ohio State and Virginia, so the Heels get the benefit to hang around for a week.
35. Utah State (31): The Aggies have one loss at Saint Mary’s. The Gaels fell to Dayton. Utah State is getting healthy, which means it is going to be even tougher to beat.
36. Liberty (NR): The Flames are now 11-0. We all need to take notice that this team could win a game or two in mid-March.
Dropped out: Saint Mary’s, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Temple, Penn State, DePaul.
Team of the Week
Ohio State: Indiana coach Archie Miller told me Saturday that he believes the Buckeyes are the best team in the country, not just the Big Ten. He may be right. The Buckeyes handled North Carolina 74-49 in Chapel Hill in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge (Duane Washington scored 18) and then took part Penn State in the Big Ten opener in Columbus. The Buckeyes got the Nittany Lions best player, Lamar Stevens, to foul out with more than 10 minutes left in the second half. Ohio State won 106-74 as Kaleb Wesson went for 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Player of the Week
Mac McClung, Georgetown: McClung was fantastic as the once-reeling Hoyas beat previously undefeated Oklahoma State and SMU on the road to move to 6-3. McClung scored 33 in Stillwater and 19 in Dallas.