basketball-men-d1 flag | February 24, 2020

College basketball rankings: Kansas moves to No. 1 in latest Power 36

College basketball rankings: Creighton, Michigan and Arizona State keep rising in Power 36

Editor's note: The original version of this story was missing Maryland, who is ranked No. 7 in this edition of the Power 36 rankings. We apologize for the mistake. 

This has been the hardest season to rank and will be one of the toughest brackets to seed. 

Onto the debate: 

1.Kansas (4): The Jayhawks won at Baylor and now are the favorite to win the Big 12 tournament title and be the overall No. 1 seed. 

2.   Baylor (1): The Bears lost to Kansas and it came down to the final possession. No reason to penalize them too much. 

3.   Gonzaga (2): The Zags lost at BYU, one of the sleepers heading into March and at one of the toughest homecourts in the country. 

4. Dayton (5): The Flyers are flying right now in the A-10 with the only remaining loss possibly coming at Rhode Island. 

5. San Diego State (3): The Aztecs lost once, at home to UNLV, so it’s hard to knock them down too far. 

6. Kentucky (8):  The Wildcats are peeking at the right time. 

7. Maryland (7): The Terps lost a road game in the Big Ten to Ohio State. There’s no reason to penalize them too much for that. And no one below them has proven to rise up.

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8. Florida State (10): The Seminoles are going to be an extremely tough out in the next few weeks. 

9. Louisville (14): The Cardinals have their roster lined up for the stretch run. 

10. Duke (6): The Blue Devils got hammered at NC State. But they still can beat anyone on a given night. 

11. Creighton (12): The Bluejays are one of the hottest teams in the country with an offense that can score at will.

12. Michigan (15): The Wolverines are back to playing like they did earlier in the season. Isaiah Livers is one of the most important players in the Big Ten — when he’s on the floor, the Wolverines are an exceptional offensive team. 

13. Arizona State (20): The Sun Devils are alone in first place in the Pac-12. Let that sink in. 

14. Seton Hall (17):  The Pirates had an epic last-second win over Butler to stay on track to win the league. 

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15. BYU (19): The Cougars will be one of the most entertaining teams in the tournament. 

16. Oregon (11): The Ducks got the split they needed by knocking off Arizona. 

17. Auburn (13): The Tigers haven’t lost at home, but have struggled lately on the road without Isaac Okoro.

18. Ohio State (24): The Buckeyes seem to be back. 

19. Villanova (18): The Wildcats had an impressive win at Xavier.

20. Arizona (21): The Wildcats lost in the final possession to Oregon. But the Wildcats still pass the eye test of a top 25 team. 

21. Illinois (NR): The Illini are back to being in the Power 36 after a win at Penn State. 

22. Iowa. (23): Luka Garza is looking like a strong favorite to win at least one or multiple player of the year awards. 

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23. Penn State (9): The Nittany Lions have hit a rough skid but they still have the ability to finish in the top four in the Big Ten. 

24. Michigan State (NR): The Spartans should be in the top 25. The win at Nebraska should re-set them for the stretch run. 

25. Wisconsin (25): The Badgers have found their rhythm, making 3s on a regular basis. 

26. UCLA (33): The Bruins are the hottest team in the Pac-12 outside of ASU. They could actually win the league. 

27. Colorado (16): The Buffaloes lost to the Bruins, a blow to their ability to establish themselves as the league favorite. 

28.  Cincinnati (29): The Bearcats are the new favorite to win the AAC this week. 

29. Houston (28): The Cougars are heading for a likely conference tournament showdown with the Bearcats. 

30. LSU (27): The Tigers have stumbled in the SEC lately but they still are a viable threat to make a run in the conference tournament.

31. Texas Tech (NR): The Red Raiders will be ready to make a run in March. 

32. Virginia (NR): The Cavaliers are in position to get a bid and be a tough out in March. 

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33. Saint Mary’s (NR): The Gaels are back in position to challenge the Zags and BYU in Las Vegas.  

34. Providence (NR): The Friars torched Marquette in the second half and are on the verge of earning a bid. 

35. Indiana (NR): The Hoosiers won on the road at Minnesota and beat Penn State at home, signaling they can be a tourney team. 

36. Northern Iowa (36): The Panthers should be the top seed in St. Louis but will have to fend off a number of challenges to get the league’s AQ. 

Team of the week: BYU

The Cougars ended Gonzaga’s 40-game WCC regular-season and 39-game WCC regular-season road win streak with a 91-78 win. The Cougars, who have won eight in a row, beat Santa Clara earlier in the week. BYU is climbing on the seed line and is on track to get one of the two double byes in the WCC tournament. 

Player of the week
Udoka Azubuike, Sr., F, Kansas: The Jayhawks beat No. 1 Baylor behind Azbuike’s 23 points, 19 boards and three blocks in the 64-61 win in Waco. Earlier in the week, Azubuike scored 13 and grabbed seven boards in a 20-point win over Iowa State. 

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