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Andy Katz, NCAA.com Correspondent | March 11, 2020

College basketball rankings: Creighton and Florida State surge in Power 36 before Selection Sunday

Power 36: Florida State, Creighton gain major ground in rankings

Editor's note: The original version of this story was missing San Diego State and Butler, who are ranked No. 11 and No. 32 in this edition of the Power 36 rankings. We apologize for the omission.

The last Power 36 before Selection Sunday.

Digest and debate, please:

1. Kansas (1): Best team right now.

2. Gonzaga (2): Rolling into WCC semifinals.

3. Dayton (3): Finished unbeaten in the A-10.

4. Kentucky (4): Won a huge game at Florida without Ashton Hagans.

5. Florida State (11): ACC regular-season champs.

6. Baylor (6): Fading a bit, but still a No. 1 seed.

7. Creighton (20): Got a piece of the Big East title.

8. Seton Hall (8): Stumbled the last week but still earned a share of Big East.

WHO'S IN?: Track every conference tournament and automatic qualifier here

9. Maryland (9): Got the win the Terps needed Sunday to get a piece of the Big Ten title.

10. Michigan State (10): Beat Ohio State for a share of the Big Ten title.

Michigan State defeats Ohio State, 80-69

11. San Diego State (5): The Aztecs dropped due to the loss in the MWC title game.

12. Oregon (16): Got the top seed in the Pac-12.

13. Villanova (26): Survived at Georgetown to get a piece of the Big East title.

14. Wisconsin (17): Amazingly will be the top seed in the Big Ten tournament.

15. Louisville (7): Rough week, but a difficult ending to go to Florida State and Virginia.

16. Duke (15): Didn’t need late heroics to beat North Carolina this time.

17. BYU (12): Should be the most entertaining offense in the NCAA tournament.

COACHES TO WATCH: 13 college basketball coaches (with 13 great stories) who could be the next NCAA champion

18. Virginia (21): The Cavaliers blossomed into an ACC title contender and are peaking at the right time.

19. Providence (23): The Friars are on fire and are one of the hottest teams in a major conference.

20. Illinois (13): The Illini have the best closer in the game in Ayo Dosunmu.

Illinois holds off Iowa, 78-76

21. Iowa (24): Luka Garza will be the Big Ten player of the year.

22. Auburn (19): The Tigers have had a solid season despite a slew of injuries.

23. Houston (25): Kelvin Sampson’s crew continued to get better each week and will be a tough out.

24. Ohio State (18): The Buckeyes aren’t what they were, but are still going to be a formidable opponent in the post-season.

25. Rutgers (NR): I think the Scarlet Knights are going to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.

26. USC (31): The Trojans got a much-needed win on a game-winner by Jonah Mathews.

27. Oklahoma (34): Classic Lon Kruger team that won’t wow you but gets it done when it matters most.

28. Saint Mary’s (30): Jordan Ford is simply sensational.

WATCH OUT: 14 college basketball teams to keep an eye on from now until Selection Sunday

29. Utah State (NR): Sam Merrill had an MVP MWC tournament and led the Aggies into the NCAA tournament.

30. Arizona State. (28): I still believe this crew can cause problems this month.

31. Cincinnati (NR): John Brannen has quietly done a really stellar job with this crew.

32. Butler (NR): The Bulldogs got the win they needed over Xavier. 

33. West Virginia (NR): The Mountaineers stopped a slide and have reset for the Big 12.

34. Penn State (29): The Nittany Lions take a hit for losing at Northwestern.

35. Stanford (27): The Cardinal will squeeze into the field.

36. Richmond (35): The Spiders could be the only other A-10 in the NCAAs.

Player of the week

Sam Merrill, Sr., Utah State: Merrill buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer and scored 27 points for the Aggies in the Mountain West title game to knock off San Diego State and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. He scored 27 in the semifinal win over Wyoming and 29 in the quarterfinal victory over New Mexico.

Team of the Week

Rutgers: I predict the Scarlet Knights are going to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991 after beating Maryland at home and Purdue on the road. The pressure was on to win both games and the Scarlet Knights did!

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