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Andy Katz | Correspondent | December 7, 2020

College basketball rankings: North Carolina, Texas jump in Andy Katz's Power 36 for Dec. 7

North Carolina, Texas rise in Andy Katz's Power 36 rankings

This is my weekly Power 36 — a look at the top 36 men's college basketball teams in the country, which for now is still the official number of at-large berths into the NCAA tournament. 

College basketball rankings: Power 36 for Dec. 7, 2020

(last week's ranking in parentheses)

1. Gonzaga (1): Knocked off West Virginia in Indy before the Baylor game was postponed and program went on pause. 

2. Baylor (2): Bears beat down Illinois in Indy, missed out on Gonzaga game Saturday. 

3. Iowa (3): Luka Garza continues to dominate his opponents. But the competition gets tougher this week with North Carolina. 

4. Michigan State (4): The Spartans were our Team of the Week after beating Duke in Cameron. 

5. Villanova (7): Hard to argue with the Wildcats being in the top five after an impressive win at Texas on Sunday. 

UPSET: Watch: Marquette downs No. 4 Wisconsin on Lewis' tip-in buzzer beater

6. Houston (11): The Cougars continue to plow through the competition and are deep in the backcourt. 

7. Texas (25): The Longhorns won the Maui Invitational in Asheville (wins over Indiana and North Carolina) and were a few possessions away from staying unbeaten before falling to Villanova at home. 

8. Kansas (8): The Jayhawks beat Kentucky in Indianapolis and held on to knock off North Dakota State. 

9. North Carolina (24): The Tar Heels were a last possession away from winning the Maui Invitational. They continue to show last season was an aberration under Roy Williams. A showdown with Iowa looms this week. 

10. Richmond (9): The Spiders were on pause after the road win at Kentucky. 

11. Illinois (5): The Illini will have a second-straight game to prove their top-10 standing by playing at Duke. They stay in this week despite losing to Baylor. 

12. Creighton (13): The Bluejays will find out their status when they play Kansas this week. 

13. Virginia (14): The Cavaliers will get another shot to prove they are top-10 worthy when they host Michigan State. 

14. West Virginia (12): The Mountaineers came back to win at Georgetown and pushed the top-seeded Zags earlier in the week. 

15. Duke (10): The Blue Devils got beat at home, but clearly by a top-five team in Michigan State. Illinois will prove just as tough a test. 

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16. Wisconsin (6): The Badgers got beat at the buzzer at Marquette. They don't deserve a big drop.

17. Tennessee (15): The Vols were still idle last week. 

18. Rutgers (17): The Scarlet Knights get their first shot to improve their stock by playing Syracuse tomorrow.

Catching up with Marquette's Justin Lewis after his game-winning bucket over No. 4 Wisconsin

19. Virginia Tech (18): The Hokies are holding steady, still relishing the win over Villanova. 

20. Arizona State (19): The Sun Devils came back from the East Coast to start the Pac-12 with a road win at Cal. 

21. Saint Louis (20): The Billikens are going to be battling with Richmond for the top spot in the A-10 throughout the season. 

LOOKiNG BACK: How a compelling week of college basketball in the Hoosier State gives a glimpse inside this strange season

22. Indiana (21): The Hoosiers stumbled in the second game against Texas but rebounded to finish off Stanford and leave Asheville 2-1. 

23. Florida State (22): The Seminoles have a rematch/showdown with Indiana this week. 

24. San Diego State (23): The Aztecs are clearly the class of the Mountain West yet again. 

25. Missouri (NR): The Tigers are playing the best basketball in the SEC after beating Oregon on a neutral and Wichita State on the road. 

MORE: Coaches honor John Thompson with white towels on their shoulders

26. Oregon (27): The Ducks rebounded from the Tigers’ loss to rock Seton Hall in Omaha. 

27. Florida (34): The Gators finally got going, trailed Army at the half, but then came back and won that game and crushed Boston College. 

28. UConn (36): The Huskies’ James Bouknight looked like he should have been on the all-Big East preseason first team in leading the Huskies over USC at the Mohegan Sun. 

James Bouknight discusses UConn's Legends Classic win

29. Oklahoma State (33): The Cowboys knocked off Marquette on the road for one of the best under-the-radar wins of the week. 

30. Marquette (NR): The Golden Eagles rebounded from that loss to Oklahoma State to beat Wisconsin at the buzzer. 

31. Clemson (32): The Tigers will get a chance at a second Big Ten win (they beat Purdue) when they play Maryland this week.

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32. Louisville (35): The Cardinals beat Western Kentucky before they had to go on pause. 

33. Michigan (29): The Wolverines remained undefeated but had to go to overtime to hold off Oakland. 

34. Texas Tech (NR): The Red Raiders get back into the rankings after winning two straight following the loss to Houston. 

35. Xavier (NR): The Musketeers won the annual rivalry game over Cincinnati and face Oklahoma next. 

36. USC (NR): The Trojans rocked BYU and were within a possession of sending the UConn game into overtime. Evan Mobley is a star. Point guard Ethan Anderson didn’t play in the loss to the Huskies, which was a significant development. 

Dropped out: Kentucky (16), Stanford (26), Western Kentucky (28), Alabama (30), Providence (31).

Editor's note: If you're a new reader of the Power 36, you can read more on its background here. The TL/DR version: College basketball expert Andy Katz releases a Power 36 ranking for Division I men’s basketball every week during the regular season and at select times in the offseason. It's his personal ranking of the 36 best teams at the moment that each ranking is released, based on his extensive history in covering the sport and his ongoing experiences watching games and traveling the country to get behind-the-scenes information while talking to coaches and players.

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