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Andy Katz | Correspondent | November 15, 2021

UCLA and Gonzaga lead Andy Katz's first in-season Power 36 rankings after notable wins

College basketball rankings: UCLA tops first Power 36 of the season

The first Power 36 rankings of the men's college basketball season has arrived. Keep in mind this is a report on the previous week. These are not seedings. Seedings take into account the entire season.

There are 36 at-large spots. And yes, we know that some of the teams below will receive an automatic qualifier. So 36 is our number to represent the 36 teams of the week.

LATEST TOP 25: See the latest AP poll

This is Year 5 of our Power 36 here at So, please engage, debate, dissect and have fun with it. Enjoy!

1. UCLA: Best win of the week, knocking off Villanova in OT in an epic game at Pauley Pavilion.

2. Gonzaga: The Zags certainly looked the part of being a top team, running away from Texas in a return to a crazed Kennel.

3. Kansas: The Jayhawks may be the most experienced team and were the best team at the Champions Classic.

4. Villanova: The Wildcats were within a possession of winning at Pauley Pavilion and look like a title contender.

5. Duke: The Blue Devils have two of the best freshmen in the country in Trevor Keels and Paolo Banchero.

6. Purdue: The Boilermakers are bringing Trevion Williams off the bench, showing just how deep they are this season.

7. Michigan: The Wolverines looked like a machine in parts of each game last week.

8. Illinois: The Illini are proving they have options, winning without key players.

9. Kentucky: The Wildcats have the pieces, but need time to put them together.

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10. Baylor: The Bears haven’t been tested yet, but that time is coming soon.

11. Memphis: Emoni Bates has been something special in just a few games.

12. Texas: The Longhorns weren’t ready yet when they took on Gonzaga, but the experience will help them elevate.

13. Oregon: The Ducks have the next star in Will Richardson.

14. Alabama: The Tide have one of the more underrated guards in Jahvon Quinerly.

15. Houston: Marcus Sasser has stepped up and taken the leadership/scoring role.

16. Arkansas: JD Notae has become an elite scorer for the Hogs.

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17. Maryland: Fatts Russell and Qudus Wahab may end up being two of the best transfers in the country.

18. Auburn: Jabari Smith. Jabari Smith. Jabari Smith. He’s something special.

19. Florida: Impressive home win over Florida State to send a strong message that the Gators are in the mix in the SEC. 

20. Tennessee: The Vols have another next-level guard and his name this season is Kennedy Chandler.

21. UConn: Adama Sonogo is a first-team all-Big East player, yet somehow he was left off both first and second preseason teams.

22. Ohio State: The Buckeyes enter the week undefeated, but have been shaky.

23. Southern California: The Trojans already have a quality true road win at Temple.

24. North Carolina: The Tar Heels had to come back to beat Brown, but have an all-ACC type guard in RJ Davis (26 in the win).

25. St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies have handled the expectations of the A-10 favorite well so far.

26. Virginia Tech: The Hokies and ACC preseason player of the year Keve Aluma knocked off Navy, which beat Virginia.

27. Syracuse: The Orange will climb high in the top 25 once the competition increases.

28. BYU: The Cougars and Alex Barcello had a high-level win over San Diego State.

29. Michigan State: The Spartans are still trying to figure out rotations, but there is no shame in an opening loss to Kansas.

What to make of Michigan State after the 2021 Champions Classic

30. Indiana: The Hoosiers have a dominant player in Trayce Jackson-Davis.

31. Colorado State: David Roddy is off to a fabulous start and looks the part of being an MWC player of the year.

32. Seton Hall: The Pirates had a dominating win Sunday over Yale, a team that is the favorite in the Ivy.

33. Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights had to go to overtime to beat Lehigh, but Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr., still came through when needed.

34. Washington State: The Cougars are scoring at a high clip so far this season with 79 or more in each of their games.

35. Loyola Chicago: The Ramblers are producing with one of the more experienced teams in the country.

36. Xavier: The Musketeers are getting all-Big East level play out of Paul Scruggs.

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Team of the Week


The Bruins beat Villanova 86-77 in overtime in one of the best regular-season games of any season in the past few years. UCLA was playing without starting center Cody Riley and got closing type play from Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyger Campbell, Jules Bernard, Myles Johnson and Jaylen Clark. UCLA opened the week by beating Bakersfield.

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Player of the week

Drew Timme | Junior | Gonzaga

Timme dominated Texas in Spokane with 37 points in 38 minutes. Timme was 15-of-19 from the field, 7-of-9 from beyond the arc, and couldn’t be stopped in the paint. He opened the week with 11 points against Dixie State. Timme is one of the preseason player of the year candidates. He certainly put himself in a position to be one of the favorites.

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