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Andy Katz | Correspondent | December 6, 2021

Purdue moves into No. 1 spot in Andy Katz's latest Power 36 men's basketball rankings

Purdue claims top spot in Power 36 men's college basketball rankings

The third No. 1 of the season in the AP poll and here in the Power 36. And the question is will the Boilermakers hold onto it for quite some time?

The chances are high.

The week was filled with plenty of movement after the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the beginning of conference play in a number of leagues and high-profile non-conference games still ongoing.

RANKINGS: Check out the latest AP poll and other college basketball rankings

Our March Madness team of the week was Ohio State after the Buckeyes beat then-No. 1 Duke and followed that up with a season-opening Big Ten win at Penn State. Our March Madness player of the week was Alabama’s junior guard Jaden Shackelford, who scored 28 in a 91-82 upset win over Gonzaga in Seattle. The Tide proved they aren’t going anywhere in the title chase — the SEC and the national championship drive.

1. Purdue (2): The Boilermakers got a serious scare but finished the job against Iowa to become No. 1 for the first time in program history. Simply amazing that it hasn’t happened during their rich tradition.

2. Baylor (4): The Bears are undefeated and are looking the part like a team that can compete for the national title again.

3. Duke (1): The Blue Devils lost a lead at Ohio State and fell for the first time. The game was a danger zone following the emotional win over Gonzaga the previous week in Las Vegas.

4. Kansas (5): The Jayhawks took the challenge of going to Long Island to play St. John’s and ran away from the Red Storm.

5. Alabama (NR): YES, this was a major omission when the Tide were seemingly, bafflingly omitted last week (my mistake in moving them around). So technically, they weren’t rated last week, but would have only slid into the 20s after losing to Iona. Well now, the win in Seattle over Gonzaga was significant enough to leap the Tide all the way up to the top five. This was a major, major win for Alabama and Nate Oats.

6. UCLA (6): The Bruins are holding serve, beating Colorado at home and are still the team to beat in the Pac-12.

7. Arizona (10): The Wildcats continue to roll, regardless of home, road or neutral. Tommy Lloyd has Arizona back.

8. Villanova (7): The Big Five continues but only for the Wildcats' amusement of late. Villanova just can’t be beat lately in Philadelphia.

9. Ohio State (22): The Buckeyes came back to knock off then No. 1 Duke in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and then followed that up with a road win to open the league at Penn State. Team of the Week!

Ohio State upsets No. 1 Duke behind EJ Liddell's double-double

10. Gonzaga (3): The Zags are out of sync right now. They need to find their defensive rhythm again. They will. They should. And they will get more opportunities here soon.

11. Kentucky (8): The Wildcats are prepping for the tougher part of the schedule.

12. Arkansas (12): The Hogs are winning the games they should and doing it handily.

13. USC (13): The Trojans are one of the best teams so far away from home, non-conference and now in the league, too.

14. Wisconsin (14): The Badgers took apart rival Marquette in the second half after winning on the road at Georgia Tech.

15. Iowa State (15): The Cyclones won at Creighton and continue to be the surprise in the Big 12.

16. Tennessee (16): The Vols picked up a quality true road win at Colorado in advance of Tuesday’s matchup against Texas Tech in New York.

17. Houston (17): The Cougars are now the clear favorite in the American as Memphis continues to fall.

18. Texas (18): The Longhorns have done the best gimmicks with student-only games and overall student interaction. But the play on the court has been solid, as well.

19. Michigan State (20): The Spartans beat Louisville in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, took down Toledo and are taking care of the basketball more.

20. North Carolina (NR): The Tar Heels had a dominating win over Michigan in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and then opened the ACC with a win over Georgia Tech.

21. UConn (21): The Huskies are hurting now with Adama Sanogo and Tyrese Martin down but they are turning up the energy and the intensity.

22. Seton Hall (23): The Pirates are right behind UConn as a gritty bunch that is going to be trouble in the Big East.

23. Auburn (26): The Tigers have arguably one of the top three prospects in the country in Jabari Smith, and K.D. Johnson has been a star, so far.

24. Colorado State (30): The undefeated Rams looked the part of a top 25 team with a home win over Saint Mary’s.

25. Iowa (NR): The Hawkeyes beat Virginia in the final possession and then had a herculean comeback at Purdue without injured Keegan Murray. It fell short but Iowa is legit.

26. Illinois (NR): The Illini still aren’t healthy but Kofi Cockburn is becoming a force no team can handle.

27. San Francisco (29): The Dons are 9-0 after crushing UNLV and outlasting a C-USA favorite in UAB.

28. Xavier (28): The Musketeers are holding serve and will be in the mix in the Big East.

29. Michigan (36): The Wolverines finally looked like the Michigan team projected in the home win over San Diego State.

30. Oklahoma (NR): Porter Moser has the Sooners ready to go for the Big 12 after winning at UCF and beating Florida in Norman.

31. Florida (11): The Gators lost to the Sooners but have the goods to shoot right back up in the rankings.

32. LSU (34): The Tigers are quietly cruising along and will mount an upper-division SEC run.

33. St. Bonaventure (24): The Bonnies have the one blemish but a game Saturday in Newark against UConn will be another barometer.

34. Dayton (25): The Flyers did get passed over by teams that had better weeks. But Dayton didn’t lose and have another test at SMU this week.

35. Syracuse (NR): The Orange had a great week knocking off Indiana in double overtime before winning at Florida State to open the ACC.

36. Indiana (19): The Hoosiers had a great shot to beat the Orange but couldn’t close out. They did do what they had to do, which was beat Nebraska to open the Big Ten.

Dropping out: BYU (9), Memphis (27), Marquette (31), Texas Tech (32), Florida State (33), Louisville (35).

NEVER NO. 1: These 9 programs have never taken the No. 1 spot in the AP poll

Also under consideration: Virginia, Providence, Ole Miss, Minnesota, Wake Forest, Loyola-Chicago, Wyoming, Utah State, Louisville, Northwestern, UAB, Saint Mary’s, Virginia Tech, Wichita State.

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