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Andy Katz | Correspondent | November 28, 2022

Purdue, Arizona soar to the top of the Power 36 college basketball rankings

Purdue, Arizona soar to the top of the Power 36 college basketball rankings

Now the fun begins. 

We’ve got real numbers to crunch. And this means the Power 36 and, I would think, the AP Top 25 is going to be turned upside down. Who you beat and where you do it matter more than your ranking the previous week, but results are what matter most and we’ve got some significant ones over the past week.

So pay attention here, because the rankings are a reward for the wins secured against quality competition over the past week. And yes teams can drop if they win and don’t show well against average competition. 

Here we go!

College basketball rankings: The Power 36 for Week 3

Last week's rankings in parentheses:

1. Purdue (15): The Boilermakers deserve the No. 1 ranking this week. Why? Purdue had the best two wins by knocking off Gonzaga and Duke en route to the Phil Knight Legacy title in Portland. Purdue also beat West Virginia to open the event. They are playing the best basketball in the country right now. Deal with it. 

2. Arizona (17): Did you watch the Maui Invitational? The Wildcats were wildly impressive in winning the title by beating a high-level Creighton. This team is really great entertainment. 

3. Texas (5): The Longhorns have one of the most impressive wins to date by rocking Gonzaga in Austin last week. Texas hasn’t had as many high-level games yet. But they are coming. 

4. Houston (2): Yes, the Cougars can drop in my power rankings by winning a close game against Kent State in comparison to what these others have done. Still love Houston, but they aren’t No. 1-worthy yet. 

5. Indiana (4): The Hoosiers have one true road win at Xavier. They have looked dominant in the rest of the games and will get a chance to show even more against North Carolina this week. 

6. UConn (22): The Huskies won the Phil Knight Invitational and were impressive in doing so, especially in taking out Alabama. This team can shoot, defend and score in the low post. 

7. Tennessee (28): Welcome back, Vols, to where you belong. Tennessee beat Kansas to win the Battle 4 Atlantis.

8. Kansas (3): The Jayhawks escaped Wisconsin at the buzzer and lost to Tennessee in the title game in Atlantis. All good still in Lawrence. 

9. Duke (12): The Blue Devils are getting healthier but they only had serious difficulty with Purdue in Portland. Duke has a rising star in Kyle Filipkowski and an invaluable lead guard in Jeremy Roach. 

10. Creighton (8): The Bluejays made a national name for themselves in Maui. They are going to be a tough out throughout the course of the season. Omaha is going to be rocking. 

2022 Maui Invitational: Bracket, schedule, scores

11. Virginia (10): The Cavaliers have emerged as an ACC favorite yet again. Last season’s NCAA miss was clearly an anomaly. 

12. Arkansas (9): I love this Hogs team. Once they get Nick Smith Jr. back, this team should/could be in the top five. 

13. Baylor (11): The Bears have a showdown with Gonzaga in South Dakota that should give us even more of a barometer on the Bears. 

14. Alabama (21): I’m sold on the Tide. Brandon Miller is an absolute stud and the four-overtime win against North Carolina proved this team is going to be factor. 

DOWN GOES NUMBER 1: Alabama tops North Carolina in a quadruple-overtime thriller

15. Gonzaga (6): The Zags dispatched Xavier Sunday night to get third-place in the Phil Knight Legacy, but Purdue made the Zags look a bit small. Gonzaga leaves Portland 2-1 with huge games coming up against Baylor in South Dakota and Alabama in Birmingham. 

16. Iowa State (NR): The Cyclones fell to UConn in the Phil Knight Invitational title game but the wins over 'Nova and North Carolina proved they are going to be in the Big 12 chase. 

17. North Carolina (1): The Tar Heels drop after going 1-2 in Portland, but they were a whisker away from going 2-1. The game at Indiana on Wednesday will be major test. I know seeing them drop this much may seem crazy but a road win against Indiana can sling them back up. The one win in Portland came against the University of Portland. 

18. Maryland (16): The Terps are undefeated under new coach Kevin Willard. Big week for Maryland with winnable game at Louisville before hosting Illinois and going to Wisconsin. 

19. San Diego State (13): The Aztecs had a chance to get a win over Arkansas. That missed opportunity won’t cost them. They are still going to be a tough out all season long. 

20. Illinois (14): The Illini need to show well this week with games against Syracuse at home and at Maryland. 

21. UCLA (18): The Bruins are still waiting for a marquee win. 

22. Auburn (24): The Tigers beat Northwestern in Mexico in a game in the 40s but then outlasted a very good Saint Louis team at home. 

23. Wisconsin (23): The Badgers had Kansas beat but couldn’t corral a rebound. They then bounced back to take down USC to go 2-1 in Atlantis. 

24. Xavier (NR): The Musketeers lost to Duke and Gonzaga after beating Florida. But they showed exceptionally well and there is no question they will be in the Big East title chase. 

25. TCU (26): The Horned Frogs took down Iowa in Florida without two key players to indicate that they have the depth in the rotation to deal with adversity. 

26. Michigan State (7): The Spartans played well in Portland and got out 2-1 despite not having Malik Hall and Jaden Akins. If they can get past Notre Dame on the road then they have a good shot to settle down and get healthy with some home wins (save a road trip to Penn State).

27. Kentucky (19): The Wildcats will be back higher up in this rankings and others once they knock off some higher-level opponents. 

LAST WEEK'S POWER 36: Texas, Michigan State and Virginia leap into the top 10

28. Arizona State (20): The Sun Devils can prove they are worthy of being ranked with a pair of Pac-12 games coming up. That would show they can be consistent. 

29. Michigan (27): The Wolverines have hardly played well consistently but this team is too talented to dip too far. 

30. UNLV (33): The Runnin’ Rebels are 7-0 and Kevin Kruger has them relevant again. 

31. Ohio State (30): The Buckeyes beat Cincinnati and Texas Tech to leave Maui 2-1 after losing to San Diego State in the opener. 

32. Kansas State (NR): The Wildcats are 6-0 after winning in the Cayman Islands and beating LSU. Keyontae Johnson’s return to basketball is the story right now in the sport. 

33. Iowa (25): The Hawkeyes lost to TCU in Florida. That’s one blemish thus far. 

34. Davidson (NR): The Wildcats are 6-1, handing USF its first loss. Foster Loyer (formerly of Michigan State) scored 30 in the win over the Dons and and is averaging 22.7 a game. 

35. Drake (36): The Bulldogs won the Paradise Jam and are the clear favorite in the Missouri Valley. 

36. Oklahoma (NR): The Sooners won the ESPN Events title in Orlando over Ole Miss. Porter Moser has one of the best transfers in the country in Grant Sherfield from Nevada. 

Dropped out: Saint Mary’s (29), Florida (31), Dayton (34), Texas Tech (32), UMass (35). 

Team of the Week

Purdue: The Boilermakers were as dominant as any team in the country by winning the PK Legacy tournament with wins over West Virginia, Gonzaga and Duke. They are my No. 1 team after this impressive week.

Player of the week

Oumar Ballo, Arizona: Ballo led the Wildcats to the Maui Invitational title. All he did was go for 30 and 13 in the title game against Creighton, 12 and 9 against San Diego State and 21 and 10 against Cincinnati. 

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