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Andy Katz | Correspondent | December 19, 2022

UCLA cracks the top 5 in Andy Katz's Power 36 college basketball rankings

UCLA cracks the top 5 in Andy Katz's Power 36 college basketball rankings

Purdue remains as the No. 1 team in the Power 36 for the fourth consecutive week. Strong performances from UCLA against AP top-20 teams launch them into the top five of the Power 36.  

Here we go!

College basketball rankings: The Power 36 for Week 6

Last week's rankings in parentheses:

1. Purdue (1): Zach Edey 29/16 in the win over Davidson in the battle of the Loyer brothers. 

2.  UConn (3): UConn keeps plowing ahead. The Big East title chase starts and ends with the Huskies right now.

3. Arizona (4): Azuolas Tubelis finished with 19/9 as the Wildcats beat Tennessee in yet another big-time win.

4. Kansas (5): The Jayhawks blitzed Indiana and Gradey Dick continued to be one of the best freshmen in the country.

5. UCLA (16): Our team of the week won at Maryland and then took down Kentucky in New York. Defense definitely travels to the East Coast.

6. Houston (9): The Cougars make another leap after winning at Virginia.

7. Arkansas (8): The Hogs continue to look the part of an SEC title contender.

8. Virginia (2): The Cavaliers suffered their first loss of the season to one of the best defensive teams in the country in Houston.

9. Duke (10): The Blue Devils are in a practice time of the schedule and likely are getting healthier and better.

10. Gonzaga (14): The Zags had their best win of the season over Alabama in Birmingham. And yes they move past Baylor since they are playing better than the Bears despite losing a few weeks ago late in South Dakota. 

11. Texas (11): The Longhorns have so far survived without head coach Chris Beard.

12. Baylor (13): The Bears escaped Sunday night with a win over Washington State, but didn’t play as well as they have been of late.

13. Tennessee (7): Credit to Rick Barnes for continuing to play a high-level schedule. Few teams if any will win at Arizona.

14. Alabama (6): The Tide gave up 100 points to Gonzaga in Birmingham. That will probably be more of an anomaly for their defense.

15. Miami, Fla. (15): The ‘Canes are quietly looking like one of the best teams in the ACC.

16. North Carolina (NR): The Tar Heels are back and climbing after an overtime thriller against Ohio State.

17. TCU (17): The Horned Frogs have returned to their preseason potential.

18. Arizona State (18): The Sun Devils have one loss. One. Time for everyone to pay attention.

19. Ohio State (22): Yes, I’m moving up the Buckeyes despite losing in overtime to North Carolina. This team passes any eye test.

20. Mississippi State (21): The Bulldogs remain undefeated and will need to get more tested.

21. Wisconsin (24): The Badgers didn’t play well against Lehigh but they found a way to win and that’s all that matters.

22. New Mexico (32): The Lobos beat Iona and are 11-0 in Richard Pitino’s second season.

23. USC (31): The Trojans got a massive win by taking out Auburn on Sunday. 

24. Virginia Tech (29): The Hokies have won six in a row and are looking like last season’s ACC tournament title wasn’t a fluke.

25. Marquette (28): Shaka Smart has his Golden Eagles playing some of the best basketball in the Big East after taking out Creighton.

26. Illinois (26): The Illini got the W it needed after Brad Underwood was livid over their Penn State performance.

27. Kentucky (12): The Wildcats had their moments defensively, but struggled to score against UCLA.

28. Memphis (20): The Tigers lost a wild one at Alabama but then turned around to beat Texas A&M.

29. Indiana (19): The Hoosiers have lost two in a row but to Arizona in Las Vegas and at Kansas. They have not had their full roster for the duration of both games. So they stay in the rankings for now.

30. Xavier (27): The Musketeers have won five in a row. And are at this point the third-best team in the Big East.

31. LSU (35): The Tigers are 11-1 and getting no love. So here you go: Pay attention to this team!

32. Kansas State (NR): Keyontae Johnson scored 23 and 11 in a win over Nebraska to push the Wildcats to 10-1.

33. Iowa (33): Kris Murray is still out, but in his absence, Filip Rebraca scored 30 points and nine rebounds in a win over SEMO.

34. Iowa State (34): The Cyclones continue to beat teams that they should.

35. Utah State (NR): The Aggies are undefeated at 9-0.

36. College of Charleston (36): The Cougars were idle so the 10-game win streak lives.

Dropped out: UNLV (23), Maryland (25), Utah (30)

Team of the Week

UCLA: The Bruins had a monster road trip, beating Maryland in College Park handily and then stopping Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic in New York. UCLA only gave up 60 to Maryland and 53 to Kentucky. The pair of wins were the first back-to-back top-25 wins since the 2021 NCAA bubble tournament. The Bruins have won seven in a row since losing two in Las Vegas to Illinois and Baylor.

Player of the Week

Drew Timme, Gonzaga: Timme makes a comeback in the player-of-the-week category and reminds everyone that he’s a first-team all-American. He scored 29 and 10 in the Zags most significant win of the season by beating Alabama 100-90 in Birmingham. Timme started the week with 26 and six in a win over Northern Illinois. The Zags have won four in a row, including beating Kent State and Washington since losing to Baylor in South Dakota.

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