Welcome to the first edition of RSN Power Rankings. Every week a new updated list will be released. This is not bracketology, simply our rankings of the top teams in college basketball. The second edition of bracketology will be released sometime in the next 3 weeks.
1. North Carolina (7-0)
The Tar Heels have come out firing easily handling their first 7 opponents. North Carolina has outscored every opponent by 15 or more including big wins over Wisconsin and Oklahoma State. The Heels face their toughest test yet on Wednesday with a trip to Assembly Hall to take on Indiana.
2. Kentucky (6-0)
Like North Carolina, Kentucky has handled every opponent they’ve faced with ease. The closest encounter thus far was a 21 point win over Michigan State. Fueled by one of the deepest rosters in basketball, the Wildcats are off to a 6-0 start and look poised for another late March run.
3. Villanova (6-0)
The Wildcats are off to a 6-0 start after their magical run in the NCAA Tournament last spring. With Josh Hart returning, Nova has a clear cut player of the year candidate leading the team. A signature win at Purdue has been the highlight thus far as well as being crowned champions of the Gildan Charleston Classic with wins over Western Michigan, Wake Forest, and Central Florida.
4. Gonzaga (6-0)
The Bulldogs have started red hot and have three impressive wins already on their resume. An early season drubbing of San Diego State was followed by a 3-0 performance at the Advocare Invitational which included key wins over Iowa State and Florida. Gonzaga faces possibly their biggest test of the season next week when they face Arizona at Staples Center.
5. Baylor (6-0)
At 6-0, Baylor is in prime position heading towards the conference season. With 4 impressive wins already the Bears are looking like the team to beat in the Big 12. Johnathan Motley leads Baylor in scoring and has been key in their wins over three top-25 teams in Oregon, Michigan State, and Louisville as well as a solid 8 point win over VCU.
6. Kansas (5-1)
Since losing their first game of the season in a heartbreaker to Indiana, the Jayhawks have rebounded with 5 straight wins. With a manageable non-conference schedule remaining, Kansas will look to head into the Big 12 season with just the one loss while also carrying their victory over Duke early in the season.
7. Virginia (6-0)
Virginia has looked strong thus far easily guiding through a relatively unchallenging schedule. A demolition of Iowa has been the signature of the Cavaliers season, as well as a solid victory over Providence. With Darius Thompson leading the team in scoring at only 10 PPG, it is clear the Cavs have depth but it shows a need for a true scorer to balance out this elite defensive team.
8. Xavier (6-0)
The Musketeers have started out the season positively with 6 straight wins. Two straight wins over Northern Iowa and a quality win over Clemson highlight the beginning of Xavier’s season. What is more impressive was their performance against possible All- American Jeron Blossomgame in which they held the big man to 5/12 shooting and just 3 rebounds at the Tire Pros Invitational.
9. Creighton (6-0)
With 4 Power-5 conference wins in their first 6, the Blue Jays have completed the rebuild since the departure of Doug McDermott. A signature win over Wisconsin in Omaha highlights a great start for this Big East contender. Marcus Foster has emerged as the top scorer for the Blue Jays after his transfer from Kansas State. Creighton enjoys a relatively smooth schedule until just before Big East play begins when they travel to Arizona State.
10. Butler (6-0)
The Bulldogs are 4th Big East team in our top 10, showing the true depth of the conference this season. Butler struggled in a tough matchup against Northwestern but ultimately prevailed with a 2 point win. This was later followed by an assured showing in their win over Vanderbilt just before their massive upset victory over Arizona in Las Vegas. Kelan Martin leads Butler with 16 PPG and will be key in their success all season.
17. Saint Mary’s
18. South Carolina
19. Iowa State
23. Rhode Island