RSN Power Rankings (Dec. 5)

Week 2

  1.  Villanova (8-0)

Last week’s ranking:  3  (UP 2)

The Wildcats continued their dominant start to the season with a road win at Penn and a victory over Saint Joseph’s. Josh Hart even recorded a triple-double in the 31-point thrashing of the Hawks. Nova is looking as strong as ever and vaults to our #1 spot after losses by North Carolina and Kentucky.

2.  Baylor (8-0)

Last week’s ranking: 5 (UP 3)

Four ranked wins. 3 top 10 wins. Baylor has had the most impressive start to the season out of any team in the country without a doubt. A comfortable 15 point win over #7 Xavier capped off another successful week for the Bears. Johnathan Motley continues to lead Baylor in scoring as the Bears continue to surprise the basketball world this season.

3.  UCLA (9-0)

Last week’s ranking: 16 (UP 13)

Wow. Heading into Rupp Arena as 11 point underdogs, the Bruins were poised to show the rest of the nation how talented they truly were. Lonzo Ball is proving to be one of the best point guards in basketball along with an impressive core of Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford. The Bruins took down Kentucky to earn their 9th win in 9 tries, as well as a third major conference win despite a horrid first half from Ball, which proved their depth and maturity as a team.

4.  Gonzaga (8-0)

Last week’s ranking: 4 (-)

If it wasn’t for UCLA’s stunning win in Lexington and Baylor’s plethora of top-25 wins, Gonzaga would have moved up even further in our rankings. In arguably their biggest game of the season, the Bulldogs handled Arizona and earned their 8th win of the season. With 4 winnable games remaining in the non-conference schedule all before a relatively easy start to the WCC season, the Zags have a strong chance of starting the season 17-0 before a huge matchup with Saint Mary’s at the Kennel on January 14th.

5.  Kansas (7-1)

Last week’s ranking: 6 (UP 1)

After an opening night loss to Indiana, Kansas has responded with 7 straight wins. The Jayhawks easily handled Long Beach State and Stanford this week to move up in our rankings. Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, and Josh Jackson headline a deep squad this season which took down Duke earlier in the year. UMKC and Nebraska are next up for Kansas this week in games that the Jayhawks will be heavily favored.

6.  Butler (8-0)

Last week’s ranking: 10 (UP 4)

How Butler is not ranked higher in the AP and Coaches Poll is a real mystery. The Bulldogs are undefeated led by the talented duo of Kelan Martin and Tyler Lewis. A road win at Utah highlighted another 2-win week for Butler which came after a resume-capping win over Arizona and solid wins over Vanderbilt and Northwestern.

7.  Indiana (7-1)

Last week’s ranking: 14 (UP 7)

Indiana has responded well since the shocking upset to IPFW in Fort Wayne with 4 straight wins including a comfortable win over our previous #1 North Carolina. With two top-5 wins to their name thus far, Indiana is a clear national contender. The IPFW loss, though puzzling, may have helped the Hoosiers understand weaknesses which they clearly corrected in their massive win over the Tar Heels at Assembly Hall.

8.  Duke (8-1)

Last week’s ranking:  11 (UP 3)

Though the only loss to Duke’s name is Kansas, the Blue Devils’ resume up to this point is rather unimpressive compared to the teams they will be fighting with in March. With their best wins being against a down Michigan State team and an overrated Rhode Island squad, Duke may not be all that they seem. Tuesday will be a chance to prove their talent when they take on Florida, who had a strong showing in the Advocare Invitational with wins over Seton Hall and Miami.

9. North Carolina (7-1)

Last week’s ranking:  1 (DOWN 8)

A loss at a powerhouse like Indiana normally wouldn’t drop a team this far, but with the number of talented, undefeated squads they are competing with, it was necessary to drop the Tar Heels this far. North Carolina still has solid wins over Wisconsin and Oklahoma State to their resume and can easily bounce back to the disappointing loss in Indiana. Their next marquee matchup is a December 17th tie with Kentucky.

10.  Kentucky (6-0)

Last week’s ranking:  2 (DOWN 8)

Few saw Kentucky losing at Rupp Arena to Steve Alford’s UCLA. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats in a stunning upset over the weekend, nearly knocking Kentucky out of our top-10. Despite the loss, Kentucky is still a perennial power in College Basketball and should respond positively to the loss. Malik Monk will continue to lead Kentucky, who still have to deal with North Carolina, Louisville, and Kansas all on their remaining schedule.

11. Creighton  (DOWN 1)

12. Saint Mary’s  (UP 5)

13. Louisville  (DOWN 1)

14. Xavier  (DOWN 6)

15. South Carolina  (UP 3)

16. West Virginia  (NEW)

17. Florida  (UP 4)

18. Virginia  (DOWN 10)

19. Wisconsin  (UP 3)

20. Purdue  (DOWN 7)

21. Cincinnati  (NEW)

22. Notre Dame  (NEW)

23. USC  (NEW)

24. TCU  (UP 1)

25. Valparaiso  (NEW)

Dropped Out: Maryland, Iowa State, Arizona, Rhode Island, Syracuse

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RSN Power Rankings (Dec. 5)

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