RSN Power Rankings (Jan. 2)

Week 5

  1.  Villanova (14-0)

Last week’s ranking:  1  (-)

Villanova rebounded from a surprising scare from DePaul at home with a gritty win in Omaha against undefeated Creighton. Josh Hart has proven to be the go-to man late in games and that decision continues to pay off for Jay Wright. Up next for Nova is a tough trip to Butler on Wednesday night.

2.  Baylor (13-0)

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Anyone who doubted Baylor was (temporarily) silenced on Friday after the Bears went into Norman and smacked Oklahoma. While the Sooners are nowhere near the level they were on last season, winning by 26 in their building is an accomplishment. Baylor now has two homes games against Iowa State and Oklahoma State in their next two games before a huge trip to Morgantown for a matchup with West Virginia.

3.  Gonzaga (14-0)

Last week’s ranking: 4 (UP 1)

Gonzaga finally makes a move from its #4 spot it held for 4 weeks straight after a plethora of top-10 losses this week. Nigel Williams-Goss has led the Bulldogs into WCC play with two straight wins. The Zags will be expected to win their next three games before a marquee matchup with Saint Mary’s at the Kennel. A win over the Gaels would likely keep Gonzaga undefeated into February where things would get very interesting juggling the pressure of going undefeated.

4.  Kansas (12-1)

Last week’s ranking: 6 (UP 2)

The Jayhawks capped off their relatively simple non-conference schedule with a comfortable win at UNLV. They then moved into Big 12 play in search of yet another regular season title. A trip to TCU was first up and the Jayhawks were pushed to the limit by Jamie Dixon’s scrappy Horned Frogs. Although not playing their best, Kansas showed maturity and poise winning their first real close game since beating Duke by 2 in week 1 of the regular season.

5.  UCLA (14-1)

Last week’s ranking: 3 (DOWN 2)

A loss at Oregon really shouldn’t effect UCLA negatively. In fact, it takes some pressure off of the Bruins to stay unbeaten. Lonzo Ball continues to excel in Steve Alford’s offense and helped UCLA to a satisfying win over Oregon State a few days after the Oregon loss. The Bruins return home with a Thursday matchup with California, who gave Arizona all they could handle in their previous game.

6.  Duke (12-2)

Last week’s ranking: 5 (DOWN 1)

While many felt Virginia Tech was a bad loss for the Blue Devils, the Hokies are a true sleeper this season and will be a legitimate threat come March. Duke was also without Grayson Allen due to his lack of maturity time and time again. Who’s gonna forget the temper tantrum he threw on the bench in the Elon game. That was quite possibly the highlight of the last two weeks in the college basketball world. Either way, we feel Duke will be fine.

7. West Virginia (12-1)

Last week’s ranking: 11 (UP 4)

Bob Huggins’ squad continues to climb up the ranks after 8 straight wins. A drubbing of Oklahoma State on the road gave belief to many that the Mountaineers were truly a force. Despite the rather unnecessary departure of Devin Williams, West Virginia has bounced back with one of the deepest teams in the nation. Their balance has proven to be elite and they have become real contenders in College Basketball.

8. Virginia (11-2)

Last week’s ranking:  18 (UP 10)

The Cavaliers are one the most odd teams thus far over a month into the season. After impressive wins on the road at California and Louisville, Virginia returned home and lost to Florida State. While the Seminoles are a very good team, it shows inconsistency in the Cavaliers game. They will have an opportunity to right the ship on Wednesday with a trip to Pittsburgh.

9. Louisville (12-2)

Last week’s ranking:  9 (-)

Louisville headed into a 3 game stretch in which they would face 3 ranked opponents in a row at 10-1. The Cardinals now sit at 12-2 after huge wins over Kentucky and Indiana. A loss to Virginia was a blip on the radar but Donovan Mitchell has the Cardinals flying high. A tricky matchup awaits Louisville as they travel to South Bend for a date with the Irish on Wednesday night.

10. Florida State (14-1)

Last week’s ranking:  14 (UP 4)

Dwayne Bacon and Florida State check into our Top-10 for the first time all season after a massive win at Virginia. The Cavs were comfortably favored after a road win at Louisville just a few days prior but were shocked by the athleticism and talent of the Seminoles. Bacon led the way with 29 of their 60 as the sophomore continues to grow to an elite level. However, Virginia was just the beginning. Florida State now has 5 ranked opponents in a row on their schedule, 3 of them at home.

11. Kentucky (DOWN 4)

12. Creighton  (DOWN 2)

13. Oregon  (NEW)

14. Wisconsin  (DOWN 2)

15. North Carolina  (DOWN 7)

16. Virginia Tech  (UP 3)

17. Cincinnati  (UP 8)

18. Arizona  (UP 4)

19. Xavier  (UP 1)

20. Minnesota  (NEW)

21. Purdue (DOWN 4)

22. Saint Mary’s (NEW)

23. Butler (DOWN 10)

24. USC  (DOWN 9)

25. Florida (NEW)

Dropped Out: Indiana, Maryland, Notre Dame, South Carolina

RSN Power Rankings (Jan. 2)

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