Power Rankings: January 21, 2019

1. Duke (15-2, 4-1 ACC; 0)
2. Virginia (16-1, 4-1 ACC; +1)
3. Tennessee (15-1, 5-0 SEC; +2)
4. Michigan State (16-2, 7-0 Big Ten; +2)
5. Kansas (15-3, 4-2 Big XII; -3)
6. Michigan (17-1, 6-1 Big Ten; -2)
7. Gonzaga (18-2, 5-0 WCC; 0)
8. Nevada (18-1, 5-1 MWC; +2)
9. Houston (18-1, 5-1 AAC; +3)
10. Maryland (16-3, 7-1 Big Ten; +5)
11. Virginia Tech (15-2, 4-1 ACC; 0)
12. Buffalo (16-1, 5-0 MAC; +1)
13. North Carolina (14-4, 4-1 ACC; +3)
14. Texas Tech (15-3, 4-2 Big XII; -6)
15. LSU (14-3, 4-0 SEC; +5)
16. Kentucky (14-3, 4-1 SEC; +7)
17. Marquette (16-3, 5-1 Big East; +2)
18. Oklahoma (13-5, 2-4 Big XII; -9)
19. Iowa State (14-4, 4-2 Big XII; +11)
20. Mississippi State (14-3, 2-2 SEC; +6)
21. Louisville (13-5, 4-1 ACC; +7)
22. Auburn (12-4, 2-2 SEC; -8)
23. Iowa (16-3, 5-3 Big Ten; +2)
24. TCU (13-4, 2-3 Big XII; -6)
25. Villanova (14-4, 5-0 Big East; -4)
26-30. Cincinnati, Purdue, Ole Miss, Kansas State, UCF

Hey y’all, here’s this week’s top 25!

Duke managed the relatively rare feat of staying at #1 despite losing to Syracuse on Monday. Syracuse isn’t bad (just missing the top 30 this week at #31), so although Duke temporarily fell from the top spot to #2 for most of this week, they regained the top spot by beating the team that had occupied that #1 space, Virginia! It was a spectacular back-and-forth game on Saturday, and while I was personally hoping for Virginia to pull out a huge road win, I was impressed by Duke in their first game without the injured Tre Jones.

There were a ton of ranked teams taking losses this week, so a ton of movement throughout. At the top, along with losses by both Duke and Virginia as mentioned above, Kansas took a tough one-point loss at West Virginia, one of the Big XII’s bottom-feeders. Despite what a lot of people are saying, this isn’t that bad of a loss – the bottom-feeders in this conference would be average teams in the Pac-12 and American, and it’s always hard to win on the road. Michigan took their first loss of the season, at Wisconsin, again, not a bad one all things considered. I don’t think either of these teams should be dropping very far in the polls, although Kansas was already, for some reason, ranked #7 by the AP (#2 for me, at the time).

There are three new teams in this week’s poll, all returnees from earlier in the season. Iowa State is the first – the Cyclones picked up a couple of wins on the week, including an upset of Texas Tech on the road last Wednesday. They’ve been jumping in and out with some regularity, and their next test takes place in Lawrence, KS tonight against the Jayhawks. They already beat Kansas at home on January 5, but can it continue?

Mississippi State is the next team jumping back in. Last week they had fallen out after starting 0-2 in SEC play, but this was a big rebound week for them with wins over Florida and Vanderbilt.

The last team sliding back into the 25 is Louisville. Last week, the Cards had made a huge jump to #28 after demolishing North Carolina on the road, and they continued that momentum with a 2-0 week this time. In addition, their win over Michigan State looks better and better every week.

Three teams fall out to match – Ole Miss and UCF both took their first conference losses and dropped out, while Florida State’s freefall continues to take them not just out of the 25, but out of the top 30. 17th last week, 33rd this week after losses to both Pitt and Boston College.

Notable unranked teams include #31 Syracuse, #33 Florida State, #34 Wisconsin, #35 Texas, #38 Washington, #39 Ohio State, #40 Arizona State, #43 Arizona, #46 NC State, #48 Indiana, #51 Alabama, #60 Saint Louis, #78 Missouri, #81 Arkansas, #91 Loyola, #92 Notre Dame, #152 Illinois State, #173 Illinois, and #327 SIUE. #353 UNC-Asheville is now the only team of the 353 in Division I that has not beaten another D-I team, so they sit at the bottom by quite a bit.

Games of the Week:

1. Michigan State (-3.5) @ Purdue, Sunday
2. Virginia Tech @ North Carolina (-1), tonight
3. Kansas @ Kentucky (-1.5), Saturday
4. Auburn (-1) @ Mississippi State, Saturday
5. Iowa State @ Kansas (-4), tonight
6. Michigan (-3.5) @ Indiana, Friday
7. Purdue @ Ohio State (even), Wednesday
8. Iowa State @ Ole Miss (even), Saturday
9. Texas Tech (-2.5) @ Kansas State, tomorrow
10. Texas @ TCU (-3), Wednesday

That’s it for this week!

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