February 24, 2020: NCAA Basketball Power Rankings

As we expected, after Baylor and Kansas faced off, we had a much clearer idea at the top of the rankings, as three of our four ballots had the same top-2 teams, and for the first time all year, we had a unanimous #1 pick. Granted, Duke losing by 20 last week to NC State, San Diego State losing at home, and Gonzaga losing helped out the clarity significantly. Read on for the biggest risers and fallers this week, followed by the rankings in full!

Biggest Riser: Oregon

Biggest Faller: San Diego State

Joined the Ranks: Oregon

Dropped Out: Penn State

Honorable Mention

  • Louisville Cardinals (Last week: 10)
  • Villanova Wildcats (Last Week: HM)
  • Kentucky Wildcats (Last Week: HM)

#10 – San Diego State Aztecs (Last Week: 6) 

  • Last week, the Aztecs looked like a surefire bet for a #1 seed, and now it’s questionable whether they will even grab a #2 seed. We’ll have a better idea when the new AP Poll comes out, but for everyone questioning the legitimacy of San Diego State and their previously unbeaten record, Saturday’s home loss to UNLV provides bulletin board material. 

#9 – Maryland Terrapins (Last Week: 8)

  • Maryland won a game they should have won against Northwestern and then lost a tough road battle against a ranked and red-hot Ohio State team. They slide one spot due to the loss, but we weren’t overly surprised or disappointed by the Terrapins this week. 

#8 – Auburn Tigers (Last Week: 8)

  • On any other week, Auburn probably doesn’t rise, but given the general chaos near the top of the rankings, they actually manage to step up one spot this week, courtesy of a massive comeback against Tennessee that saw them rally from 15 points down to stay unbeaten at home. That (barely) balanced out yet another ugly road loss at Georgia, so the Tigers are treading a fine line. 

#7 – Oregon Ducks (Last week: Unranked)

  • Oregon is part of a tight four-team race for the Pac-12 regular season crown, and after  a very close road loss to the current leaders in Arizona State, Oregon pulled out an extremely impressive overtime victory on the road against a ranked Arizona squad. That win was impressive enough to send the Ducks flying into our Top 10, all the way up to #7 after a chaotic weekend of basketball. 

#6 – Florida State Seminoles (Last Week: 6)

  • The Seminoles cruised past Pittsburgh at home and then escaped NC State with a road victory that appeared more impressive after the Wolfpack dismantled Duke by 22 points. They were just a point off of rising a spot, but they should be able to accomplish that feat if they beat Louisville this week. 

#5 – Gonzaga Bulldogs (Last Week: 3)

  • People may overreact to Gonzaga’s loss this past week and forget that it was on the road and against a streaking BYU squad who jumped to #17 in today’s AP Poll. They’re still 5-2 in Quad 1 games and 27-2 overall, and they’re probably still in the hunt for a #1 seed. 

#4 – Dayton Flyers (Last Week: 7)

  • Had it not been for Oregon’s huge jump, Dayton could have been our biggest riser of the week, as they were a huge benefactor of the bevy of upsets this week. They squeezed out a tough road victory at VCU and then handled Duquesne by ten points. At #4 in the AP Poll, are the Flyers suddenly in play for a #1 seed?

#3 – Duke Blue Devils (Last Week: 4) 

  • Only in as weird a week as this could Duke lose by 22 points and rise a spot. They’re at #7 in the AP Poll, but our ballots were more inclined to see their loss to NC State as a blimp on the radar, a  weird loss to a desperate team, as opposed to a reflection of their talent. They also followed it up with a dominant showing versus Virginia Tech on Saturday to recover from the upset. 

#2 – Baylor Bears (Last Week: 2) 

  • A 3-point loss to the new #1 in Kansas is not going to doom Baylor. They are still likely going to grab a 1-seed barring an upset, and they’re still 10-1 in Quadrant 1 games. Don’t count this team out due to a long overdue loss. 

#1 – Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 1) – 4 First Place Votes

  • Finally a unanimous #1 pick! Kansas was our #1 the past two weeks despite their worse record and head to head loss, and we receive validation for our gut feeling as Kansas took down Baylor last week in Waco. With the other upsets, Kansas is the clear #1 this week. Let’s see if they can keep it that way.

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