So, this has been one heck of a week of college hoops, hasn’t it? We all still here? Still emotionally stable? Still invested in our respective squads?
We had a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in January. We had overtime and triple overtime and quadruple overtime. We had upsets. We had career-best performances and season-best performances. We had it all. And as you’d expect, it’s caused a bit of a shakeup in our latest round of rankings.
Kansas has jumped up to claim the top spot this week while the middle ground is more than just a little bit shaky.
Read on to check out the latest round of Heavy’s Top 30 teams in the country. Let’s all start mentally preparing for conference games. It’s only going to get more fun.
Record: 12-3; Last Week: 27
The Flyers had been rolling for several games before they ran into La Salle on Saturday afternoon. The Flyers dropped a 61-57 decision in the matchup as La Salle managed to slow the game down to practically a snail’s pace. Odds are pretty good Dayton won’t see many teams who want to play like that in the future, but the slow pace certainly showed something about the Flyers.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 vs. Davidson, 8 p.m. ET
Record: 12-5; Last Week: 30
The Bearcats have been consistently inconsistent so far this season and that didn’t really change this week. Cincinnati fell 59-57 at SMU – still undefeated – but bounced back with a 54-51 victory at South Florida on Sunday afternoon. It’s a good split, if there can be such a thing as a good split.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 vs. Houston, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 14-3; Last Week: Not Ranked
Hey, look, it’s a brand-new team! The Trojans have won nine of their past 10 after Saturday’s four-OT upset victory over Arizona. They’ve also got wins over Arizona State and Wichita State so far this season. Could Saturday night’s win be a turn in the right direction for a USC squad that is still, technically, in its rebuilding era under Andy Enfield? Maybe.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 at UCLA, 11 p.m. ET
Record: 12-4; Last Week: 25
Another week, another vaguely confusing performance by the Runnin’ Utes. Utah held on for a slim 56-54 victory over Colorado on Friday , snapping a two-game losing streak from the week before. Jakob Poeltl, and his 17 points and nine rebounds a game, continue to be the spark for this team. The Utes are going to go as he goes.
Next Game: Thursday, January 14 vs. Oregon, 10 p.m. ET
Record: 13-3; Last Week: 28
The Zags have won seven straight and come into this week fresh off an 85-74 victory over Portland. It’s a solid performance after the OT victory over San Francisco and another step in the right direction for an offense that’s finally starting to find its footing. Gonzaga is putting points on the board and in the sport of basketball, that’s a pretty good thing.
Next Game: Thursday, January 14 vs. BYU, 9 p.m. ET
Read on for the next group of squads, No. 25 – 21:
Record: 11-4; Last Week: 24
The loss to Temple on January 5 was not good. Let’s go so far as to say it was pretty darn surprising. But the win against Memphis on Saturday was good. In fact, it was really good down the stretch. The Huskies went 9-of-10 from the line in the final 70 seconds to earn the 81-78 victory. That kind of precision late in the game is going to be crucial in league play.
Next Game: Thursday, January 14 at Tulsa, 7 p.m. ET
24. George Washington
Record: 13-3; Last Week: 22
There’s no place like home? Certainly seems like it. The Colonials have now won 10 straight at home after Saturday’s 91-64 victory over Duquesne. Tyler Cavanaugh continues to be a basketball gift to GW as well. He scored a career-best 30 points and grabbed another 10 rebounds in the victory.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 at Massachusetts, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 12-3; Last Week: 26
Here’s a fun fact. The Hawkeyes beat Michigan State last season. Denzel Valentine was sidelined in that game as well, however. Now, Iowa takes its five-game win streak to face off against the Spartans on Thursday night. The scoring stats for Iowa recently have also been fairly strong. Both Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok are averaging double digits and six different players are racking up at least seven a night.
Next Game: Thursday, January 14 at Michigan State, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 14-3; Last Week: 21
One step forward two steps back for the Boilmakers this week. Purdue notched a solid victory over Michigan on Thursday night, but then dropped an 84-70 showing at Illinois on Saturday afternoon. Purdue turned the ball over 16 times, but couldn’t find any offensive consistency down the stretch. That’s not a way to win basketball games.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 vs. Penn State, 8:30 p.m. ET
21. Iowa State
Record: 12-3; Last Week: 14
Remember back a few weeks ago when Iowa State was one of the top teams in the country? The Cyclones would like to get back to that. As soon as possible. Now, granted it hasn’t been easy, but Iowa State has already dropped two league games with losses to Oklahoma and Baylor. It also doesn’t get easier. The Cyclones have two road games this week before a home matchup against the Sooners on January 18.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 at Texas, 9 p.m. ET
We’ve got teams 20 through 16 on the next page.
Record: 12-3; Last Week: 23
The Bears offense, it appears, is back. Baylor rallied from 11 down, led by Johnathan Motley’s career-best 27 points and 13 rebounds, to stun Iowa State 94-89 on the road. Baylor now has two top-30 KenPom wins with zero losses outside of the top 40 and have won four of its last five. The loss in that stretch? At Kansas.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 vs. TCU, 8:15 p.m. ET
Record: 13-3; Last Week: 16
Oh, Louisville, what happened? The Cardinals stunned just about everyone in the college basketball watching world on Sunday, falling 66-62 to Clemson at home. As expected, it wasn’t pretty. Louisville had only two players in double figures in the loss and shot just 13 percent from three-point range.
Next Game: Thursday, January 14 vs. Pittsburgh, 9 p.m. ET
18. South Carolina
Record: 15-0; Last Week: 20
They’re still undefeated. South Carolina notched another victory, holding on for a 69-65 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon. So, how is this win streak still in tact? The Gamecocks are shooting well. Really well. South Carolina shot 42.1% from the field in the victory over the Commodores. The defense hasn’t been too bad either. The question is whether or not they can keep it up with three of their next four games on the road.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 at Alabama, 9 p.m. ET
Record: 14-2; Last Week: 18
It was close. At least there’s that. The Bulldogs in-league struggles continue as Butler failed to connect on a game-tying trey with 11 seconds to play en route to a 60-55 loss against Villanova on Sunday night. Butler has now lost two straight at home and has just one victory against Big East competition.
Next Game: Saturday, January 16 vs. St. Johns, 12 p.m. ET
Let’s break down 16 through 13, just click that next page arrow.
16. Texas A&M
Record: 13-2; Last Week: 17
The win streak is still alive. The Aggies have notched six straight and managed to hold on in back-to-back games to defeat Mississippi State and Tennessee by a total of just five points. Jalen Jones has to stay strong if Texas A&M is going to keep winning. He’s averaging 16.8 points and 6.6 rebounds a game and has to maintain those numbers throughout January.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 vs. Florida, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 13-3 ; Last Week: 8
The Wildcats season suffered a fairly wild swing this week. In just two games Arizona went from being considered one of the most dangerous teams in the country, to one of the most confusing. The quadruple overtime loss to USC on Saturday night was, almost, understandable. The 87-84 loss to UCLA on January 7, however, was not. Arizona needs to regroup and get back to winning. Quickly.
Next Game: Thursday, January 14 vs. Washington, 9 p.m. ET
Record: 15-0; Last Week: 19
Another game and the Mustangs are still perfect. And we should really probably start talking about Ben Moore a bit. The junior has flown under the radar for much of his career, but he’s averaging 12.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He’s also 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds. It’s time to start noticing him.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 at East Carolina, 6:15 p.m. ET
13. West Virginia
Record: 14-1; Last Week: 15
The Mountaineers have won seven straight since losing to Virginia, but they only have one top-50 KenPom victory on their resume and with a tough upcoming schedule that’s more than a little troubling. Tuesday’s game against Kansas will be very telling as to where WVU is and, perhaps more importantly, where they’re going this season.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 vs. Kansas, 7 p.m. ET
There’s more Big East strength in the rankings, click the arrow to check out teams 12 to 9.
Record: 12-3; Last Week: 7
The loss to LSU was about as bad as Kentucky has looked in quite some time. It was sloppy. It was uninspiring. It was, well, a loss. But the Wildcats bounced back on Saturday with a solid 77-61 victory at Alabama. UK dominated on the glass and saw Alex Poythress score a career-high 25 points and notch seven rebounds. If Kentucky can stay at this level, they’re going to start to roll.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 vs. Mississippi State, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 12-3; Last Week: 5
Oof. This was not the week UVA wanted. The Cavaliers lost two straight for the first time since 2013 after dropping games to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. It almost doesn’t make sense. This is the same team that beat Villanova and West Virginia. The same team that beat Notre Dame by double digits. The Cavs need to get back to basics. Rebounds. Solid defense. It’s not all off track, but another loss could send it completely off the rails.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 vs. Miami, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 14-2; Last Week: 9
Ok, so the Friars lost 65-64 to Marquette at home on January 5. Ok, so they gave up a second half lead and saw their eight-game win streak snapped. But here’s a good part of that loss. Ben Bentil scored 28 points. Kris Dunn scored 20 of his own. And Providence’s record still includes three victories over top-50 KenPom teams. All is not lost.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 at Creighton, 8:30 p.m. ET
Record: 14-2; Last Week: 13
It’s difficult to not get over-hyped about Duke, particularly with the numbers the offense has been putting up, but the Blue Devils still haven’t faced off against a truly challenging team and walked off the court with a victory. The team is 2-2 against KenPom’s top 50, but have still won five straight. That, at least, counts for something.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 at Clemson, 7 p.m. ET
We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. Click the next arrow to check out teams 8 – 5
Record: 13-1; Last Week: 12
The Hurricanes lone loss this season is to Northeastern on November 27. Since then, Miami has won eight straight. But it doesn’t get any easier. The ‘Canes face off against a pretty frustrated Virginia team and league play isn’t exactly simple in the ACC. Miami will need its big names to step up over the next few games, particularly Sheldon McClellan who leads the team with 16.3 points a game.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 at Virginia, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 14-2; Last Week: 11
Hey, remember when we were worried about Villanova? It seems like it’s ok to stop worrying. The Wildcats won their sixth straight on Sunday night, defeating Butler 60-55 on the road. At one point Villanova recorded a 14-point run and the ‘Cats offensive woes, maybe, seem to be behind them.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 vs. Marquette, 8:30 p.m. ET
Record: 14-1; Last Week: 10
Since losing to Villanova in league play, the Musketeers have won two straight and reestablished a bit of Big East confidence. If Xavier can get freshman guard Edmond Sumner cleared to play again, after a leaving the Villanova game on a stretcher, this team can add a bit of depth and another offensive weapon. When that happens; watch out.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 vs. DePaul, 6:30 p.m. ET
5. North Carolina
Record: 15-2; Last Week: 6
The Tar Heels spoiled Jim Boeheim’s return to the Carrier Dome on Saturday night, cruising to an 84-73 victory on the road. North Carolina continued to showcase its impressive depth in the win as well – and that may be the most important aspect of it. When Marcus Paige scores three points and your team still wins by a comfortable margin, you’ve got some players.
Next Game: Saturday, January 16 vs. North Carolina State, 12 p.m. ET
Click that arrow in the corner to check out the top four teams in the country.
4. Michigan State
Record: 16-1; Last Week: 4
The Spartans are getting back on track. Michigan State never trailed and put the game away easily on Sunday, cruising to a 92-65 victory over Penn State. Denzel Valentine returned in the win, but it was more a showcase for Michigan State’s depth than anything else. The squad used 12 players in the first half and 15 overall. That’s efficient.
Next Game: Thursday, January 14 vs. Iowa, 7 p.m. ET
Record: 15-1; Last Week: 3
Slow and steady and sticking right in this No. 3 spot. The Terrapins have won nine straight since their loss at North Carolina in December. They’re not spectacular wins. Maryland isn’t blowing anyone out of the water. In fact, Saturday’s win over Wisconsin was just a three-point cushion. But they’re wins. And, come March, that’s what’s going to matter.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 at Michigan, 9 p.m. ET
Record: 12-1; Last Week: 1
Buddy Hield. Let’s talk about Buddy Hield for a second. The OU senior has 248 points in his last eight games and has six 30-plus point games this season. The last Sooners player to do that? Blake Griffin. That’s pretty good company to keep. Even in Oklahoma’s loss at Kansas last week, Hield was so dominant that he earned a standing ovation from the opposing crowd.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 13 at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. ET
Record: 14-1; Last Week: 2
It’s been a good week for the Jayhawks. After taking down previously undefeated Oklahoma at home with a three-overtime 109-106 victory on Monday night, Kansas followed up with a 69-59 showing at Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon. Perry Ellis just keeps rolling this season. He notched his second straight double-double in this latest victory, racking up 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Next Game: Tuesday, January 12 at West Virginia, 7 p.m. ET