College Basketball Power Rankings: Auburn, Gonzaga, Arizona Take Top Three Places With Big Weekend Approaching

1 Record: 17-1 | Last week: 1st. As expected, Auburn tore through Georgia on Wednesday night to remain clear in the SEC. The last time Auburn was 6-0 in the SEC was the year 1959. For this team to equal it, it needs to win six more in a row in the league. I doubt it will, but it’s still the hottest/best team in the college hoops in January. Auburn leads the nation by 152 blocks. A phenomenal match-up at home awaits vs. Kentucky on Saturdays on CBS. 2 Record: 14-2 | Last week: 4th. The Bulldogs face San Francisco tonight in what may be – perhaps – the best WCC game Mark Few’s team has had yet. Gonzaga has averaged 114 points in his last three matches/first three league matches. The last time Gonzaga scored at least 100 points in three consecutive games? This time. It had never happened before. Gonzaga had also never scored at least 110 points in back-to-back games until this month. 3 Record: 14-1 | Last week: 8th. The Wildcats have easily won home dates against Colorado and Utah since we last met, so 14-1 is now the best 15-game start for U of A since 2014-15. The #3 ranking in this week’s AP poll reflects the strong start — Arizona hasn’t ranked this high since 2017. Arizona has three games left before next week’s power rankings refresh, the latest of which is sure to shake up the order. On Tuesday, it’s Arizona at UCLA. roadies vs. Stanford and Cal come first, then the test at Pauley Pavilion. So it will be three road races in a period of five days. If Arizona is still a one-loss team in a week, Tommy Lloyd’s team will definitely be real. (And actually already.) 4 Record: 15-2 | Last week: 9th. The last time Wisconsin had a 15-2 basketball team was in 2014-15. You may remember that team made the national championship game. The Badgers don’t have the best resume in the sport, but they’re certainly close. With 10 combined Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins, Wisconsin has more than any other team. Six of those wins are Quad 1. It turns out Greg Gard was the man for this gig after all. He has won 65% of his matches since he took over from Bo Ryan in 2015. How about this stat: UW has hit 70 points in five consecutive Big Ten wins for the first time in 60 years. There’s a huge game on Friday night against the state of Michigan. 5 Record: 16-2. Last week: 10th. Kelvin Sampson’s team was this week’s headline court report. The Cougars are once again a top-10 team, but with no All-American candidate on this roster and because the American Athletic Conference has been a disappointment, UH is being glossed over a bit. If Houston can get three or four more wins in a row, it probably won’t. Next up: a manageable home vs. East Carolina this weekend. 6 Record: 15-2. Last week: 12th. The Jayhawks came back from a first-half deficit against West Virginia, beating the Mountaineers by 26 points last weekend. On Tuesday, Kansas had a brave road conquest against Oklahoma. That W was notable for Ochai Agbaji playing his worst game of the season, but it didn’t stop KU from winning. I keep waiting for Remy Martin to surface in a significant way. When that happens, the Jayhawks are a must-see. 7 Record: 16-2 | Last week: 3rd. Impressive response from Baylor to hit the road after two consecutive home defeats, take a 16-point first-half lead in West Virginia, completely blow that lead, yet regain the composure to win 77-68 . The Bears had to take a dip after losing to Oklahoma state at home, but the fall is mitigated by that recovery on the road. We wait and see how soon James Akinjo (lower back) and Jeremy Sochan (ankle) can return. Playing Akinjo at a high level validates Baylor as a Final Four contender. 8 Record: 15-2 | Last week: 14th. A cherished double road OT win against Illinois knocks the Illini out of the rankings and returns Purdue to where it belongs in the top 10. One of the ways Purdue has become the most reliable offense in men’s basketball is the free play. throw percentage. The Boilers have taken 386 free throws. Their opponents have only tried 277. Thursday takes this team to Indiana for the 215th meeting in the history of the series. It is the most played Big Ten rivalry. Surprisingly: Purdue leads the series 124-89, hitting a five-game winning streak at IU’s joint. 9 Record: 15-2 | Last week: 15th. If you win 14 consecutive games in a multi-bid conference, you’ll get a good spot here at CBS Sports. If you’re curious, Davidson’s longest winning streak when Stephen Curry was there was 25 games. So yes, this team still has some work to do to match the legendary 2008-09 team that made the Elite Eight. This team has eight wins away from home and is second nationally with an accuracy of 3 points (42.2%). 10 Record: 15-3 | Last week: NO. I barely managed to keep the UK off the rankings last week, but now there’s no stopping the Cats. Texas A&M tried to hold on at home but lost by six points to become the first team this season to keep the margin in single digits while beating Kentucky. The Wildcats are now the No. 3 team at KenPom.com and the No. 1 player in efficiency according to Pomeroy’s KPOY stats. That would, of course, be Oscar Tshiebwe, who had eight points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and three steals on Wednesday night. 11 Record: 14-3. Last week: 5th. The Blue Devils’ loss to FSU on Tuesday night marked the 13th consecutive time that the Seminoles won a game that went into overtime. The probability of that happening is 0.1%. Absurdity. It was the eighth time that Mike Krzyzewski lost in the state of Florida. Seven of the eight losses were by five points or less. We’re waiting to see how injured (or, ideally, not) Trevor Keels is after he crashed on Tuesday. Keels has a breakthrough ability when dialed in and can roam. 12 Record: 14-3 | Last week: 7th. When Tom Izzo says his team was late for a loss, I believe him. That’s Sparty’s only result since last week’s Hey Nineteen: a 74-72 home loss against a Northwestern team whose only win over a top-95 KenPom team is over these Spartans. It was a bad time to take a loss, as MSU has four of its next five games on the schedule. The next two are on Friday in Wisconsin and Tuesday in Illinois. Turns out those three teams were all currently sharing the lead in the Big Ten’s loss column by one apiece. 13 Record: 14-4 | Last week: 11th. Texas Tech went 2-1 since last week’s Hey Nineteen, so a little fall is all. Few had the Red Raiders ahead of Texas this season, but that’s where things stand as late January creeps in. Mark Adams and his team lost at Kansas State on Saturday, which was a little surprising, but K-State followed that up with a road win over the Longhorns. TTU recovered Tuesday night with a 12-point home win against Iowa State. 14 Record: 11-2. Last week: 6th. UCLA, of course, hopes all schedule issues are in the rearview mirror, but if so, it’s about to get tough. The Bruins have a 10-day period, starting on Friday, with five games in that period. Before the pandemic, this sort of thing was almost unheard of. Now it’s the cost of doing business in college basketball. Mick Cronin was candid with his school this week when he noted how empty it is for his team to currently play home games with no fans in attendance while the Rams’ home game for the NFL Playoffs was packed. We’ll see if things change on that front for the Bruins in February. 15 Record: 15-3 | Last week: 2nd. LSU came in a road game against Alabama on Wednesday night with 15 lead changes and five draws. Alabama came to 70 points and won the game, marking the most points dropped by a team at LSU this season. The Bayou Bengals take a big fall with consecutive losses, the first being at home to mercurial Arkansas. Now there will be a road test against Tennessee on Saturday. Even if the Tigers lose there, I would warn against selling on this team. It has tournament potential for the second weekend. 16 Record: 14-1 | Last week: 19th. The Rams went 2-0 last week with wins at San Jose State and at home over New Mexico. One of the reasons for Colorado State’s success is its shooting accuracy, which ranked seventh last season and is now number 6 (81%). Two years ago, the Rams were in 270th place. Practice your freebies, kids. It should be quiet for the next 10 days; CSU’s closest opponent is January 31 in Wyoming. More about that team in a moment. 17 Record: 14-2. Last week: NO. Yep, one of the most recognizable mid-sized brands out there is pretty good again. Winners of 10 straights under freshman coach Drew Valentine, the Ramblers were a No. 6 seed in Jerry Palm’s most recent Bracketology mock up. One Did You Know: Only Purdue and Loyola Chicago haven’t suffered a double-digit loss since February 1, 2021. 18 Record: 14-2 | Last week: NR. A stunning shot, some might say. But I have to do it. Wyoming has hardly ever been this good and given how impressive its offense has been – in addition to a 3-0 start in Mountain West play – I’m going to reward recent success, including four of the team’s five wins on its current streak as away or neutral games. . Jeff Linder works some wonders in his second season with this show after changing the culture in Northern Colorado. 19 Recording: 13-6. | Last week: NR. No better candidate for last place. Sure, six defeats is a lot compared to any others ranked above, but Wednesday night’s victory in Villanova gave Marquette his first win at Finneran Pavilion. Shaka Smart’s team is on a five-game winning streak and has blown over to the talk of the NCAA tournament. There will be tough matches against fellow tournament contenders for the next two weeks, but it is clear to see and say that in 2022 Smart was one of the best coaches with a new face and a new place.

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