Busting Brackets Power 32 Poll: Kentucky Takes Top Spot

Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

After a busy January week of college basketball, we of course have a new Power 32. There was major shuffling and even a new #1, as Syracuse suffered their first loss of the season, leaving Murray State as the lone undefeated team in Division I.

Let’s take a look at this week’s Power 32:

1.    Kentucky (19-1) LW: 2 – The Wildcats looked impressive as they destroyed Arkansas last Tuesday. They were more workmanlike in their narrow victory versus Alabama. They head back on the road this week versus Georgia and LSU.

2.    Syracuse (20-1) LW: 1 - The Cuse drops down a spot, despite not having the services of Fab Melo in their poor showing at Notre Dame. They get a hot Cincinnati squad tonight and West Virginia on Saturday.

3.    Missouri (18-1) LW: 5 – This guard oriented team continues to impress and surprise, most recently with a big time road win at Baylor. They are at Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

4.    Ohio State (17-3) LW: 4 – The Buckeyes took care of business at Nebraska rather easily. Michigan comes to Columbus on Sunday.

5.    Kansas (16-3) LW: 7 – Bill Self flexed his muscles at the expense of then undefeated Baylor last week. The Jayhawks take a dangerous visit to Iowa State on Saturday.

6.    Baylor (16-2) LW: 3 – Baylor is facing their first taste of adversity this season after back-to-back losses. But there’s no shame in losing to Kansas and Missouri.

7.    UNLV (16-3) LW: 8 – Whether you want to believe it or not, the Rebels are playing like one of the nation’s elite teams. They easily took care of New Mexico over the weekend.

8.    North Carolina (16-3) LW: 9 – The Tar Heels bounced back from their Tallahassee humiliation by easily handling Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

9.    Duke (16-3) LW: 6 – The Dukies lost a heartbreaker and their 45-game home winning streak to Florida State. They have a road test at Maryland and then host St. John’s this week.

10.  Georgetown (15-3) LW: 10 – The Hoyas survived a home scare from Rutgers Saturday. They visit struggling Pittsburgh this weekend.

11.  Michigan State (15-4) LW: 11 – Tom Izzo & co. bounced back from two straight Big Ten road losses by thrashing Purdue on Saturday. The Spartans host Minnesota on Wednesday.

12.  Creighton (18-2) LW: 14 – The Bluejays kept rolling along, capping last week by destroying Indiana State. They have won 8 straight.

13.  Murray State (17-0) LW: 15 – The Racers remained undefeated versus weak competition last week. They’ll face some more weak comp this week.

14.  Marquette (16-4) LW: 18 – The Golden Eagles have won four straight since losing four of six.

15.  Mississippi State (16-4) LW: 17 – The Bulldogs followed a tough loss at rival Ole Miss with a gutty win at Vanderbilt. They get another test, at Florida, on Saturday.

16.  San Diego State (15-2) LW: 21 – Coach Steve Fisher is making a run at Coach of the Year.  The Aztecs have won 8 straight, including a road win at New Mexico last week.

17.  Wichita State (16-3) LW: 22 – The Shockers have won 7 straight since losing to Creighton on New Year’s Eve.

18.  Florida (15-4) LW: 20 – The Gators look good on paper and even on the court at times. The problem is they have few, if any, big time wins to show for it. They’ll be tested by the Mississippi schools this week.

19.  Wisconsin (16-5) LW: 23 – The Badgers look to be back in stride, after winning four in a row since losing three straight. Indiana comes to town on Thursday.

20.  Indiana (16-4) LW: 13 ­- The aforementioned Hoosiers are hoping they put their recent struggles behind them with a win versus Penn State yesterday.

21.  Kansas State (14-4) LW: 26 – The combustible Frank Martin and his squad were quietly solid last week, winning versus Texas and at Oklahoma State.

22.  Michigan (14-5) LW: 16 – Michigan’s road woes continued with a loss at Arkansas over the weekend, their third straight loss away from Crisler Arena. They’re at Purdue and Ohio State this week.

23.  Florida State (13-6) LW: NR – The Seminoles bumrushed this week’s Power 32 by following their beatdown of North Carolina with a win versus Maryland and a thrilling, buzzer beating win in front of a shocked Cameron Indoor Stadium crowd.

24.  West Virginia (15-5) LW: NR – Huggy Bear has his team in the Power 32 for the first time on the strength of winning 5 of their last 6 and doing so against the second toughest schedule in the nation.

25.  Connecticut (14-5) LW: 12 – The Huskies are falling fast in the rankings and that is the least of their concerns. They have lost 4 of their last 6, including a disturbing loss at Tennessee on Saturday. Notre Dame comes to town this Sunday.

26.  Illinois (15-5) LW: 19 – Just when you may have thought the Illini might be a force to be reckoned with this year, they go and lose two straight last week. They’re at a sneaky tough Minnesota team this week.

27.  St. Mary’s (17-2) LW: 30 – The Gaels continued to get fat off the bottom half of the WCC last week. Competition will be tougher this week as they visit LMU and BYU.

28.  Gonzaga (16-3) LW: 31 – Like St. Mary’s, the Zags were not really tested last week. They are unlikely to be tested this week either.

29.  Virginia (15-3) LW: 28 – That UVA bandwagon may have lost a wheel after their home loss to a struggling Virginia Tech team. The Cavs have two winnable games this week.

30.  Alabama (13-6) LW: 24 – Bama has lost three straight to tough foes, but gave Kentucky all they could handle at Rupp Arena Saturday. They should be able to get back on track this week.

31.  Louisville (15-5) LW: 25 – Rick Pitino’s squad is in the midst of a major struggle, having lost 5 of their last 8. The Cardinals looked much better at Pittsburgh Saturday, no doubt helped by the return of Kyle Kuric. They get Villanova and Seton Hall this week.

32.  Vanderbilt (14-5) LW: NR – Vandy had won 8 straight until they suffered another tough home loss at the hands of Mississippi State. Still, Vandy looks much improved since the return of Festus Ezeli.

IN: Florida State; West Virginia; Vanderbilt.

OUT: Seton Hall; Purdue; New Mexico.

 

What are your thoughts on this week’s rankings?

Topics: Alabama Crimson Tide, Big 12 Basketball, Big East Basketball, Big Ten Basketball, College Basketball, College Basketball Blog, College Hoops, Duke Blue Devils, Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, Kentucky Wildcats, March Madness, Missouri Tigers, Ncaa Tournament, North Carolina Tar Heels, Ohio State Buckeyes, Sec Basketball, Uconn Huskies, Vanderbilt Commodores

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