Villanova and Purdue put together awesome weeks. How did this edition of the NCAA basketball top-25+ power rankings shake out as a result?
Another week of NCAA basketball and with that comes a new edition of my top-25+ power rankings. In this version, several teams dropped from the rankings to make room for some rising forces. Most notably, teams like Kentucky, Purdue, and Villanova showed why they are among the most consistent powers in the nation by rising significantly. Additionally, a ridiculous seven teams fell out of the rankings. Also, since there are very few teams that seem worthy of being ranked at this point in time, the “+” section of my rankings will look at a few mid-majors that need more attention.
Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into breaking down this edition of my top-25+ power rankings. (Note: All statistics used in this article were found via Sports-Reference or KenPom unless otherwise noted.)
Mid-majors to watch…because why not?
Wofford Terriers: One of the few true mid-majors with a shot at an at-large bid this year, Wofford is rated extremely high by just about every metric. The Terriers sit at 17-4 (9-0 SoCon) so far this year and deserve more national attention. Fletcher Magee and Cameron Jackson make up a dangerous duo that could roll through SoCon play.
Hofstra Pride: Winners of 16 straight, Hofstra is starting to receive the attention they have earned. With Justin Wright-Foreman leading the way, the Pride are an elite team that can knock off just about anyone. I mean, all three of their losses on the season came against strong teams on the road. They will be hard-pressed to snag an at-large bid but they probably won’t need to. This is the best team in the CAA…and it isn’t particularly close.
Atlantic Sun Contenders: This section takes into account both Lipscomb and Liberty. Two of the better mid-majors in general, these two will face off this week for supremacy in the conference. The winner of that matchup will start to generate some at-large attention thanks to their positions in predictive metrics. Both teams rank in the KenPom top-51 and have just four losses each.
New Mexico State Aggies: Once again the top team in the WAC, NMSU currently boasts a 16-4 record and is one of the best rebounding teams in the nation. They absolutely dominate on the glass in just about every contest and they limit defensive ball movement at a high level. They also won’t snag an at-large big but their experience and incredibly deep/talented bench will cause problems for a No. 4 or 5 seed in the Big Dance.
Vermont Catamounts: Vermont was the best mid-major that nobody remembers from last season. This was due to the fact that they lost to UMBC (ya know, the No. 16 seed that beat Virginia) in their conference tournament title despite losing just one conference game in the regular season. The Catamounts, even without Trae Bell-Haynes, are right back at the top of the conference and can do plenty of damage in March. Anthony Lamb and the Duncan Brothers are worth getting acquainted with.
Fell out of the rankings: Auburn (16), Maryland (17), NC State (20), Ole Miss (21), Iowa (22), Florida State (24), and Murray State (25).