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NCAA Basketball top-25 rankings: Arizona, Ohio State rise, Kentucky, Texas fall

PISCATAWAY, NJ - DECEMBER 09: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers fights for position with Ron Harper Jr. #24 and Dean Reiber #21 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half of a game at Jersey Mike's Arena on December 9, 2021 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers defeated Purdue 70-68. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PISCATAWAY, NJ - DECEMBER 09: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers fights for position with Ron Harper Jr. #24 and Dean Reiber #21 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half of a game at Jersey Mike's Arena on December 9, 2021 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers defeated Purdue 70-68. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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NCAA Basketball Tyger Campbell UCLA Bruins (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
NCAA Basketball Tyger Campbell UCLA Bruins (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

2. UCLA (8-1)

Disappointing performance against Gonzaga notwithstanding, UCLA has looked the part of a top team this season and has taken care of business in their other eight games, winning their last three. They’ve got a nice win over Villanova in their pocket and have now picked up a couple of wins on the road. This week, that road battle came at Marquette, with the Bruins leaving town with a 67-56 victory, with Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s 24-point, 11-rebound game the headliner.

UCLA was battling illness in their one loss, but have really been battling in their wins this season. Their defense has been really solid recently, and the Bruins certainly look like one of the heavy favorites in the Pac-12. They’ll head home to host Alabama State in the middle of the week before heading to Las Vegas for a big game with North Carolina. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bruins favored in most, if not all, of their remaining games; this experienced team knows how to win games.

1. Baylor (8-0)

Last season, Baylor was one of the best teams in the nation all season long and they certainly proved that in winning the NCAA Tournament back in April. They spent most of the season as second fiddle to Gonzaga, but this season is quite different from last, as the top teams keep looking vulnerable each and every week. To this point, the Bears haven’t looked vulnerable, though they haven’t had many chances recently, playing just a single game since winning the Battle 4 Atlantis back on November 26th, with no games this past week.

Eight games into the season, not only have the Bears not allowed more than 63 points in a game, but their offense looks pretty good for a team replacing some major stars from last year’s title team. To this point, the Bahamas presented the Bears with all of their challenges this season, but that changes in the upcoming week.

Next. Ranking final unbeaten teams of 2021-22 season. dark

While they will be favored in both games, two intriguing opponents lay ahead for the Bears, who get a home battle with Villanova on Sunday and travel to Oregon next weekend, hoping to beat up on a Ducks team that’s been struggling in the early going this season.