Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Arizona, Duke, and San Diego State rises in latest top 25 power rankings

It was a nice week for teams such as Arizona, Duke, Illinois, and especially San Diego State, who each move up in our latest NCAA Basketball power rankings.

Gonzaga v San Diego State
Gonzaga v San Diego State / Kent C. Horner/GettyImages
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2. Houston (13-0)

A national contender in recent years, Houston has shouted to the world that that wasn’t going to change. It’s especially notable as this will be their first season in the Big 12 and you better believe that the Cougars can win this conference in their first season. A few names are different, as Marcus Sasser isn’t around any longer, but there’s no denying that Houston means business.

More than a week removed from their last performance, the Cougars ended their long break in style on Saturday with an 81-42 win over Penn. It was another elite outing by Houston’s defense, which has allowed less than 50 points seven times already this year. L. J. Cryer led the way with 16 points while Jamal Shead had 14, with those two forming one of the most potent backcourts in the country.

Houston has wins over Texas A&M, Xavier, Dayton, and Utah, but those won’t be their top performances for much longer. Their first season in the Big 12 will be trickier than many expect, but they have the talent, experience, and ability to win some of these games in hostile environments. That conference play gets started at home against West Virginia meaning a likely 1-0 start for the Cougars.