Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Duke, Memphis, Michigan State rise in latest top 25 power rankings

Illinois v Purdue
Illinois v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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We are officially a week into the new year. The holiday season is in the rearview mirror. Calendars have flipped over and the focus in this great sport is on conference play in the coming weeks and months. There wasn’t much basketball action around the Christmas holidays but that is certainly about to change.

Saturdays in January and February belong to college basketball and will see a myriad of conference games that will shape the season on a weekly basis. These teams have had nearly two months of nonconference action, and while every single game matters in this sport, it’s clear that conference play just means more.

There will be no shortage of drama and excitement in the weeks ahead. An entire conference’s outlook could be flipped upside down with just a few games in any given week. Some of the best teams in the nation will face their first real challenges on the road while many will get their best shots from teams considered far out of those races. Any game could give us an unforgettable performance, a buzzer beater, or affect how the Selection Committee views a particular team.

With all of these things in mind, we’re looking at the top teams once again, giving an updated view of our Top 25. These Saturdays do wonders to the national rankings and that was certainly the case again this week. It can be hard to gleam success or properly compare some of these teams, especially in greatly different conferences, but we’ve given it our best effort. What follows is the first January rankings of the best teams in the nation and a look at what these teams accomplished this past week.