Friday, February 23, 2024

Marquette cracks top 5 in latest men’s basketball Power 36

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After another thrilling week, Andy Katz has released another edition of his Power 36 rankings for men’s college basketball ‚ÄĒ including this week’s games to watch, best team and player of the week.

ūüď䬆LATEST RANKINGS:¬†AP Poll¬†|¬†NET rankings

Power 36 | Feb. 12

1. UConn (1): The Huskies have answered every challenge, thus far.
2. Purdue (2): The Boilermakers avenged the sweep by Indiana last season and got one of their own this season. Oh, and Zach Edey hit a 3-pointer, too.
3. Arizona (5): Time to recognize the Wildcats are back to being a possible No. 1 seed after a mini dip this season.
4. Marquette (6): The Golden Eagles and Tyler Kolek are back to being a title contender and a first-team all-American candidate, respectively.
5. North Carolina (3): The Tar Heels lost at home to Clemson but then bounced back with a road win at Miami.
6. Kansas (8): The Jayhawks lost at Kansas State in an intense rivalry game but then came back to beat Baylor at home.
7. Houston (11): The Cougars won two in a row after the disappointing effort at Kansas.
8. South Carolina (9): The Gamecocks are tied with Alabama atop the SEC.
9. Alabama (7): The Tide suffered a loss at rival Auburn but are still in a position to possibly win the SEC.
10. Tennessee (4): The Vols got stung at Texas A&M but are still primed to be an elite team in a month.
11. Duke (12): The Blue Devils have a home game against Wake Forest and then embark on a critical three-game road trip.
12. Virginia (18): The surging Cavaliers have won eight in a row.
13. Saint Mary’s (14): This may be Randy Bennett’s best coaching job in quite some time. The Gaels have the goods to be a second-weekend team.
14. Illinois (10): The Illini gave a valiant effort before losing at Michigan State. They have re-established themselves as the second-best team in the Big Ten.
15. Baylor (19): The Bears move up because the teams previously ahead all had worse losses than falling at Kansas.
16. Iowa State (20): The Cyclones have won two in a row and are pushing for second in the Big 12.
17. Indiana State (21): The Sycamores are trending toward wearing home jerseys in the NCAA Tournament in the first round.
18. Auburn (16): The Tigers followed up a win over Alabama with a loss at Florida.
19. BYU (23): The Cougars have won three of four, including knocking off Kansas State after the Wildcats had just beaten Kansas.
20. Utah State (27): The Aggies are first in the MWC after crushing rival Boise State.
21. Creighton (26): The Bluejays followed up a wild loss at Providence by winning at Xavier.
22. Butler (25): The Bulldogs lost to UConn but then were able to knock off the Friars.
23. Washington State (36): The Cougars have won five in a row, including winning at Oregon.
24. FAU (15): The Owls split a road trip to UAB and Wichita State.
25. Clemson (NR): The Tigers are back after winning at North Carolina and Syracuse.
26. Northwestern (32): The Wildcats had a must-win week by beating Nebraska and Penn State at home.
27. Michigan State (34): The Spartans win at home. They just need to find a way to grab another road win.
28. Texas A&M (NR): The Aggies have won three in a row, including beating Florida and Tennessee at home.
29. Gonzaga (NR): The Bulldogs got the Q1 win they needed by winning at Kentucky.
30. Dayton (24): The Flyers at VCU 49-47 after winning at Saint Joseph’s 94-79, which is quite the offensive swing.
31. South Florida (NR): The Bulls have won nine in a row and are in first place in the American.
32. Yale (NR): The Bulldogs are undefeated atop the highly competitive Ivy League and have won nine in a row.
33. Oklahoma (NR): The Sooners have won three of four, including beating BYU.
34. Colorado State (NR): The Rams have won four in a row and are back in the MWC title chase.
35. Nevada (NR): The Wolf Pack have won three in a row, including beating San Diego State.
36. Wake Forest (NR): The Demon Deacons have won three in a row and are back to 8-4 in the ACC.

Dropped out: Wisconsin (13), Kentucky (17), Boise State (22), New Mexico (28), Nebraska (29), Texas (30), Texas Tech (31), TCU (33), San Diego State (35).

Top 10 games to watch

1. Marquette at UConn, Saturday: The first of two meetings between the two preseason Big East favorites. The chance to catch the Huskies may hinge on this outcome.

2. South Carolina at Auburn, Wednesday: The Gamecocks tied for first place with Alabama and are a game ahead of Auburn in the SEC standings. The Tigers are coming off a loss at Florida while South Carolina has won seven in a row.

3. Kansas at Texas Tech, Monday: Who had the Red Raiders and Jayhawks tied in the loss column this late into February? Texas Tech can push Kansas down and open up the title race even more.

4. Kentucky at Auburn, Saturday: The Wildcats need a quality road win to reset their season. Getting it at Auburn will be a tall task.

5. Marquette at Butler, Tuesday: The Bulldogs are squarely on the bubble and the win over Providence was another step in the right direction. Get a sweep of the Golden Eagles and they will be in an even better spot.

6. New Mexico at San Diego State, Friday: The Lobos were stunned at home and got swept by UNLV. They could pull off the sweep over the Aztecs to stay in the MWC title chase.

7. Iowa State at Cincinnati, Tuesday: The Cyclones are a safe pick to in the Big 12 chase and the field, but the Bearcats could use another quality win.

8. St. John’s at Providence, Tuesday: This is the ultimate Big East bubble game. Both need it badly.

9. Ole Miss at Kentucky, Tuesday: The Wildcats need to snap their three-game home losing streak!!!

10. Colorado State at San Diego State, Tuesday: The Aztecs need to get a split and jump back into contention with Utah State for the top spot in the MWC.

ūüĎÄ TROUBLE BREWING:¬†Every top-12 upset on loaded men’s basketball Saturday

March Madness National Team of the Week

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs’ backs were against the wall. They desperately needed a quad-one win. So what did they do? They went into Kentucky and won by four. Gonzaga is still two games behind Saint Mary’s in the WCC, but the at-large hopes are still alive in the quest to reach a 25th-straight NCAA Tournament.

March Madness National Player of the Week

PJ Hall, Clemson: Hall led the Tigers to a pair of season-changing wins at North Carolina and at Syracuse to recapture the narrative of their season. Hall scored 25 points, grabbed nine boards and had three assists in the win in Chapel Hill and scored 15 and grabbed 10 boards and three assists and three blocks in the win at Syracuse. Clemson moved to 6-6 in the ACC, 16-7 overall and the 6-10 senior is the main reason why. 

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