College Basketball Power Rankings – Week 11


College Basketball Power Rankings for Week 11 of the season find three Big 12 teams ranked among the top 10.


10. Baylor

The previous week saw the Bears claim the No. 1 spot for the first time in program history, and that lasted about as long as RG3’s leg with the Cleveland Browns thanks to a 21 point West Virginia beatdown. Too soon?

There’s a lot to like with this Baylor team, but I especially love their frontline of Jonathan Motley and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. This team is built to end Kansas’ Big 12 dominance.

9. North Carolina

The Tar Heels have great depth and it’s a different star stepping up depending on the night. In this last marquee win it was Theo Pinson taking center stage. Back from injury, Pinson provided the spark as UNC elected to go small against Florida State. Turning in a 12 point 10 rebound performance, Pinson was the difference. With his versatility and productivity back in the lineup for Carolina, this team will begin to ascend at a rapid pace.

8. Notre Dame

There is no better offensive unit in the nation, and Notre Dame only has two losses on the resume – neutral site defeats to Purdue and Villanova. The Irish were in control for the majority of the game in both losses and simply couldn’t close the door.

That trend is far in the rear view for the Irish at this point. The lone undefeated team in the ACC, they are red hot. Winners of their last seven, the Irish have found their groove largely in part to the sublime performance of Matty Farrell. Without question, he’s the nation’s most improved player. Notre Dame is Guard U.

7. West Virginia

Bob Huggins’ guys are flat out disruptive. They make offenses more uncomfortable than a Donald Trump press conference. This team does it with defense and a relentless pressure that most teams cannot handle. Turning Baylor (then No. 1 in the nation) over 29 times was downright criminal. The ability for the Mountaineers to dictate tempo in a game unlike any other team makes them a legit contender for a Final Four appearance in Phoenix.

6. Kentucky

The Wildcats are the hardest team for me to rank every week. I simply can not get a firm grasp on who this team is. Outside of the UNC win, Kentucky does not own a big win on its resume. However, there is no team in the nation with a higher ceiling than BBN.

The high ceiling is large in part due to youth, but my hesitancy to commit fully to UK lies in their inconsistency shooting the ball and commitment to defense. This team is not as good defensively as in previous years, and with the personnel on this roster there is no reason they can’t be dominant in this particular area. Again, they are young. This team can, and will, only get better as the season progresses. The Wildcats won’t be tested much in conference so it will be hard to gauge just how good they can be in March.

5. Creighton

I said it in the preseason and I stand by it. The Bluejays have the best backcourt in college basketball. The nation’s leader in assists, Maurice Watson Jr. sets the pace for the offensive offensive juggernaut. Off the ball, Marcus Foster scores it at an efficient clip. The element making this team elite has been the big fella down low, Justin Patton. The seven-footer redshirted last year, and has come onto the scene with a vengeance this season. This team is so well coached under Greg McDermott. You have to go out and beat this squad, they will not beat themselves.

4. Gonzaga

I do not see this team losing this year. St. Mary’s, their biggest threat, was beaten handily in The Kennel. Later this year in Moraga may be a closer contest, but I just don’t see this team losing in the regular season.

We have seen this story before with Gonzaga, but this team has a different swagger. They have excellent size, great length, superior athleticism, a top shelf playmaker in Nigel Williams-Goss and a veteran roster. A nice blend of experienced talented mixed with capable young guys. Gonzaga is for real.

3. Villanova

Josh Hart is a star that can do what few can in the college game: put a team on his back and will them to victory. He is a gamer that makes plays when his team needs them most. It helps to be surrounded by a nucleus as talented as his. When Kris Jenkins is on as a viable secondary scorer this team is deadly. Jalen Brunson is vastly improved and manages this team beautifully.

I continue to believe in Nova because I have deep faith in Josh Hart. You are only as good as your seniors and Hart happens to be the best player in the nation.

2. UCLA

There is no more entertaining team to watch in college basketball. Lonzo Ball at the point position has been a revelation. Allowing him to man the point position has given Bryce Alford the opportunity to play off the ball and become a dominant catch-and-shoot scorer.

Six Bruins average double figures, and each of those guys are capable of taking over a game. The uptempo pace makes the Bruins a tough team to keep up with. UCLA’s ability to generate points can overwhelm the opposition. Defense wins championships, sure, but this year I am going with the team that can light up a scoreboard. That’s the UCLA Bruins.

1. Kansas

Guard play wins in college basketball, and there is no tougher a backcourt than what the Jayhawks possess. Frank Mason III lives for the big moment and loves the ball in his hands. A true playmaker, he has been as good as any in the nation this year. Alongside him are the talented Devonte Graham and blue chipper Josh Jackson. Jackson is getting better every night, and that spells trouble for the rest of the Big 12. The Achilles heel for the Jayhawks remains that frontline. As long as they can remain steady, it’s the Jayhawks title to lose.

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