College Basketball Power Rankings for Week 12 of the season find a new ACC team sneaking into the top 5.
10. Notre Dame
This team has been a huge surprise. Coach Brey continues to deliver in South Bend, with the only losses coming to RPI top 25 teams Villanova, Purdue, and most recently FSU. All winnable games. The Irish continue to do it with offense and one of the nation’s most efficient ones. Matty Farrell is the most improved player in the country this year.
This may appear low for the Bears but I’m not sold quite yet. I love their frontline, but those 29 giveaways and that 21 point loss at the hands of West Virginia a few weeks back remains in my stream of consciousness.
Quietly operating in the shadows are the Bulldogs. It seems despite the high ranking Butler still isn’t getting the respect it deserves as a contender. Fine by the Bulldogs. The chip on their shoulder motivates this talented team. Kelan Martin is the star, and he is surrounded by capable pieces. Andrew Chrabacsz is a winner and a gamer, while freshman Kamar Baldwin continues to impress by playing with the confidence of a 5th year senior.
UCLA is still top 10 worthy. This team remains an offensive juggernaut that pours in the points. Arizona’s personnel matches up nicely with UCLA, so the outcome there does not alter my opinion on this team. They remain elite. Lonzo Ball sets the pace and has the machine right where it needs to be in late January.
Allonzo Trier has returned and has given Zona that spark it needed. Just ask UCLA. With Trier’s return the Wildcats’ now possess a dangerous big 3 alongside Kobi Simmons and Lauri Markkannen.
Saint Mary’s was supposed to be the game that may cause a slip up in the Zags perfect season. And, well, it was anything but. The Bulldogs cruised much like they have all season long, thanks in large part to great depth. Nigel Williams-Goss is a legitimate playmaker. The Gaels get another shot next month, but I don’t see them standing in the way of perfection. This team is No. 1 seed worthy come dancing time.
4. Florida State
Yes that’s right, the Seminoles. I had to. No team has been more battled tested recently, and FSU continues to respond. The recent wins over Notre Dame and Louisville have me believing. This team is 7-1 against RPI top 25 teams. The lone loss coming to UNC in a very winnable game. This team is loaded with pros and Dwayne Bacon leads the way. This could be the year for the Seminoles.
The dismantling of South Carolina (the SEC’s second best team) was eye opening. It was a reminder just how far UK has distanced itself from the pack in conference. The De’Aaron Fox injury had BBN nation on edge, but he looks to be just fine. A majority of the chatter and focus has been on Fox and his freshman counterpart Malik Monk, yet it’s been Isaiah Briscoe’s vast improvement that has my attention. He is this team’s X-factor.
This unit is improving every week and knocking on the doorstep of No. 1. The Wildcats proved that even when their star Josh Hart struggles, his surrounding pieces are there to carry the load. Jalen Brunson has been magnificent running the show at the point guard slot.
Eighteen consecutive wins. The best team has the best player in college basketball, Frank Mason III, who is a fearless competitor that thrives in the big moment. This team has a helluva week ahead of them. West Virginia on the road, then at Kentucky, and finishing in Lawrence against Baylor. We will have a good feel for just has special Rock Chalk is at this week’s conclusion.