Can you believe it’s already February? That means March and its fun little tournament is coming up right around the corner. Let’s check in with the college basketball rankings and see what they say.
- Let’s pour one out for the blue bloods. For the first time since 1961, Kentucky, UCLA, Kansas, Duke and UNC all don’t appear in the AP Poll. That’s a shockingly long time, but also means that Kansas dropped out from last week’s polls. That’s because the Jayhawks lost to the now-No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers 91-79. KU is 6-5 in Big 12 play and it looks super unlikely they’ll get at least a share of the Big 12 title for the
firstsecond time since 2004. Crazy stuff.
- There’s a lot of movement in the Big Ten rankings, but none more so than Iowa dropping in the rankings. Losses against the Ohio State Buckeyes — who rose up into the top-four — and the unranked Indiana Hoosiers meant the Hawkeyes plummeted to No. 15. Even with a potential player of the year in Luka Garza, Iowa has not found much consistency and has another tough battle against Rutgers coming this week. Let’s just hope Fran McCaffery doesn’t read this and get more upset.
- Speaking of the Big Ten, Illinois had a big week this week, beating Indiana and Wisconsin to jump up to the No. 6 spot. Kofi Cockburn had a huge game against the Badgers, and the Illini look like they’re starting to get some rhythm with four wins in a row. They also have what looks like an easier slate coming up — Northwestern, Minnesota and Nebraska are their next three games — but, as they say, anything can happen in the Big Ten.
- This season has felt very helter-skelter for an obvious variety of reasons, but I think it’s being reflected in the polls as well. It seems like every week there are multiple teams across the country jumping up or dropping at least five spots in the rankings. This week, seven teams did that with Missouri having the most movement — jumping up eight spots after beating Alabama. Obviously, college basketball is a chaotic sport but the rankings and the choppy records this year have shown an even more bumpy ride. Especially since there are only two teams — Gonzaga and Baylor — that have really shown themselves a class about everyone else. Hopefully, that makes for a fun tournament.
AP Poll → No. 20 USC, No. 22 Loyola Chicago, No. 23 Oklahoma State, No. 25 Rutgers
AP Poll → UCLA, Florida, Kansas, Drake