- Basketball recruiting insider.
- Joined ESPN in 2014.
- Graduate of University of Delaware.
It was absolute carnage throughout most of the Power Rankings this past week. Of the 16 teams ranked last week, eight suffered losses and one didn’t play a game. Of the next nine teams under consideration last week that would have been able to play themselves into the rankings this week, six lost and one didn’t play a game.
All season, the talk has been about Gonzaga and Baylor and the battle for third. But you can take it further. The battle for the 1-seeds is going to be as heated — and as deep — as ever. Michigan, Villanova, Houston, Texas, Iowa, Alabama have all had a chance at a top-four ranking in the past couple of weeks, while Tennessee was considered a clear top-five team not too long ago. There are going to be plenty of twists and turns in the final month of the regular season.
And that’s why, due to a few good weeks of play, Ohio State and Illinois find themselves in the top five this week. That’s really all it takes this season. That said, both the Buckeyes and Fighting Illini are playing as well as anyone in the country: Ohio State has won seven of its past eight contests, including victories over Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, while Illinois has won four in a row and eight of 10. The only thing we can guarantee for next week, though, is that Illinois won’t be going anywhere. Why so confident? The Illini don’t have a game scheduled for this week.
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