Back by popular demand are the Overtime Heroics Power Rankings for the college basketball season. Plenty of games have been played, including the Maui Invitational and the 2K Empire Classic. This past week also featured a massive upset for the #1 team in the nation. So how much have our Power Rankings shifted? Lets take a look and see.
1. Louisville (7-0) Last Week 3
Tough to deny that Louisville is getting the attention they deserve now. Louisville did not beat any teams of real quality this week. Sorry for all your USC Upstate and Akron fans, but Louisville was the better team both nights. Jordan Nwora dropped 28 points vs. USC Upstate and continues to impress for the Cardinals. Lousiville concluded their week beating Western Kentucky with ease. Louisville will have two home games this week vs. Michigan and Pittsburgh, their first real tests of the young season.
2. Maryland (8-0) Last Week 5
The Terrapins made a giant leap this week up to number two on our list. Maryland sits second in the Big Ten right now, but there 7-0 record is tough to deny. None of their wins really jump out at you, beating Harvard and Temple on the road their last two. This is a really balanced team that can score multiple ways. Against Harvard they had five players with over thirteen points, so they will be tough to beat any given night. We don’t see Maryland staying this high all season, but at least a month in they deserve the number two spot.
3. Michigan (7-0) Last Week NR
Juwan Howard has his alma mater firing on all cylinders out of the gate. Michigan was not ranked until now, mostly due to a lack of competition. After this past week though it was tough not to rank them this high. They jumped out to a big lead on #6 North Carolina and held on for the nine-point win in the Bahamas. They followed that up with an eighteen point win over #8 Gonzaga. This team skyrocketed in the AP Poll to #5, but with this past week we felt the deserved even better. Michigan could even top this list next week if they can knock off #2 Louisville on Tuesday. Wolverine Basketball is alive and well!
4. Kansas 6-1 Last Week 6
Since Kansas opening night loss to Duke, they have been consistently strong. Wins over BYU and Dayton in their past couple of games move Kansas up on our power rankings. Devon Dotson and and Udoka Azubuike combined for 60 against Dayton, which shows they have a great 1-2 punch. Kansas first real test will come against Colorado on the seventh. This game will happen after ten days off for the Jayhawks, so they cannot show any rust after the time off.
5. Virginia (7-0) Last Week 8
The defending national champions remain unbeaten behind their impeccable defense. They have yet to allow a team to score more then 55 points this season. Their last game Virginia held Maine to only 26 points! Virginia’s first real test will be against Cole Anthony and UNC on the 8th. Virginia will need to find their offence by then, as they only have crossed 60 points 3 times this year. But for now Virginia just sneaks into the top five in our rankings.
6. Duke Blue Devils (7-1) Last Week 1
STEPHEN F WHO? The Lumberjacks cut this young Blue Devils team down to size. They snapped Dukes 150-game non-conference winning streak in the process. While giving up 64 points in the paint and missing 16 free throws was poor, Duke played well earlier in the week. Duke was able to beat Cal and Georgetown on a back-to-back. They also followed up their upset loss with a victory over Winthrop at home. Cassius Stanley was injured in that game, so hopefully, he returns soon. Duke will face Michigan State this coming week as well. We could see this team rise or fall based on that result.
7. Kentucky (6-1) Last Week 4
Kentucky may not have lost this week, but other teams jumped past them due to tougher opponents. Coach Cal has his team playing quite will against their lesser opponents. Evansville still haunts this teams season, despite impressive wins over Lamar and UAB this past week. Ohio State and Louisville later this month will show how much this team has grown since their Evansville loss.
8. Ohio State (7-0) Last Week 12
The Buckeyes are running wild as it looks like basketball is alive and well again. Have the Buckeyes played anyone of significance yet? Not since their twenty-five point win over Villanova. That said they have been routing the teams they have face. A pivotal match up on the road against North Carolina this Wednesday will be very telling. Ohio State’s strength is how balanced and deep they are. They will need everyone to show up as winning in Chapel Hill is no easy task.
9. Gonzaga (8-1) Last Week 7
Gonzaga had an up and down week, with a notable victory and loss, which is why they slipped one spot. They had an absolute battle with Oregon, as they went to overtime. The Zags were able to hold on for the one point victory, which impressed us greatly. What did not impress us was their flat performance the next night. Michigan jumped out to an early lead, as Gonzaga looked tired. An 18 point loss hurt Mark Few’s teams ranking overall. The tough games do not end there for Gonzaga. They have Washington, Arizona and North Carolina in three of there next four games.
10. North Carolina (6-1) Last Week 9
The Tar Heels had an up and down week to finish off November. After losing by 11 to Michigan last week his team rebounded well. They were able to knock off Oregon by four, led by Armando Bacot’s 23 and 12 night. Things won’t be getting any easier as Roy Williams has a tough December on his hands. They face Ohio State and Virginia the next two games, followed by Gonzaga in a few weeks time. And all eyes will be on potential number one pick Cole Anthony in these match-ups.
11. Arizona (9-0) Last Week 13
All is sunny in Arizona thus far, as the Wildcats are on fire. That is not just because of Nico Mannion’s red locks either. Zeke Nnaji leads the team in scoring, while Mannion drops 15 and nearly six a night. With six players averaging over seven points a game, Arizona has cruised through their non-conference schedule. Arizona has yet to play a notable opponent, which is why they are so low. Baylor on December 7th will determine how high or low this team goes on Overtime Heroics list.
12. Michigan State (6-2) Last Week 2
Michigan State is free…. free falling! Michigan State started last week by losing to lowly Virginia Tech. 16 turnovers and shooting only 41% hurt them dearly. Cassius Winston also struggled, but they bounced back with two wins. All eyes will be on Winston and his Spartan counterparts when they take on Duke Tuesday night. A third loss this early in the season could mean huge trouble for Michigan State.
13. Auburn (7-0) Last Week 19
Basketball may not be the focal point after Auburn beat Alabama in CFB. But Overtime Heroics loves what we are seeing from the Tigers on the hardwood. They beat New Mexico and Richmond on a back-to-back before nine days off. Auburn should continue to win before SEC conference play starts. Samir Doughty is third in the SEC in scoring with over 19 PPG. As much as we love watching the Furman Paladins., we want them to play some real squads.
14. Memphis (6-1) Last Week 16
Circle January 12th on your calendars. That is when James Wiseman returns as the NCAA upheld his suspension. In the meantime there is plenty of talent to watch on the Tigers team. Memphis scored an impressive five point win against North Carolina State. Boogie Ellis and Precious Achiuwa balled out in that game scoring 21 and 15 respectively. We expect them to be 8-1 before taking on Tennessee in twelve days time.
15. Colorado (6-0) Last Week 22
Another undefeated team featured on our list is the Colorado. This is another example of a team lacking competition, thus their lower ranking. They knocked off Clemson by four and Sacramento by fourteen, both lackluster basketball programs. Loyola Marymount should be a cake walk on Wednesday, but this weekend will be tough. Going on the road to Kansas will be a true test for the Buffaloes. We expect a close game, with them possibly shocking the Jayhawks.
16. Seton Hall (6-2) Last Week 14
Seton Hall picked up their second loss of the season this past week. A two point loss to Oregon is nothing to be ashamed of, which is why they stayed so high. They followed it up with a blowout win against Southern Miss and a close one with Iowa State. They have another date with Iowa State on the eighth, so we are excited to see them play on the road this time around.
17. Oregon (6-2) Last Week 10
Did the Ducks no-show this week? We think that is a pretty accurate statement. Did they also face the toughest competition? Also pretty accurate. Losing to Gonzaga in overtime and to North Carolina the next night is nothing to be ashamed of. We may be a tad generous giving Oregon the eighteen spot, so we are hoping they prove us right. Overtime Heroics has no issue dropping them altogether if they slip against Hawaii on the seventh.
18. Florida State (7-1) NR
One of our biggest climbers this week was Florida State. After opening the season with a two point road loss to Pittsburgh, the Seminoles have been unbeaten. They have notable wins against Florida, Tennessee and at Purdue. Their trio of Devin Vassell, Trent Forrest and M.J. Walker have been great thus far. They face Indiana on the road this week, which will be a great ACC vs. Big Ten match-up.
19. Baylor (5-1) Last Week 24
The Baylor Bears continue to climb the rankings, led by Jared Butler and MaCio Teague. Combined they average 35 a night, as the Bears are on a four game winning streak. They just beat Villanova by nine and will hope to ride that momentum when they face Arizona later this week. They will be at home for that game, so that is a huge advantage for them. Overtime Heroics will be sure to have that game on television.
20. Tennessee (6-1) Last Week NR
Another team that had an up and down week was the Volunteers. They defeated Chattanooga, before losing on the road against Florida State. It was a tight game the entire way, so we give Tennessee credit for the fight they showed. What impressed us more was their road victory against Virginia Commonwealth by three. John Fulkerson had 17 points in that game and won despite 17 turnovers. Florida A&M should be an easy win this week, before ten days off. They will be gearing up for Memphis on the 14th.
21. Florida (6-2) Last Week NR
Gator country can rejoice as they are back in the Top 25 despite two losses. Plenty of teams have fewer losses, but few have great wins on their schedule like Florida does. They beat Miami handily and Xavier by five. Their losses to Florida State and UConn are okay in Overtime Heroics books. Butler, Providence and Utah State over their next three should be tough tests. Leading scorer Keyontae Johnson will need to be big in these games for sure.
22. Saint Marys (8-1) Last Week NR
Saint Mary’s returns to the list as well after just one week away. This is mostly due to their win against Utah State. We gave Saint Mary’s a hard time for losing to Winthrop, so we gotta give them credit now. Overtime Heroics loved to see this game with Utah State. It was close the entire way, before Saint Mary’s pulled away for the eight point win. Their matchup with Dayton on the 8th will be a fun one. That game will determine whether they stay or leave our rankings.
23. Villanova (5-2) Last Week 23
Villanova remains on this list despite two losses on their record. The Ohio State blowout in their second game was a tough one. We are more empathetic to their loss against Baylor. They led at halftime before Baylor poured it on in the second half. They beat La Salle last night and should win a few more this coming week. Pennsylvania and St Joe’s both have had tough starts to their year. Expect Villanova to move up again next week.
24. Utah State (7-1) Last Week 25
Utah State just barely hangs on to a spot on our rankings list. They did suffer a tight loss to Saint Marys this week, however led for a good chunk of the game. Their remaining schedule is quite underwhelming so we do expect them to go on a big winning streak now. Even a single loss over the next few could see this team dropped from the list. Overtime Heroics is rooting for the Aggies though.
25. Xavier (7-1) Last Week NR
Xavier return to the Top 25 after a tight loss to Florida the week prior. A twenty-five point win against Lipscomb was big for the Musketeers. They face Green Bay, which should be a blowout, before a battle with Cincinnati. Paul Scruggs, Naji Marshall and Tyrique Jones lead this team each averaging double-digit scoring. I look forward to seeing their battle with Villanova on the 30th, but plenty of games for then.
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