We said last week that it was probably going to be the last set of power rankings without much shifting taking place in the top ten...yes, that proved to be accurate.
Just a week after three of the nation's four unbeatens graced our top five, there is now not a single team in college basketball without at least one loss, and not one member of the top five is where it was a week ago. We also have a new No. 1 for the first time since the opening week of December.
Let's get to the madness.
1. LOUISVILLE (3) (15-1, 3-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat Seton Hall (73-58); Beat South Florida (62-38)
THIS WEEK: At Connecticut (1/14); vs. Syracuse (1/19)
It's hard to believe that a program with two national titles and as much history as Louisville has never played a regular season game with a No. 1 ranking. Still, that's the situation the Cardinals will find themselves in Monday night when they play a dangerous game at Connecticut. The only other time U of L has been ranked No. 1 in a non-end of the year polls was the final AP Top 25 before the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
2. INDIANA (7) (15-1, 3-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat Penn State (74-51); Beat No. 8 Minnesota (88-81)
THIS WEEK: vs. Wisconsin (1/15); At Northwestern (1/20)
The Hoosiers gave perhaps the best 20-minute performance we've seen from any team in the country this season in the first half against Minnesota on Saturday. Unfortunately, they nearly squandered every bit of that 23-point halftime advantage before escaping with an 88-81 win over Tubby Smith's Gophers.
This IU team is starting to look eerily reminiscent of a lot of the great North Carolina squads in recent years: when they're at their best, no one looks better...but they're not at their best nearly enough. Some of those Tar Heel teams were able to flip the switch in March and win national titles, others weren't. Time will tell which one of those categories the Hoosiers ultimately play their way into.
3. MICHIGAN (2) (16-1, 3-1)
LAST WEEK: Beat Nebraska (62-47); Lost to No. 15 Ohio State (56-53)
THIS WEEK: At Minnesota (1/17)
The fact that the Wolverines lost on the road to arch-rival Ohio State isn't especially concerning, but the way they lost absolutely is. For the first time this season, Michigan let an opponent completely control the way they played. What's more, John Beilein's young team looked terrified for most of the game. UM didn't anything to slow down DeShaun Thomas, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III played timid and looked nothing like the players we've seen all season, and perhaps most telling of all, Nik Stauskas did not make a shot.
Michigan's still a threat to cut down the nets in April, but Saturday showed that they have more to do in order to reach that point than previously thought.
4. DUKE (1) (15-1, 2-1)
LAST WEEK: Beat Clemson (68-40); Lost to No. 20 NC State (84-76)
THIS WEEK: vs. Georgia Tech (1/17)
If these rankings were based strictly on resume, then Duke would still find themselves at No. 1. The Blue Devils have beaten Louisville, Minnesota, Ohio State, VCU and Kentucky, and their lone loss came at an extremely talented NC State team and without their third-leading scorer in uniform. But this isn't a resume ranking exercise, it's a power poll. I'm not 100% sure where Duke fits into the national landscape without Ryan Kelly available, but I'm quite confident that they aren't the best team in the country.
5. KANSAS (4) (14-1, 2-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat Iowa State (97-89 OT); Beat Texas Tech (60-46)
THIS WEEK: vs. Baylor (1/14); At Texas (1/19)
Jamari Traylor has one of the more tremendous backstories in college basketball.
"My fingers and toes were burning," Traylor said. "They felt like they were going to explode. I was literally crying because it hurt so bad. It was the worst feeling in the world.
"If I die tonight," Traylor thought to himself, "would anyone even know? Would anyone care? Nobody cares about me. Nobody cares about me at all."
"I was just so cold."
Traylor came upon a car wash that had been abandoned for months. A white, rusty, 80s-model Buick was parked in one of the cleaning stations, and a window was cracked. The 6-foot-7 Traylor forced it down, crawled through the opening and into the back seat.
Knees at his chest, the high school sophomore draped his coat over his legs, drew his arms up into the sleeves, and attempted to fall asleep.
The whole thing is worth your time.
6. MINNESOTA (6) (15-2, 3-1)
LAST WEEK: Beat No. 11 Illinois (84-67); Lost to No. 5 Indiana (88-81)
THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan (1/17)
Before today, only two teams had held the coveted No. 1 spot this season, and they just so happened to be the only two to defeat the Golden Gophers. You have to think Minnesota fans would be ecstatic if they could come out of this treacherous Illinois/Indiana/Michigan stretch with a 2-1 mark.
7. SYRACUSE (8) (16-1, 4-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat Providence (72-66); Beat Villanova (72-61)
THIS WEEK: At Louisville (1/19)
A year ago it was Fab Melo's academic troubles that ruined a good thing for the Orange. This year, it's senior sharp-shooter James Southerland who's putting Syracuse's promising season in jeopardy.
8. ARIZONA (5) (15-1, 3-1)
LAST WEEK: Lost to Oregon (70-66); Beat Oregon State (80-70)
THIS WEEK: At Arizona State (1/19)
With the Pac-12 being the way it is (really bad), the Wildcats have a tougher road to a No. 1 seed than any of the teams ranked above them here. 'Zona has to hope that San Diego State and Florida take care of business in conference play, and that teams like UCLA and Arizona State rack up a bunch of victories over the rest of the league.
9. FLORIDA (13) (12-2, 2-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat Georgia (77-44); Beat LSU (74-52)
THIS WEEK: At Texas A&M (1/17); vs. Missouri (1/19)
The Gators are still Ken Pomeroy's darlings, ranking above one-loss Louisville, Indiana, Duke and Michigan in the stat guru's current rankings.
LAST WEEK: Beat Saint Mary's (83-78)
THIS WEEK: At Portland (1/17); At Butler (1/19)
11. KANSAS STATE (12) (13-2, 2-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat West Virginia (65-64)
THIS WEEK: At TCU (1/16); vs. Oklahoma (1/19)
A one-point win in Morgantown is nothing to thump your chest over this season, but that was exactly the type of game that good K-State teams in have lost in recent years. Dating back to last season, the Wildcats have now won five straight road games, including four in league play. Between 1997 and 2006, K-State was 10-70 in Big 12 road contests.
LAST WEEK: Beat Saint Joseph's (72-66_; Beat Dayton (79-73)
THIS WEEK: vs. Richmond (1/16); vs. Gonzaga (1/19)
One of the most frightening scenes of the season played out at UD Arena on Saturday when Butler star Rotnei Clarke suffered a neck injury and was carried off the court on a stretcher. Clarke suffered a significant neck sprain, but was already back in the gym shooting on Monday. Bulldog coach Brad Stevens says Clarke won't return to the court until he's 100% ready and give clearance by the team's doctors, but added that he expects that to be before February
13. OHIO STATE (15) (11-3, 1-1)
LAST WEEK: Beat Purdue (74-64); Beat Michigan (56-53)
THIS WEEK: At Michigan State (1/19)
Beating Michigan is paramount for any coach at Ohio State, and Thad Matta is now 17-3 against the Wolverines during his career with the program. Also, Aaron Craft's performance on Trey Burke - especially in the game's final minute - didn't do anything to hurt his reputation as the best on-ball defender in the country.
14. NC STATE (NR) (14-2, 3-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat Georgia Tech (83-70); Beat No. 1 Duke (84-76)
THIS WEEK: At Maryland (1/16); vs. Clemson (1/20)
Yes they have a resume win, and yes they're finally playing up to their potential, but we need to talk about the wheelchair court stormer for a second.
Privette: I rushed the court when we beat Duke back in 2010, and that time I waited for the first wave of people to go through so I wouldn't get crushed. That was my plan for this year as well. But the PNC staff and ushers who I knew were like, "Do you want to rush the court?" I said of course. So they said, "We'll put you on the baseline to go first." I said, "OK, cool." Then I happened to see Andy Walsh, our student body president. He said, "Hey, you want me to push you?" I said yes.
Andy and I waited the last 50 seconds of the game on the court in the corner. As the buzzer (went) or probably before, we rushed the court. We went straight to the middle, which probably was better because if we'd have gone to the side we would have gotten hit worse. We got right in the center, and as you can see in the video, I got hit from one side. It was like a wave. It toppled me over. I fell out of my wheelchair. I was on the ground, and I had my phone in my hand -- I was trying to film the event -- and the phone flew out of my hands and my glasses flew off my face. I was on the ground. I was like, "OK, what am I going to do now?"
C.J. Leslie was in the middle (of the crowd) and he saw me. I knew him from being around campus. He pushed everyone back and told everyone, "Get back, get back." Once everyone moved and realized what was going on, he picked me up and I've described it as like how you'd hold a baby. Once I realized I wasn't in trouble any more, I started to scream, like "Wooooo! Let's go!" C.J. held me for a little bit because we lost my wheelchair in the sea of people. He held me for a couple of minutes. I was screaming and yelling.
In case you missed it, here's the video.
LAST WEEK: Beat Drake (91-61); Beat Missouri State (74-52)
THIS WEEK: vs. Northern Iowa (1/15); At Wichita State (1/19)
The curse has been broken. Congratulations to the Jays on becoming the first No. 16 team in the SB Nation power poll to not lose the following week. Doug McDermott could not be reached for comment.
16. SAN DIEGO STATE (NR) (14-2, 2-0)
LAST WEEK: Beat Fresno State (65-62); Beat Colorado State (79-72 OT)
THIS WEEK: vs. UNLV; At Wyoming
The final spot came down to SDSU and Missouri, and we went with the Aztecs due to their lack of a loss as ugly as the Tigers' to Ole Miss, and the fact that they beat the same UCLA team that Mizzou lost to in overtime. They'll have two chances to prove us a right this week with a pair of huge Mountain West games against UNLV and Wyoming.
DROPPED OUT: Missouri (9), Illinois (10)