College Basketball Power Rankings: Gonzaga tops debut, with Arizona and Florida in Hey 19’s top 5

first Record: 6-0. Zags makes it easy enough in the first Hey Nineteen. Defeated Texas and UCLA by a combined total of 169-137 and no match ending. Gonzaga will play Duke Friday, and marks the second time a team has faced three top 10 opponents (according to the AP rankings) in November. With UCLA and Duke competing this week, Gonzaga is also the only team on the calendar. history faced two top 5 opponents in less than a week in November. 2 Record: 5-0. With impressive victories North Carolina and Villanova, Matt Painter’s team is second in offensive efficiency at KenPom ahead of Gonzaga (121.7 to 118.6) and looks to be ahead of the others in the Big Ten. Notable but mostly pointless: In defeating UNC and Nova, Purdue beat the national championship schools of 2016, 2017 and 2018 in consecutive days. 3 Record: 5-0. The Bears have quietly dominated to start the season, but that’s because of the schedule. Scott Drew’s program has yet to play a team slated to enter the NCAA Tournament. However, the Unbeatable Bears are starting from where they left off in April and are beating their opponents by a whopping 30.2 points average. VCU look forward to Thursday in the Battle 4 Atlantis semi-final. 4 Record: 5-0. By’s calculations, when you remove all pre-season bias, the top two teams in the first 16 days of competition is Gonzaga and Arizona. Tommy Lloyd got off to a good start in his first head coaching stint with wins Wichita State and Michigan this week to win the Roman Main Event in Las Vegas. 5 Record: 5-0. Hellooooo, Gators! What a thrilling win Wednesday night in the Fort Myers Tip-Off title game to beat Ohio State. UF lasted most of the night, then Tiree Appleby provided one of the highlights of the week. That Fort Myers event became one of the best Thanksgiving week tournaments in the sport. The Gators are pretty good right now – and they’ve done it with seven transfers in standout minutes. 6 Record: 6-0. Blue Devils start the season with a series of victories Kentucky. Since then, there have been five wins at home against opponents under 150 games. The game against Gonzaga (Friday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) is the first of two games next week that will determine our interest in this team. Next Tuesday is the only non-conference road game on the schedule, at Ohio State. If Duke wants to have any chance with the No. 1 seed this season, it will have to at least draw 1-1 in those two games, as there isn’t another Quad 1 game on the schedule. 7 Record: 5-0. Memphis do not allow Virginia Technology to score a point in four and a half minutes on Wednesday night (until Hurricane Murphy hit one shot with 19.3 seconds left) and ended the game with a score of 14-4. Defense is the story here. It’s a shame, the tigers are so ugly right now. Such simple. But DeAndre Williams (16 points, 10x VT) is the soul of this team and will be needed if the Tigers are to stay in the top 10 for most of the season. 8 Score: 4-0. Trojan has two wins on the road, more than anyone else on this list. I will always reward that kind of scheduling ambition (and success). The victories come at Temple and Florida Gulf Coast, but nevertheless, they were included in the schedule, USC flew around the country and got it done. Next up is Wooden Heritage, which begins on Thursday. 9 Record: 5-0. An incredible 115-109 stoppage-time double win on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of Battle 4 Atlantis vs. Number 19 Auburn. Sixteen days into the season, I think it’s the team’s best game to date. The Huskies have one player to know is the second-biggest Adama Sanogo, who is averaging 18.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 turns and is shooting 60.5% from two points. ten Record: 5-0. Few teams have a look as tight and seamless as the Bonnies. Boise State, Clemson and Marquette all were sent by Kyle Lofton, Osun Ossuniyi and company. I told you pre-season that this is a top 20 team. So far there has been no rebuttal to that claim. 11 Score: 4-0. The Crimson Tide is yet to face a powerful opponent, but that could change this weekend with the ESPN Events Invitational. First is Iona – a rematch of last year’s first round game in the NCAAs – and then a potential tilt vs. Belmont or drake, either would be a difficult task in one-day turnaround time. Nate Oats’ team is my pick to win the SEC. twelfth Record: 5-1. On Wednesday, the Badgers were the surprise winners of this year’s Maui Invitational, held in Las Vegas due to the pandemic. I wonder: Does the historic Maui win hint that you’re making your way to the NCAA Tournament? The Maui Invitational has been around since 1984, meaning there were 37 champions before this year. Only three teams failed to jump (apart from Kansas in 2020, seed number 1): Ascertainment, 1985; Vanderbilt, 1987; Notre Dame, 2018. That’s a 92% hit rate. Be optimistic, Badgers fans. 13 Record: 5-0. Razorbacks defeated Kansas State and Cincinnati (it’s a tough one) to win the Classics Hall of Fame in Kansas City this week. This is a 5-0 team that is destined to be 9-0; the next four games at home against the teams ranked 210th (Penn), 343rd (Central Arkansas), 298th (Small stone) and the 218th (Charlotte) at KenPom. 14 Record: 6-0. The Rams enter this season with Sweet 16 hopes thanks to much of the roster that has returned. They are in a good shape thanks to a perfect start, most recently bolstered by championship titles at Paradise Jam, including victory Creighton. Niko Medved has the best team in Mountain West. 15 Score: 3-0. The Jayhawks must find their way in, but they will be held back a bit by playing only three games so far (won the state of Michigan, State of Tarleton and Stony Brook). Larger tests await in the coming hours; KU is part of the ESPN Events Invitational and a game against Alabama could come true by the end of the week. 16 Record: 5-1. The cougar might have defeated Wisconsin in the semi-finals of Maui if the game had been 41 minutes instead of 40. But Tuesday’s two-point loss sent them into a consolation match with Oregon, and it was there and then that Kelvin Sampson’s team showed exactly how angry they were with their performance the day before. Cougars against Ducks were so bad (78-49) that victory guaranteed them to be in the first edition. There is also a 20 point win on Virginia on the UH docket. 17 Record: 5-0. As Houston, BYU owning a dominant victory over Oregon. (Oregon looks average – at best, this was hardly predictable.) The Cougars have played three DI opponents, one of their other wins being a quality home game. State of San Diego. Will need victory on the road in the Holy War against Utah on Saturday to be in this ranking here next Thursday. 18 Record: 5-1. That Tuesday night’s loss to Gonzaga was a damaging loss, but an impressive home win over Villanova on November 12 was still of great value to keep the Bruins engaged. I also give Mick Cronin’s team a bit of a slack because it’s not there yet Cody Riley available. Good karma comes to Mick Cronin just in time – he’s one of the few coaches stuck with the look of the 2021 suit. Props. 19 Record: 5-0. Will Wade’s Tigers face their first big rival on Friday (green Penn State team), but showing dominance over five games is too much to include here. LSU are winning their matches by an average of 85-51 and are the #1 rated team in steal rate (19.1%) nationally. College Basketball Power Rankings: Gonzaga tops debut, with Arizona and Florida in Hey 19’s top 5


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