Purdue Soars to the Pinnacle in the Revamped Power 36 Men’s Basketball Rankings

Purdue Soars to the Pinnacle in the Revamped Power 36 Men's Basketball Rankings

As the 2023-24 DI men’s college basketball season powers through its sixth week, the Power 36 rankings have witnessed a thrilling shake-up! The courts have been buzzing with unexpected outcomes, reshaping the leaderboard in dramatic fashion.

The Spotlight of Week Six:

  • Upsets and Triumphs: This week was a rollercoaster, featuring top contenders like Arizona, Baylor, North Carolina, and Clemson facing unexpected defeats.
  • Andy Katz’s Expert Insights: Get ready for an in-depth dive into Katz’s latest Power 36 and his predictions for the upcoming clashes.

The Power 36 Rundown

  1. Purdue (4): The Boilermakers are back to No. 1 after the win over previous No. 1 Arizona in Indianapolis. 
  2. Kansas (2): The Jayhawks hold steady after the road win at Indiana. 
  3. UConn (3): The Huskies looked the part of a title team again in the win over Gonzaga in Seattle. 
  4. Arizona (1): The Wildcats drop just a few slots after their first defeat of the season. 
  5. Houston (6): The Cougars continue to roll, this time with a win over nearby rival Texas A&M. 
  6. Marquette (8): The Golden Eagles will start the defense of their Big East title at Providence this week.
  7. Oklahoma (9): Porter Moser has his best team to date in Norman. The undefeated Sooners will be tested again this week against North Carolina. 
  8. Kentucky (18): The Wildcats make the biggest jump of the week after an impressive W over North Carolina in Atlanta. 
  9. Creighton (11): The Bluejays won the track meet against Alabama and will be in the thick of the Big East race. 
  10. North Carolina (10): No shame in losing a late possession game to Kentucky in Atlanta. 
  11. Tennessee (12): The Vols got a solid win over NC State in San Antonio. 
  12. Illinois (13): The Illini are looking like the second-best team in the Big Ten. 
  13. Ole Miss (20): Chris Beard has the Rebels undefeated still as they continue to be the surprise team in the SEC. 
  14. Memphis (29): Time to give the Tigers the love they deserve. A monster win over Clemson should serve notice. 
  15. Clemson (7): The Tigers drop down after their first loss of the season — at Memphis. 
  16. Auburn (23): The Tigers are playing their best basketball of the season — blowing out Indiana and USC in consecutive weeks. 
  17. Duke (22): The Blue Devils have rectified issues that arose in the loss at Georgia Tech. Their offense is clicking and Kyle Filipowski is asserting himself even more. 
  18. Wisconsin (28): The Badgers were too low last week. The loss at Arizona appears to have been a bit of an anomaly after they had cured any issues lingering from the Providence loss. The wins over Marquette and at Michigan State are more the norm for this squad. 
  19. Colorado State (14): The Rams have been dealing with injuries and suffered their first loss of the season to Saint Mary’s. 
  20. Colorado (30): The Buffaloes also needed a rankings correction, following up the crushing win over Miami with a win over Northern Colorado. 
  21. James Madison (17): The Dukes are 10-0 but it’s still hard to find where to slot them as the competition starts to dip. 
  22. FAU (15): The Owls fall into a similar grouping of trying to find the right home. They beat a decent St. Bonaventure team last week. 
  23. Ohio State (27): The Buckeyes bounced back with a solid neutral-site win over UCLA in Atlanta. 
  24. Arkansas (25): I know the Hogs beat Duke, but they haven’t played as well since then while the Blue Devils are starting to click. 
  25. Nebraska (NR): The Huskers beat Michigan State at home and then followed that up with a road win at Kansas State. Fred Hoiberg has a real shot to get this program to the NCAA Tournament. 
  26. Michigan State (NR): The Spartans are back to being relevant after a dominating wire-to-wire win over Baylor in Detroit.
  27. Baylor (5): Yes, that’s a big drop but the Bears weren’t even in the game against a previously-struggling Michigan State. 
  28. Texas (16): The Longhorns still need to prove they are an elite Big 12 team. That hasn’t happened yet. 
  29. South Carolina (33): The Gamecocks didn’t let the one loss to Clemson affect them as they reeled off a few in a row after that first defeat. 
  30. Utah (NR): The Utes have won five in a row, including a W over rival BYU. 
  31. Virginia (21): The Cavaliers barely survived against Northeastern. Big week ahead with a road game at Memphis. 
  32. New Mexico (31): The Lobos have won nine in a row and got the season sweep of rival New Mexico State. 
  33. BYU (26): The Cougars have one loss to rival Utah and are probably more in this range than within the top 25. 
  34. Saint Joseph’s (34): The Hawks have won six in a row and may be the team to beat in the A-10. 
  35. Grand Canyon (35): The Lopes’ only loss is to South Carolina. 
  36. Drake (36): The Bulldogs are the pick to win the Valley and they haven’t disappointed yet. 

Dropped out: Gonzaga (19), Northwestern (24), Iowa State (32)  

Under consideration: Florida, San Diego State, Alabama, Mississippi State, Villanova, Providence, Butler, Syracuse, Nevada, Utah State, Indiana State. 

Top 10 games to watch for the week of Dec. 18

1. Baylor vs. Duke, Wednesday, NYC, Madison Square Garden: Duke relishes a de-facto home game at the Garden. And they could use a high-level win. The Bears are coming off a disastrous performance against Michigan State in Detroit. The guards could neutralize each other, opening up the possibility for a Kyle Filipowski big night. 

2. North Carolina vs. Oklahoma, Wednesday, Charlotte: The Tar Heels lost a wild game to Kentucky in Atlanta and now take on the undefeated Sooners. 

3. Virginia at Memphis, Tuesday: The Tigers continue to play a Gonzaga-like non-conference slate. Penny Hardaway clearly knew FAU and maybe SMU would be the only potential quad-one American games this season. If the Tigers can knock off Virginia then they will continue to build toward a top-four seed line resume. This would be a significant road win for the Cavaliers. 

4. Villanova at Creighton, Wednesday: The Wildcats are back to looking like a top-three Big East team after the win over UCLA last week. Creighton survived a late push from Alabama. This should be a high-flying affair. 

5. Alabama vs. Arizona, Wednesday, Phoenix: The Tide continue a brutal non-conference schedule. Arizona is coming off the loss to Purdue in Indianapolis. Both teams aren’t shying away from anyone. Love the potential of the Mark Sears-Caleb Love matchup. 

6. FAU vs. Arizona, Saturday, Las Vegas: The Wildcats will be heading into Christmas as one of the most tested teams in the country if not the next to Purdue. FAU could dramatically increase its profile with a neutral win over the Wildcats. 

7. Marquette at Providence, Tuesday: High-level Big East opener for both schools. This is the state homecoming game again for Tyler Kolek. The Friars need to start piling up some Big East resume wins at home to go with the non-conference win over Wisconsin. 

8. Illinois vs. Missouri, Thursday, St. Louis: This rivalry game never disappoints. The Illini are flying high while Mizzou limps into the game after losing to Seton Hall Sunday in Kansas City. 

9. Florida vs. Michigan, Tuesday, Charlotte: Both schools desperately need another quality win. This would qualify on a neutral court. 

10. Mississippi State vs. Rutgers, Saturday, Newark: The Scarlet Knights are playing their best basketball of the season and that’s why a win over the SEC’s Bulldogs would be significant.

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