WACO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 22: Devon Dotson #1 of the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half at Ferrell Center on February 22, 2020 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The college basketball rankings for Week 17 will be different as Baylor will no longer be the No. 1 team in the country after falling to Kansas.
For the first time in what seems like an eternity, there will be a new No. 1 in the college basketball world. Despite hosting Kansas for a major Big 12 showdown, the Baylor Bears couldn’t hold off the Jayhawks for the second time this season.
Kansas could be pushing for that No. 1 spot and it should almost be considered a lock with Gonzaga also falling to BYU.
Outside of the top-three getting a major shakeup, what else will the Week 17 rankings look like?
College basketball rankings for Week 17
25. Michigan State Spartans (18-9)
The preseason No. 1 team in the country has had a rough season and there may be more to this struggle than what you see on the court, but the Spartans went on the road and picked up a blowout win over Nebraska. It’s not much, but it should get them back into the rankings.
- Illinois Fighting Illini (17-9)
It’s not often you see a team that just suffered a four-game losing streak sneak back into the AP Top 25, but a win over the No. 9 team in the country on the road will have that effect. The Illini picked up a gritty six-point road win over Penn State to end a four-game skid, climbing back into the rankings.
- Ohio State Buckeyes (18-9)
We should see Ohio State remain in the Top 25 despite losing earlier in the week to Iowa on the road and that’s because the Buckeyes knocked off a red-hot Maryland team which had been first place in the conference for weeks. This was a huge resume-builder for Chris Holtmann and Co.
- Colorado Buffaloes (21-7)
Colorado fans have had a rough couple of weeks with the news of their football coach leaving for Michigan State and then the basketball team blew a lead at Oregon late and now the Buffaloes are coming off another disappointing loss, this time at the hands of UCLA in Boulder.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-9)
Texas Tech has flirted with the AP Top 25 all season long and the Red Raiders will make yet another appearance after beating Kansas State and then Iowa State on the road by 30. This isn’t last year’s Texas Tech team, but it’ll still be dangerous in March.
- Michigan Wolverines (18-9)
Ever since their four-game losing streak near the beginning of Big Ten play, Michigan has been red-hot. In fact, the Wolverines have won seven of their last eight games, including road wins at Purdue and Rutgers in Week 16 which should get them back in the rankings again.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (19-8)
West Virginia has been a tough team to gauge over the past couple of weeks and that didn’t change with the latest slate of games. The Mountaineers took care of Oklahoma State and then were handed a loss at TCU. This team has been inconsistent of late.
- Penn State Nittany Lions (20-7)
The Big Ten title may have slipped away from Penn State in Week 16 and that’s a tough blow for the Nittany Lions who were sitting pretty at 10-4 in league play heading into the week. Even worse, Penn State had two winnable games with Illinois coming to town and at Indiana, but the Nittany Lions dropped both.
- Auburn Tigers (23-4)
What are we supposed to make of Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers? They started the season red-hot but are just 8-4 in their last 12 games. They lost by 10 at Georgia last week but ended with a seven-point home win at Tennessee. No top-10 ranking for the Tigers this week.
- Oregon Ducks (21-7)
If you looked at Oregon’s slate before the week and saw road games at Arizona State and Arizona, you’d think a split meant the Ducks beat the Sun Devils and lost to the Wildcats, but it was the other way around. A ranked win on the road should keep the Ducks from falling too far.
- BYU Cougars (23-7)
Who would have thought the West Coast Conference would have had another ranked team this season outside of Gonzaga? Who would have thought that same team would beat the Bulldogs by double-digits? No one saw this coming, but BYU is red-hot after a 13-point win over No. 2 Gonzaga.
- Iowa Hawkeyes (19-8)
Fran McCaffery has one of the best offensive teams in the conference but his defense may get him in trouble come tournament time. For now, though, the Hawkeyes should move up after a ranked home win over Ohio State. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, though.
- Seton Hall Pirates (20-7)
Seton Hall rebounded from a rough week to take down No. 21 Butler in a thriller and then smacked St. John’s around on Sunday afternoon to improve to 20-7. The Pirates are one of the best mid-majors in college basketball this season and will be a dangerous tourney team.
- Creighton Bluejays (22-6)
We may see a big riser in Creighton this week thanks to a couple of ranked victories, including an eight-point road win against Marquette and a home blowout of Butler. The Bluejays were sitting at No. 15, but expect a decent jump thanks to a couple of monster performances.
- Maryland Terrapins (22-5)
Sitting in first place in the Big Ten by a decent margin, the Terrapins looked to be locking up the conference before Senior Day but hope has gone out the window thanks to a Sunday evening loss at Ohio State. The Terrapins beat Northwestern earlier in the week but could drop out of the top 10 even with a healthy lead in the conference standings.
- Villanova Wildcats (21-6)
Villanova is approaching the top 10 this week thanks to a couple of road wins in the Big East over DePaul and Xavier. The Wildcats are looking like one of a handful of teams in the conference that has a chance to make a Final Four run and Jay Wright is no stranger to those.
- Duke Blue Devils (23-4)
Duke had the roughest start to the week possible with a 22-point road blowout loss at North Carolina State and some teams may let that kind of defeat turn into two or three in a row, but Coach K has seen it all before. His Blue Devils turned right back around and smacked Virginia Tech by 24 points.
- San Diego State Aztecs (26-1)
San Diego State is no longer the lone undefeated team in college basketball because, well, the Aztecs finally lost. And it wasn’t a game anyone expected San Diego State to lose as it was a home game against an average UNLV squad in their only contest of the week. The Aztecs will drop slightly because of this.
- Louisville Cardinals (23-5)
Sitting atop the ACC standings, Louisville has a chance to extend its lead with a win over Florida State this coming week and was made possible with blowout wins over Syracuse and North Carolina in Week 16. Louisville has the potential to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament as long as it takes care of business in the final two weeks of the regular season.
6. Kentucky Wildcats (22-5)
Kentucky had a tough slate of games last week but John Calipari‘s team had an opportunity to show it belonged in the top 10. The Wildcats beat LSU on the road and held off a tough Florida team at home. Yes, this team belongs in the top 10.
- Gonzaga Bulldogs (27-2)
Receiving 14 first-place votes last week, Gonzaga was looking like a team ready to pounce on at No. 1 overall ranking again, but it needed Baylor to lose. Well, the Bears lost, giving the Bulldogs an opportunity to jump to the top of the nation but they couldn’t beat No. 23 BYU on the road, dropping their first game since the Battle 4 Atlantis.
4. Florida State Seminoles (23-4)
Is it safe to say Florida State is a basketball school now? By the way, the basketball team has played compared to the football team, it’s not a crazy statement. Florida State won another couple of games in Week 16 and the Seminoles control their own fate in the ACC with a home game against Louisville on Monday.
- Baylor Bears (24-2)
Baylor had an opportunity to not only lock up that No. 1 spot in the country for the remainder of the season but essentially put the Big 12 title out of reach for Kansas with two weeks left, but the Bears couldn’t take advantage. Losing their first game since November, the Bears will only drop a couple of spots in the rankings, at most, but the fact Gonzaga also lost helps their case as a No. 2 or No. 3 team.
- Dayton Flyers (25-2)
It’ll be weird to see a mid-major not named Gonzaga in the No. 2 spot, but that’s just how good Dayton has been this season. The Flyers were No. 5 last week so a three-spot jump seems a bit drastic for a team that beat VCU on the road as well as Duquesne but with Gonzaga, Baylor and San Diego State losing, it’s likely. Unless the AP voters believe Baylor deserves to stay in the top-two, expect Dayton to be here.
- Kansas Jayhawks (24-3)
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t see this coming. Baylor was plowing through just about everyone on its schedule and even had a win at Kansas earlier in the year, but the Bears couldn’t hold off the Jayhawks in Waco on Saturday. Bill Self‘s team looked like the best team in the country and a potential No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, but for now, they’ll have to settle for the No. 1 ranking in the nation.
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