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College Basketball Power Rankings

It may have taken six days, but “Rivalry Week,” finally lived up to the hype, as both Syracuse and Georgetown were upset on a shocking Sunday afternoon.

Which is a weird coincidence, since those two teams face off in this week’s signature game on Thursday night.

Let’s get to this week’s Rankings.

1. Kansas (24-1, 10-0): It was another week and two more wins for a team that seems to be a permanent fixture in our No. 1 spot. But with a tricky road test at Texas A&M Monday night, will they still be here next week?

2. Kentucky (24-1, 9-1): The Cats don’t always win the prettiest of games, but got the job done last week, including a victory over Tennessee. Just like Kansas though, two big road tests await Kentucky this week, at Mississippi State Tuesday, and a big trip to Vanderbilt Saturday. The Commodores haven’t lost a game at Memorial Gymnasium all season.

3. Villanova (22-2, 11-1): A week ago we were worried about the Wildcats, as they’d just gotten run out of the building by Georgetown. A week later, after victories over West Virginia and Providence, we’ve got to wonder if these guys will lose another game the rest of the regular season.

4. Purdue (21-3, 9-3): For the most part “Rivalry Week,” proved to be a dud, as several teams and players didn’t live up to our expectations as fans. Purdue was not one of them however, as they went into the Breslin Center and whopped up on Michigan State pretty good. Next stop, a Big 10 Championship?

5. Syracuse (24-2, 11-2): After losing to Louisville and very near losing to UConn (don’t even get me started on that game), it’s hard to justify keeping the Orange this high. But if you’ve watched Jim Boeheim’s team at all in 2010, you know last week was simply a bump in the road, not a full on collision.

6. Duke (21-4, 9-2): If Saturday’s dominating victory over second place (in the ACC) Maryland proved one thing, it’s that no one is tougher to beat at home than Duke is. But will their road struggles continue Wednesday, when they take a trip to Miami?

7. Kansas State (20-4, 7-3): With their cross-state rivals Kansas getting all the attention, Kansas State is just hanging around, and continuing to win games. They should have no problem doing the same this week with two winnable games against Nebraska on the road, and Oklahoma at home.

8. Ohio State (20-6, 10-3): Hoops Addict has been telling you about Ohio State for weeks, and they’re making us look good, as they’ve won six straight games, which is no small feat in the Big 10. The Buckeyes will prove whether they’re contenders or pretenders this week, with both Purdue and Michigan State on the schedule.

9. Gonzaga (21-4, 9-1): Maybe it’s because their games are on late, or because of their small conference affiliation, but Gonzaga simply isn’t getting the love they should be right now. The Zags absolutely crushed St. Mary’s Thursday night, and it’s safe to say that after the win, nobody in college basketball is playing better.

10. West Virginia (19-5, 8-4): It’s hard to fault the Mountaineers for going 0-2 last week, considering the two losses were to No. 4 Villanova at home and a triple overtime loss to Pittsburgh on the road. Still, if you watched that Pitt game, West Virginia had the chance to put the Panthers away late, and didn’t finish the way championship teams do. Could that be a sign of things to come?

11. Georgetown (18-6, 8-5): Alight, one loss doesn’t make or break a season, and the Hoyas loss at Rutgers Sunday certainly won’t do that. But that is now their second defeat in three games to an unranked team. I guess there’s a reason they call Georgetown’s student section “Hoya Paranoia.” I’d lose my mind rooting for this team too.

12. New Mexico (23-3, 9-2): The Lobos have jumped to No. 12 after not being the Power Rankings two weeks ago. Nice! So how’d they do it? With nine straight wins, including two big ones on the road last week, at UNLV and Utah.

13. Michigan State (20-6, 10-3): Thankfully, mercifully, the Spartans three game losing streak came to an end Saturday afternoon at Penn State. And with Kalin Lucas back at full strength, Michigan State is out of excuses; they need to win remaining games with Purdue and Ohio State to prove they belong with the nation’s elite.

14. Butler (23-4, 16-0): Think it ever gets boring for Butler running through the Horizon League the way they do? The Bulldogs wrapped up another conference title, and haven’t lost a game since before Christmas. Wow!

15. Wisconsin (19-6, 9-4): Wisconsin never loses at the Kohl Center, meaning that what Illinois did to the Badgers Tuesday night made us all stand up and pay attention. With games against Minnesota and Northwestern this week, Wisconsin should go 2-0, but don’t be surprised if one of those desperate teams steals a win against the Badgers.

16. BYU (23-3, 8-2): The Cougars had just one game, and bounced back nicely this week with a resounding victory over the Air Force Academy. While BYU has two winnable games this week, be wary, both are on the road.

17. Vanderbilt (19-5, 8-2): No team got a more resounding win, on a bigger stage, than the Commodores 90-71 victory over Tennessee Tuesday night. Vandy still has yet to lose a game at home all year. But can that streak continue with No. 2 Kentucky coming to town Saturday?

18. Texas (20-5, 6-4): Alright, so the Longhorns followed up a loss to No. 1 Kansas with a nice win over Nebraska on Saturday afternoon. That still puts the Longhorns at just 3-5 over the last month. Is it officially time to give up on this team?

19. Temple (20-5, 8-2): One game, and one win for the Owls, after a one week hiatus from the Power Rankings. With no games left against Xavier, Richmond, Charlotte or Rhode Island, a visit from Dayton next week should be the only thing standing between Temple and running the table from here on out.

20. Tennessee (18-6, 6-4): Honestly, it’s hard to write off a team that just lost games at Vanderbilt and Kentucky, two of the toughest places to play on the road in all of college basketball. But does anyone think that this team may have finally hit a wall after their hot January?

New To The Power Rankings: Vanderbilt, Tennessee

Dropping Out: Northern Iowa, Georgia Tech

(To read all of Aaron’s writing, please visit him at www.aarontorres-sports.com. And for his thoughts on all things sports, be sure to add him on Twitter, @Aaron_Torres)

Aaron Torres
With a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Connecticut, Aaron Torres has covered a number of different sports for several different media outlets in the northeastern United States. You can find more of his writing at www.aarontorres-sports.com and you can follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/Aaron_Torres).
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