Men's college basketball is slowly starting to wind down and thoughts are turning to the NCAA tournament.
Power rankings are becoming more and more important each week, as we are starting to get a good idea of who we will see competing in the NCAA's big dance.
As you likely know, records are not everything, as the tournament takes into account things such as conferences and strength of schedule. ESPN has updated its comprehensive top-25 list and the top three are as follows:
- Virginia Cavaliers (22-1)
- Villanova Wildcats (22-1)
- Purdue Boilermakers (23-2)
Virginia sits at the top of the list bolstered by its intimidating defense. They are hoping this improved defense can take them farther this year after being ousted by Florida in just the second round last year.
Villanova is certainly a team that we are used to seeing near the top year-after-year. This year is no different with them sporting a lot of offensive firepower.
Purdue has had several good seasons, but they have been surprisingly elite this year. They have had some close ones, but are currently clinging to a 19-game win streak.
The other guys
Kansas (18-5) is number four, having played one of the tougher national schedules and Xavier (21-3) is at the five. Duke (19-4) has looked out of sorts of late, slipping to number seven, while Clemson (19-4) makes a jump to number eight in the standings with some big wins.
Trae Young finally had an off night shooting last Saturday and OU (16-6) moved back a few spots to 14, right in front of North Carolina (17-7). Kentucky (17-6) recently dropped a game to Mizzou, and takes the 22 spot.
Since their Cinderella run in 2010, Butler (17-7) has done a great job of staying relevant. They are holding onto the number 25 spot, with Florida, Arizona State, and Wichita State (not a state) on the outside looking in.