NCAAB Power Rankings: Can anyone beat Baylor?

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February 7th, 2020

Our power rankings saw quite a bit of upheaval in the first half of the season, but as we hit the midway point in conference play, the top four teams have solidified their spots and have established themselves as the cream of the crop.

The bottom half of our rankings saw quite a bit of turnover this week, though, as multiple teams fell in tough games.

1. Baylor (20-1)

The Bears have tied the best start in program history, and they are 9-0 in conference play. They have not lost a game in three months, and they are the favorite to get the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Their current 19-game winning streak is a school record, and it should be at 21 before they host a dangerous West Virginia team next weekend.

This weekend: vs. Oklahoma State

2. Gonzaga (24-1)

The Bulldogs escaped San Francisco with a four-point win Saturday, as Corey Kispert put the team on his back in the final minutes to pull out an 83-79 win. They rolled over a hapless Loyola Marymount team Thursday night, and will hit the road again for a tough game against Saint Mary’s on Saturday.

This weekend: at Saint Mary’s

3. San Diego State (23-0)

The Aztecs defeated Utah State by 12 last weekend, behind 28 points from Matt Mitchell, by far his best game of the season. The Aggies led that game until 13 minutes remained, but San Diego State was able to salvage its unbeaten record.

The Aztecs got a week off and will take on an overmatched Air Force squad Saturday. Only six games remain between them and an unbeaten regular season.

This weekend: at Air Force

4. Kansas (20-3)

The Jayhawks’ only defeat in conference play was to Baylor, and they will face off again in two weeks to likely determine the Big 12 champion, but nothing was easy for them over the last week week.

They had to survive a scare from Texas Tech over the weekend, and held on late for a three-point win, behind 21 points from Devin Dotson. Then Texas led them at halftime in Lawrence, and were down only two with 11 minutes left, before the Jayhawks put them away with a 19-4 run.

This weekend: at TCU

5. Louisville (17-3)

The Cardinals trailed Wake Forest by 12 at the break Wednesday night, but a dominant second half, spurred by an 18-5 run, allowed them to pull away. They made 14 of their 28 three-point attempts against Wake, and hit 11 of 20 from beyond the arc against NC State on Saturday.

This weekend: vs. Virginia

6. Florida State (19-3)

The Seminoles bounced back strong from their loss at Virginia, with a pair of wins at Virginia Tech and over North Carolina. Devin Vassell hit all seven of his three-point attempts against the Hokies, which tied an ACC record, and then shut down Cole Anthony in a six-point win over the Tar Heels.

The Seminoles have now won 19 consecutive home games, a streak they will look to push to 20 before they head into Durham for a massive game against Duke on Monday.

This weekend: vs. Miami

7. Dayton (20-2)

The Flyers continue to be the class of the Atlantic 10, and Obi Toppin continues to be the straw that stirs the drink. His 18 points against Fordham helped them to their 11th straight victory, and was tied for his lowest—yes, lowest!—point total in six games.

He has yet to score fewer than 15 points in 2020. However, running mate Jalen Crutcher was held to just three points in the win, which ended his five-game stretch of 18 or more points.

This weekend: vs. Saint Louis

8. Duke (19-3)

The Blue Devils are back in our rankings, just in time for their toughest stretch of the season. They will face rival North Carolina on Saturday and host Florida State on Monday night.

While KenPom has the Blue Devils ranked second, they continue to struggle with inferior opponents. They made only one three pointer in their 63-55 win over Boston College, a game that saw the two teams miss their first 26 combined attempts from behind the arc.

This weekend: at North Carolina

9. Maryland (18-4)

The Terps are also back into the rankings after a long absence, as they have won five straight and eight of their last 10. Their best recent win was over a ranked Iowa team, and they took down Rutgers on Tuesday, after they trailed at the halftime break.

Jalen Smith had a monster game against Rutgers, with 14 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocks to push the Terps into tie atop the Big Ten standings with Illinois. A showdown with the Illini for sole possession of first place looms Friday night.

This weekend: at Illinois

10. Seton Hall (17-5)

The Pirates hang onto the final spot, after a stunning loss to Xavier last week and a bounce-back win at Georgetown on Wednesday. Myles Powell was held to just nine points in the loss, but scored 34 against the Hoyas.

Seton Hall gets a chance to make a statement this week, however, as the Pirates will look for their first road win over Villanova since 1994. If Quincy McKnight is unable to go, that task will likely be too tough for the Pirates.

This weekend: at Villanova

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