NCAAB Power Rankings: Louisville Cardinals are flying high
What a difference a week makes. Following Kentucky’s stunning defeat to Evansville, the Wildcats have fallen all the way out of our Power Rankings, even though they held the top spot last week. In their place steps their bitter rival, Louisville, and the Cardinals bring four pals from their conference in this week’s top 10. It’s still early in the season, but the ACC flavor in this week’s rankings is strong.
1. LouisvilleA win over a conference foe away from home, and an offense scoring at least 78 points in all four wins, has the Cardinals sitting at the top of the rankings this week. They do not have a "big" win on their résumé that some teams have, but their average margin of victory sits at 23.5 points and they look as strong as expected. Darius Perry continues to run with the point guard position, with 6.5 assists per contest, and Jordan Nwora has scored at least 17 points in each game.
Up next: South Carolina Upstate, Akron
2. DukeThe Blue Devils have made a strong case for the top spot in our rankings, and they are ranked as the top team in both polls, but there are still a few questions about how good their freshmen are going to be. They are 4-0, but they beat Georgia State by only 11 points, and only led by two points at the halftime break. Tre Jones has picked up the slack so far this season and scored 31 points to lead Duke to the Georgia State win.
One concern for the team? The Blue Devils are shooting just better than 30% from three-point range this season.
Up next: California
3. Michigan StateThe Spartans have won three straight since an opening-night loss to Kentucky, including a road win over 12th-ranked Seton Hall, when they got 17 second-half points from freshman Malik Hall. If Hall can provide more consistent scoring for this offense, it will give the team more inside-outside scoring balance and will make a dangerous team even better. It also helps that freshman Rocket Watts, playing for the injured Joshua Langford, continues to improve each game.
Up next: Virginia Tech
4. North CarolinaCole Anthony continues to wow everyone with his outstanding play, after he dropped 28 points on Gardner-Webb to drive his scoring average up to 27.3 through three games. He is also pitching in at the defensive end of the floor, with 7.3 rebounds per game.
The one concern is that only two other Tar Heels are averaging double-digit points so far, and outside of Anthony’s 44.8% shooting from three-point range, the team is shooting just 32.4% from behind the arc.